If you’ve read anything on the medicinal benefits of marijuana, you probably know the plant is celebrated for its ability to tackle pain from cancer symptoms, arthritis, and insomnia. If you dug a bit deeper, you might have been surprised by cannabis’ promise in the treatment of mood disorders, multiple sclerosis, and even asthma. This week, we’re taking a look at five other benefits of cannabis that might come as a surprise.
Did you know cannabis can lower blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes? A recent clinical study involving 62 individuals with the disease investigated whether THCV – a cannabinoid similar to THC – could play a role in glycemic control. The results suggested this handy cannabinoid could decrease levels of “fasting plasma glucose”, and improve the function of pancreatic cells. This evidence follows with other studies based on population observations, which have cited individuals who use marijuana have generally lower BMIs than those who do not. (Source: NORML)
The evidence for treating autism with cannabis is largely anecdotal – not many studies have been done on the topic, presumably due to children being the primary focus of the treatment (despite the success and media attention of treating children with epilepsy). But some parents have spoken up about treating their children with cannabis; they find it calms anger, improves behavioral concerns, eases pain, and enables their kids to concentrate and interact. More advocates for this angle of research and treatment speak up every day. (Sources: Tech Times, Merry Jane)
- Repairing broken bones
Yes – seriously! According to a study taking place in Israel (a leader in medical marijuana research, by the way), broken bones heal more quickly, and stronger, when CBD is administered during the healing process.
The CBD enhances something called the “collagenous matrix,” which in turn encourages “new mineralization of bone tissue.” While these studies have taken place on rats, not humans, the results definitely deserve further investigation. (Source: HealthLine)
If you suffer from eczema – which is an umbrella term for a number of conditions that result in dry, itchy skin, redness, blisters, and inflammation – you might be pleased to learn cannabis topicals can help alleviate the symptoms. Not only will an infused salve or balm relieve that centralized pain, it can also lessen inflammation, lower stress levels that could exacerbate outbreaks, and even calm the immune system whose over-activity may be causing your reaction.
Cannabis can do all this, with none of the mental “high” for which it is known. Just remember: if a skin condition is your concern, avoid smoking your medicine, as this can do your skin more harm than good. (Source: Optiderma)
- Eating disorders
If you’ve ever tried marijuana and found yourself desperately searching the house for cookies, you might not be surprised to learn cannabis can be used to encourage appetite in people struggling with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. The scientific reason behind this benefit lies in the brain.
Scientists have previously posed that anorexia and bulimia are caused by imbalances in brain chemistry, specifically in the “insula”, which is responsible for linking emotions with actions such as eating. When this part of the brain isn’t balanced, we might not derive the pleasures from food that we should or, alternately, we might mistake certain strong emotions as signs that we should be eating, and consume more than we need.
The body’s amazing, multifaceted endocannabinoid system – which pairs up with the cannabinoid compounds in marijuana and facilitates every healing process in the plant’s arsenal – is connected to this brain chemistry, and certain cannabinoids can help re-balance that chemistry. (Source: Psychology Today)
Want to learn more about the many, many benefits of cannabis? This list by Green Flower explores lots of ways cannabis can help, not only with your health, but economically and in your day-to-day life, as well! Just remember to do your research beyond any bullet-point list – cannabis is great for different people in different ways, but always look further into the points that catch your interest, to make sure the treatment is right for you.