Cannabis, also called marijuana, weed, or pot is a multidimensional plant that has been much disputed over the years. While your ability to consume cannabis differs based on the state you live in, nowadays, perceptions of cannabis have changed significantly, and that’s because it has been increasingly used for both medical and recreational purposes, with many states legalizing it.
Considering its popularity, one can’t help but wonder what makes so many people turn to cannabis. According to studies, this plant has potential health benefits and can effectively treat nausea and vomiting as a side effect of chemotherapy and some forms of epilepsy. It may also alleviate chronic pain and help deal with multiple sclerosis symptoms. Let’s learn more about this plant and how it can support your health.
Cannabis is a term that describes three species of plants, all of them with psychoactive effects, namely Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa, and Cannabis ruderalis. People have used different names for the plant throughout time, many of them now referring to it as a weed. More often than not, cannabis consumers use this plant to benefit from its calming effects. In some areas of the U.S., cannabis is also prescribed as a treatment for conditions like chronic pain and poor appetite.
Cannabis contains more than 120 compounds known as cannabinoids. Scientists haven’t researched the effects of all the cannabinoids, but they do have a thorough understanding of CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), each with its own uses:
- CBD. Also found in hemp, -a cannabis-related plant, CBD has been widely studied throughout time. CBD is a non-euphoric component of the cannabis plant and can be sold as oils, edibles, gummies, and more.
- THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary psychoactive component found in the cannabis plant. Unlike CBD, THC gets you high.
There are many cannabis products available containing only CBD, THC, or both. However, it’s worth noting that the dried flower associated with cannabis is made of both cannabinoids, although some strains may contain more CBD than THC and vice versa. Hemp, for instance, has low levels of THC but consists of large amounts of CBD.
While you can purchase cannabis products from a reliable supplier, you can also grow the plant yourself and ensure its best quality. There are different types of cannabis seeds, each with its own requirements for the growing process. For instance, for auto-flowering sources, an 18/6 light ratio is recommended so they can work effectively and offer you the desired results. And, of course, it’s essential to water them right. Autoflowers may be resilient, but if you don’t stick to a watering schedule, you may get a dead or rotting plant. However, make sure to consider factors like humidity, soil composition, and plant age and size, as there’s no such thing as a schedule that’s ideal for every growth. Often, first-time growers water the soil right away; however, it’s vital to first ensure that it is dampened, and only then can you add the seed. There are other types of cannabis seeds, such as feminized seeds, regular seeds, high THC cannabis seeds, and high CBD cannabis seeds. Thus, before purchasing, make sure to research all the types to figure out which one best fits your needs.
How can cannabis benefit your health?
As mentioned previously, scientists have found that the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant offer different health benefits. Let’s explore its therapeutic effects.
It helps manage pain
CBD in marijuana alters the pathways in the brain that perceive pain, thus helping you cope with it better. This can effectively treat health conditions such as fibromyalgia, migraine, arthritis, and endometriosis. It may also play a role in reducing the side effects of cancer treatment, such as loss of appetite. In the long term, medical cannabis may sometimes be even more effective than drugs like ibuprofen.
It reduces inflammation
Inflammation is the natural result of the body repairing itself. However, this healing process sometimes leads to soreness and pain, causing not only physical discomfort but also depression and a lack of motivation to go about your day. Researchers have concluded that CBD is an aid for inflammation, reducing it and benefiting conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.
It helps treat neurological conditions and mental disorders
Cannabis impacts the limbic system – the part of the brain that causes emotional and behavioral responses. Due to its effects, doctors may sometimes recommend it for the treatment of mental health illnesses and neurological conditions. For instance, many people suffering from anxiety find relief from their symptoms when consuming cannabis-based products. Moreover, the FDA has also approved the use of Epidiolex– a drug comprised of an ingredient derived from cannabis- as a helpful treatment for two severe types of epilepsy, namely Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Other conditions that cannabis may benefit from include:
- Multiple sclerosis;
- Tourette syndrome;
- Parkinson’s disease.
It improves sleep
No one ever wants to deal with insomnia, but unfortunately, it is a common sleep disorder that affects your mood and energy level, as well as your work performance and overall quality of life. Insomnia can take a toll on your health, increasing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety disorders, and depression. Fortunately, cannabis is an effective sleep aid that can help you get a well-deserved rest at night. Also, experiencing pain can make it difficult for you to fall asleep, but marijuana usage can alleviate the pain, thus improving your sleep.
Also Read: Does CBD Skincare Live Up To The Hype?
Cannabis is a hot topic, with more products being developed to match everyone’s preferences. You can choose from cannabis edibles, Cannabis-infused chocolate, CBD oil, CBD topicals and tinctures, and more. Research has found that marijuana may have many potential health benefits and can contribute not only to better physical health but also to improved well-being. However, suppose you want to use cannabis for medical purposes. In that case, it’s essential to consult with your doctor to see how it may benefit you and guide you through the legalities regarding your medical marijuana card.