By now, we are all learning about the many, many medicinal properties of marijuana. It seems scientists are discovering more about its positive effects on the body near daily. This natural plant originated eons ago in Central Asia and has been a primary source of medicine in traditional cultures for centuries since. Despite this, cannabis remains controversial and most countries regulate its use very heavily.
This is because cannabis contains tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the cannabinoid responsible for the plant’s psychoactive effects. Over the last few decades, however, a concerted push for legalization around the world is seeing it reintroduced into conventional medicine. It is going mainstream. Why? What benefits does cannabis offer and how does it work for ailments related specifically to this century?
· Anxiety and Stress
In today’s world, stress is at the top of humankind’s biggest health risks. It is the precursor to most modern diseases as we impose a constant stream of stressful factors into our various lifestyles and diets. Conventional drugs to treat chronic anxiety and stress have dangerous and addictive side effects, while healthier alternatives often prove wholly ineffective, except cannabis, of course.
According to a 2013 study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, cannabinoid therapy after a stressful or traumatic event could help mitigate the person’s emotional response. The research team found cannabinoids highly effective at minimizing specific stress receptors located in the hippocampus, the region of the brain directly responsible for stress, anxiety, and the fight or flight response.
Several other notable studies prove cannabis able to lower stress, restlessness, anxiety, and paranoia in military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Furthermore, almost everyone who has ever tried marijuana can tell you of its anxiety- and stress-relieving effects. All of these studies and stories provide immense promise in treating stress-related issues.
Because cannabis is a natural anti-inflammatory with analgesic effects, the New England Journal of Medicine proves it has the ability to dilate bronchial tubes in asthma sufferers, enabling them to breathe easier and improving their oxygen flow. For this reason, marijuana is fast becoming the go-to solution for millions of people diagnosed with this affliction across the world.
Back in the 1970s, several major studies investigated the bronchodilation properties of cannabis on asthma sufferers. The majority of participants involved in these studies all enjoyed some measure of relief from their asthma, suffering fewer asthma attacks with notably less intensity. It is clear that cannabis has an extremely positive effect on lung health, even improving lung capacity in smokers.
Marijuana is a powerful antioxidant showing much promise in the therapeutic treatment of heart-related diseases. Several animal studies showed that cannabinoid therapy proves useful at preventing many cardiovascular issues, including strokes, heart attacks, and atherosclerosis. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a 2014 study in Britain found animal study results applicable to humans.
In that study, researchers demonstrated that marijuana could effectively relax and dilate blood vessels, which improves blood circulation throughout the body and greatly reduces high blood pressure. Additionally, some cannabinoids play an active role in lowering the cardiovascular consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle and diet, but improved life choices make it even more effective.
The painkilling properties of cannabis are legendary. From ancient times to the modern day, using cannabis to treat pain is undeniably its most common use. Now, finally, scientists understand why. New evidence shows cannabis hindering neural transmissions within pain pathways of the body, as well as easing inflammation responsible for causing the pain.
This is why marijuana is so popular for cancer patients suffering the side effects of chemotherapy. A 2010 study by the Canadian Medical Association studied 23 victims of neuropathic pain caused by trauma or surgery. It found those receiving cannabis thrice daily experiencing significantly less pain, as well as enjoying improved sleeping cycles, compared to those taking less cannabis or none at ll.
Cannabis, when applied topically in the form of creams and lotions, has the ability to improve the appearance of skin and treat almost all skin afflictions. When used like this, it stimulates shedding of old skin and growth of new skin to replace the old. It also aids in the production of crucial lipids, important facts that combat skin issues such as psoriasis and acne, and prevents stress-related breakouts.
Scientists have been studying the effects of cannabis on seizures ever since CBD stopped a seizure on live TV. Anecdotal evidence exists aplenty too that marijuana effectively prevents seizures and reduces the severity and frequency of them. Until more studies emerge, there is insufficient evidence to warrant the use of cannabis commercially for seizures, but existing data shows huge promise.
Much excitement surrounds the potential of cannabis in cancer treatments. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, scientists now know the positive effects of cannabinoids in a laboratory environment, which include killing cancer cells, preventing their division, stopping the development of tumors, and lowering the risk of metastasis, or the spread of cancer, into healthy neighboring tissues.
Despite not recognized yet commercially as a cure, much evidence exists to suggest that marijuana can have enormous therapeutic benefits on many healing processes, including for those suffering chronic, even terminal illnesses, such as cancer. The more scientists discover the more reason we have to demand full legalization at the federal level, and full access for anyone using it medicinally.