Benefits of Cannabis
Most people think that Cannabis is a euphoria-producing drug that gets you high. OK…benefit number one…to some. But to others, they are now learning that the THC and CBD elements found in cannabis are actually being used to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, to treat gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, mental disorders, cancer, to stop seizures, and to prevent relapse in drug and alcohol addiction.
What is Cannabis?
There are over 120 elements that make up the Cannabis plant. These elements are known as cannabinoids. Two of the most-known and well-researched are Cannabidiol (CBD)?and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC produces the “high” or “euphoric” feeling that many of us enjoy and associate with the effects of cannabis. THC is also gaining respect for its medicinal qualities. CBD is a non-intoxicating component that is better known for its medicinal qualities. So – at least two great components in one plant, each with different purposes that can be mined and enjoyed by humans for both relaxation and assorted medicinal purposes.
The most well-studied benefits of cannabis are:
1. Relief of chronic pain
There have been a few studies that have discovered that cannabis can be beneficial in treating neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is a type of chronic pain triggered by damaged nerves. Neuropathic pain is produced by injury or damage to the nerves that transmit information between the brain and spinal cord. This information can come from the skin, muscles and other parts of the body. The pain is generally explained as a burning sensation and affected areas are often sensitive to the touch. More research is being done to know whether cannabis works better than other options to manage this type of neuropathic pain.
2. Improves lung capacity
In 2012, the Journal of the American Medical Association, a well-respected U.S. publication provided some great news for marijuana smokers. That was that smoking one joint a day for as long as a seven-year period did not seem to affect lung function or capacity in a bad way. In fact, the really good news for pot smokers was that smoking marijuana in moderation had actually improved lung performance, possibly because inhaling while smoking marijuana gives the lungs and the chest muscles a little workout. Interesting!
This study also compared the ill-effects of smoking tobacco cigarettes to smoking marijuana. It appears that the substance did not make a difference in diminished lung capacity. It was rather the comparison of a “pack of cigarettes” a day to a “joint a day”, indicating that “moderation” was more important in the ability to improve vs harm lung capacity.
3. Pain relief
It seems that chronic pain is a rising and extensive health concern across the United States. The CDC reports that almost one in every five people in the U.S. suffer chronic pain, which is costing us almost 600 billion dollars in medical care and disability expenses. They went on to state that chronic pain produces physical pain in addition to both mental and emotional trauma.
Treatment for chronic pain over recent years seems to be responsible for the recent opioid epidemic. Medical cannabis has gained footing as a possible treatment for chronic pain as many states have now legalized the use of medical marijuana. It is important that more healthcare professionals understand the potential role vs controversy over medical marijuana, but it does look promising as one method of treating chronic pain.
4. Improved sleep
Insomnia isn’t that uncommon. Obviously, sleep is important for sustaining our mental and physical health. Yet a good night’s sleep eludes many adults. The American Sleep Association says that 50 to 70 million U.S. adults experience signs of sleep disorder. Medical marijuana is often an effective treatment, with little to no side effects, for a range of sleeping disorders.
5. Reduced nausea and vomiting
The cannabis plant has been used for hundreds of years for a number of medicinal applications including the mitigation of nausea and vomiting. Because of the unsuccessful treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in the late 1970s and early 1980’s, many cancer-treating doctors urged the investigation into the anti-nausea properties that appeared to be present in cannabis.
A few medications for the suppression of nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy were produced from THC and synthetic THC in the late 1980’s and into the 1990’s. Some of these drugs were also shown effective in the early 1990’s as an appetite stimulant, a necessary ingredient for the treatment of cancer.
In one study, children received THC two hours before the beginning of each cancer treatment, and then every six hours afterwards for a total of 24 hours. The children were given the THC with food or oil drops on the tongue. No side effects were registered and the nausea and vomiting were controlled
The Australian Department of Health recommends using cannabis that has a relatively high percentage of THC for treating nausea over using CBD-only products. This chemical compound directly affects nerves which control nausea and vomiting reactions in humans. You can also use a vape pen as long as the cannabis oil is high in THC. Oral use of cannabis (gummies) is not recommended for nausea and vomiting as it takes an hour or two to take effect and does not provide immediate effect like smoking or vaping.
6. Improved appetite
One of the advantages of medical marijuana is that it stimulates hunger. People who are experiencing a loss of appetite, either due to a medical situation, eating disorder or possibly the effect of medications they are taking may find the utilization of cannabis a great solution.
7. Improved quality of life.
Medical use of marijuana is legal in 39 states. It is agreed, in general, that there may be some benefit to people who consume cannabis for medical reasons. When using cannabis to treat medical conditions, many people described improved quality of life, in terms of ability to sleep, reduced depression levels and increased physical abilities.
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