After several decades of being deemed an illegal substance, marijuana is slowly getting destigmatized and accepted in society. Remarkably, most people have piqued interest in the medicinal and recreational use of the plant. For instance, medicinal cannabis has been legal in California since 1996, making it the largest legal weed consumer market worldwide.
In addition, several states across America have legalized recreational marijuana use. But despite its widespread adoption, it’s fair to say that marijuana is still a controversial plant constantly being studied in randomized controlled trials. One result consistently found in many recent studies has concerned the positive health benefits of recreational marijuana.
Today, we explore eight potential health benefits of marijuana use. We’ll also demonstrate its positive effects on physical and mental processes.
1. Pain Management
One of the reasons why people turn to marijuana for pain relief is because they believe it can help them cope with chronic conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia. Medicinal marijuana may be helpful to this effect because our bodies have cannabinoid receptors throughout the nervous system.
These receptors are responsible for regulating our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS helps us manage pain by producing chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are naturally produced in response to stress, exercise, and other activities that cause pain. They’re released into your bloodstream and act as natural opiates. So when you consume weed, you increase the endorphins circulating through your body, resulting in a feeling of euphoria and relaxation.
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2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Marijuana contains cannabinoids, chemical compounds similar to those found in THC. Cannabinoids interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and immune cells. These receptors are involved in the regulation of inflammation.
That means consuming recreational marijuana may reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 1 beta and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. These cytokines are associated with autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
3. Antioxidant Effects
Marijuana contains antioxidants known as polyphenols. Polyphenols are powerful anti-inflammatory agents that protect against oxidative damage. Oxidative damage occurs when free radicals react with molecules inside our cells. Free radicals are highly reactive oxygen species that can lead to cell death.
Polyphenols can neutralize these free radicals and prevent cellular damage. Thus, marijuana consumption may improve antioxidant defenses in the body.
4. May Improve Sleep Quality
The sedating properties of marijuana make it ideal for treating insomnia. Recent findings from the National Library of Medicine state that the cannabidiol (CBD) compound in cannabis may possess therapeutic capabilities for alleviating insomnia. The study further reveals that delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may decrease sleep latency but could impair sleep quality long-term.
So if you struggle with insomnia, you may want to consider using medical marijuana instead of sleeping pills. Please note, however, that this is not a long-term solution, as THC decreases the amount of time you spend in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Besides, there’s still a need for advanced clinical research to establish authoritative results on the benefits and implications of marijuana on sleep quality.
5. May Help With Anxiety
Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million Americans each year. According to the American Psychiatric Association, anxiety disorders include panic disorder, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.
Thankfully, medical marijuana may relieve symptoms of anxiety. According to a recent report, many people, especially those struggling with social anxiety, admitted that marijuana helped them cope with their condition. In particular, CBD and low levels of THC were found to be effective in reducing anxiety by inducing relaxation and lowering blood pressure. Please note, however, that high THC doses may cause adverse symptoms (increased anxiety) such as racing thoughts and increased heart rate. So you want to consult a professional before trying any form of medical marijuana.
6. May Slow or Prevent Cancer Cells from Spreading
Cannabidiol is a promising anti-cancer drug that is still subject to intensive research. But thus far, CBD has demonstrated its ability to slow down cancer growth by inhibiting invasion, metastasis, and migration. It does this by suppressing the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2). MMP2 is an enzyme responsible for degrading the extracellular matrix (ECM), which is essential for cell migration.
But that’s not all; CBD may also be used as an anti-tumor agent because it can inhibit angiogenesis, the process through which new blood vessels are formed. Angiogenesis plays a vital role in tumor progression and metastasis. Thus, CBD may help prevent cancer cells from spreading throughout your body.
7. May Prevent Relapse in Alcohol and Drug Addiction
Alcohol and drugs have become significant problems in today’s society. Unfortunately, they’re often abused by teenagers and young adults who don’t know how dangerous they can be. The U.S. Department of Human and Health Services reports alcohol misuse costs $249 billion annually.
The good news is that cannabis may help reduce the risk of relapse among addicts. That’s because cannabidiol helps regulate dopamine release in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates pleasure and motivation. Case in point, a 2018 study found that CBD can help prevent relapse to drug abuse among addicts. Conducting a preclinical trial on lab rats, the study revealed that CBD suppressed stress-induced cravings, poor impulse control, and anxiety – key factors that often cause relapse.
Mercy Wellness is Your No.1 Rated Marijuana Dispensary in Southern California
Mercy Wellness is committed to providing our patients with the highest quality products. We carry over 250 different strains of recreational and medicinal marijuana along with other great products, including hemp oil, tinctures, edibles, vapes, and more. If you’re looking to treat an ailment, we can help you find what you need. Our highly knowledgeable and compassionate budtenders will walk you through the process at every step, ensuring a comfortable experience from start to finish.
And the best part? We strictly comply with all local and State laws, meaning you can rest easy knowing that our products are accredited and legal under California law.
Now it’s all your call. Contact us now to learn more about our services and schedule your first delivery.