Did you know that back in 1974 a team of researchers at the Medical College of Virginia were funded by the National Institute of Health to find evidence on the way cannabis damages the immune system?
Yet instead, the researchers found out that THC actually slowed down the growth of three kinds of cancer cells, in particular, cancer cells associated with virus induced leukemia, breast and lung cancer.
What happened next is that the DEA shut down the Virginia study, any further cannabis-tumor research being blocked.
Fortunately, nowadays it is well known that the medical benefits of marijuana for your body can be applied for treating a wide array of ailments, quite literally from head to toe.
While the studies behind the intricate ways cannabis can work to support people’s well-being and heal a myriad of otherwise hard-to-treat and/or un-responsive to conventional treatment medical conditions are still at the very start, we are already witnessing the snowball effect. Limitations and regulations on marijuana research are slowly but surely being lifted. Simultaneously, researchers and scientists from all over the world are putting tons of hard work into deciphering the secrets of cannabis’ profound effects on both the physical, as well as the mental plane.
Can cannabis become the miraculous treatment and even one of the superfoods of the future?
Join us below on a spectacular journey exploring the medical benefits of marijuana from head to toe.
Operation Cannabis: Head to Toe Benefits Rundown
Let’s face it: the lies and myths that have been propagated to society for decades when it comes to how cannabis affects people’s well being are rapidly being busted one after another.
For instance, marijuana was rumored to kill brain cells and turn consumers into zombie like, couch locked potheads. However, there is solid evidence that the effect of cannabis consumption on brain cells is actually quite the opposite.
Instead of killing brain cells, cannabis stimulates the growth of new brain cells, thus, bringing bright hopes for the treatment of degenerative related disease such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, among others.
In fact, the benefits of marijuana treatment for your brain’s sake are more profound than what most of us have ever dared to believe.
Benefits of Cannabis for your Brain
The fact that cannabis possesses antipsychotic properties might sound quite contradictory. And indeed, there are multiple studies confirming that the frequent consumption of marijuana is related to a higher risk of psychosis. Psychosis is a severe mental disorder that leads to losing touch with reality because of the impairment of thoughts and emotions.
However, it is crucial to understand that it is not merely cannabis consumption but consuming cannabis products of high potency and/or frequent consumption of such products that are proven to increase the chances of experiencing psychotic episodes later on.
As highlighted in a recent study published in the Lancet Psychiatry, European cities where high potency pot is most commonly and widely available have demonstrated higher rates of new cases of psychosis, as compared with other cities. To be more specific, Krista Lisdahl, who is a clinical neuro-psychologist at the University of Wisconsin and one of the experts involved in the study points out that the researchers’ revelations related to cannabis and psychosis are majorly associated with the regular use of cannabis products that contain above 10% tetrahydrocannabinol (aka THC). The higher risk of psychosis is, therefore, associated with the fact that high THC potency products are becoming more and more common on the market.
There is a negative tendency among cannabis consumers to commonly remain not well-educated on the importance of respecting and working out their personal prudence to marijuana treatment instead of falling into extremes. Or, as the basic principle of toxicology indicates, it is the dose that makes the poison. So, how come cannabis consumption can provide antipsychotic benefits, taking the facts we shared above into consideration? High doses of THC can be hazardous in terms of psychosis induction. But if THC is the Yin, then CBD (Cannabidiol) is the Yang of the active cannabinoids. CBD inhibits the psychoactive effects of THC, literally balancing out the synergistic effect of the active cannabinoids on your endocannabinoid system.
In a nutshell, it is CBD that has shown to provide a beneficial impact on psychotic symptoms. As of now, though, most of the studies that confirm the antipsychotic benefits of CBD treatment have been conducted on animals. What is undoubted is that Cannabidiol is currently looked upon and further investigated as a promising cannabis ingredient when it comes to finally establishing effective.
Limiting the (regular) use of high THC potency cannabis products, and/or additionally ingestingCBD as part of your cannabis consumption routine is believed to significantly help in avoiding psychosis-related issues, decreasing the odds of experiencing psychosis episodes. CBD intake alone is believed to work as a possible antipsychotic remedy.
Similarly to the antipsychotic properties of cannabis, the anti-anxiety benefits of weed consumption are quite paradoxical.
On the one hand, weed is well-known to cause anxiety, and, in fact, this is one of the most common adverse effects reported by individuals using marijuana and/or marijuana-based products.
But then again, researchers believe that it is the dose that determines whether consuming weed will lead to anxiety or exactly the opposite.
The two best studied major components of cannabis, namely THC and CBD, are shown to interact with systems in the brain that are known to have a high influence on anxiety.
