10 Reasons Why Cannabis Is The Best Preventative Medicine
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” said the famous Benjamin Franklin.
The man is right. Each day we’re bombarded by dozens of different superfoods, diets, and what not that promise prevention of disease. Sure, many of them do work; but have you ever considered cannabis to be your ally in preventive health?
You don’t have to be sick today in order to reap the medicinal benefits of cannabis. When paired with a healthy lifestyle and exercise, cannabis is one of the most powerful, all-natural preventive medicines in the world. Think of it as a supplement or a vitamin, and there are a ton of ways you can use it; here’s why you should:
1. Brain protection: Cannabis has valuable neuroprotective properties, which means that they help protect your brain while supporting brain health. It works to protect the brain from stress, balance out mood disorders, reduce headaches and migraines, and even helps to slow down certain neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. In a 2000 study conducted by researchers at the Maryland’s National Institute of Mental Health, it was discovered that THC and CBD are potent antioxidants which reduce glutamate toxicity. When the brain has too much glutamate, it can overstimulate nerve cells leading to cell death or damaged cells. Consuming cannabis provides your brain with cannabinoids which protect the brain cells from damage while ensuring that it functions properly.
2. Cancer prevention: Countless people have successfully used cannabis to treat cancer, but did you know that it can prevent tumors from developing in the first place? In a 2012 study, University of Naples researchers found that CBD possesses chemopreventative effects in animal models with colon cancer. They found that the rodents who were given CBD were significantly less likely to have colon cancer. An earlier study, published in 1996, also showed that THC decreased the occurrence of hepatic and benign adenoma tumors.
3. Anti-inflammatory: Inflammation is the primary cause of a multitude of diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and much more. When left untreated, inflammation can not only be dangerous but it can also be extremely painful. In fact, the symptoms of inflammation aren’t always obvious; there is a possibility your organs are suffering from internal inflammation and you would have no idea. However, cannabis works with the endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammation throughout the body. In doing so, it reduces the symptoms and addresses the problem at its root.
4. Prevents age-related diseases: As we get older, the risk of us developing certain diseases increases significantly. The most common age-related degenerative conditions are Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and Huntington’s among others. Most of these are caused by the accumulation of the beta-amyloid plaque in the brain, which then leads to these complications. Cannabis has been known to prevent the build up of plaque, and THC has been found to help with mitochondrial function – losing this can cause dementia and Alzheimer’s. Additionally, CBD also helps reduce the buildup of iron in the brain, which also increases the risk for neurodegenerative diseases.
5. Bone and joint health: Not many are aware of it, but cannabis can actually help keep your bones healthy and strong. Osteoporosis is another common bone condition that we become more susceptible to as we age; it is characterized by brittle bones and low bone density. Because cannabis has the ability to enhance bone metabolism, it helps protect against the risk for osteoporosis. If you are already suffering from bone loss or related problems, supplementing with cannabis may even help reverse this condition. Additionally, the ability of cannabis to prevent and treat inflammation in the first place reduces the risk for developing arthritis and other disorders affecting the bones and joints.
6. Reduced risk for obesity: Even though stoner stereotypes propagate the myth of hungry, rabid stoners, science tells us that this is not the case. In fact, cannabis consumers have been found to be less obese, and it can even help you lose weight. While many cannabis strains can stimulate the appetite, studies also tell us that THC stimulates the production of a hormone called ghrelin, which is responsible for feelings of hunger. Ghrelin helps us efficiently metabolize carbohydrates, which means that even if we consume more when we’re stoned, it helps us process the calories more efficiently. But since cannabis affects everyone differently, if you are prone to the munchies, you can opt to use strains that are known not to induce the munchies, microdose, or use CBD products instead.
7. Stroke prevention: Researchers found that cannabis consumers are less likely to suffer from a stroke. The 16-year study found that 28.8% of stroke patients used cannabis while 32.7% of cannabis users didn’t suffer from a stroke. Although cannabis may not be the only factor that reduced the risk for stroke, the findings echo those of a 2013 study suggesting that cannabis aids in the recovery of stroke. The press release said that “all three classes of cannabinoid could be effective in shrinking the area of the brain affected by stroke and in recovering neurological function.” It isn’t surprising then, if cannabis helps with stroke prevention, that it has been found to reduce in-hospital mortality rates among stroke or heart attack survivors. Chinese researchers found that CBD, when used in hospital emergency rooms, can help prevent the brain damage that may follow after one suffers from a stroke or heart attack. “Increasing evidence indicates that CBD is a molecule with potentially neuroprotective properties that can be used to treat neurodegenerative disorders,” said the study. They also mentioned that CBD has immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and anxiolytic benefits that have been proven in and out of the lab.
8. Prevent heart disease: The cannabinoids in cannabis work as vasodilators in the heart, aiding in increased blood flow and opening up arteries. Studies suggest that cannabis can actually reduce blood pressure while improving circulation in humans. Other studies reveal that microdosing or taking low doses of THC is helpful in preventing the progression of atherosclerosis in animal subjects. The researchers found that as little as 1mg/kg of THC, when taken daily, produced the most significant improvements. In fact, this tiny amount of THC won’t even get you high. The study concluded saying that THC helped to decrease the inflammatory response in the immune system while reducing inflammation that can cause heart disease. On the other hand, if you already have heart disease, other studies say that high CBD strains are beneficial since the CB1 and CB2 receptors are found in the cardiovascular system, and activating these receptors may worsen atherosclerosis for patients that are already in poor health. Thankfully, with the abundance of cannabis, THC, and CBD products widely available today, getting the right medicine for your specific health needs is easier than ever.
9. Prevent the damage caused by stress: Nothing takes a serious toll on the body more than stress. Chronic stress can lead to a host of deadly conditions including anxiety and insomnia. It disrupts sleep, slows down healing, increases the risk for weight gain, and so much more. Like most people, it’s likely that you already have your own ways of coping with stress. Whether it’s grabbing a drink post work, doing the groceries, getting into yoga, or other means of coping with stress, it’s important to know that cannabis is a safe and blissful way to calm you down. It’s no surprise that many people end up smoking cannabis purely for the unparalleled stress relief it offers. The good news is that you don’t need a lot of cannabis to alleviate stress; studies have found that smaller doses are more effective in providing stress relief. Low doses of cannabis or THC will go a long way in helping you relax mentally and physically, while helping your body heal internally from any damage that stress may be causing.
10. Supports digestion and gut health: Cannabinoid receptors can be found all over your digestive tract. This is why cannabis is so effective in treating stomach and gut disorders, but it should also be used to prevent them in the first place. With 80% of the immune system found in the gastrointestinal tract, it’s no surprise that much of the diseases that plagues society today is rooted in our diet and how well we take care of our stomach. Cannabis can help prevent nausea, intestinal inflammation, and even helps in digestion. When you consume cannabis, you help stimulate the endocannabinoid receptors in the gut that aid in relaxing the digestive muscles, reducing cramping and spasms, improve intestinal motility, and decrease the production of irritating chemicals that cause numerous digestive disorders. If you want to target your gut, the best way to consume cannabis is by taking edibles or oils, which are absorbed much quicker by the gastrointestinal tract.
Does your overall wellness regimen include cannabis? How has it helped you stay healthy or support your overall health? Share your experience with us in the comments below!