Today, marijuana is being reevaluated on a cultural and legal level after being considered an illegal substance for decades.
Recent research reports a majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational use. As such, many states such as Pennsylvania have legalized marijuana for either medical and recreational purposes, or both.
Still, some researchers and lawmakers want to see more scientific evidence supporting specific benefits of marijuana. Aside from more research, there are concerns that marijuana’s potential risks could outweigh its benefits in some cases.
Curious about whether the benefits behind this substance are all they’re talked up to be? We break down some of the most researched benefits as well as a few considerations.
What are the benefits vs. risks of marijuana?
Just as synthetic drugs can help some conditions and not others, marijuana isn’t a one-size-fits-all line of treatment. It’s thought that marijuana’s benefits come from some of its compounds called cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD).
CBD is one of the most widely studied cannabinoids in marijuana. CBD is also found in another related plant called hemp.
One major difference between CBD and marijuana is that the former only contains a trace amount of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This compound is best known for its hallucinogenic effects on the brain.
Cannabis plants may contain up to 40 percent CBD. CBD is thought to have anti-inflammatory effects on the central nervous system. This can translate to multiple benefits in the body.
Still, there remains concern over the effects of THC in traditional marijuana. This is due to the fact that it can have stimulating or depressant effects in some people, which may lead to other side effects.
Thus, when considering marijuana for any medical condition, your doctor will likely assess whether the anti-inflammatory benefits outweigh any psychological risks.
What are the benefits of marijuana?
Currently, there are two synthetic versions of marijuana. Doctors prescribe them for the treatment of severe epilepsy and chemotherapy side effects.After decades of being regarded an illicit substance, marijuana is now being reevaluated on a cultural and legal basis.
According to recent polling, the majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana for medical or recreational use. As a result, numerous states have legalized marijuana for medical, recreational, or both uses.
Some experts and policymakers, however, want to see more scientific proof supporting specific marijuana advantages. Apart from greater research, there are concerns that in some circumstances, marijuana’s potential hazards may outweigh its advantages.
Are you wondering if the benefits of this substance are all they’re cracked up to be? We go over some of the most well-researched advantages as well as some caveats.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of marijuana?
Marijuana isn’t a one-size-fits-all medicine, just like synthetic pharmaceuticals can help some conditions but not others. Cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are thought to be responsible for marijuana’s health effects (CBD).
CBD is one of marijuana’s most researched compounds. CBD is also found in hemp, a closely related plant.
One significant distinction between CBD and marijuana is that the former has only a minimal quantity of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol, while the latter includes a significant amount of the cannabinoid delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The hallucinatory effects of this chemical on the brain are its most well-known feature.
CBD levels in cannabis plants can reach 40%. On the central nervous system, CBD is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. This can result in a variety of health benefits in the body.
The effects of THC in traditional marijuana are still a source of worry. This is because it can have stimulating or depressive effects in some persons, resulting in various adverse effects.
As a result, if you’re considering marijuana for a medical problem, your doctor will most likely weigh the anti-inflammatory advantages against any psychological hazards.
What are marijuana’s advantages?
There are currently two synthetic kinds of marijuana available. They are prescribed by doctors to treat severe epilepsy as well as chemotherapy side effects.
The benefits of marijuana listed below are some of the most widely discussed in scientific studies and anecdotally.
Management of pain
Marijuana’s cannabinoids may alleviate pain by modifying pain perception pathways in the brain. This could be beneficial in the treatment of chronic pain disorders like:
- fibromyalgia arthritis
- migraines due to endometriosis
It may also help to reduce the negative effects of cancer treatment, such as lack of appetite.
In rare cases, medicinal marijuana has been observed to assist in the replacement of long-term usage of NSAIDs like ibuprofen, which can have significant side effects.
Inflammation is reduced.
The cannabidiol (CBD) in marijuana is known to aid with inflammation. In principle, this could help with inflammatory disorders like:
- Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel illness that affects
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects
- rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects the joints.
Inflammation in the body can be reduced, which can enhance general health.
Disorders of the brain and mind
Doctors sometimes recommend marijuana to treat the following neurological and mental health issues because of its effects on the limbic system:
- Multiple sclerosis anxiety epilepsy
- Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects people.
- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is a type of anxiety illness that (PTSD)
- Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes
The cannabinoids in marijuana may reduce pain by altering pain perception pathways in the brain. This may be helpful to treat conditions that cause chronic pain, such as:
It may also minimize cancer treatment side effects, like loss of appetite.
In some instances, medical marijuana is reported to help replace the long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, which can have negative side effects.
CBD in marijuana is thought to help reduce inflammation. In theory, this may benefit inflammatory conditions, such as:
- Crohn’s disease
- irritable bowel syndrome
- rheumatoid arthritis
Decreasing inflammation in the body can also improve overall health.
Neurological and mental disorders
Due to its effects on the limbic system, doctors sometimes prescribe marijuana to treat the following neurological and mental health conditions:
- multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Tourette syndrome
Marijuana’s calming effects may aid in the treatment of sleep disorders like insomnia. Additionally, when pain is lessened as a result of marijuana use, better sleep may follow.
The following list of marijuana benefits are some of the most commonly discussed in scientific research, as well as anecdotally.