As of now, there is evidence pointing out to the way low doses of THC can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms in some people. With other people, though, even when ingested in moderation, THC can still lead to anxiety, and that’s how deeply individual the effects of cannabis consumption are.
Meanwhile, there are several studies suggesting that CBD generally possesses more reliable anti-anxiety properties.
According to Carl Stevenson who is a neuroscientist involved in the research of cannabis compounds’ effects on both anxiety and fear, the higher ratio of CBD to THC is related to a higher chance of causing anxiety while a lower ratio is more likely to relieve anxiety.
Considering the fact that scientists are still trying to figure out the unique role of the more than 100 less studied active cannabinoids and their synergistic effects, some marijuana strains do indicate to possess higher anti-anxiety properties than others.
The riddle becomes even more complicated keeping in mind that terpenes (the aromatic molecules produced by cannabis plants) do also play a key role in the symbiotic effects of active cannabinoids and the associated health benefits. On top of that, there are different types of anxiety. Because of this, different types of anxiety are believed to stem from slightly different neurochemical roots, meaning that the different forms of anxiety may lead to different marijuana induced effects.
As of now, the best piece of advice for those who want to target anxiety but are still making their way through the mesmerizing world of cannabis, is to stick with a high CBD, low THC product/strain, gradually increasing the dose based on their personal prudence to cannabis.
A seizure takes place when the brain’s electrical activity becomes dysregulated. As a result of dysregulated brain electrical activity, all neurons simultaneously start firing, and they do so repeatedly. This is how the function of the brain’s area where the rhythmic firing happens is disrupted.
Unfortunately, up-to-date the reason why most seizure disorders occur remains unknown. This is exactly the case with one of the most treacherous seizures-inducing disorders, epilepsy.
Apart from dramatically decreasing the quality of life and literally turning the body into a prison, seizures development is associated with a high risk of traumatic head injuries, brain tumors, meningitis, encephalitis, and strokes.
But to what extent is cannabis a reliable remedy for seizures?
One of the cases that earned medical cannabis incredible popularity for the treatment of seizures is the case of Charlotte Figi who was born October 18, 2006.
Colorado’s resident Charlotte Figi suffered from continuous, intolerable seizures. Charlotte’s parents went through numerous attempts for treating the conditions of their little girl, yet all treatments kept failing. Desperate to see their beloved girl in tremendous suffering, they finally decided to give high CBD medicinal cannabis a try.
After doing so, Charlotte’s seizures were drastically reduced as if by a miracle. From experiencing 300 grand mal seizures per week, the girl’s seizures were reduced to no more than a total of two or three per month, firmly indicating that cannabis does possess anti-seizure properties.
And while the anti-seizure properties of cannabis are majorly focused on the beneficial action of CBD, it is important to understand that THC does also play a vital role in boosting CBD’s anti-seizure effects.
To be more specific, THC induced anti-seizure activity is thought to be mediated to a great extent by THC’ partial agonist action on the CB1 receptor.
It is the CB1 receptor that is primarily involved in the process of expressing the psychoactive effects related to cannabis consumption while CBD actually has a very low affinity for either CB1 or CB2 receptors both of which CBD affects only indirectly. That’s why experts believe it is through still unknown mechanisms how the anti-seizure activity of CBD is expressed but it is clear that THC has a special role on that matter, too.
There is no doubt that cannabis has the potential to become an invaluable treatment for seizures. Both CBD and THC are believed to play a crucial, intricately-related role when it comes to cannabis anti-seizure effects, especially in a high CBD to THC ratio.
The anti-depressant properties of cannabis are not solely restricted to the action of either THC or CBD on the endocannabinoid system. Studies confirm that at low doses (in particular, doses within 1.25, 2.5, and 5mg/kg), THC is shown to exhibit strong anti-depressant effects.
What’s more, both CBD (Cannabidiol), as well as the less-studied active cannabinoid CBC (Cannabichromene) have shown to produce promising anti-depressant like effects at doses ranging from 20 mg to 200mg/kg.
Nonetheless, according to a recent study published in the journal Molecular Neurobiology, the anti-depressant effects of CBD are suggested to be both rapid, as well as significantly long-lasting, at least as what the results in a rodent model of depression have proved so far.
It is based on these results that experts further relate the anti-depressant properties of cannabis as important contributorsto the overall mood-enhancing benefits related to consuming the green medication.
Neuroprotective Benefits of Marijuana
Deemed as neurotoxic for decades, it turns out that conscious cannabis use can provide quite the opposite effects, thanks to the active cannabinoids’ strong neuroprotective properties.
