Many people are skeptical about the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, probably due to a lack of scientific knowledge on its health benefits. Nevertheless, the adoption of cannabis has been on the rise across the United States. The plant continues to be incorporated into various drugs and products. Over the years, much research has been conducted to determine the plant’s effectiveness in treating specific ailments. From the gathered findings, cannabis is safe and effective for treatment when taken appropriately.
What Does Cannabis Constitute?
Cannabis is a complex plant containing over 120 chemical components known as cannabinoids. There are two forms of cannabinoids; cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is responsible for making people ‘high’ when they smoke or eat cannabis products. According to the FDA, CBD is deemed fit for medicinal use and tones down the negative side effects of THC.
How to Take Cannabis
Cannabis products take various forms; hence, there are multiple methods to take them. One can opt to eat, inhale, or apply the product to their skin.
Cannabis products include edibles such as candy and brownies, leaves and flowers, capsules, lotion and creams, sprays, and tinctures.
It is important to note that the various methods of taking cannabis work differently. For example, a person who eats a brownie will take a longer time to experience the cannabis effects as opposed to one that smokes or inhales cannabis.
What Conditions Can Cannabis Help Treat?
1- Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a major health concern in the United States. Studies reveal that one in every five Americans suffers from chronic pain. The rising number of chronic pain patients has propelled the need to explore possible treatment options for chronic pain. Scientific research has found cannabis to be an effective pain reliever with similar pain-relieving properties as opioids. Unlike many drugs, the benefit of using cannabis as a pain reliever is that it has fewer side effects. New users are advised to keep their cannabis dosage low to observe how their body reacts to the product. Drugs such as opioids have an increased risk of respiratory depression leading to opioid-related fatalities. A clinical trial on chronic pain patients who suffered from back pain, headache, neuropathic pain, and arthritis revealed that two-thirds of the patients experienced pain relief after using cannabis. The patients also reported having improved sleeping patterns.
Cancer is among the leading causes of mortality in the world. Cancer patients have a tough time dealing with cancer-related pain and treatment. Smoking cannabis is an effective way to alleviate symptoms resulting from chemotherapy, such as vomiting, weight loss, loss of appetite, and nausea. Cannabis helps relieve cancer-related pain by binding to cannabinoid receptors. Some cannabinoids can slow the growth of cancer cells, decrease inflammation, and cause cell death.
3- Depression and Social Anxiety
Cannabis is an effective treatment for mental illness symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to a survey done in 2018 by Washington State University, cannabis proved to have a remarkable potential to ease depression symptoms for users that smoked it. However, from the study, much precaution was given to the quantity smoked.
After cannabis use, people with a social anxiety disorder reported having improved anxiety symptoms, including improved sleep, mood, relaxation, and calmness.