Article written by
Tina MagrabiSenior Content Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
How can cannabis help you maintain good health? Cannabis has become increasingly popular for medical and recreational purposes. But is it possible to use cannabis as a natural health supplement? If we are talking about pure, whole-plant cannabis, the answer is yes.
From everyday concerns like muscle tension to the marvel of growing new brain cells, here are 5 ways that you can use cannabis for wellness:
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Relieve Aches and Pains with Cannabis
If you are one of the more than 50 million Americans living with chronic pain, you may prefer a natural alternative to chemical-laced prescription painkillers. Cannabis has been shown in numerous studies to reduce both pain and related inflammation. Indeed, for decades, scientists have been examining the potential beneficial effects of marijuana on pain.
This research has revealed that cannabis may offer at least a mild to moderate pain-relieving effect on people. As pain is a subjective experience, results will vary among individuals, with some reporting total pain relief and others claiming status quo. Pain ranging from migraine headaches to severe neuropathic pain in cancer patients has been studied in connection with cannabis use.
In doing so, scientists have discovered that the endocannabinoid system plays a pivotal role in pain perception and reduction. Potential treatments for pain include cannabinoids and endocannabinoids that naturally bind to receptors in the brain. From there, cannabis has the power to inhibit the activation of pain pathways, thus easing feelings of discomfort. For some people coping with painful and incurable diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), cannabis medicine has been life changing. Meanwhile, clinical trials are ongoing to determine how medical marijuana may help decrease common pain, such as chronic lower back pain.
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Reduce Anxiety with Cannabis
Anxiety is perpetually on the uptick in our lightning-paced digital lives. Not only can anxiety affect us during the day, but it can carry over into night and disturb our sleep. Turns out that cannabis may be an effective treatment for both anxiety and insomnia. In particular, consider channeling the potency of CBD for mental wellbeing.
One recent study uncovered that cannabis medicine, specifically CBD, could benefit people experiencing anxiety and sleep disorders. Nearly 80% of the individuals in the study reported improvement in anxiety, while close to 60% claimed they were sleeping better after two months of CBD treatment. Other research supports the anti-anxiety effects of cannabis while emphasizing the plant’s excellent safety profile.
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Cannabis Can Help You Lose Weight
A startling 42% of Americans are classified as obese, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Obesity has been linked to virtually every “disease of civilization,” including hypertension, heart disease and cancer. In fact, obesity is itself a preventable disease of civilization. While it is advisable to lose weight under a doctor’s supervision, cannabis could be an integral part of the process.
Cannabis helps the body regulate insulin, an imbalance of which can lead to significant weight gain. In addition, cannabis boosts the body’s efficiency in managing caloric intake. While many people believe that marijuana gives users “the munchies,” the plant can in fact help suppress appetite, especially strains high in CBD. There is no doubt that cannabis can be used successfully for the opposite effect, as physicians sometimes treat cancer patients with medical marijuana to encourage weight gain.
In the general population, however, cannabis has been found to correspond to a lower body mass index (BMI). Cannabis use has also been associated with a lower overall risk of obesity. While there is no magic wand for weight loss, CBD-rich strains of cannabis could help you achieve and maintain a healthy BMI.
Cannabis May Prevent Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease with strong ties to obesity. The body’s inability to regulate insulin leads to elevated blood sugar levels and, ultimately, diabetes. Researchers have found that cannabis may help stabilize blood sugar levels, which could delay or prevent the onset of diabetes. As diabetes is a very challenging disease to treat, preventative medicine should be the first course of action.
Furthermore, research has indicated that long-term cannabis use could lower blood pressure. Decreased blood pressure levels correlate with fewer complications for people who have already been diagnosed as diabetic. Lower blood pressure also benefits health in numerous other ways, including reducing the risk of heart disease, which remains the number one cause of death worldwide.
Protect Your Brain with Cannabis
One of the most thrilling discoveries about cannabis is its potential role as a neuroprotector. Extensive research indicates that cannabis has the power to protect and even stimulate growth of new brain cells. Such findings could be a revelation for people suffering from memory loss due to Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. Likewise, doctors can tap the power of cannabis to treat other neurological diseases like Parkinson’s.
The cannabinoid delta-9-THC has demonstrated the most promise with regard to boosting brain health. CBD has also shown to have neuroprotective properties in multiple studies. Currently, the majority of these studies have been performed on animals. Therefore, a need exists for more clinical trials involving people before we can speak definitively about what cannabis does for the brain. Some clinical trials are already underway to study various possibilities, such as the effect of cannabis oil on Parkinson’s patients. Overall, research is optimistic about the brain-building prospects of cannabis.
Using Cannabis as a Natural Health Supplement
A regular cannabis regimen is a natural way to maintain peak performance physically and mentally. More and more, evidence suggests that whole-plant cannabis is a viable addition to a healthy lifestyle.
To learn more about how you can integrate the health benefits of cannabis into your daily life, reach out to one of Leafwell’s experienced physicians. We have the tools to help you apply for your medical marijuana card in minutes.
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