14 Facts About Medical Marijuana To Improve Your Life

Overview of the uses of cannabis and associated physiological and psychological health benefits of medical marijuana treatment.  

As I have been reading and researching recently on the benefits of medical cannabis consumption, I came upon some very interesting facts that I assume most people don’t know. I decided to come up with the most fascinating facts in the list below:

Hempcrete Is The Best Construction Composite

Hemp and marijuana are two synonyms? They both come from the cannabis sativa plant, however hemp is used primarily for industrial products and contains low levels of THC. Marijuana on the other hand is primarily used for medical purposes and contains varying levels of THC.

Hempcrete is one of the many products derived from hemp. It is a versatile construction composite used predominantly for wall insulation, flooring, walls and roofing. The key ingredients to generate hempcrete are the inside stem of the hemp (shiv) mixed together with lime and water. The properties of this product are environmentally friendly as it creates a negative carbon footprint, resists to earthquakes and fire, and is a lightweight and breathable material. Looking for the best material to build your next house? Look no further!

Growing Marijuana Is Therapeutic

Growing a cannabis plant might be as therapeutic as consuming it for physical ailments. Gardening has been shown to act as a stress relief, provides better mental health, requires physical effort and encourage to eat fresh produces according to various studies conducted around the world. Growing your own medical cannabis might bring you double the benefits!

Juicing Raw Marijuana

The trend of juicing has now taken on raw marijuana. According to Dr. William Courtney, the co-founder of the International Cannabis Foundation as well as an expert in raw dietary cannabis, all the associated benefits of the cannabinoids are active, however heat is necessary for THC to take on the proper form and give a high. Therefore, juicing raw cannabis in the morning can help with many physical ailments and also reduce pain. Further studies are necessary to understand the full potential and consequences of juicing, however Dr. Courtney has been following more than 8 000 patients who juice raw cannabis and has seen very few negative effects.

The Human Body Produces Cannabinoids

The endocannabinoid system or endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) is found in human beings as well as in most vertebrate animals. It is even found in some invertebrate animals, except in insects. Some experts believe that the endocannabinoid system has been preserved for over 500 million years as part of the natural selection process since it is believed to play such a central role in the body.

Dr. Ralph Mechoulam is the scientist responsible for the initial discovery of the main psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in cannabis in the 1960’s. Thirty years later, still digging deeper, Dr. Mechoulam and his team were also accountable for identifying ECS for the first time. This significant discovery enabled scientists and doctors to better grasp and understand the ramifications associated with creating and maintaining a healthy internal environment in the body.

Endocannabinoids are molecules produced naturally by our body that are accompanied by two known types of receptors located mainly in our brain and immune system as well as other organs which together will accomplish a number of vital processes and tasks. Their main objective is to attain equilibrium within the body’s internal environment to survive notwithstanding variations in the external environment. This is the process known as human homeostasis and some scientists consider ECS responsible for synchronizing homeostasis at various levels. Nowadays, researchers continue to detect cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptors throughout the human organs and body, they better understand the role cannabinoids play in coordinating and communicating between different cell types and organs, and continue exploring the possible medical applications of endocannabinoids produced in our body, in addition to phytocannabinoids produced by the Cannabis sativa plant as well as synthetic cannabinoids produced in a lab.

Cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors are predominantly located in the brain, nervous system, connective tissues and organs. Studies have shown that THC is completely bound to CB1 receptors making them liable for the intoxicating feeling associated with cannabis and have the ability to control and regulate the perception of pain with the presence of THC in the body. It has been shown that since CB1 receptors are not located in areas of the brain responsible for controlling the heart beat and breathing, there is no fatal quantity threshold attainable for THC consumption.

Cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptors have been mainly located in the immune system especially in the spleen, which is the organ with the highest level of CB2 receptors. For CB2 receptors, a few studies have demonstrated that they are destined to cannabidiol (CBD) which is primarily acting as an anti-inflammatory function. However, since CBD is not recognized for its psychoactive effect, over time more money has been invested on THC research and there is still a lot to be explored concerning CBD and its health benefits. It is a current trend to study the medicinal benefits such as the anti-spasmodic attribute associated with CBD.

