More and more studies are conducting research that is proving the ways that medical marijuana can help patients suffering from specific diseases, including Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS. But what are some of the ways marijuana can help everyone, no matter what reason they have for smoking? Here are our top four picks:
Improves the Metabolism
Recent research from the University Miami is showing that marijuana smokers are at risk for metabolic syndrome at a 54% less chance than non-smokers. This is most likely related to a recent study from Italy that found that metabolic syndrome could be directly related to the CB1 receptor in the endocannabinoid system. Though this typically goes against what many smokers experience with the “munchies” and the potential for over-indulgence, scientists are in fact finding that while THC might increase appetite (perfect for patients who feel too sick to eat), CBD actually suppresses appetite. These two chemical compounds work together when consuming marijuana, and as THC may activate your hunger, CBD helps to keep it in check while also reducing the amount of fatty build-up in our arteries.
Marijuana doesn’t force you to overeat or cause you to starve either. It simply creates a more regulatory system for appetite within your body, helping you maintain a weight that is healthiest for you. In the United States, 68% of adults are considered overweight or obese. For adults that constantly struggle with metabolic syndrome, marijuana use or more specifically CBD use could be the factor needed to regulate the body and reach a healthy weight. But a regulated metabolic system and a natural appetite can benefit any user of marijuana without them even realizing it.
Helps with Anxiety and Depression
More and more adults struggle with anxiety and depression every year, whether it be chronic or situational. As with the metabolism, THC compounds in marijuana can activate anxiety and paranoia while CBD compounds can counteract them. So for those shopping for a strain to aid with anxiety or depression, a CBD-heavy strain could be best for them. CBD’s effect on mood-boosting parts of the brain, such as the serotonin receptor and the adenosine receptor, helps the user feel more relaxed and significantly reduces stress. This was discovered in a study from Brazil, which showed that CBD ointments helped many patients overcome social anxieties and phobias.
While many adults may choose to abstain from high-dosage THC strains of marijuana for the anxiety and paranoia it may cause, those same adults could benefit from a CBD tincture or lotion. Public speaking, personal relationships, and emotional motivation are all stressors that many of us experience everyday, and it turns out that just a little bit of CBD intake could make these situations more bearable and help marijuana users develop a sense of ease.
Boosts the Immune System
The immune system is incredibly important to keep balanced. An overactive immune system could result in auto-immune diseases or allergies, while an underactive system could result in infections, tumors, and even cancer. Fortunately for marijuana users, more and more research is showing that marijuana helps boost and regulate these systems. The endocannabinoid system is most prevalent in the brain and in the gut. We discussed above how the system in the brain can regulate metabolism and mood, but the system in the gut is located throughout the immune system, with the CB2 receptor acting as agent for the gastrointestinal system.
Medical marijuana is often prescribed to gastrointestinal auto-immune disease sufferers such as Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis patients. But every marijuana user can experience the benefits of a boosted immune system that can help fight even the common cold. By strengthening the immune system at the cellular level, the use of marijuana as a balancing agent for the body will help many users enjoy a hardy and inflammation-free lifestyle.
Slows Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease
Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease are two of the most devastating diseases found today. While anyone’s risk for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease depends on age, genetic factors, lifestyle factors etc., many researchers are now looking to the endocannabinoid system as one of the crucial factors in the development of these diseases. After a study showing that an underactive and under-stimulated endocannabinoid system can increase the risk of neuro- and cellular-degeneration, many scientists now are looking at the connection between the endocannabinoid system, cancer, and Alzheimer’s as an early preventative step.So while you might just think that medical marijuana benefits are just for the patients suffering across the world, it turns out marijuana is helping to regulate and keep in check the bodies of all smokers everywhere. So next time you sit down for a toke, give your own body and what is happening inside of it some thought. You might be doing more for it than you think.