The 5 Most Common Ways Weed Improves Quality of Life
Tired of explaining to mom and dad why cannabis is a medicine? Here are the most common reasons people use it for their health.
Cannabis is becoming more popular for its health benefits and medical uses than ever before. But how is weed healthy, exactly? From its ability to relieve pain and stress to its potential to stop seizures, let’s take a look at some of the most popular ways weed is helping to improve people’s quality of life around the world.
More medical cannabis patients are using weed for pain than any other medical condition. That’s because our favorite herb is known to help many different kinds of pain, from migraines to menstrual cramps, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and post-exercise soreness.
How is weed healthy for pain? It all comes down to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the largest regulatory system in our bodies. When the ECS is off balance, people’s health can suffer tremendously. In the case of pain, one of the leading researchers into the ECS, Dr. Ethan Russo, speculates that chronic pain issues like fibromyalgia and migraines are caused by an ECS imbalance, which he named “Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency.”
Plus, with the rise of non-intoxicating cannabis products, like those high in the cannabinoid CBD, many more people are turning to the herb for pain than ever before. CBD oil, tinctures, and other products are helping to relieve pain in those who don’t want to “get high” when they medicate.
Lastly, cannabis for pain is a safer and healthier option than many prescription and over-the-counter pain remedies, especially opioids. Opioid abuse and accidental overdose deaths are an epidemic in the U.S. and Canada, and many people start using these incredibly addictive substances because they have a prescription. But in states with legal cannabis access, there is less opioid prescriptions, abuse, and overdose deaths. Coincidence?
2. Stress and Anxiety
If you were to ask any regular cannabis smoker ‘how is weed healthy?’ they would likely tell you it helps them relax and therefore leads to a healthier, less stressful lifestyle. And it’s true. Cannabis helps people to relax and unwind, much like a beer, but with less detrimental effects to your health.
But beyond relaxing after a stressful day, cannabis can also help those with clinical anxiety, including PTSD. Like with pain, CBD is also becoming a popular option for those dealing with anxiety. Because using too much high-THC weed can exacerbate some people’s anxiety, many have also taken to microdosing the herb. Rather than making anxiety worse, taking one or two hits is allowing people to focus and get on with their day.
Plus, people who live in states with accessible cannabis laws are even beginning to trade in their addictive prescription anxiety medications, like Klonopin and Xanax, for cannabis. If you’re still asking ‘how is weed healthy?’ you’re probably not aware that withdrawal from these medications can actually be lethal. Still, they are prescribed to millions of people in the U.S. On the other hand, as any faithful stoner will tell you, cannabis has never killed anyone.
3. Gastrointestinal and Stomach Issues
How is weed healthy? Back twenty, thirty years ago, the only answer many people had was it might help cancer patients on chemotherapy with their nausea and loss of appetite. Even though we’ve found many other medical uses for weed since then, this OG cure still rings true. Beyond nausea, cannabis can help people with a variety of different gastrointestinal issues, including Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and a loss of appetite. That’s because not only does cannabis improve appetite (read: the munchies), but it also reduces inflammation associated with GI issues, therefore improving symptoms for sufferers of Crohn’s, IBS, and other issues.
4. Trouble Sleeping
Using cannabis before bed has become one of the most popular medical uses of the plant. Because of cannabis’ relaxing properties, it helps countless people settle down for bed every night by easing their racing thoughts and anxiety.
Similar to other issues on this list, cannabis is helping people to reduce prescription and OTC sleeping meds, like Ambien, especially in states where the herb is legal. If you’re still asking “how is weed healthy?” An effective sleep aid isn’t just about preventing grogginess the next day, it’s also about preventing the long-term side effects of prescription pills.
5. Epilepsy and Seizures
Nowadays if you ask someone ‘how is weed healthy?’ they’ll likely tell you it helps to reduce seizures in small children with severe and intractable cases of epilepsy. In fact, cannabis’ ability to help epileptic children when no other medications seem to work has been a driving force in medical cannabis legalization around the world. From South America to England, these children and their parents are changing the way the world looks at weed, from a drug used by hippies to a medicine used by millions.
So next time someone rolls their eyes and asks you ‘how is weed healthy?’ you can name at least five common reasons the herb is improving people’s quality of life and helping them to reduce addictive prescription drugs every day. And this list is only the beginning. There are countless reasons people use cannabis medicinally and researchers are only just beginning to scratch the surface. With legalization on the horizon, the applications of medical cannabis will only continue to grow and to help people live happier, healthier lives.