The debate regarding marijuana consumption in the United States reaches far and wide. As more states begin to legalize recreational marijuana, however, some wonder whether the health benefits touted for the substance are legitimate.
Nowadays, more than 84 percent of Americans support the legalization of medicinal marijuana, while an added 61 percent support recreational pot usage in the country. But before you pick up and move to one of the states that have legalized marijuana, read up on these facts regarding weed’s health benefits.
It’s all thanks to the cannabinoids and THC
The health benefits offered by weed are primarily thanks to the presence of cannabinoids (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These naturally occurring compounds in marijuana have been thought to relieve pain, quell anxieties, and help countless people cope with chronic health conditions. Now that federal organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, are recognizing the benefits of marijuana consumption, more people are gaining access to this helpful plant.
Weed consumption is nothing new
Different civilizations have been using marijuana to treat illnesses for more than 3,000 years, according to the National Institutes of Health. Despite tension surrounding the debate, humans have been using this historic plant for ages to treat a variety of health issues.
Let’s take a look at how marijuana has been used to treat a few health conditions.
Chronic pain and illness
Chronic pain affects more than 25,000 adults in the United States alone. This unfortunate condition can impair one’s ability to work, cause major stress, and even impair someone’s quality of life.
Scientific studies have found that marijuana consumption can quell the worst of the pain in chronic sufferers. In fact, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reviewed more than 10,000 of these studies. The verdict? The vast majority showed that CBD is an effective treatment for chronic pain.
This is particularly beneficial for people suffering from incurable illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease. Along with relieving pain associated with these conditions, medical cannabis has also been shown to relieve muscle spasms. This is another great benefit for those who don’t respond to traditional forms of therapy for these conditions.
Alcoholism and addiction
Recent studies have shown that marijuana may be able to help people suffering from alcoholism and other drug addictions. While this might vary from person to person, further research on the matter could reveal new ways to treat this devastating condition.
Mental health disorders
People coping with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder can benefit from regular weed consumption, according to reviews published in Clinical Psychology. Though marijuana isn’t recommended for all mental health issues, people with these three conditions have benefited greatly from low doses of regular marijuana consumption.
This is because marijuana works to ease anxiety and promote therapeutic effects in the brain. When the right dosage is achieved for the person, it can promote calming effects.
Unfortunately, pot doesn’t cure cancer. However, many cancer patients can benefit from using marijuana. Not only does marijuana ease pain in these individuals, but it also works to control nausea and vomiting, two common side effects of chemotherapy.
More recent studies have also suggested that CBD can slow the growth of cancer cells. While it cannot cure the condition, further studies may reveal ways to help mitigate future cancer growth.
While there are countless health benefits to consuming marijuana, there are always caveats. As mentioned earlier, marijuana shouldn’t be used by people suffering from certain mental health issues, including psychosis and schizophrenia.
Studies have also shown that smoking marijuana isn’t the healthiest activity you can perform. While it doesn’t encourage lung cancer or other serious health conditions, smoking marijuana can encourage bronchitis and chronic coughing. This is because the plant needs to be heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit to be smoked, which produces carcinogenic effects in the lungs akin to cigarettes.
Doctors and researchers recommend that marijuana should instead be consumed in an edible form or by a vape such as Sourin Vagon.
Before trying marijuana, be sure to talk to your doctor about how this helpful plant can benefit you.