You may be surprised at some of the lesser discussed Marijuana benefits
Every year, medical marijuana becomes more popular for treating pain and other health concerns. Although medicinal cannabis isn’t legal in every state, researchers, healthcare providers, and legislators are starting to come around. Today I want to discuss the lesser known benefits of Mary Jane…the herb…not me 😉
Cannabis does more than just create a euphoric feeling in your mind. Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system made up of cell receptors and endocannabinoids (more info on that here), which are molecules that trigger the receptors. We have receptors all over our bodies, and the system helps regulate the central nervous system, the digestive system, the immune system, and other functions. It affects sleep, appetite, mood, motor skills, memory, and pain management.
Mary Jane contains cannabinoids, which can also attach to the cell receptors and affect body functions. If something is wrong with the body’s natural endocannabinoids, the compounds in your bud can compensate.
Compared to most other treatments, there hasn’t been much research into the health benefits of cannabis (this isn’t saying that there hasn’t been any research…just compared to other meds…). However, many studies do show cannabis’s powerful effects on a variety of body systems. Thousands of people have successfully treated their conditions and found symptom relief with marijuana.
Medical cannabis is commonly used for nausea, vomiting, appetite issues, insomnia, chronic pain, and migraines. The health benefits of cannabis go beyond pain management, though. Cannabinoids have an effect on inflammation, muscle tension, cell growth, and brain chemistry.
Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the possibility of marijuana relief for their health conditions. I used to be one of these folks. As cannabis becomes a widespread treatment option, it’s important to make people aware of its many benefits. Here are 16 health conditions that weed can help with:
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – Tumors
Cannabis helps cancer patients because it decreases nausea/vomiting and increases appetite. These benefits help people handle the side effects of chemotherapy and other treatments. However, cannabis benefits for cancer go beyond side effect relief. It may actually have an effect on the cancer itself.
Researchers from the California Pacific Medical Center discovered that CBD, one of marijuana’s main cannabinoids, may stop cancer from spreading by turning off the Id-1 gene. Cancer cells make copies of this gene, which helps the cells rapidly spread throughout the body. Inhibiting the gene can prevent cancer cells from spreading.
The researchers treated breast cancer cells in a lab with CBD. When the treatment was finished, the cells had lowered their Id-1 expression. They also didn’t spread as quickly or aggressively as untreated cancer cells.
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – Arthritis
Like many other conditions, arthritis is caused by inflammation. Cannabis is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s a great treatment for pain relief for those with rheumatoid arthritis.
There haven’t been many studies about the use of marijuana to treat rheumatoid arthritis. However, many people with severe arthritis report that it helps with their symptoms. Even if marijuana’s benefits for arthritis haven’t been proven, cannabis is undoubtedly an effective pain reliever.
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease causes memory loss, confusion, mood changes, and other cognitive issues. The disease worsens over time and can be devastating for the individual and their friends and family. Although there is no known cure at the time of writing this, cannabis benefits for Alzheimer’s may slow the progression of the disease.
Alzheimer’s occurs when amyloid plaques kill brain cells. THC, one of marijuana’s main cannabinoids, blocks the enzyme that makes amyloid plaques in the brain. It also slows the body’s production of beta-amyloid proteins, which are known to worsen symptoms of the disease.
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – Glaucoma
Glaucoma is caused by a buildup of fluid in the eye. This puts pressure on the optic nerve, which can cause damage and even lead to blindness. Glaucoma is the most common cause of blindness in the elderly.
The only way to treat glaucoma is to lower the intraocular pressure, or IOP, levels. Some medications work, but they can have uncomfortable side effects. Surgery is also sometimes an option, but it can be stressful and risky.
Cannabinoids have been proven to reduce pressure in the eyes, and they can ease glaucoma symptoms and prevent blindness. Individuals can benefit from medical cannabis by smoking it, by taking a pill, or by using eye drops. Studies on marijuana and glaucoma date back to the early 1970s, when researchers found that smoking marijuana lowers pressure for people with and without glaucoma.