CBD and THC are only two of many cannabinoids found in marijuana. Most medical marijuana researches so far have been concentrated on these two active ingredients, a few studies have ventured to explore other cannabinoids such as cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC) and cannabigerol (CBG) for their related healing properties. These phytocannabinoids combined with the human endocannabinoid system allow for medicinal marijuana to act on many physiological ailments.

Active Pain Reliever

Recent studies conducted in Canada and the United States, have shown that THC ingested from medical marijuana can significantly reduce the feeling of pain in patients. It has been demonstrated that THC will interact with the nervous system to block the spread of pain being communicated to the brain. In this instance, cannabis acts as a natural analgesic.

Appetite Stimulant

THC can also be useful as an appetite stimulant while also decreasing nausea and vomiting. Studies have been piloted with cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to show the benefits of marijuana inhaling on the side effects linked with chemotherapy treatment. The CB1 receptors located throughout the digestive system such as in the hypothalamus, limbic forebrain, stomach and intestine will effectively promote eating behaviors in the patients.

Control Muscle Stiffness & Spasm

Most of the time, muscles spasms are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Many studies in Britain and Israel have validated that CB1 and CB2 receptors will have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties that will intervene quickly to reduce and even stops completely spasticity while at the same decreasing the pain felt.

Moderate Seizure

CBD is a key ingredient in regulating seizures in patients. CB2 receptors throughout the body will quickly start relaxing the nerves at the source of the seizure enabling them to stop promptly. In the USA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved The School of Medicine of the University of Utah to conduct a research and clinical trial for the use of CBD in treating epileptic seizures. The results have been conclusive so far and has allowed for young patients to be treated with CBD while also ensuring a minimum level of THC, the psychoactive ingredient.

Regulate the Gut Function

In 2010, the University of Nottingham in Britain explored the reactions of THC and CBD interacting with the cells involved in the gastrointestinal tract. The study was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. When CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated, it results in decreasing inflammation, secretion of gastric acid, intestinal motility, vomiting and intestinal permeability. These are the symptoms associated with gastrointestinal disorders, confirming that medical marijuana consumption can reduce these symptoms.

Regulate the Gut Function

In 2010, the University of Nottingham in Britain explored the reactions of THC and CBD interacting with the cells involved in the gastrointestinal tract. The study was published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. When CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated, it results in decreasing inflammation, secretion of gastric acid, intestinal motility, vomiting and intestinal permeability. These are the symptoms associated with gastrointestinal disorders, confirming that medical marijuana consumption can reduce these symptoms.

Reduce Anxiety

Researchers at Vanderbilt University identified for the first time in 2014, the presence of cannabinoid receptors in the amygdala. This is a key finding as the amygdala is accountable for controlling anxiety and the flight-or-fight response. Moreover, previous studies have shown that high level of stress or a severe emotional trauma can decrease the production of endocannabinoids as well as the responsiveness of the receptors. When this occurs, the anxiety level usually increases. CBD will typically have more a smoothing effect than THC, yet it will mainly depend on the individual chemical composition of our body.

Post-Traumatic Syndrome Disorder (PTSD)

A research done at New York University revealed that patients with PTSD had lower levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide in their brain. The lower production of anandamide results in fewer receptors being triggered and encourages PTSD symptoms. The calming effects of medicinal marijuana treatment relieve the patients while the memory impairment related to the treatment can also be beneficial for PTSD patients.

Neuroprotection

CBD and THC have been both classified as antioxidant. The US government has a patent for CBD as a neuroprotectant since 2003, yet still maintains cannabis on the list of controlled substances making it more difficult for researchers to conduct studies and clinical trials. Research has allowed to reveal that medicinal marijuana treatment can slow the aging of the brain, inhibit the progression of Alzheimer, restore the brain following a stroke or concussion and reduce chronic brain inflammation and cellular dysfunction.

