Luckily, Nevada is and has been a bit ahead of the curve on marijuana legalization, first through the legalization of medical marijuana and now, recreational use. Since locals have access to medical marijuana cards, they should know what illnesses and discomforts it can be used for. We found ten of our favorite health benefits of cannabis. Some are well-known while others are just being discovered and studied.
Unexpected Health Benefits of Cannabis
Lupus is an autoimmune disease. As far as research has been able to discover, the body begins attacking itself for no clear reason. Some of the chemicals in marijuana have a calming effect on the immune system. This may lessen the effects of the disease and may slow down the internal battles.
One of the well-known health benefits of cannabis is pain relief. Pain relief along with nausea relief can dramatically improve a Lupus patient’s quality of life.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the number one reason cited by patients in Mexico for needing access to medical marijuana. The U.S. government is now working on a proposal that incorporates PTSD into legal reasons VA and doctors can prescribe cannabis.
Relief from PTSD comes from calming cannabinoids. They help regulate the system that causes fear and anxiety in the body and brain.
Seizure reduction has been one of the recognized health benefits of cannabis for over 150 years. Cannabinoids control seizures by binding to brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation.
The cannabinoid CBD has been found to be especially effective in controlling epileptic seizures. CBD does not give the high feeling that THC does which makes it useful for children. The Stanley Brothers developed Charlotte’s Web for a child with a syndrome that causes nearly-constant seizures in patients. Charlotte’s Web is a hemp that contains high levels of CBD to treat seizure patients without giving them a high.
Treatments for hepatitis C are accompanied by severe side effects including fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and depression. The side effects cause a large percentage of hepatitis C patients to end treatments before it is able to work. A 2006 study by European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that 86% of patients using marijuana successfully completed their hepatitis C therapy while only 29% of non-marijuana users completed theirs.
The main benefit of marijuana for patients with Hepatitis C is making treatments side effects more bearable. However, it has been shown to improve effectiveness as well. 54% of hepatitis C patients using marijuana got their viral levels low and kept them there, while only 8% of non-users did.
Another one of the health benefits of cannabis is regulating weight and metabolism. Having a healthy metabolism and maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to preventing Type 2 diabetes. Marijuana also helps the body regulate insulin production which is directly linked to diabetes. There are studies being developed to determine how the insulin regulation can be utilized for diabetes patients.
If you know anything about medical marijuana uses, you’ve heard of it being useful in treating and controlling the effects of glaucoma. Glaucoma increases pressure in the eyeball. The pressure damages the optic nerve and slowly causes loss of vision.
Cannabis decreases the pressure inside the eye of anyone who uses it. The National Eye Institute stated that “studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.” It has been determined that marijuana use may slow the progression of the disease and prevent blindness.
They might not be considered a medical condition, but nightmares can severely affect a person’s quality of life. People suffering from serious nightmares, often associated with PTSD, can experience all side effects of a lack of sleep along with possibly harming or disturbing anyone sharing a bed or home with them.
The way cannabis reduces nightmares can be seen as a positive and negative. Marijuana disturbs sleep cycles by interrupting the later stages of REM sleep. Nightmares and other dreams usually occur in these stages of sleep. By interrupting the sleep, cannabis eliminates the dreams. However, frequent users may suffer from inadequate sleep quality due to consistently interrupted REM sleep.
An unexpected and rarely sought after health benefit of cannabis is a healthier metabolism. Marijuana has a reputation for giving users “the munchies” and contributing to sluggish behavior. Therefore, weight loss is a bit of a surprise.
The use of cannabis promotes a healthier metabolism and insulin production. In one study, marijuana users were compared to non-users. It was determined that marijuana users were not only skinnier but also reacted to sugars put in the body in a more healthy way than non-users.
Finally, this is maybe one of the coolest health benefits of cannabis. It has been found in a study on rats that the cannabinoid CBD improves the healing process of broken bones after eight weeks. CBD enhanced the maturation of collagen which makes bones stronger during the healing process. Because of that, once it heals, the CBD-treated bone will be harder to break in the future!
See something you didn’t know you could get relief from?
Come by one of our Canopi Dispensaries to find the product that can give you relief. Whether you already use medical marijuana as a treatment, or are newly curious, our budtenders will help find the strain and products that are best for your needs.