With the legalization of recreational weed stealing the limelight lately, states are succumbing to public pressure one by one; it is easy to forget the fact that the abundant medical properties of cannabis are responsible for most decriminalization and legalization processes going on worldwide. Although millions love using cannabis recreationally, it is important to remember its therapeutic benefits.
Medical Uses of Marijuana
Governments can no longer ignore the plentiful evidence that exists, as well as the many anecdotal stories, of cannabis destroying cancer cells and making other life-changing health improvements. Almost daily, scientists are uncovering new therapeutic uses for this miracle plant. In an attempt to further this awareness, here are five important health benefits of cannabis, despite there being many, many more:
1. Lowers Inflammation and Pain
Available studies show cannabis, with its many chemical compounds, hugely effective at reducing pain, as well as its underlying cause: Inflammation. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this is particularly beneficial for those suffering arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and even internal gastrointestinal problems related to inflammation, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Unfortunately, more study is necessary. Although several important studies corroborate this evidence, most of the medical lore regarding marijuana consists of massive life changes and anecdotal stories, even in recreational users. This only further exacerbates the need for more research, but because of marijuana’s status as federally illegal, this may take longer than it ever should.
2. Aids and Maintains Weight Loss
Despite the widespread stereotype of weed lovers raiding the kitchen on a midnight “munchies” binge, the evidence seems to indicate that those who consume marijuana are, on average, much slimmer and healthier than those who do not use it. According to the Oxford Academic, a study published in the Journal Epidemiology back in 2011 provides concrete proof of this claim.
The study quickly became a controversial subject in the medical and recreational cannabis communities. The implications of using marijuana to lose weight and keep it off are frankly immense and far-reaching. It showed those using cannabis on a regular basis have lower rates of obesity. Much lower, in fact, as the study showed pot users 37 percent less fat than non-users.
It is true that a myriad of different lifestyle choices may have a role to play in these findings, but a recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine strongly supports them. This study showed weed lovers with notably lower levels of insulin than their non-using counterparts, which is a massive finding. Since diabetes affects nearly 30 million U.S. citizens, with a further 86 million pre-diabetic, this is huge.
3. Reduces Seizure Frequency and Intensity
Because there exist a literal plethora of online videos showing cannabis stopping epileptic seizures in countless children and adults, this might well its most famous medical use. It is clear those suffering Dravet’s Syndrome and other seizure disorders can thrive with cannabis therapy, with nearly all reporting notably fewer seizures of significantly less intensity.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the primary cannabinoid responsible for treating seizures so effectively. Marijuana contains an abundance of different cannabinoids, as well as terpenes and flavonoids, some of which play a role in treatment too. In particular, Linalool, a famous terpene, also has anticonvulsant properties, along with other terpenes that may be present in cannabis, as the Hindawi Journal explains.
4. Improves Pulmonary Function
We all know the dangers of tobacco smoke, but unlike smoking cigarettes, marijuana smoke has the ability to actually heal the damage caused by smoke inhalation, expand lung capacity, and improve lung function overall. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, its expectorant, or mucus-clearing, and anti-inflammatory properties are largely responsible for this.
What is more, smoking marijuana in moderation has zero adverse effects on the lungs. In fact, studies indicate that smoking weed in low doses actually improves pulmonary function in most medical and recreational consumers. If that is not enough good news, then consider this: Studies show THC easing bronchial restriction significantly, which is particularly excellent for anybody suffering from asthma.
5. Fights Cancer
The choice to endure chemotherapy or radiation is a big decision for cancer patients. These treatments have terrible, life-changing side effects, some nearly as horrible as the disease itself when it comes to life quality. According to the Department of Plant Metabolomics at Leiden University, cannabis contains an abundance of compounds all with their own medicinal properties.
Cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes all have cancer-fighting properties. Laboratory studies show cannabis killing cancer cells in tests, as well as preventing metastasis, or any further spreading of the disease. It shrinks tumors too. All of these compounds work synergistically to fight cancer at its source, whereas studies show synthetic alternatives, such as Marinol, notably less effective.
Besides killing cancer, shrinking blood vessels tumors need to survive, and more, cannabis clearly works in tandem with current cancer treatments to improve their efficacy and relieve their side effects. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the health benefits of marijuana. That would be too long for any one article, as studies show cannabis a healthier alternative to conventional drugs in treating most diseases.