You don’t have to be a medical marijuana user for weed to improve your life. For many, this extraordinary plant acts as a powerful medicine. Yet, studies are showing that weed may be a key supplement for preventative health.
To quote author and Neuroscientist Dr. Michele Ross, “We have a medication here that can make people happier, make people more connected, just enhance people’s lives. And everyone can benefit from that.”
Marijuana helps flood your brain with dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. These are your body’s natural “happy chemicals”. When more of these chemicals are available for your brain cells to use, you feel happier and more relaxed. What are you more likely to do when you’re happy and relaxed? Smile and laugh your heart out. Sounds nice, huh?
When you’re stressed, you have less of a particular chemical in your brain. That chemical is anandamide (AEA). AEA is like an anti-anxiety pill that your body produces naturally. In fact, when your body is stressed or anxious, it actually begins to produce more enzymes that get rid of anandamide in your body. This makes you feel tense, nervous, and downright awful.
Active chemicals in marijuana help by inhibiting the anxiety-inducing enzymes. They also help by acting similarly to natural anti-anxiety compounds in the brain. This zaps away stress and leaves you feeling relaxed and fear-free. Just don’t smoke too much!
Mindfulness is a big deal these days, especially for Americans. Mindfulness is the ability to tolerate and cope with your present situation without needing to do something to actively change it. Mindfulness is being present. It’s also one of the leading therapeutic treatments for drug addiction, depression, and anxiety disorders.
A small 2012 study done by California’s SPARC Medical Cannabis Dispensary found that marijuana helped facilitate mindfulness in 8 former drug and alcohol addicts. Cannabis was coupled with a meditation class. All of the participants experienced decreases in cravings and all but one felt more mindful.
As Neuroscientist and former researcher at the National Institute on Drug Abuse Dr. Michele Ross explains, “cannabis is the key to unlocking preventative medicine. It helps protect your DNA from being damaged, so it can actually slow down the aging process.” Dr. Ross is also the author of Vitamin Weed: An Easy 4-Plan Step To Prevent and Reverse Endocannabinoid Deficiency.
Marijuana gives you the munchies for a reason: it kicks your metabolism into overdrive. Weed may make you feel hungry, but it also helps your body better break down what you’ve eaten.This fact is what led researchers to find that cannabis smokers have lower BMI’s and smaller waistlines than non-smokers.
Studies suggest taking cannabis in small doses (like a vitamin) may have positive health benefits. For the average, healthy person, taking semi-infrequent doses of cannabis may stimulate your body to produce more of its own endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are chemicals that help cells in your body regulate themselves better. They also help with sleep, appetite, coordination, and your immune system.
Nighttime marijuana sleepers have another benefit over non-smokers: more deep sleep. During deep sleep, your body takes the time to repair any damage that occurred during the day. In particular, muscular damage and issues with your immune system. Feeling a little under the weather? Try a puff or two before bed to help you catch up on some deep Zzzzs.
I may be a little biased, but I have to say it. Weed smokers make the best friends. Research shows that cannabis may help people relax from social anxiety and other related disorders. This means it may help you feel calm and comfortable around others.
Marijuana advocacy and social groups have also popped up all over the country. Seattle-based Women of Weed and Beverly Hills Cannabis Club are a couple of prime examples. Consider yourself a lonely stoner? Don’t worry. There’s herb to bring you hope.
Turns out, cannabis may help keep your immune system function properly. Particularly when it comes to your body’s inflammatory response. When you get a cut, strain a muscle, sustain some sort of injury, your immune system sends chemicals that cause swelling to the area. Marijuana tells your immune system to calm down, reducing painful swelling.
Weed is a natural analgesic. That’s a fancy word for painkiller. The active ingredients in marijuana calm the secretion of pain-signalling chemicals in your body. When you get hurt or are experiencing pain, cannabis signals your body to stop hurting.
As we mentioned earlier, THC and CBD are antioxidants. This makes these magical compounds neuroprotective. These vital nutrients help prevent damage and degeneration of brain cells. Recent studies also show that cannabinoids in marijuana help protect an aging brain. This means it also may help in treating degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis.
Has marijuana improved your life? We’d love to know how! Share your experiences with others by commenting on social media! We can’t wait to hear what you think!
Feature image photo credit: Pixabay