Sleeping Aid

THC has been validated as having sleep inducing effects since the 1970’s. More recently, studies have shown that THC can also improve breathing during the night, decrease sleep interruptions and also interfere in the sleep cycle to reduce nightmares.
The list of health benefits will certainly continue to grow as new research is explored and more knowledge is acquired on the functioning of our endocannabinoid system and the numerous phytocannabinoids. Cannabinoids may also directly influence a person’s relationship with the external environment by altering behaviours prompting an individual to share, use humor and creativity more often.

References

Martin A., Lee. “The Discovery of the Endocannabinoid System”. Beyondthc.com. Retrieved 2016-05-09.

“The Endocannabinoid System: An Overview”. TruthOnPot.com. Retrieved 2016-05-09.

Rick, Pfrommer (14 April 2015). “Beginner’s Guide To The Endocannabinoid System – The Reason Our Bodies So Easily Process Cannabis”. Reset.me. Retrieved 2016-05-10.

“The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy”. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved 2016-05-10.

“Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System”. NORML. Retrieved 2016-05-10.

Dave, Smith (8 August 2012). “Medical Marijuana: 10 Health Benefits That Legitimize Legalization”. International Business Times. Retrieved 2016-05-11.

“20 Medical Benefits of Marijuana You Probably Never Knew”. Lifehack.org. Retrieved 2016-05-10.

Jennifer, Welsh and Kevin, Loria (20 April 2014). “23 Health Benefits Of Marijuana”. Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-05-10.

“5 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Marijuana”. Chicago Medical Marijuana. Retrieved 2016-05-09.

Anna, Wilcox (15 September 2015). 11 Ways Cannabis Can Improve Your Life. Herb.co. Retrieved 2016-05-10.

Chip, Whitley (17 December 2015). “50 Unexpected Benefits of Cannabis (You Might Not Know)”. Greenflowermedia.com. Retrieved 2016-05-10.

Anthony, Rivas (19 May 2014). “Health Benefits Of Medical Marijuana: 3 Major Ways Cannabis Helps Sick People Live Normal Lives”. Medical Daily. Retrieved 2016-05-10.

Charlie, Fidelman (10 May 2015). “Smoking Out The Facts About Medical Marijuana”. Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2016-05-09.

“Medical Marijuana: What the Research Shows”. Web MD. Retrieved 2016-05-09.

Sheryl, Ubelacker (29 September 2015). “Medical Marijuana Seems To Help Chronic Pain Patients: Study”. CTV News. Retrieved 2016-05-09.

Roni, Jacobson (22 April 2014). “Medical Marijuana: How the Evidence Stacks Up”. Scientific American. Retrieved 2016-05-10.

“Recent Research on Medical Marijuana”. NORML. Retrieved 2016-05-10.

Eileen, Shim (9 March 2014). “10 Surprising Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana”. Mic.com. Retrieved 2016-05-09.

“7 Proven Medical Benefits of THC”. Leaf Science. Retrieved 2016-05-10.

Justine, Alford (3 June 2014). “Medical Marijuana – What’s It Good For?”. IFL Science. Retrieved 2016-05-10.

Kyle, Jaeger (25 August 2015). “What Marijuana Does To Your Metabolism”. Attn.com. Retrieved 2016-05-11.

“Hempcrete Could Change The Way We Build Everything”. Collective-evolution.com. Retrieved 2016-05-17.

“Growing Marijuana Is Therapeutic In Itself”. National Marijuana News. Retrieved 2016-05-17.

Anne, Harding (8 July 2011). “Why Gardening Is Good For Your Health”. CNN. Retrieved 2016-05-17.

Julie Revelant (13 July 2015). “Is Juicing Raw Marijuana The Next Green Drink?”. Fox News. Retrieved 2016-05-17.