Marijuana has got a bad rap over the last 70 years. But now that the activists and cannabis users from all over the world are writing the redemption story for cannabis, it appears it has been unjustly demonized.
The health benefits of marijuana are plenty, and as more research is emerging in this subject, we’re getting a few steps closer to educating the global society and breaking the shackles of the cannabis prohibition in countries whose citizens are fighting for their freedom to toke and heal the way they want to.
In this article, we present 12 health benefits of marijuana you probably weren’t aware of. Or, you didn’t believe them given the last century’s propaganda.
12 Science-backed Benefits of Marijuana
1. It Can Be Used to Combat Glaucoma and Its Symptoms
One of the most remarkable benefits of marijuana is that it can treat and prevent eye disease glaucoma by reducing the intraocular pressure. Untreated glaucoma may result in damaging the optic nerve and result in loss of vision.
Here’s what the study from the National Eye Institute says about using marijuana to treat glaucoma:
“Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.”
The effects of cannabis may slow the progression of the illness, preventing blindness.
2. It May Improve Lung Health and Help Reverse the Carcinogenic Effects of Tobacco
In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in January 2012, researchers found that marijuana doesn’t compromise lung function; in fact, it can even increase lung capacity.
Researchers investigating risk factors of heart disease examined the lung function of 5,115 young adult subjects over a period of 20 years. Interestingly, pot users showed an increase in lung capacity, while tobacco smokers lost lung function over time.
3. It Can Prevent Epileptic Seizures
According to a 2003 study, marijuana use can prevent seizures in epilepsy patients.
Robert J. Delorenzo, the professor of Virginia Commonwealth University, administered marijuana extract and synthetic cannabinoids to epileptic rats. They eliminated the seizures for about 10 hours.
Marijuana can also be used in the treatment of drug-resistant forms of epilepsy, such as Dravet Syndrome, which causes seizures and developmental delays. Charlotte Figi, a girl who contributed to the worldwide CBD craze, was one of the first epileptic patients to witness the medical benefits of marijuana in this area.
High-CBD and low-THC marijuana oil has decreased her seizures from 300 a week to just one every seven days.
Today, epilepsy is one of the clinical recommendations for medical cannabis treatment.
4. It May Relieve Anxiety
A 2010 research paper from researchers at Harvard Medical School suggested that low to moderate doses of marijuana can reduce anxiety, which would improve the user’s mood and act as a sedative.
However, higher doses of THC may increase anxiety and make you paranoid, which is why it’s best to keep your cannabis intake in moderation, especially if you’re sensitive to THC or have a low tolerance to this cannabinoid.
5. It’s a Neuroprotectant
Marijuana has notable neuroprotective properties. CBD can increase the plasticity of hippocampus, the brain’s area responsible for cognitive function, forming memories, and mood stability.
THC, in turn, can prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by blocking the enzyme in the brain that is responsible for the formation of amyloid plaques that kill brain cells and cause Alzheimer’s.
6. It Relieves Nausea
Marijuana contains over 113 cannabinoids. THC is the primary chemical associated with its psychoactive effects. THC has been used in the treatment of nausea, including post-chemotherapy nausea.
7. It Eases the Pain of Multiple Sclerosis
Marijuana may relieve painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis, as shown by a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The study examined 30 multiple sclerosis patients with painful strains in their muscles. The patients didn’t react to other treatments, but after smoking cannabis for a few days, they felt a significant reduction in their pain.
That’s because THC binds to receptors in the muscles and nerves and relaxes them. Other studies have found that this cannabinoid also helps ease muscle spasms.
8. It Boosts Your Metabolism
According to a 2015 study published in the American Journal of Medicine suggested that frequent cannabis users have a lesser BMI, smaller waist circumferences, and 16% lower fasting insulin levels than non-users.
Cannabis smokers also have a healthier response to sugar intake. On top of that, CBD — the non-psychoactive cannabinoid — allows for burning more calories by turning white fat cells to more energy-efficient brown fat cells, contributing to the betterment of one’s metabolism.
CBD is also a potential appetite suppressor.
9. It Improves the Symptoms of Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body starts attacking itself for some unknown reason. Some chemicals in marijuana seem to have a soothing effect on the immune system, which is the main reason why it may help people deal with symptoms of lupus.
The rest of the positive effects of marijuana on this condition probably comes from the analgesic and antiemetic properties of the plant.
10. It Stirs Creativity in the Brain
Contrary to the past-century stigma, marijuana has a number of positive effects on mental health. For example, it can increase creativity.
One study that evaluated participants’ ability to come up with different words linked to a concept has found that using marijuana allowed people to invent a greater range of related concepts, indicating the brain can work better at detecting remote associations that spur radically new ideas.
11. Marijuana Might Help With Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is caused by chronic inflammation in the bowel that triggers nausea, vomiting, pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and more.
A recent study in Israel showed that smoking marijuana significantly reduced the symptoms of this disease in 10 out of 11 patients, and contributed to a complete remission of the disease in five of those subjects.
Although the study was conducted on a small group of patients, other research has shown similar effects. This may be caused by the cannabinoids’ ability to regulate bacteria in the gut as well as intestinal function.
12. Marijuana Can Assist Patients with PTSD
Some states have already approved to treat PTSD with marijuana. For example, in New Mexico, PTSD is the major reason for people to apply a license for medical marijuana. This is the first time the federal government has given a green light to a bill that incorporates smoked or vaporized cannabis, which is currently classified by the government as a drug with no accepted medical use.
Naturally occurring cannabinoids in marijuana — including THC and CBD — help regulate the area of the brain that controls the feelings of fear and anxiety.
Did you know about the above health benefits of marijuana? What positive changes have you observed in your life after becoming a regular cannabis user?
Give us a shout in the comments!