Medical cannabis has been a booming sector in the last few decades. The legalization of marijuana for medical uses began in the 1990s, and since then the industry has come on leaps and bounds. Cannabis-derived medication is now FDA approved and 15 states in the US have legalized marijuana for recreational use, allowing many people to self-prescribe the drug.
This change in the law has also opened doors for further study into the possible health benefits of cannabis, allowing research to be carried out with less government red tape. We know more now about cannabis than ever before. Every day the frontier of the understanding of the positive effects of cannabis is pushed forward. It helps that we have progressive companies like Smoke Cartel that not only provide customers with high quality cannabis products but also support the fight for full legalization. They of course aren’t alone, especially not in the space, there are other companies in the space fighting for full legalization, but Smoke Cartel was one of the first I became aware of. When you read on to find out how far our understanding of this new drug has come, and how some of these findings could benefit you, you will understand why these companies are passionate about ensuring full legalization.
Pain and inflammation management
One of the chief medical properties of cannabis is its role in reducing inflammation and chronic pain. When it comes to pain relief, clinical research and anecdotal evidence both suggest that cannabis is highly effective. Scientists believe that cannabinoids, complex compounds found in the marijuana plant, are capable of altering the neural pathways in the brain linked to pain perception. This is great news for anyone suffering from fibromyalgia, arthritis, endometriosis, migraine and any other general body pains. These effects are so noted that some peak athletes are now using cannabis to dull the painful effects of high burn workouts.
Cannabinoids work on the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoid system. This system plays a large role in the body’s immune system and an increasing amount of studies are pointing to the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis. This had led to cannabis being used to treat conditions such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic and acute inflammation.
High in vitamins
Cannabis isn’t only used for its psychoactive and healing properties. A little known and surprising health benefit of cannabis is its nutritional value. People in Asia have been cooking with hemp seeds for centuries and science is slowly beginning to catch up. It is now known that these tiny seeds contain a perfect ratio of omega-3 and omega-6. They are also high in protein and low in saturated fats – making hemp seed oil a healthier alternative to many traditional cooking oils. The leaves and flowers are also vitamin powerhouses. Nowadays cannabis cooking is in trend, with the leaves being eaten raw, cooked, and blended into smoothies. The leaves are high in fibre and a multitude of vitamins. Munching on marijuana can provide Vitamin K (helps wounds heal), Vitamin C (promotes health skin, blood vessels and cartilage), Iron (keeps your blood healthy), Calcium (fortifies bones) and Folate (used by the body to create DNA and genetic material).
Helps with PTSD
The majority of people turning to medical cannabis are doing so to help fight mental health conditions. Before the legalization of cannabis for recreational use, it was largely prescribed for sufferers of PTSD. Even now, a large number of people are using marijuana to treat anxiety, depression, stress, and a whole host of conditions affecting the mind. Cannabis is well known for its stress-beating and relaxing properties, and studies are beginning to show cannabinoids such as THC and CBD play a top role in releaving anxiety. PTSD sufferers have remarked on the effectiveness of cannabis in reducing many of the symptoms associated with their condition.
Increased brain function
Another surprise is that research is showing THC and CBD – two of the active cannabinoids found in cannabis – can actually increase brain functionality. Studies involving rats have shown that cannabinoids increased activity in the areas of the brain that regulate the formation of habits and increased development in regions involved in decision making, self-control and planning.
However, this isn’t a blanket rule. The effects vary largely depending on age and underlying health factors. For example, exposure before birth and during teen years can have negative impacts on brain development, interfering with memory and learning. Conversely, it can increase the memory capacity of those suffering with Alzhiemers disease. The key here, as with every drug or substance, is to make sure you have a full understanding of the effects based on your age and health. The health benefits of cannabis can be wide ranging and powerful – but using it responsibly is a high priority.