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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Recently, recreational marijuana has been making headline news, but research into medical cannabis is continuing to advance at a rapid pace. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it approved the first ever cannabis-derived drug for the treatment of epilepsy early last year, marking this an unprecedented moment in the legitimization of cannabinoids as a viable option for treating disease.

This comes despite the fact that cannabis advocates have for decades been promoting its potential for therapeutic use, but among the most promising, and urgent, areas of study is unquestionably its effect on diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims more than 100 million U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes, all needing relief from both its symptoms and high treatment costs.

Understanding the Diabetes Epidemic

Diabetes is now among the most widespread, difficult to treat diseases in modern times. Across the world, approximately 8.5 percent of people have it, almost double from 1980. Besides causing many premature deaths, the World Health Organization states that diabetes is also a “major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and lower limb amputation.”

Diabetics are not the only ones to suffer from this disease. It has profound effects on society. Both individuals and the U.S. healthcare system are staggering under the costs of treating it. The American Diabetes Association put the cost of treatment at $327 billion in 2017, of which $90 billion was the direct result of lost productivity. Currently, diabetes is swallowing 1 in 4 dollars spent on healthcare.

Treating Diabetes with Cannabis

Science does not yet fully understand what causes both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, but it does know exactly how it affects the human body. Both are the result of the body’s inability to either produce or regulate insulin, a pancreatic hormone that processes sugar. Results are catastrophic, with people eventually supplementing their insulin or paying for very costly insulin replacement therapy.

For sufferers, managing levels of glucose in the blood is essential to minimizing symptoms and avoiding the very worst outcomes, which include limb amputations, kidney damage, even loss of vision. Researchers studying the effects of cannabis on diabetes consistently find very promising results. However, testing is still necessary to identify any definitive correlations between the two.

Studies already conducted fall into one of two categories: Treatment or prevention. There are inconclusive correlations between cannabis and preventing diabetes, but BMJ Journals published a study in 2012 showing marijuana users with a 58 percent smaller risk of developing this disease. The Journal of Diabetes Research published a study in 2016 finding no correlation between diabetes and pot use.

However, as The Diabetes Council explains well, any correlation that exists between cannabis and treating Type 1, Type 2, and prediabetes may lie in the anti-inflammatory properties of certain cannabinoids, enabling treatment in other ways. Research shows pot stabilizing blood sugars, reducing blood pressure, preventing nerve inflammation, opening blood vessels, and maximizing circulation.

Studies also find cannabinoids likely more effective than current medications available for diabetes. For example, The Diabetes Council finds cannabidiol, or CBD, able to prevent Type 1 diabetes, even delay its onset. Additionally, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, effectively suppresses the autoimmune response that diabetes causes, ultimately lowering the quantity of insulin required during treatment.

Type 2 diabetics using CBD can rebalance their endocannabinoid system, an imbalance of which makes it difficult to shed weight, which is an absolute necessity for treating Type 2. Furthermore, The Diabetes Council shows CBD helping to lower resistance to insulin, which is what causes progression of the disease and most of its symptoms.

Even broader, the anti-inflammatory capabilities of cannabis might prove crucial in treating secondary symptoms of diabetes, which include eye problems, severe pain, even heart issues. According to the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis, extensive research found cannabinoids having a myriad of other benefits on secondary symptoms. These include:

  • Neuroprotective properties that lower nerve pain
  • Antispasmodic properties that relieve gastrointestinal cramps and pain
  • Vasodilator properties that boost blood circulation
  • Sedating properties that reduce restless leg syndrome and improve sleep

This is a Rebel that surrendered to us. Although he denies it, I believe there may be more of them, and I request permission to conduct a further search of the area. He was armed only with this. Good work, Commander. Leave us. Conduct your search and bring his companions to me. Yes, my Lord. The Emperor has been expecting you. I know, father. So, you have accepted the truth. I’ve accepted the truth that you were once Anakin Skywalker, my father. That name no longer has any meaning for me.

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Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Steve Jobs

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Welcome, step inside and take a seat … actually before you sit down, let me show you around. This is our new Envato headquarters in Melbourne, Australia. Situated in Melbourne’s central business district, on King St, home to a weird mix of big corporate buildings, delicious Japanese food and *ahem* gentlemen’s clubs!

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