Sharon has insomnia. Carol has fibromyalgia. John is always getting sick. Cannabis can help all of them. That’s because cannabis, or marijuana, has many health benefits, including the ability to provide better sleep, reduce pain, strengthen immunity, and countless other ailments and conditions.
Cannabis and the Human Endocannabinoid System
You’re probably wondering how cannabis can improve your health. It works with the endocannabinoid system, an intricate part of the human body that interacts with the plant’s cannabinoids to provide better overall well being.
The human endocannabinoid system was discovered in 1992 by Dr. Lumir Hanus and American researcher Dr. William Devane at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. It is made up of endocannabinoids and is a biological system that regulates a variety of processes, including memory, pain, mood, stress, appetite, metabolism, sleep, reproductive function, and immune function. There are over 100 endocannabinoids in the body.
Cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, bind to the Endocannabinoid Systems receptors and allow for the proper functioning of these processes. Cannabinoids act by mimicking our endocannabinoids. The Endocannabinoid System’s role is to provide bodily homeostasis or balance in response to changes in the environment.
A taxonomic investigation determined that the endocannabinoid system has evolved over the past 500 million years. It exists in all vertebrates, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
In a 2017 review by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, researchers determined there is “substantial evidence” that cannabinoids are effective for the following:
- Chronic Pain
- Nausea and Vomiting during Chemotherapy
- Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis
The study found “moderate evidence” that cannabinoids are useful for the following:
- Improved sleep in people suffering from conditions like chronic pain, obstructive sleep apnea, and fibromyalgia
Although research is limited, this study demonstrated some promise for the following conditions:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Social Anxiety
- Traumatic brain injury
Many other studies have proved that cannabis is beneficial for various health conditions. But, the plant can offer many benefits to people who don’t suffer from any particular illness but need a boost to improve their health. People can attain better sleep, reduce pain, and even strengthen their immunity with cannabis.
Where Do You Get Weed?
If you’re having trouble sleeping, are in pain, or need to give your immune system a boost, you may think it’s difficult to get marijuana. But it isn’t. Now that recreational and medical marijuana is legal in many states, it’s easy to purchase. After speaking to your doctor about using cannabis for better health, you can go to any marijuana dispensary or buy edibles online in states where it’s legal.
Marijuana Improves Sleep
When you’re having trouble sleeping, what do you do? Toss and turn, watch TV, or even take sleeping pills. Cannabis can relieve you of all of that. Weed can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
Getting a good night’s rest is vital to your overall health. Sleep helps your body and mind function and gives you a better quality of life. How you feel while you’re awake depends on the quality of sleep you get at night. Lack of sleep or sleep deficiency can cause a slew of problems, including how you deal with relationships, your job, even how you drive a car. If you’re tired while you drive, you can potentially have a crash. Lack of sleep can devastate you in an instant and increases the risk of chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
There are many things you can do to improve your sleep, including:
- Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day
- Have an hour of quiet time before going to bed (no computer or TV)
- Avoid heavy meals and alcohol a few hours before bed
- Avoid nicotine and caffeine (both are stimulants that keep you awake)
- Get some fresh air and be physically active every day
- Make your bedroom cool, quiet, and dark
- Take a hot bath and use relaxation techniques before bed
- Consume cannabis before bed, preferably an Indica strain
In response to the growing concern of the ramifications of sleep deficiency and lack of scientific evidence on marijuana’s effects on sleep, researchers started a study in May 2020 on cannabis and chronic insomnia disorder. They used THC and CBD, both cannabinoids from the marijuana plant, to study their effects on sleep.
Cannabis Reduces Pain
When you’re in pain, there are many over-the-counter pain medications, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, you can use to get rid of it. However, most of these medications don’t help with certain kinds of pain. Prescription pain medications, like opioids, can reduce pain better, but you risk becoming addicted. Knowing this, people have learned how weed can kill the pain.
In a clinical review of cannabis and pain, a collection of studies demonstrated evidence that marijuana is beneficial. Although more research is necessary, medical marijuana usage among patients with cancer, fibromyalgia, and musculoskeletal disorders is becoming more prevalent. Most medical marijuana doctors recommend licenses for people with these chronic conditions.
Cannabis Builds Immunity
Since the beginning of the COVID-10 pandemic, people have been looking for ways to strengthen their immune system. One way to do this is by consuming adequate amounts of cannabis.
In a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005–2016) on the total and differential white blood cell count in cannabis users, research indicated that the total white blood cell count was “higher among heavy cannabis users than people who have never used it.”
Although further research is necessary, this 11-year survey shows higher levels of white blood cells in the bodies of marijuana users, indicating that cannabis can build immunity. White blood cells are a heterogeneous group of nucleated cells that function mostly as immune cells. Whether or not marijuana can help the immune system for COVID-19 patients remains to be investigated.
Every year, researchers are finding new ways of how cannabis provides health benefits. As research develops, the herb is becoming more widely accepted. Cannabis as medicine is now a growing trend of the present and for the future.