Benefits of cannabis In the 19th century, everyone had cannabinoids available in their medicine chests. What followed were decades of repression, fuelled by racist propaganda and lobbying. However, the world is on the brink of rediscovering cannabis as a medicine. Whether taken to combat pain, loss of appetite or inflammation, cannabis relieves the symptoms of many ailments.
Big, blond, super-fit and with a piercing stare from ice-blue eyes – Kyle Turley is a picture-book athlete. But appearances can be deceptive, because like many other professional athletes, he suffers from a range of health issues, such as headaches, depression, concussion and sleep disorders. For many years, he tried to manage these problems with a mix of painkillers and psychiatric drugs. With zero success.
Things only started to improve when he stopped taking all his medications and started on marijuana. “It saved my life,” says Turley in the magazine Men’s Journal. More and more people are reporting the same experiences as him. They are turning to nature rather than chemicals. There is one definite advantage: you can use cannabis for many years without damaging your organs. Even the lungs are not harmed by daily usage. This has been confirmed by a study by the University of California, carried out among a group of 5000 adults over 20 years.
But of course, all that glistens is not gold, and this applies to cannabis, too. We recently reported on Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. Using cannabis undeniably carries a certain risk.
Nevertheless, there is virtually no other medication that can be used for so many ailments. Here, we focus on ten fantastic benefits of cannabis.
1. Cannabis combats pain
Countless patient reports and studies confirm the pain-relieving properties of cannabis. Definitive evidence that cannabinoids are effective in treating chronic pain comes in a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. It is based on one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted into cannabis.
2. Cannabis alleviates nausea and stimulates the appetite
“You can grow old with HIV.” That was the message of the World Aids Day in 2017. Yet even the most successful antiretroviral therapy comes with a series of unpleasant side effects. These include nausea and changes in appetite.
Various surveys and studies confirm what anecdotal evidence has long suggested: Cannabis is proving to be extremely effective in the treatment of several HIV symptoms and side-effects.
3. Cannabis can replace opiates
The USA is currently afflicted by the biggest drugs epidemic in its history. Every day, almost 150 people die from an overdose of opioids such as heroin or fentanyl. And there is no end in sight.
Medicinal cannabis offers a glimmer of hope. It can reduce the need for opiate-based painkillers. For many addicts, cannabis also alleviates withdrawal symptoms.
4. Cannabis defies dementia and slows down the progression of Alzheimer’s
Even very low quantities of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can slow down, and even halt Alzheimer’s. The most common cannabinoids have long been purported to have neuroprotective properties. Because Alzheimer’s is associated with inflammation in the immune system, cannabidiol (CBD) also plays a part in its treatment.
Researcher Gary Wenk’s statement caused huge furore. He is of the opinion that young adults can best protect themselves against dementia by consuming “a pinch of marijuana every day”. Indeed, more and more people are discovering the benefits of micro-doses.
5. Cannabis eases inflammation
Naturopaths have been using marijuana to treat inflammation for thousands of years. The British company GW Pharmaceutical developed Sativex on the back of various pieces of research. This cannabis-based mouth spray has been successfully used in the treatment of painful muscular cramps that can be triggered by multiple sclerosis.
Asthma patients also benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis. In this context, the pain relief and antibiotic properties of the cannabis plant have been well documented.
6. Cannabis is effective against sleep disorders and nightmares
We all suffer from insomnia from time to time, counting flocks of sheep and still being unable to fall asleep. Occasional insomnia is part of life, but when sleep disorders become chronic, they soon cause problems for the person affected. Many resort to sleeping tablets which, while effective, are controversial, mainly because people can become dependent on them.
Dr Michael Moskowitz, psychiatrist and scientific author, prefers to prescribe his patients a plant-based alternative. “I’d prefer to have someone on a high THC tincture at night rather than Lunesta, Ambien or any such hypnotic sleeping pill. Cannabis is the best sleep medicine that I have ever used on patients.”
PTSD patients (PTSD = Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) also report positive effects in alleviating nightmares.
7. Cannabis reduces the frequency of tics in Tourette’s patients
Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder that manifests itself in physical and vocal tics. It typifies itself in socially unacceptable comments, which can be very awkward for the person affected.
Several studies confirm the effectiveness of cannabis in Tourette’s patients. In addition to reducing the frequency of tics, it is notable for its capacity to reduce anxiety and aid sleep.
8. Cannabis helps Parkinson’s patients in many respects
Parkinson’s occurs when the nerve cells in a certain part of the brain die off. After Alzheimer’s, it is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. Parkinson’s initially affects motor skills, followed by mental and psychological symptoms such as dementia and depression.
Cannabis is a blessing for many Parkinson’s patients. They feel fitter and happier, and suffer less from tremors (shaking) as well as stiffness.
See for yourself what cannabis is capable of:
9. Cannabis relieves cramps
Anyone interested in the medicinal potential of cannabis will inevitably come across the story of Charlotte Figi. It is the story of a young girl who, thanks to a CBD-rich cannabis strain, was able to manage her epileptic attacks.
The anti-convulsive properties of cannabis have long been known. The first scientific references to this date back to 1947. The precise mechanism behind this is still a subject of research.
10. Cannabis reduces intraocular pressure
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases that in extreme cases can lead to blindness. Increased pressure in the eye is in many cases a deciding risk factor.
Cannabis-based eye drops with the name Canasol offer a remedy. An exceptionally perfidious type of glaucoma, known as angle-closure glaucoma, is coupled with strong pain in the eyeball. The broad effectiveness of cannabis as a painkiller, muscle relaxant and mood enhancer improves the situation of many patients.