Uses of Cannabis You Probably Didn't Know About

According to WHO, about 147 million people (2.5% of the world population) consume cannabis compared to 0.2% consuming cocaine and 0.2% consuming opiates. Cannabis has become closely linked to youth culture, and the age of initiation is usually lower than for other drugs. Since in the 1960s, developed countries such as North America, Western Europe and Australia has seen rapid growth in cannabis abuse.

However, to anyone who knows cannabis, it comes as no shock that this is a valuable plant with a lot of benefits. As we bring this plant out of the dark into the light, we would share the different benefits you probably don’t know about:

Uses of Cannabis for Public Health

1. Depression

Depression is one of the more widespread, yet least talked about medical conditions today. The Clinical Psychology Review assessed all published scientific literature that investigated the use of marijuana to treat symptoms of mental illness and its research shows that cannabis can help relieve people of depression.

Using compounds derived from cannabis to restore normal modulatory system function of the brain, endocrine and immune tissues, could potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression. That said, they caution that marijuana is not an appropriate treatment for some other mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder and psychosis.

The review indicates that there is some evidence to suggest that marijuana might alleviate symptoms of social anxiety, but again, this is contradicted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine review, which instead found that regular users of marijuana may actually be at increased risk of social anxiety.

2. Cancer

This is the big one that everybody has been talking about. Both scientists and the federal government have released a good amount of evidence showing that cannabinoids fight certain types of cancer.

Some studies on cancer cells suggest that cannabinoids may either slow down the growth of or kill some types of cancer. However, early studies that tested this hypothesis in humans reveal that although cannabinoids are a safe treatment, they are not effective at controlling or curing cancer.

3. Loss of weight

Cannabis helps the body regulate insulin production, and manage caloric intake more efficiently. THCV, also known as tetrahydrocannabivarin, is a compound found in cannabis that acts as an appetite suppressant, unlike THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, that is known to increase appetite.

Some of the cannabis strains high in THCV, as recommended by Civilized.life, are Durban Poison, Doug’s Varin, Dutch Treat and the stoner classic and Girl Scout Cookies.

Then, there’s cannabidiol (CBD): the wonder drug for some, marketing scam for others. For the rest, CBD is the compound found in the cannabis that doesn’t cause any high, one that can potentially decrease appetite…

A 2017 study researching the safety and side effects of CBD did conclude that it seemed to have a better profile with regard to experiencing cannabis’ side effects, including a change in appetite and weight.

4. Diabetes

One of the first big reports ever published by the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC) purported that cannabis can have the following benefits for PWDs (People with diabetes):

  • Stabilizing blood sugars (confirmed via “a large body of anecdotal evidence building among diabetes sufferers”)

  • Anti-inflammatory action that may help quell some of the arterial inflammation common in diabetes.

  • “Neuroprotective” effects that help thwart inflammation nerves and reduce the pain of neuropathy by activating receptors in the body and brain.

  • “Anti-spasmodic” agents “help relieve muscle cramps and the pain of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.

  • Acts as a “Vasodilator” to help keep blood vessels open and improve circulation.

  • Contributes to lower blood pressure over time, which is vital for diabetics

  • Substituting cannabis butter and oil in foods “benefits cardiac and arterial health in general”

  • It can also be used to make topical creams to relieve neuropathic pain and tingling in hands and feet.

While there’s some conflicting evidence on cannabis’s role in delaying the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, research shows it is beneficial indeed for those already diagnosed with type 1 or 2, and especially for those who suffer complications.

“The most important finding is that currents users of marijuana appeared to have better carbohydrate metabolism than non-users. Their fasting insulin levels were lower, and they appeared to be less resistant to the insulin produced by their body to maintain a normal blood-sugar level, “Murray Mittleman, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the lead researcher told TIME magazine.

In 2014, a “summary of the promising epidemiological evidence” on marijuana in the management of diabetes published in the Natural Medicine Journal also concluded that in thousands of subjects, past and current marijuana use was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin, blood glucose, insulin resistance, BMI, and waist circumference.

And in 2015, Israeli researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem released a study showing that the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in cannabis, could effectively be used to treat different illnesses including type 2 diabetes.

5. Addictions

According to a comprehensive review of evidence published last year in the journal Clinical Psychology Review, revealed that using cannabis may help people with alcohol fight their addictions. Cannabis can be a viable, safer alternative to substances like alcohol and tobacco, but did you know that it can also be used as a treatment for addictions to these substances, and more? People addicted to drugs like heroin, opiates and cocaine are showing promise in ridding themselves of their addictions through cannabis therapy.

But this finding may be contentious; the National Academies of Sciences review suggests that cannabis used actually drives increased risk for abusing, and become dependent on other substances.

Uses for Chronic Pain

7. AIDS/HIV

Cannabis can’t directly cure the AIDS virus, but it can and does help those living with it cope. Specifically, cannabis helps those living with AIDS/HIV to maintain their diet and handle associated pains and aches.

HIV/AIDS patients experience loss of appetite and body weight. A number of studies have investigated the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis and observed increases in appetite and body weight. A 2005 survey conducted on 523 HIV-positive patients found that “143 (27%) of the respondents used cannabis to manage their symptoms; of those, an overwhelming 97% reported that they experienced improvements in appetite”.

8. Treatment for Headache

Lots of people experience headaches every day, and taking the typical medicines be it paracetamol, acetaminophen(Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) can take its toll on your body, leading to ulcers, liver damage, and other complications. Cannabis offers a natural alternative and one that won’t chew through your stomach lining.

9. Asthma Attacks

You probably never saw this one coming. Cannabis and Asthma? Cannabis can calm asthma attacks. They’re apparently compatible, or so says science. It has to do with cannabinoid receptors which help control coughing fits as well as the herb’s ability to act as a bronchodilator. Smoking is obviously not the best method of delivery here, as that will likely only make things worse.

Uses of Cannabis to Daily Life

10. Sleep

You can use cannabis to help you get to sleep but it depends on what specific strains you’re using, and your physical and psychological makeup. Again, you may have to experiment a bit to get the desired effect.

11. It can Stop Nightmares

Try cannabis before you hit, and see if it makes a difference. For some people, it’s doing the trick. For others, particularly those with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it can also eliminate dreams completely. The reason, it turns out that cannabis impacts rapid eye movement (REM) sleep- the part of the cycle during which you dream.

12. Protect your Brain

It can protect your brain. Cannabis as a brain protector? It’s true. Scientists are finding that chemical compounds found in cannabis actually help protect our brains.

Who knew cannabis could do all these amazing things? Surprisingly it does but so far, 21 countries have legalised cannabis fully or partially for medical and /or adult-use excluding Nigeria. Be guided.

Reference: Green Flower, Medicalnewstoday, theGrowthOp, WHO