As the reintegration of cannabis into global society gains momentum, more and more people are beginning to understand the benefits of this incredible plant. With its cancer-fighting, anti-inflammatory and sleep enhancing properties, the plant has become an important ally for many for a variety of different purposes.
Let’s look at 7 important benefits this magical plant infers in those who decide to work with it.
1. Cannabis Combats Pain
Pain serves an important evolutionary purpose in the human body. However, once it gets out of control, it can turn the simplest of tasks into an insurmountable challenge. Sadly, there are many who suffer from the affliction of chronic pain in modern times, but the good news is that cannabis can help.
Our endocannabinoid system plays a major role in regulating many physiological processes, one of which is pain sensation. Our bodies contain two types of cannabinoid receptors, namely CB1 and CB2, and when it comes to pain, CB1 receptors are where it’s at.
When we consume THC we saturate our CB1 receptors and thus disrupt the ability of neurons to communicate. This alters the perception of many aspects of normal consciousness including that of pain.
CBD also helps combat pain, and it’s via its anti-inflammatory properties that it can help reduce it. By using both CBD and THC holistically, many millions of people suffering from chronic pain have been helped by the analgesic properties of medicinal cannabis use.
2. Cannabis Reduces Inflammation
While CB1 receptors help greatly with pain, CB2 receptors come into their own when dealing with inflammation. And it’s inflammation that scientists now attribute to the development of all disease.
CB2 receptors are known to play an important role in regulating the immune system by suppressing the immune response to outside threats. It’s the needless over-activation of the immune system that can lead to rampant inflammation, which in turn brings about the onset of disease.
Scientific studies have shown cannabis to be a potent anti-inflammatory solution. The science behind it is complicated, but cannabis works at several levels. It works by inducing apoptosis in activated immune cells, suppressing cytokines and chemokines at inflammatory sites, and the upregulating of FoxP3+ regulatory T cells.
While the science will no doubt continue to evolve, there is little doubting the ability of cannabis to aid with autoimmune and inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
3. CBD and Improved Sleep
Sometimes life gets in the way and we all occasionally suffer from subpar sleep. Whether it’s an inability to fall asleep, or difficulty staying asleep, it’s an issue that affects millions.
Cannabis has been found to be a most useful ally when it comes to sleep, but perhaps not in the way you imagined. Research shows that THC can help a person fall asleep faster, but it in fact reduces the amount of time they spend in deep sleep. And it’s in deep sleep where the real benefits are to be found when it comes to rest.
With CBD however, studies show the opposite to be the case. You won’t fall asleep faster, but deep sleep will be greatly enhanced. Many people have found that using a small amount of THC followed by a larger dose of CBD helps bring about the best of both worlds.
4. The Cancer-fighting Effect of Cannabis
In recent years, the anti-cancer properties of THC have been investigated widely. Beginning with animal studies carried out on brain tumors, THC was found to be a potent intervention in reducing tumor growth. In what was a surprising finding for the researchers, the cancer cells were actually found to be ‘committing suicide’. THC was found to target only cancer cells, leaving healthy cells untouched.
CBD has also been found to be most useful in anti-cancer treatment. Most notably, it’s synergy with THC enables the effects of the THC to be potentiated.
Some scientific studies demonstrate the benefits of cannabis in treating cancer, but there is a way to go in understanding all of the processes involved. With hundreds of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids all acting synergistically via the entourage effect, it may be some time before the underlying mechanisms can be fully understood. However, for now, one thing is clear, and that is that the anti-tumoral benefits of cannabis are undeniable.
5. Cannabis and Creativity
Moving away from medicinal benefits, cannabis also seems to be a potent promoter of creativity among many. As with the therapeutic effects of the plant however, the effects seem to vary from person to person.
For those that perceive enhanced creativity with cannabis, just how it does this is something that has been pondered for many years. One line of thought relates to stress, one of the main killers of creativity. If you’re worried about making the next mortgage payment, then it’s hard to finish off that song, poem or painting!
Cannabis also seems to alter typical thought patterns within the mind. This allows new connections to be made, as dots are joined between abstract ideas and previous experiences. It may just be that cannabis accentuates the workings of what is an already creative mind.
It is, however, very difficult to quantify creativity, as it’s very subjective. But the science does seem to indicate that among those already creative people, creativity is enhanced, while for those who aren’t usually creative, improvements are more difficult to perceive.
6. The Abundant Ways To Consume Cannabis
Cannabis is a potent medicine for many ailments, but over the years many have found themselves put off by the primary method of administration – smoking.
In more recent years, several developments have taken place. Technology has improved, extraction techniques have become more refined and information has become much more readily available. It all means that there have never been more options when it comes to administration.
Patients can now administer through a variety of forms from edibles, vaping, sublingual sprays, tinctures, suppositories or topical creams. Few other medicines provide such discrete and convenient methods of administration.
7. No Overdosing, No Addiction – Cannabis is Safe
From overdosing to addiction, many common pharmaceuticals bring with them huge risk. Opiate epidemics and destroyed lives make you wonder why cannabis wasn’t considered a viable alternative long before now.
Although a small percentage of people become reliant on cannabis, it’s not physically addictive in the same way that heroin or nicotine might be. Where it’s legal, people enjoy the medicinal benefits of it without fear of becoming addicted.
Overdosing is another common issue with many drugs on the market. In severe cases overdosing can lead to death, however this is not the case with cannabis. Although the effects experienced after consuming too much cannabis may be unpleasant – paranoia, confusion, anxiety, hallucinations – they will wear off in time, with no lingering side effects.
What Does the Future Hold for Cannabis?
As legalization rolls out across many developed countries, we can look forward to more solid science that’ll help solidify our understanding of the benefits of cannabis use. Cannabis may well become more widely adopted as a treatment for many more ailments as we begin to uncover more. But for now at least, it has proven itself a valuable ally for many. And long may that continue!