Cannabis is here to stay however questions still remain: Are the health benefits scientifically backed? What are the proven medical uses of Cannabis? We sorted through all the white noise to give you 10 unbelievable but true benefits of cannabis.
Originally published in the New York Times. Concept and diagram by Paul Sahre. Photo illustration by Jamie Chung. Prop styling by Anna Surbatovich.
Benefit #1: Inhaling Cannabis doesn’t appear to hinder lung capacity. In fact, it may increase it.
A recent investigation published by the Journal of the American Medical Association discovered that cannabis-only smokers demonstrated an increase in lung capacity. The study surmises the increased lung capacity could be due to deeper inhalation of the cannabis versus tobacco.
Benefit #2: Cannabis and CBD use can help control epileptic seizures.
While still in latter stage testing, it appears cannabidiol (CBD) can minimize the frequency and intensity of epileptic seizures. There are dozens of anecdotal stories of parents who found that cbd helped control their child’s epileptic episodes.
Benefit #3: THC may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Several strains of THC were discovered to limit the spread and progression of Alzheimer’s. In 2006. Molecular Pharmaceutics found that THC obstructs the creation of amyloid plaques that develop in the brain of an Alzheimer’s patients. The data is still in its infancy but looks very promising.
Benefit #4: Cannabis-centric medications ease the pain of multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Jody Corey-Bloom examined 30 multiple sclerosis patients who presented with extreme pain associated with excruciating withdrawals in their muscles. These patients did not react to specific medications for pain, however, after ingesting cannabis for several days, they universally noted a decrease in pain.
Benefit #5: Certain doses of cannabis can help reduce muscle spasms.
Another similar report found a solid connection between cannabis use and reduction in muscle spasms. Users of cannabis reported a reduction of muscle spasms previously untreatable by common medicines.
Benefit #6: Cannabis helps control the tremors from Parkinson’s disease.
Research conducted in Israel demonstrated the use of cannabis dramatically reduced pain and tremors and increased calm periods for Parkinson’s patients.
Benefit #7: Cannabis reduces some of the pain and nausea from chemotherapy and stimulates appetite.
Patients being treated with chemo experience terrible bouts of nausea accompanied by a lack of appetite. FDA-affirmed cannabinoid drugs that use THC have proven to be effective in reducing nausea and increasing the appetite of patients.
Benefit #8: It may help with anxiety attacks.
A study conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that THC at low doses diminished high levels of anxiety and peer stressors while higher doses demonstrated to have the opposite affect.
Benefit #9: Cannabis may help veterans suffering from PTSD.
Cannabis has been endorsed for treatment for PTSD for several years now. PTSD can trigger intense anxiety attacks and cannabis has been introduced as an alternative to pharmaceutically managing PTSD.
Benefit #10: Cannabis users tend to be less obese and have a lower percentage of diabetes.
A recent investigation discovered that users of cannabis weighed less than the average weight for both sexes.. They also demonstrated a better response to sugar which decreases the chances of getting Type 2 diabetes.