7 Potential Health Benefits of Cannabis

As more cannabis studies are conducted, recent discoveries of its potential health benefits continue to soar high. Cannabis can affect various parts of the body, including the brain, the heart, the digestive system, the lungs, and others.

Cannabis has two essential cannabinoid compounds that offer a significant impact on brain functions. Because of this, cannabis has always been considered a historic, multidimensional, and controversial plant, especially in the field of medicine.

Numerous studies support its effectiveness, while others are still unclear about its potential health benefits. The widespread belief of cannabis as an effective treatment for ailments, and the rise of prompting concerns about the risks of using, has intensified the drive to legalization.

In this article, we are going to scrutinize the potential health benefits that cannabis offers. Weighing the scientific evidence of its health benefits, as well as the associated risks we may incur in using it, is also important. Continue reading to know more.

Cannabis: Is It Bad or Good for our Health?

Discussing whether cannabis is good or bad for our health is both an exciting and worrisome topic. The complexity of cannabis is that it holds great promise as an effective treatment for many health ailments.

However, the gap between the hype and research-based evidence does not seem to match. This worry is particularly true concerning issues of mental health, whereby cannabis has been tagged as an effective treatment.

As outlined by a recent review in the International Review of Psychiatry, it states that the relationship between cannabis and mental health is significantly complicated.

In general, THC in higher dosages has shown anxiety and psychotic features. Whereas CBD produces anxiolytic and antiseptic effects. However, many other variables affect the person’s psychotic symptoms, such as potency levels, other cannabis-related chemicals, amounts used, and the person’s level of tolerance.

7 Potential Health Benefits of Cannabis

Due to various controversies surrounding the use of cannabis, it is now being re-evaluated on a cultural and legal level. Reports show that most Americans today support legalizing cannabis both for medicinal and recreational use and moreover the market is already saturated with a quality product by brands like AmsterdamMarijuanaSeeds.

Others are still reluctant and want to see more evidence supporting specific health benefits of cannabis.

Here is the list of the potential healing benefits that cannabis offers based on scientific research:

  1. Chronic Pain

Cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant help alleviate pain by altering pain perception pathways in the brain. This may be helpful in various forms of chronic pain, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, migraine, and more.

A review conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine assessed more than 10,000 studies on the medical benefits of cannabis.

The review found that the use of cannabis or products that have cannabinoids as an active ingredient, is effective in relieving pain.

  1. Inflammation

CBD is one of the main components found in cannabis that can reduce body inflammation caused by diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.

Moreover, THC has been reported to show enhancement in the body’s immunity, and interaction with the cells that play an essential role in the operation of the gut.

Cannabis also helps in the blocking of bacteria and free radicals that create inflammation in the intestines. According to the Harvard Medical School, cannabis can be a replacement for the long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs that contain negative side effects.

  1. Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

A journal published by Clinical Psychology Review reported that the use of cannabis can help people with alcoholism or drug addiction.

The non-psychoactive nature of CBD present in cannabis makes it suitable for people battling alcoholism or opioid dependencies to fight their addictions.

Although the benefits are impressive, there is still a need to stress that discerning studies are still being conducted to fully illustrate its effects. For every patient suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction, seeing a physician cannot be overemphasized.

  1. Mental Disorders

Due to the excellent effects of cannabis on the limbic system, some physicians have started prescribing patients cannabis to treat neurological and mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more.

A review published in the Clinical Psychology Review assessed scientific literature that investigated the use of cannabis to treat mental disorders. Some evidence found that cannabis can be effective in treating depression, PTSD, and anxiety symptoms.

That being said, authors of this scientific literature emphasize that the use of cannabis is not effective in all forms of mental illness. Cannabis is not a suitable treatment for bipolar disorders and psychosis.

  1. Cancer

The pain relief properties present in the cannabinoids are also effective in alleviating pain associated with multiple cancer treatments. It was also reported that oral cannabinoids are effective in treating nausea caused by chemotherapy.

Some studies concerning the effects of cannabis on cancer cells suggest that cannabinoids help slow down the spread and even eliminate some types of cancer.

However, as cannabis has a wide variety of strains that each offer varying effects, research about the connection between cannabis and cancer is still an ongoing investigation. The synergy and potentiation of CBD and THC present in cannabis can dramatically increase the efficacy of cancer treatments.

Pure infusions of both THC and CBD have been shown in separate lab studies to single out and kill cancer cells. However, more research is still needed to determine if these results are being replicated in the human body.

  1. Multiple Sclerosis

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society estimates that 2.3 million people suffer from multiple sclerosis around the world. MS is a chronic progressive neurological disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system.

MS is characterized by a variety of disabling symptoms. Many MS patients have reported finding relief with the use of medical cannabis. Research has found that cannabis can help reduce muscle spasticity and relieve stiffness in patients with multiple sclerosis.

  1. Epilepsy

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of medication containing CBD to treat epilepsy.

CBD is one of the many cannabinoids present in cannabis. It is not psychoactive, nor does it cause a mind-altering high effect. The approval of using a purified version of CBD in treating two of the rarest forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, was based on the findings of research and clinical trials.

In 2017, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported having found the use of CBD to be more effective in reducing the symptoms of seizure episodes among children with Dravet syndrome, compared with a placebo.

Potential Risks of Cannabis

In determining whether the use of medical cannabis is good for us, it is imperative to know the associated risks that come with it. Here are some of them:

  • Suicidal Thoughts

Daily and excessive use of cannabis is believed to exacerbate existing symptoms of bipolar disorders and other mental disorders. As mentioned above, cannabis is not an effective treatment for all forms of mental disorders.

As reported, evidence suggested that the use of cannabis may lead to patients having suicidal thoughts.

  • Schizophrenia

From the current data, we know that THC as an active ingredient present in cannabis, offers mind-altering effects that may lead to psychosis and schizophrenia. THC can also be one of the triggering components that can worsen the symptoms in already diagnosed patients.

A 2020 review assessed the link between cannabis and schizophrenia. Reportedly, an early start and frequent use of cannabis may double the risk of developing schizophrenia.

The same research found that there may be a high frequency of psychotic disorders among people using cannabis. Diagnosed patients may also increase sensitivity to the psychoactive effects of THC.

Conclusion

There is a great amount of science behind understanding cannabis. While researchers are still working to understand how effectively CBD, THC, and other compounds present in cannabis can be used, more is yet to be discovered.

Research on the medical benefits of cannabis is still underdeveloped. But evidence shows that various compounds present in cannabis can treat several different ailments. However, the use of cannabis does not only offer health benefits.

Improper and irresponsible use of cannabis may also lead to unpleasant results. If abused, as explained above, it can double your risks of various mental disorders and ailments. Thus, careful consideration is needed.

Knowing your limitations and level of tolerance in using cannabis is necessary. If you are a novice user, it is essential to do in-depth research to further understand everything about cannabis. If you need more assistance, consult your physician before starting any medication.

Other health issues and medical complexities may worsen with the use of cannabis. Typically, no medicine is without side effects. Every treatment has its accompanying benefits and risks of using. Therefore, it is essential to always seek sound medical advice from experts, as they better understand your medical condition.

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 10 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. All my ideas come from my very active lifestyle, every day I ask myself hundreds of questions to doctors, specialists, and physicians. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. In all my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. I believe that any information should be free, we want to know more every day because we learn every day. Most of our medical sources come from Canada.ca and government research. You can contact me on our forum or by email at info@sind.ca.

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *