10 Amazing Health Benefits of Cannabis
Cannabis, also known as marijuana or hemp, has been used for both medicinal and recreational purposes for centuries.
While it is often associated with its psychoactive effects, cannabis has a wide range of health benefits that may surprise you. Let’s take a look at the surprising benefits everyone’s favorite plant may have to offer:
Feeling banged up? Let weed take the edge off. Cannabis has long been used as a natural pain reliever, and scientific research has supported its effectiveness in treating a variety of types of pain, including chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and cancer-related pain. Next time you reach for your ibuprofen, consider a joint instead. (Did you know that legalized cannabis is also linked to a decrease in opioid overdoses?)
When it all becomes too much, consider lighting up. Cannabis has been shown to have anxiety-reducing effects, making it a potential treatment for stress and other mood disorders. In fact, some studies have suggested that cannabis may be more effective at reducing anxiety than traditional medications.
Woah there, Chamomile. There’s a new herb in town. Cannabis has sedative effects that can help improve sleep quality, making it a potential treatment for insomnia. Not surprisingly, “relaxation” and “sleep” are the #1 and #5 reported reasons for cannabis consumption.
Chronic inflammation got you down? Cannabis can help. Cannabis has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, making it a potential treatment for a variety of conditions, including arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. But how does it work? Cannabinoids including THC and CBD trigger immunosuppression by triggering apoptosis, or the natural process of cell death. It can cause apoptosis in immune cells, such as T-lymphocytes and macrophages, thus reducing the body’s natural producers of chronic inflammation. Learn more, here.
Some studies have suggested that cannabis may be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures, making it a potential treatment for epilepsy.
“CBD is an effective treatment for seizures and epilepsy,” says Dr. Gardner. “It has been shown in studies to be similarly effective to other anti-epileptic medications that we commonly use,” she says. “However, it may not work for every type of seizure or all epilepsy patients. For some patients it leads to full seizure control, other patients have a reduction in seizure frequency and others have no improvement at all.” –Marisa Gardner, M.D., associate professor of neurology and chief of the pediatric neurology and epilepsy division at Benioff Children’s Hospital (Oakland, CA)
Cannabis has been shown to have neuroprotective effects, meaning it may help protect the brain from damage caused by injury or disease. This makes it a potential treatment for conditions like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.
Sensi Seeds wrote a great article on the topic, found here.
“There is mounting evidence for the role of cannabinoids in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, traumatic brain injury and ischemic stroke. Aside from having been established as antioxidative and anti-inflammatory, cannabinoids also exhibit neuroprotective qualities.”
Reduced nausea and vomiting
Cannabis has been shown to be effective at reducing nausea and vomiting, making it a potential treatment for conditions like chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
Cannabis’ primary active ingredient, THC, has been shown to increase appetite, making it a potential treatment for conditions like anorexia and cachexia. Perhaps surprisingly, cannabis users are less obese than non-users.
A 2011 review concluded that people who do not use cannabis have higher obesity rates than those who use at least 3 days a week. The report included two surveys with a total of 50,736 respondents.
We know what you’re thinking… how can cannabis increase appetite on one hand and help me lose weight on the other? While THC is the most common cannabinoid, there’s a minor cannabinoid that’s harder to find, but becoming increasingly popular: THCV. In rodent studies, THCV decreases appetite, increases satiety, and up-regulates energy metabolism, making it a clinically useful remedy for weight loss and management of obesity.
Cannabis has been shown to be effective at reducing intraocular pressure, making it a potential treatment for glaucoma. However, many Experts say it’s not practical due to the fact that you’d need to ingest it constantly throughout the day.
Some studies have suggested that cannabis may have anti-tumor effects, making it a potential treatment for certain types of cancer. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential of cannabis as a cancer treatment.
Overall, it is clear that cannabis has a wide range of potential health benefits, from pain relief to stress reduction. While more research is needed to fully understand the potential of cannabis as a medicine, it is clear that it has the potential to be a valuable tool in the treatment of a variety of conditions.