The Potential Health Benefits of Marijuana

medical cannabis from doctor
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One of the most common questions people have lately involves trying to piece together the health benefits of marijuana. Seriously, I hear this question all the time as an involved marijuana content writer, and while I can rattle off plenty of facts and figures along with the science behind them, most of us have problems finding accurate information.

For those of us who stick to independent research, it can be a HUGE pain to pilfer through results that may or may not be factual. Marijuana news is sporadic and most of it is intended to be funny and shareable, not providing the information you’re actually craving.

Since this is such a huge point of pain, I’ve decided to put together a short list of marijuana health benefits. I can’t even come close to writing all of the benefits of marijuana without publishing a book, so be sure to keep an eye out on our blog.

Marijuana Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s

A recent preclinical study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that small doses of THC can slow the production of beta-amyloid proteins, thought to be the key contributor to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Beta-amyloid is chemically “sticky” and gradually builds up into plaques, which block cell-to-cell signaling at synapses and ultimately causes Alzheimer’s disease.

Another study from the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California has also found that THC and other compounds found in marijuana can reduce the amount of beta-amyloid in the brain, which can prevent these plaques from coming into being and causing Alzheimer’s.

While this is still considered a preclinical study, the evidence is all there and this will soon become an amazing marijuana health benefit that all people, young and old, can use to take precautions.

Marijuana for Pain Relief

Photo by: wavebreakmedia/shutterstock.com
Photo by: wavebreakmedia/shutterstock.com
Another surprising health benefit of marijuana is pain relief. Whether you have joint pain, arthritis, have come out of surgery, soreness from exercising, a chronic pain, or anything else really, marijuana may be for you.

THC has the ability to either help you ignore your pain, or get rid of it all together. Narcotics and prescription pain relievers are known to not work for neuropathic pain, but compounds found in marijuana can effectively stop it within minutes.

In an ad that aired on TV in New York, a man named Burton Aldrich says “I am in extreme pain right now. Everywhere. My arms, my legs, are feeling like I’m dipped in an acid.” He is a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair, who suffers from neuropathic pain and the best treatment for his overwhelming pain, he says, is marijuana. He finishes by saying “Within five minutes of smoking marijuana, the spasms have gone away and the neuropathic pain has just about disappeared.”

Scientists are still a bit confused about this phenomenon, but with recent legalization changes, this specific property is finally able to be studied by many scientists across the country. We’re hoping to have more details soon on this specific marijuana health benefit.

Marijuana May Help Treat Cancer

Another interesting health benefit of marijuana: In 16 years, cancer will become the leading cause of death in the United States, surpassing heart disease, according to a new report from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

That is, of course, unless we all start smoking marijuana. The non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana known as CBD is responsible for preventing cancer cells from spreading and can actually reverse the effects of cancer.

A pair of scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has found that CBD could stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer, potentially altering the fatality of the disease forever.

Photo By: szalai szilveszter/shutterstock.com
Photo By: szalai szilveszter/shutterstock.com
THC is widely reported as the cannabinoid that prevents nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. It’s also responsible for helping cancer patients eat, and to prevent them from being zonked out on prescription painkillers, which is another benefit of marijuana.

While there are clear benefits, and the cure to cancer has been tested on a few people (and worked!), it still isn’t wise to quit chemotherapy to switch to marijuana, as they haven’t been able to test too many variables.

Marijuana for Anxiety, Eating Disorders, and Depression

Another awesome health benefit of marijuana is its ability to treat mental illnesses as well as physical ones. Chronic anxiety and depression are eased with the help of CBD. THC and CBD can help people with eating disorders eat and be merry without feeling uncomfortable.

For anxiety, when a person smokes cannabis, receptors in the emotional part of the brain that are linked to our, “fight or flight” responses are relaxed. These receptors can be calmed by smoking cannabis and therefore create a relaxing mindset for the person experiencing anxiety or nervous thoughts.

For depression, smoking high THC strains allows the brain to release dopamine, the chemical that causes positive emotions. A lot of chronic depression is caused by a dopamine chemical imbalance, and if this is the case, marijuana helps. It’s also a much safer alternative to prescription depression medications.

Another benefit of marijuana is that it can also treat anorexia nervosa, which is a condition where the person struggles with distorted body perception, weight gain anxiety, and overall refusal to eat because of these fears. Usually, anxiety is the key to eating disorders, and since marijuana treats anxiety, it’s common to use it to treat eating disorders.

For those of us in the industry and the enthusiasts, we can all agree that marijuana is sort of a miracle. I hope to have answered a few questions in regards to the health benefits of marijuana today, but keep in mind that this is just the very tip of the “benefits of marijuana” iceberg.

With new information coming out on an almost daily basis, this will be a topic covered over many weeks. For those of you still curious, I will be providing links to the future volumes of this post. You can also subscribe to the Leafbuyer email list to receive this information in your inbox as it comes out.

Article By: Nicole Flanigan