Cannabis treats glaucoma by lowering pressure for several hours. You’d have to repeat the treatment several times per day for the pressure to constantly be lowered. However, cannabis can be an alternative to traditional treatments if you have unpleasant side effects from other medications. It can also be used alongside other treatments.
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – Seizures
Marijuana relief for seizures occurs because the cannabinoids bind to the brain cells that are responsible for excitability and relaxation. One study from Virginia Commonwealth University proved cannabis’s benefits for treating seizures. Researchers gave cannabis extract to epileptic rats, and the rats were seizure-free for 10 hours.
Another study published in Lancet Neurology found that oral CBD reduced seizures by an average of 54 percent in participants. All of the participants had severe forms of epilepsy that did not respond to other treatments.
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – Parkinson’s Disease
Marijuana has an incredible effect on many conditions and diseases, but its effect on individuals with Parkinson’s might be the most profound. In recent years, there have been several viral videos showing patients before and after they’re treated with marijuana. The difference is like night and day.
A study in Israel showed that people with Parkinson’s showed great improvement in pain, muscle stiffness, and tremors after they inhaled marijuana. Many participants showed an improvement in fine motor skills, and some reported sleeping better. The Parkinson Research Foundation cites several other studies and supports more research about marijuana’s effects on Parkinson’s.
There are a variety of medications for Parkinson’s disease, but they tend to have unpleasant side effects. Many people who have used marijuana to treat Parkinson’s prefer it over other medications because of the lack of side effects.
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – Tourette Syndrome
Tourette Syndrome causes tics, which are involuntary and repetitive movements. The severity of the tics vary, but in some cases, they can be disabling and even dangerous.
There aren’t many medications that treat Tourette Syndrome, and most of them have harsh side effects. Fortunately, marijuana can reduce or even eliminate tics without causing serious side effects. One study involved 24 patients with Tourette Syndrome who were treated with THC for six weeks. Patients showed a significant decrease in tics compared to placebo groups.
Marijuana as a treatment for Tourette Syndrome isn’t mainstream yet. However, those who are treated with cannabis show no impairments in memory, attention span, intelligence, or other cognitive abilities. Both kids and adults with the disorder can benefit.
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a disease that causes damage to the central nervous system. The immune system attacks the myelin, a protective layer over nerve fibers. Eventually, the nerves will become permanently damaged.
While other treatments are necessary for severe symptoms, marijuana can certainly help. It relaxes stiff muscles and calms spasms, and it relieves nerve pain. People with MS who smoke or consume cannabis tend to sleep better and feel better.
Marijuana is anti-inflammatory, and inflammation is one of the biggest issues with multiple sclerosis. CBD and THC can also deactivate the immune system, which slows the damage to the central nervous system.
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – Crohn’s Disease
A study from the University of Nottingham found that activating the cannabinoid receptors in the digestive system reduced inflammation and intestinal issues. Another study involved 21 participants over two months. Half of the group smoked marijuana with THC, and the other half smoked placebo cannabis without THC. The participants who smoked cannabis with THC showed a greater improvement in their symptoms.
THC affects the cells responsible for gut functioning. The digestive system is full of cannabinoid receptors that can create an anti-inflammatory effect. Marijuana can treat a variety of Crohn’s disease symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. It also can be helpful for ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel disorders.
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – Concussions
More research is needed to know for sure, but marijuana might help the brain heal after a concussion. In a study published in the Cerebral Cortex journal, mice who were treated with bud had less brain bruising after a traumatic injury.
Cannabis helps the brain heal because it reduces inflammation, which is a major effect of head trauma. It also acts as a neuroprotectant, meaning it limits damage to the brain cells after trauma or stroke.
Athletes, especially football players, suffer from concussions often. Multiple concussions can have serious long-term health effects. Marijuana could help the brain fully heal after an injury, preventing the long-term damage.