CBD research has shown multiple therapeutic properties for brain function, as well as brain protection. The neurogenic effects of CBD take place both by its direct action on the endocannabinoid system, and, nonetheless, thanks to its ability to influence the endogenous cannabinoids indirectly.
Keeping in mind that CBD has demonstrated anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, immunomodulatory, and anti-depressant, alongside neuroprotective properties, CBD intake can significantly decrease the production of inflammatory cytokines, preserve cerebral circulation during deficient supply of blood to the heart and/or brain caused by the obstruction of arterial blood inflow, as well as reduce neuro-inflammation.
The way THC has shown to protect the brain from different neuronal insults is no less impressive and promising. THC has shown to improve symptoms of neurodegeneration, at least when it comes to animal models.
Similarly to CBD, THC can provide a direct effect on neuronal cells, and it can also influence nonneuronal elements found within the brain.
Numerous applications for CBD and Δ9-THC for neuro-degenerative diseases are being evaluated for both symptom relief and as treatments for the underlying pathologic changes of neuronal tissue.
Most noteworthy, both THC and CBD are believed to function as antagonistic and agonist on multiple receptors in the endogenous cannabinoid system, additionally influencing a wide range of receptors that are not part of the endocannabinoid system.
Taking these important facts into consideration, researchers from all over the world have been teaming up in studying and compiling the various possible applications of CBD and THC for the treatment of underlying changes in the neuronal tissue that are known to be at the very core of neuro-degenerative diseases.
Marijuana ADD/ADHD Treatment
Contemporary scientific research on the benefits of cannabis for the treatment of ADD/ADHD is still on the rise.
However, the ancient Chinese were well-aware of cannabis’ effects on that plane, as pointed out in the antique pharmocopedia compiled during the reign of the Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung (2700 B.C) where cannabis is highlighted as a suitable remedy for absent-mindedness.
The truth is, ADD/ADHD is a condition that leads to exhibiting symptoms extending beyond inattentiveness but further including edginess, restlessness, and forgetfulness, among others.
The current view on the causes of ADD/ADHD is that this is a multi-factorial condition triggered by environmental, genetic and neurobiological factors. But what all of these factors have in common is that they are related to causing disruptions in the dopaminergic signaling system.
With this in mind, the way cannabis can alleviate ADD/ADHD symptoms is hidden in the way cannabis consumption raises dopamine levels in the brain.
Up-to-date, there are several studies that have shown the existence of a unique cross-talk between the endocannabinoid and the dopaminergic and systems, and in particular, the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol.
Research has found that cannabinoids can excite dopaminergic neurons. As a result, there is an increase in dopamine release. Yet another study has found that the increased levels of cannabinoids, in combination with CB1 receptor activity, can lead to lowering physical activity, which is another crucial benefit for the treatment of ADD/ADHD.
Nevertheless, when discussing the medical benefits of marijuana, it’s crucial to understand that the endocannabinoid system controls the hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal, parathyroid, and thyroid glands, the thymus, pancreas, kidneys, ovaries, and adrenal glands.
While your body does produce several natural cannabinoids, the very presence of the network of cannabinoid receptors in your endocannabinoid system indicates that our bodies are “designed” to work with the cannabinoids found in cannabis, thus, promoting health and well-being by maintaining the process of homeostasis.
Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention
Both CBD and THC are believed to be extremely beneficial when it comes to prevention, as well as the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
A study conducted by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California found solid evidence on the way can THC promote the removal of toxic amyloid beta protein clumps in the brain. It is amyloid beta protein clumps that are said to literally “kickstart” Alzheimer’s disease.
In other recent studies, CBD has shown remove and/or reduce the adverse effects of oxygen buildup, brain cell decline, as well as inflammation. All of these factors are extremely important to address Alzheimer’s holistically.
For instance, oxygen is a stress-induced component of the disease as it is released as a reactive. Meanwhile, inflammation is at the very core of the symptoms that lead to Alzheimer’s.
Last but not least, brain cells in Alzheimer’s patients suffer rapid destruction and decline, so the recently discovered potential of CBD for stimulating the growth of new brain tissue has given researchers big hopes in embracing the promising benefits of cannabis treatment on Alzheimer’s disease.
OCD and Tourette’s Treatment
As of now, there are only a few controlled trials that have investigated the potential of cannabis in the treatment of Tourette’s syndrome associated tics, as well as the associated behavioral issues.
Even though consistent data regarding the benefits of THC on obsessive-compulsive behavior treatment is still inconsistent, there seems to be a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
According to a study that was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and published in Neuron in 2016, the endo-cannabinoid system might regulate yet another extremely important function – the transition between intentional and habitual action.
