The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t yet approved cannabis for medicinal use, but you can find medicines that contain cannabinoids, which is one of the chemicals found in the marijuana plant. As new research continues to help reveal medical marijuana benefits, stigmas attached to weed are declining, and its popularity is rising.
Does that mean the herb is safe and will be legalized soon?
About legalization, we are not so sure, but as for its safety, the short answer is: it mainly depends on how you use it. However, we recommend that you should consult with your physician to choose your method of consuming medical cannabis.
Benefits of Medical Marijuana: 7 Little-Known Facts
There are some potential health risks of marijuana such as it can lead to dependency and can impact your memory. However, there are also countless benefits of medical marijuana:
It Can Fight, Regulate and Prevent Several Diseases
While you might have heard many people say that weed can cause diseases, scientific research and studies show that it can help cure many diseases and physical problems. From helping fight Glaucoma, controlling epileptic seizures, helping prevent cancer from spreading, slowing Alzheimer’s, easing multiple sclerosis pain, reducing Hepatitis C side-effects, treating inflammatory bowels, relieving arthritis pain, helping you get through chemo and a lot more.
You might be wondering if medical marijuana has so many benefits, why isn’t it legal already? Well, the big pharmaceutical companies can crumble down if a naturally growing, and “dirt-cheap” medicinal plant becomes legal. Despite that, medical cannabis is starting to become legal in some of the states, with more sure to follow.
Lose Weight and Improve Metabolism
Weed has been shown to regulate insulin production and helps the body manage daily calorie intake more efficiently. This is why, on average, weed smokers are slimmer than non-smokers.
Can Help Fight Anxiety and Depression
Weed kicks anxiety and depression out of user’s mind and is one of the most prominent impacts of the drug. A 2010 research carried out at Harvard Medical School showed that one of the main benefits is that it helps improve the user’s mood and can even act as a mild sedative.
Alternative to Addictions
Recent studies show that people find it easier to gravitate towards weed from all other forms of dangerous addictions. This is the biggest of many amazing weed health benefits and can save millions of previous lives that succumb to lethal hard drugs.
Spurs Mental Creativity and Helps Focus
In total contrast to the stoner stereotype, medicinal marijuana can increase creativity and help people focus on their job. While weed might not have a great impact on short-term memory, people perform well at tests where they are required to come up with inventive ideas. Studies confirm that medical cannabis improves creativity and instead of making you stupid, it actually makes you smarter.
Helps Reverse Negative Impacts of Smoking Tobacco On Lungs
A groundbreaking study published in 2012 shocked many marijuana critics. It showed that marijuana does not have any severe effects on your lungs, rather it can actually eliminate the side-effects of long-term tobacco smoking, provided you quit smoking cigarettes. More than five thousand subjects were involved, and the result showed that tobacco smokers’ lung health deteriorated over time. However, weed smokers, on the other hand, showed an increase in lung capacity.
Helpful for Easing PTSD
Good news for the veterans who have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): the medical benefits of marijuana make it a great choice for relaxation. Also, PTSD can be caused by reasons other than the experiences during a war. In fact, weed is the only medication that works on relieving the stress associated with PTSD. In New Mexico, a large number of people have been issued a license for medical marijuana to counter PTSD, plus more and more states are approving use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
What’s more, recently the Department of Health and Human Services signed off a study on marijuana’s capabilities to augment the process of treating posttraumatic stress disorder.
Benefits of Legalizing Marijuana
Should governments legalize weed for uses other than medical? There can be many very convincing benefits of legalizing weeds, here are some of them:
- If governments legalize, regulates and taxes weed, this can help generate considerable revenue.
- Legalizing weed will take a huge amount of burden off the criminal justice system and law enforcement agencies. Police officers, judges, and prosecutors can then focus on serious criminals.
- Most organized crimes, terrorists, and drugs dealers generate their revenue by selling hard drugs, including weed. If weed is legalized, revenue going into the wrong hands will slow or even stop completely.
- More people will have access to it for medicinal use.
- Since Colorado legalized marijuana, the overall crime rate has come down by a whopping 10.1%, while the violent crime dropped a 5.2%. On top of that, the state gathered ten million dollars in the form of taxation in just four months.
Eating vs Smoking vs Vaporizing Marijuana – The Safest Way to Use Weed
When it comes to consuming marijuana, it is not just rolling a joint and smoking it, as you have a wide variety of options. Smoking is the oldest method and has been in practice for hundreds of years while vaping is the latest trend. While eating marijuana is also an option, but it usually involves a lot of hassle in making cookies or any recipe you want to make with it, plus many claim that it doesn’t even offer all the medical benefits of medical marijuana. Also, eating yet another meal might not be a feasible option for many who are conscious about their diet. Topical and tinctures are also some common practices among medical marijuana users, but not as common as other forms. Therefore, let’s focus on the two most popular methods of taking medical cannabis, I.E., smoking and vaping, and their pros and cons.
The most common way to consume marijuana is smoking it, usually rolled up in a joint. While smoking might offer most medicinal benefits of weed, the combustion of plant results in a lot of unwanted, potentially hazardous chemicals.
Vaporizers are modern, high-tech devices that let users vape marijuana and reap its medicinal benefits, and at the same time reduce, if not eliminate, the potential harms. This happens mainly because the plant does not burn to produce tar or hazardous chemicals, rather it comes in contact with a heating element which increases the temperature to controlled levels and turns it into an inhalable vapor.
If you are interested in vaping, remember that choosing a cheaper or substandard vaporizer can backfire. If you are unsure about which vaporizer you should get, check out our comprehensive guide on the best marijuana vaporizers.
What Science Has to Say
Much research and scientific studies have been carried out to measure the impact of vaping marijuana on the human body, and virtually all of them support vaping. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most prominent studies:
- In 2007 the first published study showed vaping weed could help avoid respiratory issues. When vaping cannabis, most subjects in the study reported fewer to no issues that were connected to smoking cannabis such as a cough, build-up of phlegm and stiffness in the chest.
- Another study published in 2007 suggested that vaping marijuana helps avoid most harmful toxins. It delivers the same THC into the bloodstream as smoking, yet hardly carries any carbon monoxide.
- Another study on medical marijuana users showed that subjects felt most functional after vaporizing cannabis, in other words they had a minimal physical hangover after vaping cannabis.
- As a follow up to the 2007 study, another study conducted in 2010 showed that when twenty potheads – who had some sort of lung issues because of smoking weed – were given vaporizers, they experienced “meaningful improvements” in their lung health and respiratory system.
- A more recent study published in 2014 highlighted four major benefits of vaporizing over smoking cannabis. These advantages include better taste, no obnoxious smell, perceived health benefits and more “high” from smoking the same amount of marijuana. However, subjects also said they were unhappy about the inconvenience of setting up and cleaning the device, as well as the delay they had to experience for the device to heat up for each use.
Scientific studies confirm that there are many benefits of medical marijuana and even more benefits of legalizing marijuana. There are some potential side-effects also which can be minimized by vaping marijuana instead of smoking it. Whether weed should be legalized or not is still a subject of debate in the United States, while several countries are already reaping benefits of legalizing weed. For example, in Israel, you will see marijuana vaporizers in hospitals as well as senior homes as the plant is not illegal there anymore.
This guide divulges only a few of the countless medical benefits of weed. It is weird how it is illegal in most parts of the country, and still, has a stigma attached to it. However, we do hope that science will continue to explore its benefits the plant will be used to cure all major kinds of issues humanity is facing. While the debate might continue about its long-term effects and dependency issues, but we cannot deny its potential harm-reduction.