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – Lung Damage
A study from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that marijuana doesn’t impair lung functioning in most users (check out the article I wrote on Smoking vs. Vaping). Researchers tested the lung function of over 5,000 adults over the course of 20 years.
In the sample group, cannabis use and tobacco use were equally common. However, those who smoked tobacco showed a drop in lung functioning. Those who smoked marijuana actually had an increased lung capacity compared to those who didn’t smoke. This may be because marijuana smokers inhale deeply and hold their breath, which is almost like a pulmonary exercise.
According to the Lung Institute, medical Mary Jane may even be able to treat COPD. Marijuana has anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce inflammation and swelling in the airways. Although people with COPD shouldn’t smoke, consuming marijuana in other forms can make breathing easier, relieve pain, and help with sleep.
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – Broken Bones
A study from Tel Aviv University published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that cannabis can speed up the healing process in broken bones. The endocannabinoid system is closely linked to bone formation. Researchers tested the effects of CBD on rats with broken leg bones. They discovered that CBD can promote healing, even when it was separated from THC. After being treated with CBD, the bones were even stronger than before.
This study shows that marijuana can help treat fractures, osteoporosis, and other conditions that affect the bones. Because it works without THC, people can experience the bone-healing benefits without the psychoactive effects.
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the skin, joints, kidneys, blood cells, and other body systems. Symptoms can get better or worse over time, but the disease is chronic and can be debilitating.
Because weed has such great anti-inflammatory effects, it’s very helpful for people with lupus. It also calms down the immune system and prevents it from attacking the body. CB1 and CB2, two cannabinoid receptors, have been found in immune cells, which means cannabis can have an effect on the immune system. It also eases pain and reduces nausea, which are two of the most common symptoms.
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – Depression
Stress is one of the most common causes of depression, and chronic stress reduces endocannabinoid production in the brain. The endocannabinoid system is closely linked with emotions, behavior, and overall feelings of happiness or well-being. When the brain doesn’t naturally produce endocannabinoids, it can lead to the development of depression.
According to researchers at the University of Buffalo, marijuana treats depression by introducing endocannabinoids back into the brain. THC and CBD can both help with symptoms of depression.
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – Anxiety
Marijuana relief for pain and nausea is well-known and well-accepted. This may actually be because it reduces anxiety, which can cause nausea and worsen feelings of pain. According to Harvard Health Publications, THC can have a sedative effect on the brain. Some marijuana benefits for anxiety also come from CBD, which doesn’t cause psychoactive effects.
However, high doses of marijuana can make you feel anxious or paranoid. If you use marijuana to help with anxiety, be careful not to overdo it or it will have the opposite effect.
Lesser Known Marijuana Benefits – PTSD
PTSD is caused by exposure to trauma or disturbing events. During and after the trauma, changes in brain chemistry can occur. These changes cause anxiety, flashbacks, irritability, insomnia, and a variety of other symptoms. Common treatments for PTSD include antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, but both can have intense side effects and can be addictive.
People with PTSD have low levels of a cannabinoid called anandamide. This cannabinoid triggers receptors in the body that marijuana also triggers. Therefore, cannabis could compensate for the lack of anandamide, which could ease anxiety and other PTSD symptoms.
Marijuana treats PTSD by reducing anxiety and helping patients respond better to other treatments. However, people with PTSD should avoid smoking marijuana in high doses to prevent feelings of paranoia.
So you see, marijuana isn’t just for getting high anymore. 😉
But at the moment, I’m going to leave you with more reading while I go enjoy the more widely known benefits of marijuana. Hehe.
So what should you do when you stop feeling it? Check out this article that explains resetting your tolerance with a T-Break
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I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken, interpreted or construed as medical advice. Please talk with a licensed medical professional about this or any conditions you have or may believe you have. The information in this article is provided as an information resource only. These are just my own personal opinions and not a prescription or a diagnosis or any form of health care whatsoever.