In OCD sufferers, the transition between habitual and intentional action is a fraught one, and that’s why undesired habits intrude merely uncontrollably.
As a comparison, in healthy individuals, the brain transitions between habitual and intentional (also known as goal-oriented) behaviors countless times a day. In fact, most of us are not even aware of this process taking place as it really feels like the natural flow of life.
As far as the beneficial action of cannabis, and in particular, THC, can be used to alleviate Tourette’s syndrome-induced tics, studies have observed “a significant tic reduction,” yet researchers remain quite moderate with any further suggestions on that matter since more trials that include a larger number of participants are still needed.
When considering the pain-relief medical benefits of marijuana treatment, it is important to take into account the synergistic action of the different active cannabinoids, as well as terpenes, since all of them have a particular, yet not fully understood role on pain and inflammation management.
As of now, scientists have concluded that a combination of CBD and THC works most efficiently for relieving pain. In fact, CBD was discovered to extend the life of THC by almost doubling it up, so it is also suggested that CBD might have an impact on extending the pain-relieving benefits of THC.
A combination of both CBD and THC has shown to reduce peripheral neuropathic pain, cancer pain, multiple sclerosis-induced pain, and rheumatoid arthritis-associated pain.
When CBD is used on its own, it shows the highest efficacy in the treatment of inflammatory pain, for example, arthritis or injuries-related pain, whether applied topically or ingested orally. The ability of CBD to mediate pain is believed to be due to the way CBD blocks inflammatory mediators, as well as possibly potentiating glycine receptors.
The pain-relieving properties of medical marijuana use clearly indicate that the science behind cannabis should focus on the effects triggered by whole plant medicinals. Even though still deemed the “bad” cannabinoid by some just because of the psychoactive effects it induces, THC is a mighty pain-relief warrior.
Studies have shown that THC possesses superior pain-relief and management properties when it comes to cancer pain, central and neuropathic pain, AIDS and fibromyalgia associated pain, and all of these examples are related to pain that is otherwise resistant to conventional treatment and/or pain that responds to conventional medications but also comes with unwanted side effects.
Nonetheless, THC is also found to work as an anti inflammatory agent, further making it crucial to ingest particular amounts of THC to boost the pain and inflammation-relief properties of CBD.
Benefits of Cannabis for your Eyes
Vasorelaxant for Glaucoma
Glaucoma is ranked among some of the most frequent reasons that make people opt for using medical cannabis.
The benefits of marijuana treatment for glaucoma sufferers are undisputed, especially keeping in mind that most conventional drugs are not deprived of adverse side effects.
Ever since the early 1970s, various research data has shown that active cannabinoids present in marijuana, and in particular, THC, can help to significantly help to reduce intraocular pressure. Intraocular pressure is glaucoma’s key contributor.
Benefits of Cannabis for your Lungs
Lung Health Improvement (Reversing Tobacco Consumption Related Damage)
There is a common misconception when it comes to inhaling marijuana for medical purposes as it is widely believed that doing so affects the lungs adversely due to the presence of unwanted, toxic compounds when marijuana buds are combusted. And while it is indisputable that frequent exposure to the hazardous compounds found in smoke leads to high odds of detrimental effects on the individual’s lungs, under certain conditions medical marijuana can actually improve lung health.
According to a study that took place over the span of 20 years (1985-2006) examining participants for specific markers, and considering the participants’ smoking habits (both tobacco and marijuana) cannabis smokers showed a better pulmonary function than nonsmokers did. It was tobacco smokers that showed the worst pulmonary function, as compared with both nonsmokers and marijuana smokers.
The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2012.
Most noteworthy, it is crucial to note that the study’s findings on the beneficial effects of medical marijuana on lungs were based on moderate to low cannabis use. Regular pot smokers (those who stated to smoke marijuana about 20 times per month) displayed decreased lung capacity.
Benefits of Cannabis for your Heart
Cannabis can offer several important benefits for your heart by preventing the buildup of plaque in arteries, providing high therapeutic value when it comes to the treatment of atherosclerosis, as well as strong anti-inflammatory action on the cardiovascular system.
Significant, groundbreaking evidence on the way cannabis can help to prevent arteries from clogging is still lacking up-to-date. However, a researcher from the University Hospital in Geneva, Switzerland, named François Mach, was enlighten by the idea whether the effect of THC can succeed in preventing the build-up of fatty deposits in arteries (or atherosclerosis), taking into consideration the evidence on the way THC is capable of reducing inflammation, since it is inflammation that is in the very heart of the associated plaque buildup. And indeed, THC did a show to work efficiently in preventing arteries from clogging with mice, which Mach explains with the way THC binds with cannabinoid receptors found on immune cells. However, marijuana use and cardiovascular health is a very delicate topic, and it must be approached with attention and precision because marijuana can lead to life-threatening effects on people with established heart disease.
