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  • Olivia Castro

How Marijuana Can Benefit Your Life: A Study Review

We are all too familiar with the stereotype of the cannabis consumer. A care-free, happy go lucky, chill personality without a care in the world, laughing and smiling all the day long! But can this be true? Here at Tennessee Marijuana Card, we always say no to negative stereotypes but sometimes we say yes to the ones that actually let us live our best life! While being happy go lucky and smiling all day long is a bit of a stretch, you can live a higher quality of life when using marijuana.

Don’t just take our word for it, look at the research! New research has come to the surface showing many positive links between marijuana use and living a healthier, more active, happier lifestyle. But wait there’s more! Research shows marijuana users on average are slimmer than non-user. Marijuana can also assist you in improving your sleep, anxiety and focus day to day. In today’s blog, we are breaking down these studies one by one and proving once and for all that marijuana can change your life for the better!

Marijuana Users Are Healthier and Happier People

A study was conducted by the Realm of Caring that observed 1,276 participants and their cannabis use. The study followed 808 cannabis users, which were mostly using hemp based products, and 468 individuals who were not yet using any cannabis products. More than half of the participants stated that CBD was the primary chemical component found in the products they used. Participants of the study also had medical conditions which categorized them into three separate groups: neurological diseases (including multiple sclerosis and epilepsy), chronic pain (such as back pain and fibromyalgia), and psychiatric conditions (anxiety and PTSD).

This was a longitudinal study that took place from April 2016 to February 2018. The participants were frequently assessed on their use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs, their physical and mental health, and also whether they had been admitted to the hospital during this time or not. By every single measure, those who consumed marijuana were physically and mentally healthier and happier than the non-cannabis users!

The most notable medical benefits were achieved by the non-users who began consuming during the course of the study. These participants reported feeling better overall and saw major improvements in their health! Marijuana users in the study reported experiencing a higher quality of life too. They were able to sleep better, were more relaxed, and had less pain, depression and anxiety. They also used fewer prescription medications and were less likely to have been admitted to the hospital.

A study like this really shows the main reasons as to why people come back to marijuana use time and time again!

Marijuana Affects Homeostasis

How can this be? Is cannabis some sort of miracle drug? Although marijuana is not a cure-all, it has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Plant use for this long is rooted in all of these studies and also can easily be explained by our good ol’ friend science!

Homeostasis is super important in everyone’s body. People function best when the body is balanced. The body’s balance can easily get off balance as genetic, physical and mental health, nutrition and ever changing environmental factors contribute to a person’s homeostasis.

Turns out marijuana can play a big role in maintaining balance within the body by working with the endocannabinoid system (ECS)! The ECS is a network of receptors that is responsible for maintaining homeostasis. These receptors within the ECS interact with the active ingredients in cannabis, THC and CBD.

Cannabis cannot target specific areas of the system that are off balance. It does, though, work throughout the entire body. This is why marijuana’s nickname is the “treasure chest” of medicine! As cannabis spreads its magic throughout the body, the concoction of cannabinoids and terpenes that differ from strain to strain sends a wide range of effects. This explains why marijuana is helpful for so many different medical conditions.

Marijuana Users Are Slimmer Than Non-Users

Marijuana often is connected to the “munchies” which has its benefits for patients battling with nausea, wasting syndrome and HIV/AIDS. So it may seem like a bit of a paradox to say that marijuana users are generally slimmer than non-users but the facts are the facts!

A recent study linked lower body mass indexes (BMI) to cannabis consumption! The study used the data from the 2004 Nunavik Inuit Health Survey which looked at the connection between cannabis use and obesity/ insulin resistance. 57.4% of the respondents of this survey shared that they use cannabis and researchers found that cannabis consumption was associated with a lower BMI. Those with a lower BMI also had lower fat mass, insulin levels and insulin resistance. Although this link is not directly attributed to cannabis use, it can be a gauge that cannabis consumption can be indirectly linked to a lower chance of developing prediabetes and aids those in living a healthier life!

Marijuana Can Help You Stay Active

CBD is the new black nowadays! Mainly because CBD is more accessible in states that do not have medical marijuana programs up and running yet. There is much research being done showing how CBD use can actually aid you in staying active!

