As the legalization of marijuana continues to take place across North America, scientists now have the chance to see what cannabis actually does on a mass scale. Even though some of us already know it, the rest of the world is finally starting to realize that smoking marijuana actually does have some very surprising health benefits. We could list out all of the benefits but to spare you the boring research facts we will just stick to the top 10 that you really care about.
1. May slow cancer cells from spreading
Research published in the Molecular Cancer Therapeutics journal found that cannabidiol, a chemical compound in marijuana, has the ability to stop the spread of cancer by turning off the “ID-1” gene. In fact, the American Association for Cancer Research discovered that marijuana actually works to slow down tumour growth in brain, breast, and lungs considerably. Take that cancer!
2. May slow the progression of Alzheimer’s
According to the Scripps Research Institution, marijuana may be able to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that THC slows the formulation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. These plaques are what kill brain cells and cause Alzheimer’s.
3. Reduces anxiety and PTSD
In 2010, researchers at Harvard University suggested that some of the drug’s benefits can actually be reduced anxiety, which would improve the smoker’s overall mood and act as a sedative in low doses. Just be aware that higher doses can actually cause anxiety. We’ve all hit that paranoid stage. In addition to relieving anxiety, marijuana has also been approved to treat PTSD in some states. Naturally occurring cannabinoids help control the system that causes fear in the body and brain.
4. Relieves arthritis pain
For those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, smoking weed can actually alleviate that pain, reduce inflammation and promote sleep. A hospital study that gave their patients Sativex, a cannabinoid-based medicine, found that after just two weeks people had a significant reduction in pain and improved sleep quality compared to placebo users.
5. Treats and prevents glaucoma
More and more research is being performed on the effects of marijuana in relation to treating glaucoma. Currently it is being used to treat and even prevent the disease. A study in the early 1970s showed that when one smokes marijuana it lowers their intraocular pressure (IOP).
6. Controls epileptic seizures
A 2003 study showed that marijuana can actually prevent epileptic seizures. Cannabinoids control seizures by binding to the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation.
7. May improve lung health
Many people believe that smoking marijuana can harm your lungs when it can actually increase your lung capacity. It is believed this increase in lung capacity is not from any therapeutical chemical in the drug but actually because of the deep breaths taken while inhaling the drug. Inhale away my friends.
8. Assists in weight control
On average pot smokers tend to be skinnier than the average person because they have healthier metabolisms and reactions to sugars. Yes, that even includes those who get the munchies and can end up eating more calories.
9. Pain management tool
Many diseases such as Crohn’s, Parkinson’s and others that have already been mentioned earlier, cause a lot of pain. Fortunately, the cannabinoids from marijuana can help manage that pain. With Crohn’s disease it can help the gut regulate bacteria and intestinal function. With Parkinson’s disease the drug can improve sleep and significantly reduce tremors.
10. Enhances creativity
Okay, technically this isn’t a “health” benefit but we consider the fact that marijuana sparks creativity in the brain a benefit of life. It has been shown that the use of cannabis can improve verbal fluency which is the ability to come up with different words. Part of this increased creative ability may come from the release of dopamine in the brain which allows people to feel more relaxed, giving the brain the ability to perceive things differently.
These 10 benefits of marijuana are among countless benefits this plant has. How this beautiful, natural creation still holds a negative reputation and is not legal yet is beyond us! All we can do for now is light one up and hope that science continues to prove its benefits and make this plant famous we all know it should be.