Think about it, there are very few habits in life that have the distinction of being both enjoyable and good for us, all at the same time. As most have already discovered, cannabis use is indeed one of those rare habits that can make us feel good while simultaneously offering up a slew of natural therapeutic advantages and cures. For decades, the psychoactive effects of cannabis were the focus and according to some, those effects were dangerous and scary. But to others, they enhanced one’s overall well-being and expanded the mind. Cultural awareness of the false ‘reefer madness’ stigma has helped to shift much of the conversation to the cannabinoid’s rather miraculous properties instead. Ladies and gentlemen, cannabinoids can do much, much more for you than get you high.
1. Cannabinoids protect against neurodegenerative diseases
Cannabinoids have been shown to slow down or even halt further degradation of neurons due to their built-in neuroprotective properties. THC and CBD, the main cannabinoids found in cannabis are able to suppress the excitotoxicity and oxidative injury that cause the degeneration of neurons in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Spinal Muscular Atrophy and several others.
Researchers find that THC not only prevents the damage caused by free radicals, but it also boosts the formation of new mitochondria. CBD also supports the health of new mitochondria within the body’s neural cells.
2. They manage PTSD symptoms
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is primarily associated with military-related trauma in combat, but the disorder can affect anyone who has experienced trauma. Some PTSD symptoms include, flashbacks, hypersensitivity, nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, trances, obsessive thinking, isolation, depression, avoidance, mood swings, self-destructive or suicidal tendencies, abusive tendencies, and even re-experiencing the trauma in one’s mind.
Commonly prescribed medications like anti-depressants and anti-psychotics have had very little success in treating PTSD symptoms. But when looking at the effects of cannabinoids, research shows that PTSD sufferers almost always tend to have an endocannabinoid deficiency in the body.
Martin Lee, an affiliate of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies told Leafly that a traumatic event can cause the body to stop producing enough cannabinoids, but by replenishing the body’s cannabinoid supply with cannabis, sufferers can experience decreased anxiety, decreased stress and fewer episodic triggers,
Researchers found that people with PTSD had lower levels of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid compound, compared to those who did not show signs of PTSD.
3. The solution for chronic or intractable pain
A National Institute of Health analysis revealed that most American adults suffer from some degree of ongoing pain. As of 2015, it was reported that approximately 25.3 million adults experience chronic pain and nearly 40 million experience severe levels of pain.
So, it’s no surprise that most medical marijuana patients use cannabis as an effective alternative for pain relief. Cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, analgesic and muscle relaxing properties, which make them the perfect treatment for a range of painful conditions.
4. They have effective cancer-fighting properties
Cannabinoids have been linked to cancer-cell death and tumor shrinkage. A recent study also found that THC used after chemotherapy treatments resulted in greater cancer cell death.
5. They can ease withdrawal from synthetic drugs
Among anti-cannabis groups, cannabis is labeled a gateway drug. However, when studying the science, the opposite seems to be the case. The IACM lists cannabis as an effective withdrawal drug, easing symptoms for those coming off opiates, alcohol, and benzodiazepines.