Cannabis use is global. That’s certainly not breaking news.
And the reason for using it is also global. Simply put, it makes folks feel better. In fact, there are a whole slew of health benefits of medical marijuana.
That’s because every human body serves as a house for cannabinoid receptors. And these lonely receptors are just fiending to bind with the cannabinoids found in marijuana.
Doing so makes them happy. And happy receptors make for happy humans.
The Health Benefits of Marijuana Are Extensive
Beyond recognizing that our bodies are naturally tuned to interact with cannabinoids though, there’s also growing evidence of the benefits of cannabis consumption.
How is marijuana a health benefit? Consider these:
1. It Helps with Appetite and Digestion
Studies suggest that the endocannabinoid system helps modulate appetite. And this isn’t just a highfalutin way of saying it gives you the munchies.
Of course, it does.
But it’s more complex than that. It turns out that the chemicals in marijuana interact with cells in the body that play a key role in gut function and immune responses too.
The body makes THC-like compounds that increase the permeability of the intestines to allow bacteria in. This is a generally desirable situation, except for people struggling with Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis whose intestines have become too easily permeated.
The cannabinoids in marijuana block these THC-compounds, more tightly bonding the intestinal cells and making them less permeable.
Cannabis is also popularly used to reduce the feelings of nausea that result from treatments like chemotherapy. And studies suggest it could have a number of benefits for those with digestion-related health conditions such as diabetes.
2. Treating Cancer
As mentioned above, medical marijuana is often prescribed to counter the side effects of chemotherapy.
But what about for treating the disease itself? There are already treatment plans such as the Rick Simpson Oil treatment plan, but oncologists are working on trials to determine whether cannabis can be used to treat cancer.
Much of the focus is drawing away from THC-based projects though because of the psychotropic effects. They’re shifting their attention instead toward CBD and cannabigerol (CBG). Recent research suggests that these may be most effective when combined in a way that allows them to act synergistically with one another.
3. Protecting the Brain from Trauma and Concussions
There’s already research showing that marijuana might help protect the brain from damage from a stroke by reducing the size of the area that was affected by the stroke. And another study showed that traumatic brain injury patients who used marijuana were less likely to die from their injury.
But now there’s heightened awareness for marijuana’s overall neuroprotective properties. In fact, Lester Grinspoon, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard and marijuana advocate, recently wrote an open letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall saying that the NFL should stop testing players for marijuana.
He went further to say that the league should start funding research into the plant’s ability to protect the brain instead – to which Goodall responded that he’d consider it if medical research proves it to be an effective neuroprotective agent.
4. Easing the Pain of Multiple Sclerosis
Because the THC in marijuana seems to bind to receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve pain, it’s most popularly known for its ability to ease chronic pain. And multiple sclerosis is one of the conditions that presents some seriously painful symptoms.
One study brought together 30 multiple sclerosis patients with painful muscular contractions. Their pain wasn’t even touched by other treatments. But after smoking marijuana for a few days, they reported that they were in less pain.
5. Treating Glaucoma
Glaucoma has long been one of the most common conditions accepted for treatment under state medical marijuana laws. With glaucoma, pressure is increased in the eyeball, causing damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision.
According to the National Eye Institute: “Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.”
The only drawback – for now, at least – is that marijuana only lowers IOP for a few hours. That means it’s not ideal for long term treatment. There is hope though that a marijuana-based compound might be developed that will last longer.
6. Controlling Seizures
Some studies have shown CBD helps people with treatment-resistant epilepsy to ease and control seizures.
And there are more than a few parents who swear that marijuana is the only thing that has helped control their children’s seizures – whether from epilepsy, autism or other conditions.
As of now, there haven’t been enough studies on the topic, so researchers say more data is needed before it’s efficacy can be trumpeted by the medical community.
But we’re going with the parents on this one.
The Evidence Is Apparent
In spite of the need for more research in some areas, it’s already obvious that there are clear-cut health benefits of marijuana. Far more than the six we highlighted here.
And as more states move toward legalizing it, there will be more dispensaries and its availability will skyrocket.
If you’re looking to get into the cannabis biz, or already have a stake in it, you’ll need cannabis marketing experts on your side. So contact us today so we can help you to help others.