Marijuana has been shown to significantly improve the quality of life for those who suffer from cancer or glaucoma, but there are many other amazing health benefits to using cannabis, too. Thanks to this herb’s amazing (and largely untapped) potential, anyone suffering from stress, pain or even droopy eyes can benefit from a trip to their local pot shop.
Just how can a person benefit aside from getting high? The answer might surprise you. You just have to think outside of the bowl.
Despite consuming more calories per day than non-users, regular marijuana users tend to have smaller waistlines and a reduced occurrence of diabetes thanks to a lower resting insulin level. In fact, according the American Journal of Medicine, insulin levels average about 16 percent less in those who regularly consume the substance.
Insulin affects the body’s ability to absorb sugar (glucose). Higher levels of insulin mean that the body can absorb more glucose which will be stored as fat if it is not burned off. Lower insulin levels help block glucose from entering blood cells thus preventing fat storage and reducing over-all weight gain. So, if a trim waistline is your goal, a few tokes may work just as well as those expensive weight loss pills.
Cannabinoid receptors in the brain have been shown to play a key role in the regulation of emotions. Though the body naturally produces cannabinoids, they are also introduced to the body through the consumption of marijuana which is linked to reduced anxiety and stress.
It is important to note, however, that excessive use of the drug could increase the body’s dependency on the substance. So, while occasional use of marijuana can induce euphoric, happy feelings in the brain (thus reducing stress and anxiety), excessive use could exacerbate the problem. If you suffer from chronic anxiety, an occasional toke could improve your mood, but, as with anything, moderation is recommended.
Also used to treat severe pain associated with chemotherapy and other ailments, marijuana use can be used to treat a number of aches and pains including nerve and muscular pain and discomfort caused by surgery. Studies conducted by Mark Ware, MD, at the McGill University in Montreal show that participants who inhaled cannabis three times a day reported almost a 50 percent reduction in pain. Though regular use reduces the effectiveness of the medication, marijuana is still considered a viable option to pain management, especially if prescription drug dependence is a concern.
Marijuana has also been shown to improve the condition of skin by reducing puffiness and acne breakouts, but there is a catch. As with cigarettes, cannabis smoke can damage skin due to a reduction of collagen production thus causing wrinkles and discoloration. But if it is eated or vaporized, it has a counter effect.
According to Leaf Science, marijuana that is either eaten, vaporized or used as a topical treatment can reduce puffiness around the eyes and increase the skin’s elasticity.
Additionally, thanks to marijuana’s ability to reduce stress, a person’s outlook on life and over-all demeanor can help reduce stress lines in the face, softening the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Could marijuana be a viable alternative to the ever-popular Botox injections? I certainly like to think so.
Oral pain management
After reading about cannabis oil’s effect on skin cancer, I decided to try it on a canker sore. Sure enough, within 24 hours, the sore began clearing and had vanished all together within 48 hours.
But cannabis isn’t just good for pesky canker and cold sores. When applied topically, it can also greatly reduce tooth pain. When smoked via combustion, however, it can have the opposite effect, causing browning of the teeth and a reduction of tooth enamel. Therefore, if tooth pain is an issue, treat it with a little cannabis oil. If the oil is difficult to locate, however, simply rubbing a little keif on the affected area will also work.
Sooth sun burns and bug bites
Used topically, cannabis can have a huge impact on the skin, relieving pain associated with burns and bug bites. That’s because marijuana’s pain relief properties are able to absorb directly into the bloodstream through the skin – the body’s largest organ – bypassing the stomach and liver to work faster and more efficiently. though it doesn’t offer the same head-change as it would if it were ingested, cannabis oil that is used topically can target area-specific pain by reducing swelling, pain and irritation on the spot.
Cannabis oil also reduces muscle tension and stiffness and can be used to treat rashes, eczema and many other skin irritations, and does so in a matter of minutes to hours. Re-applying the oil every 24 hours may be necessary to completely heal the area, but immediate relief should be noticeable.
No matter what the reason for restless sleep, many people are choosing to take a few tokes prior to bedtime to help them drift off easily. Though it is important to note that certain strains inhibit the ability to fall asleep (specifically, Sativa-dominant strains), Indica-dominant strains do wonders as a sleep-aid. Not only do they allow users to slow their ever-grinding minds, but they also provide a relaxing body high that helps encourage sleep (or couch-lock if you prefer).
Nausea/loss of appetite
Many people are aware of marijuana’s “munchie” side-effect, caused by a heightened sense of taste, which makes it a prime tool for treating nausea or loss of appetite. Though commonly used to reduce the side-effects of chemotherapy, those suffering from a case of the queezies can also benefit from marijuana. So, whether nausea is caused by the flu or a late night of drinking, users can reap the benefits of a full belly despite their initial nauseous feeling just by taking a few pulls off of their favorite smoking device.
Aside from the euphoric high that keeps many people wanting more, the benefits of marijuana use should not be ignored. Whether in pain or just in need of a pick-me-up, even the average Joe can find some medical benefit at the bottom of a bowl or keif jar.
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