The typical cannabis consumer is often thought of as a carefree, happy-go-lucky, chill person without a care in the world, laughing and smiling all day long. But can this be true? Here at “Louisiana Medical Marijuana Doctors“, we believe that while being carefree and laughing all day long might be a bit of a stretch, you can live a higher quality of life when using marijuana!
If you don’t believe us, take a look at the research! Much new information has been released that proves there are many benefits to be gained from marijuana use. Not only can it make you happier and more active, but studies show that pot smokers tend to be slimmer than those who abstain. Additionally, regular marijuana use can help reduce anxiety and improve focus day-to-day. In today’s blog post, we’ll break down these studies so that you can see for yourself how using cannabis could change your life for the better!
Marijuana Use Increases Happiness and Health
The Realm of Caring looked at 1,276 participants to study their marijuana use. The 808 users mostly consumed hemp-based products while the 468 non-users had not yet started consuming marijuana. Out of all the participants, more than half said that CBD was present in the majority of products they consumed. The study’s participants were suffering from various medical conditions which we grouped into three categories: neurological diseases, chronic pain, and psychiatric conditions. Some neurological examples are multiple sclerosis and epilepsy; some chronic pains are back pain and fibromyalgia; while anxiety and PTSD come under psychiatric disorders.
This study occurred over the course of two years, from April 2016 to February 2018. The participants were frequently checked on measures such as their use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs, physical and mental health, and if they had been hospitalized. By every measure, those who consumed marijuana were physically and mentally healthier than those who didn’t!
The majority of medical benefits were achieved by non-cannabis users who began consuming cannabis during the study. These participants reported feeling better overall and saw improvements in their health! Marijuana users in the study also reported experiencing a better quality of life overall. They were able to sleep better, felt more relaxed, and experienced less pain, anxiety, and depression. They also used fewer prescription medications and were less likely to have been admitted to the hospital.
A study such as this one clearly displays the primary reasons why people use cannabis repeatedly!
Marijuana Use Alters Balance in the Body
Many people ask if marijuana is some sort of miraculous drug- claiming it can fix any ailment. Although this is not true, the plant has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. The extensive amount of time spent using the plant can be credited to all of the studies completed on its effects and benefits. This reasoning can easily be explained by science!
Homeostasis is crucial for our body’s functionality and we perform best when our bodily systems are balanced. However, it is easy for the body to become unbalanced due to outside factors such as physical health, mental well-being, nutrition, genetics, and environmental changes.
As it turns out, marijuana can have a large impact on maintaining homeostasis within our bodies by working with the endocannabinoid system (ECS)! The ECS is a network of receptors that regulates balance within our body. These receptors interact with THC and CBD, which are active ingredients in cannabis.
People commonly think that cannabis can only target specific areas that need medical attention. However, it actually works throughout the entire body! This is why cannabis has been called the “treasure chest” of medicine. The cannabinoids and terpenes in each strain of marijuana deliver a wide range of effects which is why it can be helpful for such a diverse array of medical conditions.
Users of Marijuana are Slimmer than Non-users
For anyone that doesn’t know, the “munchies” is a side-effect of marijuana where users get an increased sense of hunger. This can be beneficial for patients with conditions such as nausea or HIV/AIDS. However, many don’t know that cannabis users are generally slimmer than non-users!
A study recently found that there is a connection between lower body mass indexes (BMI) and marijuana use! The data for the study came from the 2004 Nunavik Inuit Health Survey which looked into obesity/ insulin resistance in correlation to marijuana use. 57.4% of those surveyed shared that they use cannabis, and researchers discovered that being a consumer of marijuana was associated with having a lower BMI. People with a lower BMI also had less fat mass, along with lower insulin levels and resistance. Even though that cannot be directly tied to marijuana use, it can show that marijuana consumption could indirectly lower someone’s likelihood of prediabetes – and help them lead a healthier lifestyle overall!
Marijuana Can Keep You Productive
Currently, many people are talking about CBD in regard to marijuana. This is because it can be easier to obtain in areas where medical marijuana has not yet been legalized. Additionally, there is a growing body of research that indicates using CBD may help people lead more active lifestyles!
Many athletes are looking for natural supplements to improve their performance, but mostly steer clear of marijuana derivatives because they fear failing a drug test. CBD oil is different – it doesn’t contain THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis that makes you high. Additionally, CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain, aid in sleep and muscle recovery, and improve focus. So if you’re part of the #fitfam and live an active lifestyle, consider adding CBD to your workout routine!
