Over the past several years, countries around the world have started loosing up their laws regarding cannabis. Throughout most of the 20th century, marijuana was treated just like any other drug and was illegal in almost every place in the world.
However, recent studies have shown that the main ingredients of this plant, known as CBD and THC, have plenty of positive effects on health.
Nowadays, you can see countries such as Uruguay and Canada decriminalizing marijuana, while a lot of US states have allowed its use for both medical and recreational purposes.
So, what makes cannabis so much beneficial to our health, and can it really help us cure and alleviate certain conditions?
Therapeutic Effects of CBD and THC
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the two main cannabinoids of cannabis. Unlike THC, cannabidiol isn’t associated with psychoactive effects. Marijuana can have different levels of CBD depending on its type, and the substance itself is derived from the flowers and buds of this plant.
Certain cannabinoids are produced directly in the body, too. That’s why THC and CBD have such a profound effect. We have two types of receptors for them. The CB1 receptors are located in the brain and are in charge of our moods and emotions. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are in the immune system and affect inflammation and pain.
In combination, CBD and THC can be used for the treatment of many conditions like pain, cancer, bone fractures, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, nausea, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and more.
Ways to Take Cannabis
Although many people associate cannabis with smoking or vaping, there are also other ways to take this medicine. CBD oil is perhaps the most renowned one, and it’s especially useful for people who can’t or don’t prefer to inhale. Another alternative to smoking are edibles, commonly known as hash brownies.
Tinctures, capsules, gummies, creams, lotions, and skin patches are also available.
Marijuana Side Effects
While it does help, cannabis also carries dangers and can have contraindications on a person’s psyche.
Some of the most common side effects of smoking marijuana are slow response times, memory loss, weak coordination, increased heart rate, dry mouth, and others. Long-term smokers also may experience the loss of cognitive abilities, schizophrenia, lung complications, addiction, etc.
It’s also suggested that marijuana can be a gateway drug, meaning that plenty of smokers end up using stronger drugs like LSD, cocaine, and heroin.
Where Is Cannabis Legal Today?
Some of the countries that have legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes include Canada, Uruguay, South Africa, and Georgia. There’s a clear difference between medical and recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana has higher levels of CBD and very little THC, which negates the “high” effect.
Plenty of other countries like Germany, Croatia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Malta, Netherlands, Thailand, and New Zealand, among others, have allowed the use of cannabis medically.
In the United States, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states and four territories, while recreational use is legalized in 11 states and decriminalized in 15 more.
Marijuana is not perfect but is undoubtedly extremely useful. From anti-inflammation properties to boosting immunity, marijuana provides us with a wide range of health benefits.