Marijuana is good for much more than recreation. Studies have shown that the herb provides several health benefits, even when its psychoactive components (which offer a surprising number of benefits on their own) are removed.
In some cases, the benefits themselves will surprise you, while in others separating the truth from fiction will provide the surprises.
Before we explore, it’s worth pointing out that you need to consult a professional if you intend to use marijuana medically. Trying to harness the health benefits of marijuana without supervision from a professional can lead to lackluster or even dangerous results.
It’s not as simple as getting any old strain of marijuana from your local pet shop; you need to know what you’re looking for, and a professional can point you in the right direction.
7Relief from Chronic Pain
One of the key benefits of marijuana is chronic pain treatment. Contrary to popular belief, though, this isn’t because of its psychoactive effects.
There are many different strains of it, with some more suited to treat specific types of pain than others. Generally, however, these strains will be of the high-CBD variety.
CBD stands for cannabinoids, which interact with your endocannabinoid system to produce relief from pain.
High-CBD strains differ from high-THC strains in that the namesake compound in the latter produces psychoactive effects that may not be desirable for someone simply seeking pain relief.
6Reduced Muscle Spasms in MS Patients
A 2015 review of multiple marijuana studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that one of the medical benefits of “weed” is reduced muscle spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis.
This is especially promising since multiple sclerosis is the most common neurological condition plaguing young adults around the world.
5Improved Lung Capacity
Here’s one of the benefits of medical marijuana that applies not just to those with a specific condition like multiple sclerosis or one causing chronic pain.
This benefit was proven in another study from the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers found that while cigarette smokers, as predicted, suffered from reduced lung function. Marijuana smokers, meanwhile, saw improved lung capacity.
This benefit was present even in those who smoked only a few times every month.
There are many ways to smoke marijuana (learn more at VaporizerChief.com) and the study’s results suggest this benefit is method-agnostic.
4Treatment of Glaucoma
If you asked most marijuana smokers, ‘what are the benefits of weed?’, you wouldn’t likely hear ‘improved eye health’ from many. Nonetheless, this is, in fact, one of the primary health benefits of marijuana recognized by health experts.
Studies dating back to the 1970s have shown that smoking marijuana reduces intraocular pressure (in plain English, that’s eye pressure). Because intraocular pressure is the primary mechanism through which glaucoma damages the eyes, cannabis is prescribed to treat and even prevent the disease.
One of the more commonly-known (yet surprising nonetheless, given the herb’s intense psychoactive effects) medical benefits of marijuana is relief from epileptic seizures. You’ve most likely seen videos on social media highlighting how medical marijuana has helped reduce seizure severity and frequency in children who’ve tried everything else.
These stories aren’t the only thing suggesting this benefit; a number of studies have shown marijuana to be particularly useful for this in cases where patients do not respond to other forms of treatment.
2Potential Benefit: Reduced Cancer Cell Proliferation
This is one of the more commonly-misrepresented benefits of medical marijuana. While some non-reputable sources claim marijuana can “cure” cancer, among other dubious claims, the reality isn’t as drastic.
You see, currently, researchers have only been able to show this benefit within Petri dishes; there’s not yet enough evidence to suggest this is one of the reliable benefits of marijuana for the human body.
Still, considering cancer is one of the most rampant diseases on the planet, this is a benefit worth including on the list.
1Improved Weight Loss
Research has shown that, while it might seem counterintuitive, obesity rates are actually much lower among cannabis users. This is only true with strains high in THCV, which suppresses appetite — unlike THC, which increases it.
Now, this doesn’ t mean you can just smoke marijuana and shed the pounds; appetite is just one of the factors influencing your weight. Still, it means cannabis is likely a major help when incorporated into a healthy lifestyle that includes working out.
This is just a sampling of the many health benefits of marijuana. It’s almost certain that further studies over the coming decades will reveal even more incredible benefits of marijuana that surprise all of us.