Marijuana medicine is gaining traction. Evidence of cannabis health benefits is preliminary but promising. Discover seven of its surprising potential uses.
Cannabis health benefits are attracting public attention in the US. The body of medical research grows, and we’re getting more proof of this plant’s therapeutic value with each passing day.
The emerging information doesn’t solely revolve around CBD, either. Numerous reports suggest that high THC cannabis seeds might be healing powerhouses of a similar level.
Much of the evidence is still inconclusive, but one conclusion stands. While marijuana isn’t a cure-all, its applications are broader than you might expect.
Let’s discuss seven surprising yet demonstrable health benefits of cannabis and touch on the science behind these effects.
THC, CBD, and Terpenes
What are the health benefits of cannabis? This plant’s therapeutic properties seem vast. The reason might lie in its complex chemical makeup.
Marijuana cannabinoids and terpenes are responsible for flavors, effects, and health benefits. CBD has been in the spotlight of alternative medicine for years now, but the focus shifted with additional information.
Without getting into the nitty-gritty of it, here are the three categories of compounds that produce cannabis health benefits:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating component. It’s studied as a physical and psychological wellness booster, inhibiting numerous conditions.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive compound. It binds to the endocannabinoid system, controlling pain responses, mood, and appetite.
- Terpenes are aromatic compounds. They might tailor THC and CBD activities, making them antioxidant, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic.
The current consensus is these chemicals act in synergy to bring the health benefits of cannabis.
Some are well-known, like the appetite boost (the ‘munchies’) and the sleep improvement. Others could take you by surprise. Here are the seven best-corroborated scientific findings from the latter category.
#1: Lower Blood Pressure
Cannabis health benefits might help smokers of all ages. This one predominantly assists older adults.
Hypertension is the ‘silent killer’ among Americans, contributing to stroke and heart attack. Marijuana could offer short-term and long-term blood pressure reduction.
Researchers are still theorizing an explanation. The most prominent hypothesis says that marijuana reduces stress and pain—which we know—and blood pressure drops as a result.
Looking at this health benefit of cannabis use, it’s no wonder older people are becoming the prime demographic for medical marijuana.
#2: Reduced Inflammation
Marijuana has long been soothing joint pain. Recent research suggests that we could expand this application to inflammatory conditions in general.
Scientists believe that CBD and THC create brain pathways to reduce the body’s response to inflammation. The effect gets more potent with broad-range products that incorporate terpenes.
These chemicals could alleviate symptoms of Crohn’s disease, IBS, arthritis, injury pain, and other inflammatory issues. They also cause fewer side effects than commonly-used opioids.
As marijuana becomes more accessible, this cannabis health benefit can become vital for many people’s daily functioning.
#3: Prevented Relapse
Many people associate cannabis with addiction, but science disagrees. Studies propose marijuana use to prevent relapse in people struggling with alcohol and narcotic addiction.
This health benefit of cannabis is two-fold. Consuming plenty of THC relieves anxiety and pain, helping people deal with withdrawal. Long-term CBD use could aid stress-induced cravings and impulse control issues that lead to relapse.
Of course, cannabis incurs a risk of dependence on its own. However, its application can help those dealing with more dangerous substances.
#4: Reduced Depression
Anxiety treatment is a well-known cannabis benefit for mental health. Lower doses of THC or any dose of CBD can assist with crippling symptoms. For this reason, many people suffering from anxiety and depression discuss using marijuana as a remedy.
Analysis imply the plant might lower depression levels even without accompanying anxiety.
CBD and THC can provide rapid, short-term relief, encourage healthier habits, and stabilize the mood. Regular CBD may balance serotonin levels in the long run, but psychiatric attention and tracking are necessary.
#5: Easier Weight Loss
Weight loss doesn’t always mean a wellness increase, but the two often coincide.
On average, cannabis smokers appear to have lower body mass indexes than non-smokers. Although people often associate the plant with unhealthy food consumption, long-term usage could actually reduce excessive weight.
THC and CBD both have roles in this health benefit of cannabis use.
THC often causes an appetite spike, but it might reduce energy storage in fat cells. CBD may suppress hunger and promote brown fat cell production, boosting the metabolism.
#6: Glaucoma Prevention
Glaucoma is a dangerous condition that could cause blindness if not treated rapidly and properly. Marijuana might improve symptoms and slow down progression, preventing or delaying vision loss.
This health benefit of cannabis use has to do with THC. This compound dilates blood vessels surrounding the optic nerve. It lowers the pressure in the eyeballs, soothing pain and lowering the risk of complications.
This activity is similar to traditional glaucoma medications, minus the side effects.
#7: Cancer Treatment
The final cannabis health benefit sounds the most bombastic, but it’s not mere sensationalism. Some studies suggest that cannabinoids might fight cancer cells and restrict metastasis.
We’re still far from effective cancer treatment. However, this option seems more viable with every additional information.
Moreover, many cancer patients already use medicinal marijuana to fight chemotherapy side effects. This trend provides opportunities to explore and potentially harness the effect.
…And More to Research
In a nutshell, the health benefits of cannabis could be numerous and far-reaching.
The main issue is that we still lack definitive research to support claims cropping up in scientific communities and push FDA approval. What we do know suggests amazing developments, though.
If cannabis generally sounds enjoyable, why not buy seeds and test these claims yourself?
Cortney Bennett works at I49 Bank. She has 5+ years of experience in the pharmacy field. Cortney is a big fan of the weed industry and everything that goes with it. As far as marijuana is concerned, she knows the ropes.