The effects of marijuana on health have been a subject of intense debate, with the majority weighing in on the side of the negative effects. Additionally, most studies have been performed to determine the negative health effects of long-term marijuana use. Medical marijuana has been around for the past couple of decades however out is only more recently that the general public is open to seeing the positive health effects that could come from long-term marijuana use.
Scientists and researchers have indeed been limited in the past with regards to research and nothing solid can be said in terms of the negative or positive health effects of long-term marijuana use are.
Despite this, there are thousands of marijuana users whose testimony speak for the positive short-term health effects and some for the long term as well. More and more researchers and studies are being put in place so that we can gain a deeper insight into the long-term health effects of marijuana.
According to some studies and anecdotal reports, here are three ways that long-term cannabis use can benefit your health:
Despite the popular belief that ‘marijuana kills brain cells’, marijuana could actually have the opposite effect. A recent study that released its results in the International Journal of Neuropsychology helps to dispel this myth. This study goes on to show that the CBD compound can have the opposite effect by actually stimulating the cell rejuvenation. The area called the hippocampus is the area where all of this takes place and this is were the cannabinoid CBD interacts to cause the regrowth of cells. This study was not performed on humans, however, and a more conclusive study with humans still needs to be done to further validate these type of findings.
If we examine the hippocampus, we see that this an essential part of the brain that is connected to a multitude of illnesses and essential functions. The hippocampus is connected to both long and short-term memory and it is one of the first to be affected by Alzheimer’s. The hippocampus plays an important role when it comes to mood regulation and emotions including disorders such as depression and severe anxiety. This component is also responsible for the cognitive function and if marijuana is found to promote healthy cell growth in this area of the brain that plays such an important role in the overall well being of life then the effect will be more than just ‘positive’ in the long term.
This is also one of the main reasons that marijuana is being researched into how it can assist those with Alzheimer’s. If marijuana can assist in protecting the destruction of cells within the hippocampus then Alzheimer’s could be halted in those already suffering from the illness and in the long term, the illness could be altogether prevented.
Further research also indicates that CBD could be useful in protecting the nervous system. In those suffering from Alzheimer’s, the amyloid proteins cause extensive damage to the nervous system. Additionally, certain neurological symptoms associated with stroke suffers as well as Parkinson’s Disease could be reversed as well.
Healthy bodies and our bodies and mines that are in a state of homeostasis. When the body becomes ill or under attack, signals are sent out that certain functions need to take place in order for the body to rectify the ‘imbalance’ that is causing the disease or illness. It may seem far too simplistic however we can essentially say that any disease within the body is an imbalance.
In a healthy individual, the body reacts in the appropriate way by sending out the certain cells or triggering the right function that can bring the body back into balance. This maintained internal balance is called a state of homeostasis. However, sometimes the body is unable to reach this homeostasis. This is when disease and illness can become chronic or severe.
Results from a wide variety of studies indicate that some cannabinoids, mainly THC and CBD, interact through the endocannabinoid system which triggers the cells to communicate that a certain function needs to take place in order to bring about this homeostasis.
The long-term effects of marijuana can be seen as it interacts with our endocannabinoid system to maintain a healthy homeostasis, and essentially a healthy endocannabinoid system. When our internal endocannabinoid system is lacking or not working at its optimum capacity, this is when we begin to see illnesses and diseases taking root within the body and mind.
By maintaining a healthy endocannabinoid system, we can maintain a healthy immune system as well which can prevent a wide assortment of illnesses. The domino effect stretches on an on as we then would need less prescribed, over the counter drugs which have a whole range of unhealthy side effects. This could break the cycle for many people who are a part of the cycle of pill popping and addiction to opioids.
Marijuana has gained the most attention for its reported pain relieving properties. While there are many who argue that marijuana is an addictive substance, there is no evidence to support this while on the country, the opioids in pain medication are causing waves across America as many are reported to be addicted to pain medication.
Developing Proper Pain Management Programs
The potential of cannabis as an effective painkiller has caused a stir in the medical community by forcing researchers to reassess how we manage pain.
Some researchers are looking into how we can replace the use of opioids with marijuana, or at least with the cannabinoids within cannabis that are responsible for the pain relief.
In the long term, marijuana could become a healthier model on which to base the system of pain management. Naturally, this sparks bad news for multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies that profit from the opioid addiction.
Once the medical community is more health-focused and less profit focused, we may begin to see positive results coming in with the acceptance of marijuana and its long-term health benefits.