While regular users and those working in a medical marijuana clinic understand the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis, not everybody is aware of how many even exist. You may find yourself surprised by these seven health benefits.
1. It Helps with Brain Development
Cannabis has been linked to the creation of new neurons through neurogenesis. It’s also thought to improve brain plasticity. It’s believed to have neuroprotective properties, which is why it’s used to treat conditions such as migraines, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s, among others.
2. It Isn’t Harming Your Lungs
It’s commonly thought that inhaling something that’s bad for you will also be bad for your lungs, particularly as seen with cigarettes. Medical cannabis is known to have the opposite effect, actually assisting with lung function and capacity while actually protecting against lung cancer. Smoking tobacco with it, however, won’t help you.
3. It Strengthens Memory
Medical cannabis may be protecting the brain rather than destroying memory receptors, as many wrongfully believe. A 2016 study showed how cannabinoids appear to reduce inflammation and accumulation of the biological markers in those suffering from Alzheimer’s. The THC has been shown to slow progression of the disease by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes amyloid plaques, which is responsible for killing brain cells that cause Alzheimer’s.
More research is required, yet it’s a glimmer of hope for anyone caring for a loved one suffering from this disease.
4. It’s Used to Increase Appetite
The “munchies” are a common side effect most people are familiar with—whether you’ve inhaled marijuana or not. Medical cannabis is being used for precisely this reason, helping increase appetite in patients with eating disorders, such as anorexia, caused by cancer, AIDS, and other illnesses. Small doses are authorized to stimulate the patient’s appetite, helping them gain control of their eating.
5. It Helps with Digestion
Here’s why you should consider medical marijuana for digestive disorders. In the same way it’s been seen to increase appetite, it’s also been known to help with digestive issues. The cannabinoids seem to help the gut control bacteria in the intestinal tract. In addition to reducing feelings of nausea, it has proven benefits for other illnesses, particularly Crohn’s disease. Many studies, with comparable responses, have shown a decline in Crohn’s Disease symptoms after using medical cannabis.
6. It Could Heal a Traumatic Brain Injury
Patients suffering from a traumatic brain injury may benefit from a certain endocannabinoid, which acts as an anti-inflammatory compound. The body naturally produces this endocannabinoid, 2-AG, but not in amounts high enough to protect the brain.
One study administered plant-derived levels of 2-AG to mice suffering from a brain injury in order to observe the response. There were positive effects, though more research is needed.
7. It Reduces the Potential for Nightmares
This is a slightly complicated benefit because of its positive and negative effects, but medical marijuana has been shown to reduce the number of nightmares people have. It’s one of the reasons patients suffering from PTSD are turning to medical cannabis.
Nightmares occur during the REM sleep cycle. The cannabinoid interrupts the REM cycle to prevent nightmares from occurring. Studies using a synthetic cannabinoid have shown a decrease in the number of people suffering from night terrors.
There are some great benefits of medical marijuana, and it’s providing solutions for patients in new ways.