You may only be familiar with marijuana as a drug that makes you feel happy or relaxed.
However, did you know there are several health benefits that can be derived from marijuana and it’s various derivatives such as CBD?
Yes, it’s true that marijuana affects everyone differently and so not everyone will get all the health benefits.
However, it’s still good to be informed.
There are lots of health benefits that have been floating around the internet but not all of them are backed up by science.
Here are 10 surprising health benefits of marijuana based on research.
- Reduce Anxiety- According to James Giordano, professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center, weed has the ability to reduce anxiety. The biological reason behind it is that weed inhibits norepinephrine by increasing serotonin and GABA. In study done, weed reduced anxiety was in 93.5% of their tracked sessions. This study looked at marijuana inhalation.
- Helps You Get to Sleep- Cannabis can be used as a sleep aid. It can help you to fall asleep and not wake up groggy as long as you use a strain that has less than 20% THC. You’ll need to find what the right dosage is for you. The Indica strain is most commonly used for a soothing feeling in case you’d like to try this method to sleep. However, if you have cardiovascular problems, you might want to avoid this and try another sleep aid. In addition to that, unless you’re using pure CBD, cannabis products can stay in your body for various amounts of time so if you’re looking for job that will require you to take a drug test, you may have to try another sleep aid.
- Stops or Reduces Epileptic Seizures- According to a Harvard article, scientists have found that CBD, a component in cannabis can reduce or stop seizures in children with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). The article even mentioned that the FDA approved its first cannabis-derived medication called Epidiolex for epilepsy.
- Help with Depression- A study in the Journal of Affective Disorders mentioned that medical cannabis users perceived a 50% reduction in depression. It’s worth mentioning that continued usage could exacerbate symptoms of depression over time due to changes in the endocannabinoid system. However, the study did say that for chronic users this is reversible by abstaining from cannabis for 2 days.
- Reduces Stress- This one may not be too surprising since 72% of daily users say that they use cannabis to relieve stress and tension. According to a study, stress was reduced in 93.3% of tracked sessions.
- Improves symptoms of ADHD- According to a case report, cannabis was shown to reduce symptoms of ADHD. The study concluded that some people with ADHD may benefit because there were positive impacts on performance, behaviour and mental state of the subject in the study.
- Pain Management- Marijuana has shown in several studies to be effective in pain management even for people with chronic pain such as arthritis. According to a report, adults who suffer from chronic pain who are treated with cannabis or cannabinoids are “more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms.”
- Increased Lung Capacity– People commonly believe that marijuana is terrible for your lungs, however, a study indicates that it may actually increase lung capacity. The study titled, Association Between Marijuana Exposure and Pulmonary Function Over 20 Years, said, “A recent longitudinal study, which demonstrated significantly higher FVC and total lung capacity with marijuana exposure, strongly supports this notion, as does our study.”
- Strengthens Bones- According to a study cannabis, more specifically CBD, can help to heal bone fractures. The researchers said that cannabis makes the bones stronger while they are healing. It’s also been said that the cannabinoid receptors in our body stimulate bone formation and inhibit the loss of bones. According to the article, our skeletons are regulated by cannabinoids.
- May Help with Dystonia- Dystonia is a condition that causes involuntary muscle contractions. Around 250,000 people in the United States suffer from this disease. Research has shown that cannabis may actually help with the symptoms. According to an article, taking cannabidiol (CBD) daily for 6 weeks might improve dystonia by 20% to 50% in some people. Another study concluded that a larger study would prove that cannabis would be promising for therapy of dyskinesias, tics, and possibly dystonia. It’s clear that more research is needed but at least it looks promising.
More research is needed but fortunately, research is ongoing and more information will be available as time goes on.
The best thing to do is read, inform yourself and ask questions as you would with taking any kind of medication.