Herbal remedies have been around for thousands of years. Cannabis is among the most popular herbal remedies used to ease the symptoms of many illnesses. While it has been used for generations, scientists have only recently begun to study and understand why cannabis is good for you.
The health benefits of cannabis are attributed to its cannabinoids. Below, we’ll explain what cannabinoids are and list the proven health benefits of marijuana.
What Are Cannabinoids?
First, a science lesson. A cannabis plant has hundreds of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. You may have heard of THC, CBD, CBG, CBC, and other well-known cannabinoid acronyms. These compounds are responsible for cannabis’s health benefits.
When ingested, cannabinoids interact with our body’s cannabinoid receptors, known as CB1 and CB2. These receptors are present throughout the brain and body. When cannabis receptors are stimulated, they can alter bodily responses and sensations. This is why many people find pain relief when consuming cannabis.
The more research we conduct on cannabinoids, the more we’ll know about the positive effects of marijuana. Until then, here are the most well-known health benefits of cannabis.
Asking someone why cannabis is good for you may produce different variations of the phrase “pain relief.” This is because the cannabinoid compounds within marijuana have anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce the severity of conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.
So, how does cannabis reduce inflammation? When you consume cannabis, the cannabinoids in the plant interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system. This interaction blocks the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and reduces the release of the neurotransmitter glutamate, which is responsible for pain signals.
Plenty of studies have shown the health benefits of cannabis for lowering inflammation. One review of studies found cannabis beneficial in reducing the symptoms of muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis and other conditions. When used long-term, cannabinoids can even help prevent inflammation-induced injury to organs like the liver.
Decreases Drug Dependency
Another reason why cannabis is good for you is that it’s classified as an analgesic treatment. This means it can provide the same pain relief as opioids, but without the long-term dangerous side effects. The health benefits of cannabis are promising when it comes to offering an alternative to opioid medications.
Evidence shows that cannabis use helps prevent opioid addiction or a potential relapse by alleviating withdrawal symptoms. In one study, patients treating chronic pain with opioids reduced their opioid use by 40-60% when given cannabis. Cannabis can help fight the opioid epidemic and improve the quality of life in chronic pain patients.
Manages Anxiety Disorders
The health benefits of cannabis extend to the mind. Patients with anxiety disorders, certain phobias, and depression can use cannabis to reduce symptoms or reactions to certain stimuli. Cannabis products designed for managing anxiety are everywhere. You can find bath, body, and ingestible products packed with CBD or THC that produce a calming and uplifting effect.
On one end of the spectrum lies anxiety-reducing CBD. And on the other, you have the uplifting, highly psychoactive THC. Both work together to inhibit your body’s cannabinoid receptors from passing negative signals to your brain. One of the mental health benefits of cannabis is that it can increase levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for boosting your mood.
Many people suffering from mental health disorders are often prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Zoloft or Prozac. These medications increase serotonin levels in your brain, but can produce serious adverse side effects. Cannabis is a safe, plant-based treatment that improves your mood naturally.
Relieves Chemotherapy Side Effects
Marijuana’s many therapeutic properties are especially beneficial for people undergoing chemotherapy. If you’re receiving chemotherapy, your doctor may suggest moderate cannabis use to supplement treatment. Cannabis reduces nausea, uplifts your mood, and decreases pain, all of which can make chemo more tolerable.
A growing body of evidence shows marijuana can help patients undergoing chemotherapy. In one study, 43% of patients with advanced cancer who took a THC:CBD extract reported a 30% reduction in pain. In another study, cannabis improved appetite in 73% of cancer patients. Marijuana helps relieve chemo side effects naturally.
Eases Gastrointestinal Problems
Many patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) struggle to manage their symptoms. Another reason why cannabis is good for you is that it can help ease abdominal pain and other symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders. Cannabis can decrease inflammation in the intestines, prevent nausea and vomiting, and reduce abdominal pain.
Cannabis provides a safer alternative to medications and can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. You can include cannabis edibles and drinks in your diet to manage your symptoms. The endocannabinoid receptors in the brain and gut block negative signals from reaching your abdomen, giving you relief.
It is worth experimenting with cannabis for IBS, as it is a natural treatment that has the potential to improve your quality of life. While research on the health benefits of cannabis for IBS is still ongoing, the results are promising. Many patients have reported positive effects from using cannabis. It is a viable treatment for those who have exhausted all other options.
Helps You Sleep
Many people use cannabis to induce sleep. Whether it’s part of their nightly routine or something used sparingly for tough nights, people see improvements in their sleep quality when using cannabis. Insomniacs or anyone who struggles with a sleep disorder can utilize the health benefits of cannabis as an at-home remedy to treat their unhealthy sleep patterns.
Here’s the thing: cannabis could be good for you if you have a history of disturbed sleep cycles, but the benefits are short-term. Regardless, cannabis is a safer alternative to sedating pharmaceutical treatment. You don’t get the undesirable side effects of benzodiazepines or other sleep-inducing prescription medicine.
Experimenting before bedtime is a safe way to see if the health benefits of cannabis can positively affect your sleep cycle. You can test how it affects your sleep without worrying about dizziness, addiction, or other drug-related concerns. Try indica marijuana strains before bed as they produce a relaxing, sedative-like effect.
Related Article: 5 Potential Health Benefits of THC
Live Well With CanEx
Now you know all the reasons why cannabis is good for you! If you ever feel physically or emotionally unwell, consider experimenting with cannabis products to see if they help you feel better. Cannabis is an all-natural herbal remedy with centuries of history and tons of scientific studies proving its many health benefits.
If you live in SoCal and want to try out some cannabis, shop at CanEx. We offer everything from flowers and prerolls to edibles and concentrates from the best cannabis brands. Order online in a few clicks, schedule your delivery and receive your order on the same day. Shop now to get your weed in a flash!