7 Potential Health Benefits Of Cannabis

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, has been used for medical purposes for thousands of years. It has only recently become legally accessible again in the United States and other countries for both medical and recreational use. While more research is still needed, there is emerging evidence that cannabis may provide benefits for a range of health conditions. Here are 7 potential health benefits of cannabis.

Cannabis Reduces Chronic Pain

One of the most common reasons people use medical marijuana in states where it is legal, like in marijuana dispensaries in Michigan, is to relieve chronic pain. Cannabis contains compounds that may help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. A review of several studies found that cannabis extracts high in CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) effectively reduced pain from conditions such as cancer, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and injuries.

However, cannabis may only help reduce pain temporarily, and long-term use can lead to dependence. More research is still needed to determine the potential risks and side effects.

Improves Lung Capacity

Contrary to popular belief, smoking cannabis may not harm lung function and could even improve capacity in some cases. A study of over 5,000 individuals found that those who smoked cannabis had better lung function than those who did not. However, smoking cannabis still exposes the lungs to toxic chemicals that can potentially lead to chronic bronchitis and other issues. Vaporizing or ingesting cannabis may be safer alternatives.

More research is needed, but there is potential for cannabis to help increase lung capacity when used under the proper guidance and medical recommendation. Always talk to your doctor before using cannabis to improve any health condition.

Reduces Alzheimer’s Symptoms

Cannabis may help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in reducing inflammation and alleviating symptoms like anxiety, irritability, and agitation. The compounds THC and CBD found in cannabis have neuroprotective effects which could help delay or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

A small study found that patients treated with THC showed fewer symptoms of Alzheimer’s and reduced agitation and irritability. Larger trials are still needed, but cannabis could potentially provide a novel approach to treating Alzheimer’s symptoms. However, smoking cannabis can still lead to potential respiratory issues, so other delivery methods may be preferable for some patients.

Relieves Symptoms Of Autoimmune Diseases

CBD, in particular, has anti-inflammatory effects that may help relieve symptoms of autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s disease, arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. A recent trial found that CBD oil reduced pain, improved sleep, and eased symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties could help prevent the immune system from attacking healthy cells in those with autoimmune disorders. A review of studies concluded that cannabis may lead to clinical improvements in patients with fibromyalgia, arthritis, endometriosis, and other autoimmune diseases. However, larger human trials are still needed to confirm these effects.

Reduces PTSD Symptoms

Cannabis, especially high-CBD strains, may help reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) such as anxiety, flashbacks, and nightmares. Studies show that orally ingesting or vaporizing cannabis can lead to improvements in sleep quality, decrease the frequency of nightmares, and reduce hyperarousal in those with PTSD.

The relaxing effects of cannabis may help individuals with PTSD cope with traumatic memories and present-moment anxiety. However, long-term cannabis use could worsen symptoms for some and lead to dependence. Professional medical guidance is recommended before using cannabis for PTSD.

Fights Cancer And Relieves Treatment Side Effects

Cannabis and cannabinoids such as CBD and THC have been studied for their potential benefits in cancer patients. Cannabinoids may be able to slow or prevent tumor growth by targeting inflammation, cell proliferation, and blood vessel growth in cancer cells. A review concluded that cannabinoids appear to suppress tumor development in several types of cancers including brain, liver, breast, and lung cancers.

Cannabis also alleviates side effects of cancer treatments like chemotherapy such as nausea, vomiting, and pain. Dronabinol, an FDA-approved THC-based medication, is available to boost appetite and prevent weight loss in patients with cancer. More research is still needed but there is significant promise for cannabis use in cancer treatment and symptom relief.

Promotes Heart Health

Surprisingly, cannabis use may not have a negative impact on heart health and could even benefit it. While marijuana smoke does contain some toxins that could affect the cardiovascular system, several recent studies found no association between cannabis use and conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease.

In contrast, some research indicates certain cannabinoids may help lower heart rate and blood pressure, and other studies show they can reduce inflammation and may relax arteries. The diverse range of cannabis with different THC and CBD levels could provide cardiology patients with more options for treatment. However, anyone with a heart condition should use cannabis under medical supervision due to its psychoactive effects.

To Wrap Up

Cannabis has significant therapeutic potential and continues to show promising results for relieving symptoms of various medical issues. However, more research is still needed to determine the long-term effects of cannabis, establish safe levels of use, and identify which delivery methods and cannabinoid combinations may be most effective for specific conditions. Cannabis should only be used under the recommendation of a doctor, especially when treating serious illnesses. When used safely and judiciously, cannabis could become an integral part of healthcare for many.

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