The Surprising Benefits Of Marijuana
Recreational pot usage is a controversial subject. However, many experts agree that the drug can have some very beneficial usages if taken appropriately. In fact, many states in America have legalized medical marijuana and offer it as an alternative treatment for many conditions due to its numerous benefits.
Although some of the benefits are grossly exaggerated, it can’t be argued that medical-grade marijuana has benefits on the body. Currently, only 6% of studies on marijuana have even bothered to analyze the medicinal properties of the drug, and they instead focus on the negatives such as its relation to crime.
Do keep in mind that although marijuana has positive effects, it can also come with the same negative effects of regular smoking regardless if it’s used for medicinal purposes or not. It’s still a drug after all, and overuse can lead to dependency and it can muddle your emotions and thoughts. With that in mind, let’s explore some of the benefits of marijuana.
- It could reverse the carcinogenic effects of regular smoking
A study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association in January 2012 shows that marijuana doesn’t impair lung function like regular smoking and can, in some cases, increase lung capacity. This means it can potentially reverse the cancer-causing effects of smoking tobacco and even assist in repairing the damage it has caused.
Researchers tested lung functions in over 5000 young adult smokers over 20 years and found that tobacco smokers lost lung capacity over time while marijuana users actually had an increase.
- It can control seizures
In a 2003 study, it was shown that it can actually prevent epileptic seizures. The test involved giving marijuana extract and synthetic marijuana to rats that suffered from epilepsy, and it prevented them from having seizures and fits for about 10 hours. According to Dr Robert J. DeLorenzo who carried out the study, the cannabinoids in marijuana control seizures by binding to the brain cells that control excitability and regulate relaxation.
- It could potentially stop cancer from spreading
Researchers at California Pacific Medical Center reported in 2007 that CBD (Cannabidiol) may prevent cancer from spreading. It does this by turning off a gene known as Id-1, which cancer cells make copies over to help them spread throughout the body. Researchers studied breast cancer cells in a lab and treated them with cannabidiol, and they found that with the Id-1 gene shut off it prevented the aggressive spreading of cancerous cells.
- It can decrease anxiety
Medical marijuana users around the world claim that the drug helps to relieve pain, nausea, stress and anxiety. In many cases, marijuana products can be used to relieve the side effects of chemotherapy—a technique that is used in many places around the world. Many studies have suggested that it helps to increase your mood and acts as a low-dose sedative in some cases as well. However, it’s important to note that a high dose of marijuana can have the reverse effect, causing anxiety and making you paranoid.
- It can slow down Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is no laughing matter. It’s a neurological disorder which causes brain cells to slowly die off, causing memory loss and cognitive decline. It’s a type of dementia that can start mild and become progressively worse. It’s more common in people who are older than 65 years, and your chance of developing the condition doubles every five years after 65.
Luckily, a study led by Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institute suggests that marijuana can actually slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the active chemical in marijuana, was found to slow down the formation of amyloid plaques which are the main reason why brain cells are killed due to Alzheimer’s
- It can reduce the pain from multiple sclerosis
Cannabis can actually reduce painful symptoms in people that suffer from multiple sclerosis. A researcher studied 30 multiple sclerosis patients that had painful contractions in their muscles. Various treatments didn’t work, but by smoking marijuana for a couple of days they were in less pain. The THC binds to the receptors in nerves and muscles, relieving pain caused by the painful muscle contractions.
- Marijuana can treat bowel diseases
The most common bowel disorders, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, affect millions of people worldwide. It can cause extreme discomfort, bloating and a lot of stress. Additional symptoms can include painful cramping, diarrhea, and constant nausea. It has been suggested that it can help to relieve some of the painful and discomforting side effects.
People that have inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease could also find some relief with use. Researchers in 2012 found that the active chemicals in marijuana can interact with cells in the body that play important roles in healthy gut functions and immune responses.
- It can help keep you skinny and improve your metabolism
A study that was conducted in 2013 suggested that people who smoked marijuana were, on average, skinnier and had a healthier metabolism than the average person. This also included their reaction to sugars. Even though many smokers eat more due to the “munchies” effect, they weighed less due to their increased metabolism.
- Marijuana can have positive mental effects such as creativity
It’s a popular stereotype that many creative professionals such as painters, singers, and musicians smoke before coming up with something new. However, it’s actually more than just a myth and some studies have shown that it can actually improve your creative capacity. Even though memory functions could be impaired, it does wonders to get people to think up new and creative ideas.
- Marijuana can help people trying to quit drinking
Marijuana has been proven to be a safer pastime than drinking alcohol. While not completely risk-free, it’s far less addictive and doesn’t cause as much damage as regular binge drinking does. Research has shown that some people use marijuana as a safer substitute for alcohol, drugs and prescription medicine. This is because marijuana still carries an addictive quality that comes with drugs and alcohol, but without the nasty side effects such as withdrawal symptoms.