Let’s not forget that marijuana consumption leads to a raising resting heart rate. With healthy individuals who are not at risk of heart attack, and are not heart attack survivors, and do not have a family history of close family members who have suffered cardiovascular related issues, the raising resting heart rate should not be an issue. But for heart attack survivors, people with heart disease or family history of such are under serious threat. That doesn’t mean cannabis consumption must be 100% restricted for these patients; however, it does mean the dose must be considered very precisely and approached with utmost moderation and sensibility after consulting with a qualified physician.
Benefits of Cannabis for your Hands
Cannabis can be a powerful remedy for health issues that affect the hands’ zone due to the effect of active cannabinoids on helping muscles relax, as well as the strong analgesic properties that can be applied to rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.
It is important to note that apart from ingesting cannabis by respiratory methods of consumption such as smoking/vaping or oral methods of consumption, such as capsules, edibles, and tinctures, the beneficial effect of active cannabinoids can be reaped through topical application, too.
Transdermal patches and various cannabis-infused topical ointments can serve as an effective remedy for treating localized pain and/or inflammation affecting your hands. Nevertheless, topical cannabis-infused solutions may or may not get you high, meaning that there is a wide range of products to choose from accordingly based on your personal needs, lifestyle, and preferences.
Benefits of Cannabis for your Stomach
The way cannabis can help patients cope with a wide array of stomach-related issues is simply incredible.
In a nutshell, cannabis possesses anti-emetic, appetite controlling, as well as colon cancer treatment and prevention properties.
Nonetheless, active cannabinoids can provide digestive aid and even relief Crohn’s disease-associated stomach issues.
Most noteworthy, it is not solely CBD, THC or a combination of two that is related to the beneficial medical benefits of marijuana for stomach-related issues and concerns. Alongside other active cannabinoids, terpenes (the tiny aromatic molecules produced by cannabis plants) do also have a special role in boosting the proper function of your guts.
Benefits of Cannabis for your Legs
So far, we already discussed the way marijuana treatment can help with mediating pain, inflammation, and seizures. These beneficial properties of the herb can be extremely useful when it comes to providing relief to sore, tired muscles, too.
Nonetheless, researchers suggest that the way marijuana can benefit the legs zone extends as deep as treating joint pain since joint pain is commonly associated with inflammation.
Moreover, keeping in mind that whole plant medicinals are believed to be most effective in stimulating new bone growth, marijuana is looked upon as the most promising treatment of the future for strengthening osteoporosis-affected bone tissue.
Medical Benefits of Marijuana for your Body: Final Thoughts
The truth is, as soon as you get down to searching for reliable, science-backed up information regarding the medical benefits of marijuana, the statement that you will inevitably come across (more than once!), is that “more research is needed.”
And indeed, as far as the scientific point of view on that matter is concerned, most of the studies investigating the medical benefits of marijuana for your body are still rather limited in terms of their scope and validity since most of the provided evidence is based on animal studies.
Even when it comes to evidence on the benefits of marijuana based on human studies, as of now, experts cannot possibly guarantee the validity of the studies because in the world of science, a study can be only considered valid when involving a very large group of participants over a relatively large period of time, so that the data gathered can be classified as accurate enough as to be considered valid.
But keeping in mind the increasing percent of anecdotal evidence available on the medical benefits of marijuana, it is more than crystal clear that the ancient plant has many qualities that make it an invaluable, all-natural remedy to a broad range of conditions and disorders, regardless of whether or not science officially agrees with the existence of these healing qualities.
In fact, another piece of solid evidence on the way medical marijuana can benefit your body from head to toe was just recently introduced in a study published in January 2019 in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.
The study was conducted by a team of experts from the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Based on the data gathered after extensive research, a towering 44% of all the participants who used medical cannabis pointed out that they were able to stop taking pharmaceutical drugs or use less of one (or both!) thanks to the way medical marijuana has helped them successfully address and treat their issues.
While we are still at the start of what is bound to be a very long and probably steep road to realizing the whole array of medical benefits of marijuana, we are also lucky to be writing history together. Moreover, understanding the whimsical science behind the mysterious pathways conscious cannabis consumption can improve our mental and physical well being is bound to change the way we understand human health into a much more holistic manner extending way beyond the physical plane, and reaching the realms of spirituality and consciousness where your state of mind is an important navigator of your physical welfare.