Canada is on the brink of legalizing marijuana across the country on a federal level.
Forward-thinking nations like Israel and The Netherlands have been studying pot and opening up funds to conduct comprehensive clinical trials. Even a number of states in the US have already legalized marijuana, both for recreational and medicinal purposes.
But isn’t pot bad for you? Isn’t it dangerous to smoke weed, especially when it comes to your lungs?
Not necessarily. The fact is, marijuana actually has a number of health benefits and can be a safer alternative to traditional pharmaceutical medications.
So, is pot good for you?
Let’s ponder that question and delve into some facts about pot that all users should know.
Not All Cannabis Plants Get Users High
There are several cannabinoids in the cannabis plant and its varieties, but the two most abundant are CBD and THC.
Most people are familiar with THC, the compound that gets users high. That’s because of its ability to directly bind with receptors of the endocannabinoid system in the body, particularly those located in the brain.
CBD, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive compound. Unlike THC, it’s able to produce specific effects on the body without getting you high. Basically, it interacts with the same receptors of the endocannabinoid system without directly binding to them.
What users should look at is the specific type of plant that they’re obtaining their cannabis products from.
Generally speaking, CBD that comes from hemp is considered non-psychoactive and shouldn’t be problematic to use. Other cannabis products that contain certain levels of THC can potentially get users high.
Pot May Help Relieve Pain
Studies on marijuana have repeatedly shown that the cannabinoids in marijuana – namely THC and CBD – can alleviate pain. Their beneficial effects have to do with the endocannabinoid system – as already mentioned.
In fact, pain is probably one of the biggest reasons why users consume cannabinoids from pot in the first place. Whether from arthritis, injury, or overuse, pain can be alleviated with pot instead of traditional painkillers that may be highly addictive.
Many athletes and famous people tout the benefits of marijuana for pain relief. But further studies are needed to discover more about pot and its effects on the body.
Pot May Help Reduce the Severity and Frequency of Seizures
Another well-known use for pot is to alleviate seizures. The first highly publicized case of someone using cannabis oil to treat seizures involved a little girl named Charlotte Figi.
Charlotte suffered from hundreds of seizures per day as a result of Dravet’s Syndrome, a severe disorder. After being administered a medical marijuana strain that was high in CBD and low in THC, her seizures drastically reduced to just one per week.
The strain was later known as “Charlotte’s Web,” and it’s still available for use today.
Pot Can Alleviate Anxiety
Many pot users use this plant to relax and relieve anxiety, which should come as no surprise. Getting “stoned” from marijuana has a euphoric and ultra relaxing effect thanks to the mind-altering impact of THC.
However, research also suggests that marijuana may increase anxiety if consumed in high doses. Just a few puffs are enough to help users relax, but a larger dose can have the opposite effect.
That said, every person will have a different reaction. Therefore, it might be worth it to experiment and slowly increase the dose until the desired effects are achieved.
CBD, by comparison, has been shown to reduce anxiety in users without getting them high, no matter the dose.
Pot May Be Able to Slow the Growth of Cancer Cells
CBD – or cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis – may help prevent cancer from spreading.
Preliminary studies have shown that CBD may actually have the potential to slow or shrink specific cancer tumors – including brain and breast cancers – at the right dose. While more research is needed, CBD is showing a lot of promise in this area of medicine.
Smoking Pot Can Have a Negative Effect on the Lungs
Studies have shown smoking pot way may irritate their lungs and lead to chronic bronchitis.
However, there’s no evidence to suggest that smoking marijuana increases the risk of developing lung cancer to increase. But, if tobacco is added to a marijuana joint, the symptoms of lung disease could worsen.
Luckily, there are many other ways to take pot, which we’ll get into next.
Ways to Consume Pot and Its Cannabinoids
Whether you’re looking to consume THC or CBD, you don’t necessarily have to smoke it. Cannabinoids can be consumed in a number of different ways thanks to the various forms that they come in, including:
Tinctures – Cannabis oil can come in tincture form that is applied under the tongue using a dropper. It’s a quick and easy way to take CBD oil and feel its effects quickly.
Vaping – Many users like to vape cannabis oil in order to feel the effects almost immediately. That’s because the cannabinoids in this product bypass the digestive system and head directly to the cells of the body.
This method is safer than smoking because the cannabis oil isn’t actually burned, but only heated to a certain degree before it’s inhaled.
Topicals – These products can be applied directly on the skin at the site of pain.
Edibles – Many edible products come infused with cannabinoids. Gummy bears, cookies, and even beverages are just a few to mention.
Is Pot Good For You? What’s the Verdict?
So the question remains, is pot good for you? There are plenty of studies that confirm its benefits on the mind and body. But more research is required in this area.
There is still so much to learn about pot and its properties as well as any potential side effects. At the end of the day, the choice is up to you. Assess the benefits and risks – and then make a decision accordingly.
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