Is Marijuana Good For You?
The study of marijuana’s medicinal properties is relatively new. It has also been impeded by anti-marijuana laws in many countries. As a result, we do not have as much reliable information about marijuana as we do about many other substances. However, the research that we do have suggests that marijuana can be good for you in a variety of ways. Some studies suggest that the cannabinoids in marijuana can help regulate weight, pain, nausea, and appetite, among many other bodily functions.
Cannabinoids are chemicals similar to the endocannabinoids found naturally in the human body. The endocannabinoid system is thought to have an important role in regulating systems throughout the body, including neural development, immune function, cardiovascular function, and bone density. Cannabinoids are also thought to help regulate appetite and digestion, pain, sleep, memory, stress, and emotion. The cannabinoids in marijuana interact with the endocannabinoid system, which explains why marijuana can affect so many different systems in the body.
Here are a few of the ways in which scientists believe weed may be good for you:
Weight: Studies have shown that, on average, marijuana users have lower Body Mass Indexes (BMIs) and thinner waists than people who don’t use marijuana. Marijuana users also have fewer cases of obesity and diabetes, even though they consume more calories. Many scientists suspect that weed can help people maintain a healthy body weight by regulating their fasting insulin levels, meaning the level of insulin in the body before eating. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar. Fasting insulin levels that are too low or too high can be a sign of diabetes. Too much insulin also leads to weight gain.
Chronic or acute pain: This study published in Current Neuropharmacology is one of many finding that cannabinoids can help relieve pain. Cannabis has also been known to treat inflammatory and neuropathic pain that is otherwise stubborn and difficult to manage. Much of the best evidence for marijuana as a pain management drug comes from studies on multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, but there is hope in the medical community that cannabis will prove effective against many kinds of pain.
Nausea and vomiting: Marijuana is an effective anti-nausea drug for patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Decreased appetite: Using marijuana is a well-known way to stimulate the appetite. This effect is helpful to HIV/AIDS patients with severe appetite loss.
It should be noted that not all of the suspected effects of marijuana are positive. There is growing concern that smoking marijuana can damage the lungs. Many doctors also believe that we do not yet understand the long-term effects of the drug well enough to recommend it as a medical treatment.
Further study is needed before knowing if these effects are truly caused by marijuana, or caused by other factors associated with marijuana users. In most cases, there is conflicting evidence supporting both causation and correlation theories. Marijuana use needs to be studied much more extensively before we can fully understand its effects, especially in the long term.Back To FAQ