Alternative Medicine: 9 Medical Benefits of Cannabis
Cannabis contains both CBD and THC. What’s the difference? CBD is one of 120 compounds called “cannabinoids” found in cannabis. CBD has gained popularity in recent years, partly thanks to a growing body of research into its health benefits.
CBD produces many health benefits but does not induce a high, making it perfect for alleviating pain, inflammation, anxiety and depression. THC is the chemical responsible for most of the psychological effects of cannabis. In the brain, it acts like the cannabinoid chemicals made naturally by the body and produces a high. THC also has many health benefits such as helping manage pain, insomnia, nausea, and anxiety.
The following are the nine medical benefits of cannabis:
1. Chronic Pain
Relief from chronic pain is one of the most talked-about medical benefits of cannabis and is by far one of the most common reasons people request medical cannabis. New research suggests that consuming cannabis really is effective at managing pain.
When traditional pharmaceuticals are unable to help individuals deal with and effectively manage their chronic pain, cannabis becomes a hopeful possibility. Cannabis not only reduces pain, but it also reduces inflammation that causes pain, making it a great choice for treating a number of conditions.
One of the best medical benefits of cannabis is that it can fight against cancer. A chemical found in marijuana may help cancer from spreading. Research being conducted in lab mice suggests that both CBD and THC can slow or shrink tumours with correct dosing. Another study found that cannabis can slow the growth of the type of brain tumour associated with 80% of malignant brain cancer in people.
Although consuming cannabis can help people relax, it can also sometimes have the opposite effect and create more anxiety in users if consumed at higher doses. It’s suggested that if you’re trying to use cannabis to control anxiety, that it be consumed in low doses. Of course, everyone is different, and you’d have to see what works best for you.
Individuals suffering from depression may have been prescribed pharmaceutical drugs to help manage depression in the past. However, many of these drugs come with hard to handle side effects, including worsening anxiety and depression, mood swings, muscle stiffness and many more.
Cannabis oil has shown tremendous promise in studies as a treatment for both depression and anxiety, and it may cause fewer side effects in some individuals. Studies indicate that CBD appears to have a positive interaction with serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin impacts many bodily functions, including a person’s emotional state and feelings of well-being. It’s important to keep serotonin levels balanced in people with depression.
For those suffering from insomnia, you will enjoy these sleep benefits of cannabis for medical reasons. Cannabis promotes sleep and can sometimes be an effective method of treatment for people suffering from insomnia by restoring a person’s natural sleep cycle. It’s the THC that is responsible for inducing sleep, so you’ll want to find a strain with more THC than CBD.
6. Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
The effects of cannabis on spasticity and psychomotor dysfunction associated with MS are well documented. When an MS patient is not receiving enough pain relief from traditional medical treatments and instead turn to cannabis, there has been a decrease in spasticity from cannabis use. Cannabis also helps relieve pain in MS patients.
Since cannabis is effective at reducing pain and inflammation, it also helps combat arthritis. Applying CBD oil to sore, stiff joints helps those suffering from arthritis with a significant drop in pain, without additional side effects. Also, consuming cannabis that is higher in CBD should also help reduce pain in arthritis patients.
8. Parkinson’s Disease
Research is also favourable when it comes to treating Parkinson’s disease with cannabis. Cannabis significantly reduces pain and tremors and improves sleep for people with Parkinson’s disease. Some studies have shown improved fine motor skills among Parkinson’s disease patients who consume cannabis.
9. Headaches and Migraines
Did you know that cannabis can help reduce headaches and migraines in some patients? The medical benefits of cannabis can help those suffering from chronic headaches or migraines. Some studies have found that activation of the endocannabinoid system “could represent a promising therapeutical tool for reducing both the physiological and inflammatory components of pain that are likely involved in migraine attacks”. Sounds promising, doesn’t it?
If traditional pharmaceuticals have not decreased your pain or the symptoms from an illness you have, it’s worth giving cannabis a try. Also, if you would rather not take a pharmaceutical and instead try something natural, cannabis is a great choice. You can find strains of cannabis that have higher CBD, which is good for some illnesses, or strains with higher THC, which is good for other illnesses. It’s worth giving cannabis a try to see if it helps relieve your pain, or helps you deal with other afflictions.