Did you know that CBD can help reduce inflammation and pain, two side effects of an active lifestyle? In a 2020 Sports Medicine study, it was discovered that CBD promotes many chemical reactions in the body that have the potential to benefit someone with an active lifestyle. The key finding was that CBD had been shown to alleviate inflammatory pain caused by tissue damage as well as neuropathic due to nerve damage or irritation. This is significant for athletes because intense, long-distance exercises often lead to inflammation and irritation.
A study discovered that CBD can also help protect against gastrointestinal damage! Even though this may not seem connected to an active lifestyle, it actually is. People who regularly participate in strenuous workouts or activities can reduce oxygen and nutrient delivery to their GI tract, which in turn stresses the GI tract. However, CBD reduces this type of damage!
According to this study, CBD not only aids in bone health, but it can also help heal fractures! This is due to its ability to encourage healthy bone deposition. Furthermore, strong bones are necessary for sustaining an active lifestyle and reducing the likelihood of injuries.
Marijuana Can Help With Anxiety, Focus & Sleep
Anxiety is a real problem for millions of people in the United States. It can make it hard to sleep at night and focus during the day. But there is some good news: marijuana can help!
CBD and high-CBD marijuana strains are excellent for anxiety as research has shown, however, there is another component that can help too! In some CBD products, amino acids by the name of L-theanine can also be found which provides benefits such as helping with sleep and mental focus.
Dr. Junella Chin’s research demonstrates that L-theanine functions by impacting mood through the GABA system, which manages the response to stress in the body. CBD and L-theanine work together to reduce anxiety and encourage relaxation. What makes L-theanine so effective is its ability to increase GABA levels; when these are high, it sends a signal to the body that all is well. This effect is also found in marijuana smokers who often report feelings of calmness and serenity – with many finding it helpful for falling asleep or managing anxiety disorders!
L-theanine not only provides mental clarity and focus, but also blocks glutamate receptors to reduce stress, anxiety, and restlessness. Although L-theanine can be taken without caffeine, studies have shown that it is more effective when combined with caffeine. When used alone, L-theanine has the power to reduce stress and anxiety without making you drowsy – perfect for those who need to remain focused!
Marijuana Could Bring an End to the Opioid
Not only does marijuana have physical benefits, but it can also help solve the opioid crisis! The CDC reports that chronic pain is one of the most common reasons adults seek medical care. Furthermore, over 62% of patients who use medical marijuana say they do so to treat their chronic pain.
The Canadian Journal of Anesthesia recently published a study investigating 1,000 patients who turn to medical marijuana for chronic pain relief. By studying the participants’ demographics, patterns of cannabis use, and long-term effects of marijuana on their condition, researchers hoped to get a better understanding of how effective medical marijuana can be in managing chronic pain. This was a longitudinal study that enrolled participants between September 2015 and July 2018. Pain scores were assessed at the start of the study as well as three, six, and twelve months later. Furthermore, the team looked at other health symptoms, quality of life, anxiety levels, and how much opioid medication participants said they used.
Results showed a significant reduction of pain intensity and pain-related interference over time when consuming medical marijuana! Most importantly, the self-reported usage of opioids decreased by half, from 40.8% to 23.9%, amongst participants after only 12 months.
A recent study showed that legalizing marijuana can result in fewer opioid deaths! The findings were significant and saw a correlation between the two subjects.
For 23 states in the U.S., researchers looked at 812 counties from 2014-2018 to see how many legal marijuana dispensaries were allowed to operate. In every county, they observed that on average, the number of dispensaries went up from less than one per county in 2014; to 2018, there were more than four per county.
The study found that when the number of dispensaries in a county increased from one to two, the overall opioid mortality rate decreased by 17%. Deaths related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl also saw a 21% decrease with this same increase.
There is no denying that the findings of this study could have a monumental impact on not just the medical marijuana community, but society as a whole. The opioid epidemic has claimed countless lives and shows no signs of slowing down. Those who suffer from chronic pain often turn to their doctors for help, but too often pain medication is over-prescribed, leading us to the current opioid crisis. Medical marijuana can be an alternative to using opioids and potentially provide a better quality of life for those suffering from chronic pain.