Athletes are always looking for the next best natural supplement that will give them the advantage in their game but usually marijuana derivatives are off limits even though CBD aids in faster recovery from injuries, better sleep and reduced muscle pain. For those of us who aren't professional athletes but do like to have an active lifestyle, CBD can be the next thing to add to your workout regimen!

CBD can help you with an active lifestyle by reducing inflammation and pain! In a 2020 Sports Medicine study, CBD was found to help promote many chemical effects in the body that benefit an active lifestyle. A main finding was that CBD was shown to alleviate inflammatory pain that was associated with tissue damage and neuropathic pain due to nerve damage or irritation. This is important for intense, long workouts that increase the risk of inflammation and irritation.

This same study found that CBD can also be a protector against gastrointestinal damage! Although this may seem like it is not totally related to an active lifestyle, it actually is! People who regularly participate in arduous workout or activities can reduce oxygen and nutrient delivery to their GI tract. This kind of stress on the GI tract can impact not only your performance but your recovery by making you nauseous and alter your nutritional uptake. CBD can aid in reducing this damage on the body!

Based on this study, CBD can also assist your bone health! It can aid in healthy bone deposition and help heal fractures quickly. Good bone health is key in an active lifestyle and can help reduce the risk of injury!

Marijuana Can Improve Sleep, Anxiety & Focus

Over 40 million people in the U.S. deal with anxiety. Anxiety also affects your sleep at night and your focus and mental clarity during the day. All three of these parts of life are intertwined and can be helped by adding cannabis to your routine!

Research has shown that CBD and high-CBD cannabis strains help ease anxiety but there is another component that can help too! An amino acid can be found in some CBD products, L-theanine, which is also in green and black teas. L-theanine has been linked to ease anxiety, sleep and strengthen mental focus double time when combined with CBD!

According to Dr. Junella Chin, L-theanine affects your mood through the GABA system which regulates the response to stress in the body. CBD and L-theanine combine their powers to lower anxiety and increase relaxation. L-theanine relaxes the body by increasing GABA levels which make the body feel safe and secure. CBD products with L-theanine creates a surplus of GABA which calms you and aids in sleep and anxiety!

L-theanine has also been shown to be linked to strong mental clarity and focus especially when combined with caffeine. This amino acid even goes so far as to block the glutamate receptors which cause stress, anxiety and restlessness. Even without caffeine, studies have shown that L-theanine alone has the power to reduce stress and anxiety without making you drowsy, making it easier to focus. Combined with cannabis, you get even more of a boost!

Marijuana Can Help End The Opioid Epidemic

Using cannabis also can aid in ending the opioid epidemic by assisting with chronic pain! According to the CDC, chronic pain is one of the top reasons people seek medical treatment and over 62% of patients who use medical marijuana, use it to treat chronic pain.

A recent study by the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia studied 1,000 patients who were seeking medical cannabis for chronic pain. Researchers observed demographics, patterns of marijuana use and the long-term effects of marijuana on their chronic pain. Participants were enrolled between September 2015 and July 2018. Their pain scores were assessed when the study started and then at three, six and twelve months. The participants were also evaluated on their general health symptoms, anxiety, quality of life and opioid use.

The results showed that pain intensity and pain-related interference were significantly reduced over time when using marijuana as treatment! Most importantly, the amount of participants who reported using opioids decreased by half from 40.8% at the beginning of the study to just 23.9% after just 12 months.

Piggy backing off of this study is another that shows legalizing marijuana can also result in fewer opioid deaths! The study examined the connection between the two subjects and saw some important findings.

From 2014 to 2018, researchers observed 812 counties across the U.S. in 23 states where legal marijuana dispensaries were allowed to operate. In all these counties, the average number of dispensaries increased from one per county in 2014 to more than four per county by 2018.

The finding showed that when there was an increase from simply one to two dispensaries in a county, there was a 17% reduction in opioid mortality rates. With the same increase, deaths related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, also decrease by 21%.

These findings are huge for the medical marijuana community and our communities as whole! The opioid epidemic has run rampant taking lives every single day. Many who suffer from chronic pain are doing the right thing by reaching out to their doctor for help. Far too often pain medication is over prescribed which brought us to where we are now, in an opioid crisis. Medical marijuana can be an alternative to using opioids and the solution for a better, healthier and happier life altogether!

Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.

Helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

If you have any questions, call us at (833) 781-5611, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out Tennessee Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.

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