While Canadian stoners will tell you that smoking marijuana has a ton of benefits, there are still quite a few who are skeptical. Fortunately, there is a ton of research into the benefits of cannabis, and we've got the top 15 health benefits of smoking marijuana here for you (with research to back it up!)
Cannabis has long been used by many to treat a wide variety of ailments, including chronic pain, depression, and even cancer. The legalization of marijuana here in Canada has opened the doors for many looking for alternative treatments, and we couldn't be happier about it.
This article, we'll go over the many benefits of marijuana. While we talk about smoking it, you don't have to limit yourself to just this one method! Cannabis can be ingested in many ways:
- Cannabis oils and tinctures
- Edibles like candy, gummies, chocolate, or cookies
Regardless of how you want to take it, the effects remain the same (and some might argue that they are even better when you take out the combustion element of smoking).
So, just how good are the health benefits of smoking marijuana? This good.
Top 15 Health Benefits Of Smoking Marijuana
It may seem kind of crazy to read that cannabis can help with so many things. How is this possible? It's actually due to how cannabis, and different cannabinoids, work in the body.
Scientists discovered the Endocannabinoid System in the '90s, which is a network of receptors that runs all throughout our bodies, brains, and nervous system. Cannabinoids like CBD, THC, CBG, and CBN attach to these receptors. Called CB1 and CB2, the receptors essentially tell the cells they are attached to how to respond.
The Endocannabinoid System's job is to keep everything in balance, or homeostasis. By supplementing with cannabinoids like the THC and CBD found in cannabis, you're boosting your body's own naturally produced endocannabinoids.
While CBG has been shown to be one of the most effective cannabinoids at slowing tumor growth and inhibiting the growth of new cancer cells, there are numerous studies that show THC is capable of this as well. The discovery of the use of cannabinoids in fighting cancer has been one of the biggest medical breakthroughs in recent years.
It is estimated that 3/4 of Canadians will experience one or more significant trauma events in their lifetimes. PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) can cause severe anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. PTSD isn't just exclusive to war veterans, and can occur after any amount of significant trauma in a person's life. Research shows that marijuana may help treat this by controlling the body's fight or flight response, while easing anxiety.
Depression and Anxiety
Whether it's being caused by external factors, or just that more attention has been shown, leading to more diagnosis', one thing is clear - depression and anxiety is running rampant through our society, and it's a huge problem. Multiple studies have shown cannabis to be effective at treating both anxiety and depression, and is paving the way for future cannabinoid treatments in this regard.
MS (multiple sclerosis)
Multiple Sclerosis is a painful condition with no cure that causes nerve damage and tremors. Several studies have shown marijuana to be effective at treating the symptoms.
CBD had it's big breakout moment when the story of Charlotte Fiji went global. Since then, numerous studies and research have shown cannabis and CBD to both be highly promising and effective at treating epileptic seizures, and its use as an anticonvulsant is being widely studied still.
Alcohol and Drug Addiction
The study of the effects of cannabis use on alcohol and drug addiction is very exciting. At a time when over an estimated 6 million (21%!!!) of Canadians are suffering from some sort of addiction, cannabinoids are slowly changing how we think about treating these types of disorders.
Studies have shown cannabis to be effective at stabilising blood sugar, lowering blood pressure, and it has a huge impact on insulin response. This is useful in not only the treatment of diabetes, but also with the prevention of such.
Cannabis has long been known for its ability to treat chronic pain, and is a common treatment for those with debilitating and terminal illnesses. Certain cannabinoids by nature act on receptors in the body that are responsible for pain perception, transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) and vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1). when activated by cannabinoids, these receptors help regulate mood, pain response, inflammation and more.
The neuroprotective properties of marijuana and cannabinoids in general have made huge progress for the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer's. With over 750,000 Canadians dealing with dementia right now, the news is highly exciting. This information is paving the way for new treatments of this devastating disease.
Anandamide is commonly known as the "bliss" or "happy" molecule. It is directly connected with our mood, and helps to reverse depressive behavior. Cannabis helps to activate receptors that increase the level of anandamide in our bodies. Not only does it increase it, it also helps to slow the uptake of anandamide, meaning it stays in the bloodstream longer.
Long term studies of cannabis users show their waistlines as much smaller than non-cannabis users, which has vast medical implications for the weight loss industry. Why is this? Marijuana and other cannabinoids help to control the body's insulin response, a key factor in gaining and losing weight.
Cannabis has natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it perfect for use in inflammatory bowel diseases. Studies show that THC and CBD help to enhance the immune response, lower inflammation in the intestines, and play a crucial role in overall gut health.
The research behind using marijuana as a treatment to help reduce nausea is widespread. It makes a great alternative to those going through chemotherapy as well; not only reducing nausea but helping to control chronic pain.
Not only does cannabis help bones heal faster, it's also been shown to make your bones stronger while healing. This helps to prevent any future breaks.
Stress is the silent killer of many, contributing to heart disease, elevated blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Cannabis and other cannabinoids have been shown to directly reduce the levels of cortisol in the body, effectively reducing the levels of stress you experience.
Final Thoughts On The Health Benefits Of Smoking Marijuana
Whether you're a casual or heavy marijuana smoker, or like to dabble in the edibles side of things, there's no denying the amazing benefits that cannabis has to offer.
While more research is always needed, the sheer amount of positive studies and scientific breakthroughs is impressive.
Looking for new and exciting ways to use cannabis? Check out these great brands that Canada has to offer online!