While many people associate cannabis with negative side effects, consuming the plant has several potential health benefits. Cannabis has been shown to help with pain relief, anxiety, and insomnia, among other things. For this reason, more people are now turning to cannabis as an alternative to traditional medications.
In addition, devices and accessories designed for cannabis consumption are becoming increasingly sophisticated. You can find anything from a simple cannabis grinder to desktop vaporizing devices. This means that it is easier than ever before to enjoy the benefits of cannabis without experiencing any negative side effects.
With this in mind, it is clear that cannabis can be a valuable addition to any person’s health regime. Though the plant is still classified as a Schedule I drug, researchers are finding more and more evidence that cannabis may be helpful for conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, and seizures.
Here are five ways that marijuana may improve your health.
Reduces Anxiety and Depression Symptoms
One of the first benefits of consuming cannabis on this list is that it can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Did you know that around 3.8% of the global population suffers from depression? What’s more is that of those that suffer from anxiety, approximately 60% also experience symptoms of depression.
There are many theories as to why cannabis reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression; one suggests that since cannabis influences the serotonin receptors, 5-HT1A receptors, symptoms of anxiety and depression are reduced since they are linked to low serotonin levels. Another theory suggests that cannabis reduces or changes the response to fear, which is why it effectively treats PTSD.
Treats Chronic Pain
Of all the reasons why people consume cannabis for medical purposes, one of the main reasons is that it is effective at treating chronic pain. There are many causes of chronic pain, such as arthritis, infections, migraines, injuries or old injuries, diseases, nerve damage, prior surgeries, and more.
In terms of cannabis and treating chronic pain, many studies have been conducted that have shown positive and promising results. For example, opioids have been the recommended strategy for pain management. However, for those that have been using cannabis to treat pain, there has been a 64% reduction in usage, according to a study in 2016.
Helps Manage Weight
One of the more interesting benefits that cannabis offers is that it helps users to manage weight. This is actually a long-debated topic: does cannabis actually reduce the weight of consumers? Researchers set out to find out whether this is true or not. The results of the studies surprised researchers.
Before beginning the study, researchers assumed that since cannabis increases levels of hunger, for a variety of reasons, those that consume cannabis would naturally eat more and gain weight. However, results showed that even though calorie intake was higher, body mass index lowered. Then again, cannabis is recommended to patients undergoing chemo to gain weight since it increases hunger.
Treats Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Another benefit that cannabis provides, which is very surprising to many researchers, is that cannabis is actually quite effective at treating drug and alcohol addiction. As mentioned above, a study in 2016 showed that those that consume cannabis for pain caused a reduction in opioid use by 64%. Many healthcare providers are now using cannabis to reduce opioid addiction.
It makes sense why many people are moving away from opioids, considering the fact that some of the side effects include constipation, vomiting, respiratory depression, dizziness, physical dependence, nausea, and more. Cannabis, on the other hand, doesn’t have those side effects.
Reduces Muscle Tension
Much like the ability of cannabis to reduce chronic pain, it also offers the benefit of being able to reduce muscle tension. Many things could cause muscle tension, such as stress, repetitive motions or actions, physical activity, over-exertion, and more.
Numerous studies that have been conducted have shown that cannabis is particularly effective at reducing muscle tension since it is a muscle relaxant. This has many practical applications, such as for those that lead very active lifestyles or those that injure themselves while exercising.
Different Consumption Methods
If you are considering consuming cannabis to gain the benefits listed above, it’s important to know that different consumption methods produce different effects. So, they should be used differently for different conditions.
For example, if you are having trouble falling asleep, you don’t want to use a consumption method that takes a while to kick in. Edibles, for example, have an onset time of around 2 hours, which is far too long to wait if you need to sleep immediately; dry herb vaporizers, joints, or bongs would be a better choice. More than this, if you need to dose accurately, you would need something like tinctures.