- Olivia Castro
How Marijuana Can Improve Your Life: A Study Review
We all are familiar with the stereotype of a cannabis consumer. A care-free, happy go lucky, chill person without a care in the world, laughing and smiling all the day long. But can this be true? Here at Louisiana Marijuana Card, we say no to the negative stereotypes and yes to the ones that actually let us live our best life. While being care-free and laughing 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! There has been a lot of new research to come to the surface showing many positive links between marijuana use and living a healthier, more active, happier life. But wait there’s more! Research shows marijuana users on average are slimmer than non-user. Marijuana can also help you improve your sleep, anxiety and focus day to day. In today’s blog, we are breaking down these studies and proving once and for all that marijuana can change your life!
Marijuana Users Are Happier & Healthier
A study was conducted by the Realm of Caring that observed 1,276 participants and their marijuana use. The study followed 808 marijuana users, most of whom were using hemp based products, and 468 individuals who were not yet consuming any marijuana products. More than half of the participants stated that CBD was the primary chemical component found in the products they consumed. Participants of the study suffered from medical conditions categorized 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 between April 2016 and February 2018. The participants were frequently assessed on their use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs, their physical and mental health, and whether or not they had been admitted to the hospital. By every measure, the participants who consumed marijuana were physically and mentally healthier than the non-cannabis users!
The most notable medical benefits were achieved by the non-cannabis users who began consuming cannabis during the course of the study. These participants reported feeling better overall and saw improvements in their health! Marijuana users in the study reported experiencing a better quality of life overall as well. They were able to sleep better, were more relaxed, and encountered 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 displays the main reasons as to why people come back to cannabis use time and time again!
Marijuana Affects Homeostasis
How can this be? Is marijuana some sort of miracle drug, you ask? Although marijuana is not a cure-all, it has been used for thousands of years medicinally. The longevity of plant use like this is rooted in all of these studies and can easily be explained a little bit by our good ol’ friend science!
Homeostasis is super important in our body and all people function best when our body is balanced. The body’s balance can easily get out of whack as genetic, physical and mental health, nutrition and ever changing environmental factors contribute to one’s homeostasis.
Turns out marijuana can play a big role in maintaining this by working with the endocannabinoid system (ECS)! The ECS is a network of receptors that is responsible for keeping our body in balance. 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 out of whack, it does, however, work throughout the entire body. This is why cannabis has been referred to as the “treasure chest” of medicine! As marijuana works its magic throughout the body, it’s concoction of cannabinoids and terpenes that differ per strain deliver a wide range of effects which is why marijuana can be so helpful for so many different medical conditions.
Marijuana Users Are Slimmer Than Non-Users
Marijuana is often associated with the “munchies” which can definitely have its benefits for patients struggling with nausea, wasting syndrome and HIV/AIDS. So it may seem like a bit of an oxymoron to say that marijuana users are generally slimmer than non-users but here are the facts!
A recent study linked lower body mass indexes (BMI) to marijuana use! The study used the data from the 2004 Nunavik Inuit Health Survey which looked into the connection between marijuana use and obesity/ insulin resistance. 57.4% of the respondents of this survey shared that they use marijuana and researchers found that marijuana consumption was associated with lower BMI. Those with a lower BMI also had lower fat mass, insulin levels and insulin resistance. Although that is not directly attributed to marijuana use, it can be an indicator that marijuana use can indirectly lower a person’s chance of developing prediabetes and aids those in living a healthier life!
Marijuana Can Help You Stay Active
CBD is definitely a hot topic surrounding marijuana! Mainly because CBD is more accessible in states that may not have fully legalized medical marijuana programs. There is much research being done showing how CBD use can actually aid you in staying active!
High-level athletes are always looking for the next natural supplement that will up 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 are a part of the #fitfam and like to have an active lifestyle, CBD can be the next thing to add to your workout routine!
One way CBD can help you with an active lifestyle is by reducing inflammation and pain! In a 2020 Sports Medicine study, it was found that CBD can help promote many chemical effects in the body that potentially 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-distance exercises that can give rise to inflammation and irritation.
This same study found that CBD can also help protect one against gastrointestinal damage too! Although this may seem unrelated to an active lifestyle, it actually is not. People who regularly participate in strenuous workout or activities can reduce oxygen and nutrient delivery to their GI tract. The stress on the GI tract can impact your performance and recovery by making you nauseous and alter your nutritional uptake. CBD can aid in reducing this damage!
Based on this study, CBD can also assist in bone health! It can aid in healthy bone deposition and work with the body to help heal fractures. Healthy bones are key in any active lifestyle and can help reduce the risk of injury!
Marijuana Can Improve Sleep, Anxiety & Focus
Over 40 million people in the U.S. struggle with anxiety. Anxiety can affect both your sleep at night and your focus the next day. All three of these are often intertwined and can be helped by marijuana!
Research has shown that CBD and high-CBD marijuana strains are great for easing anxiety but there is another component that can help too! In some CBD products an amino acid can be found called L-theanine which can also be found in green and black teas. This has been linked to help anxiety, sleep and mental focus double time when combined with CBD!
According to Dr. Junella Chin, L-theanine works in the body by affecting mood through the GABA system which regulates the response to stress in the body. CBD and L-theanine work together to lower anxiety in the body and promote relaxation. L-theanine is the main component that relaxes the body by increasing GABA levels which alerts the body that it is safe and secure. Marijuana creates a surplus of GABA which is why it is so calming and aids in sleep and anxiety!
But don’t forget the mental focus aspect too! L-theanine has been shown to have strong mental clarity and focus powers especially when combined with caffeine. It 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!
Marijuana Can Help End The Opioid Epidemic
Using marijuana has more than just physical benefits for you, it also can aid in ending the opioid epidemic! According to the CDC, chronic pain is one of the most common reasons adults seek medical care and over 62% of patients who use medical marijuana, use it to treat chronic pain.
A recent study published by the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia investigated 1,000 patients who were seeking medical marijuana treatment for chronic pain. Researchers observed the participants demographics, patterns of cannabis use and the long-term effectiveness of marijuana on their chronic pain. This was a longitudinal study and participants were enrolled in the study between September 2015 and July 2018. Their pain scores were assessed from the start of the study and then at three, six and twelve months. Researchers also evaluated general health symptoms, anxiety, quality of life and self-reported opioid use of the participants.
The results showed that pain intensity and pain-related interference were significantly reduced over time when consuming medical marijuana! Most importantly, the amount of participants who reported using opioids decreased by half, yes I said half, from 40.8% at the start of the study to just 23.9% after just 12 months.
Legalizing marijuana can also result in fewer opioid deaths! A recent study examined the correlation between the two subjects and saw some significant findings.
From 2014 to 2018, researchers observed 812 counties across the United States in 23 states where legal marijuana dispensaries were allowed to operate. In all the counties, the average number of dispensaries increased from slightly less than one per county in 2014 to more than four per county by 2018.
The finding showed that when there was an increase from one to two dispensaries in a county, there was a 17% reduction in all opioid mortality rates. With the same increase, deaths related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, also saw a 21% decrease.
Findings such as these are huge for not only the medical marijuana community but our community as whole. The opioid epidemic has become rampant and takes lives every single day. Many who suffer from chronic pain are doing the right thing as they go to their doctor for help. But too often pain medication is over prescribed which leads 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 life altogether!
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
At Louisiana Marijuana Card, our mission is 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.
Call us at (833) 253-2943, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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