There is no denying that cannabis is a potent and powerful plant with many medical benefits. While most long-term cannabis users are already familiar with many of these benefits, here are a few of our favourite benefits of toking regularly:
Cannabis Makes You More Productive
Despite the previously popular stereotype that “stoners are lazy”, cannabis can actually help improve productivity! While this is not the case for heavy Indica strains, there are many Sativa options that not only provide a clear-headed cerebral boost but can also assist with focus, creativity and energy! This is further proved by a 2006 study that determined regular cannabis users remain highly motivated compared to non-users, if not more so.
Cannabis Assists with Social Issues
One of the major reasons for cannabis use is anxiety and, more particularly, social anxiety. Individuals who find themselves stressed in social situations have grabbed onto cannabis as a new-age social lubricant because of its ability to help them to feel calm and relaxed. The benefit is that people who previously felt stressed or unsure in social gatherings may find themselves more extroverted, or at least more comfortable in social situations and around new people.
Cannabis Can Improve Lung Function
Contrary to popular belief, smoking marijuana does not actually reduce lung function. In fact, according to a 2012 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, cannabis use can actually increase lung capacity. While tobacco smokers will lose function over time, it is found that cannabis users maintain or improve their lung function.
Some speculation is that this is due to the deep inhale of cannabis compared to tobacco, however cannabis is considered a “bronchodilator”. This means it helps reduce resistance to increase airflow in the lungs, which is why cannabis is beneficial for asthma patients.
Cannabis Aids in Weight Loss
One of the more recent discoveries with cannabis is its ability to help regulate weight by managing metabolism and blood sugar (glucose) levels. In fact, individuals who consume cannabis have, on average, healthier Body Mass Index ratings than non-users. This seems counterintuitive given the “munchies” and other junk cravings experienced by cannabis users, however these cravings typically lessen as users become more experienced or regular tokers.
Cannabis Combats PTSD
The anxiety reducing properties found in cannabis are powerful enough to help combat even PTSD. While this is not necessarily true for THC – too much of which can worsen symptoms – it is true for CBD. A non-psychoactive component, CBD is favoured for its ability to lessen excitement in the brain which can help to reduce symptoms experienced by seizure patients, as well as those battling PTSD. CBD can also help to regulate response to stress, fear and anxiety by influencing the endocannabinoid system.
Cannabis Regulates Sleep Patterns
Both of the main components in cannabis (THC and CBD) are found to assist with insomnia and sleep-related symptoms or disorders due to its ability to correct imbalances that result in sleep issues. In fact, a University of Pennsylvania study determined that cannabis can improve breathing, calm various nerve system processes and relax muscles to ease all stages of sleep (including REM). Whether your insomnia stems from anxiety, a mood disorder or physical condition, cannabis is a great alternative.
Cannabis is a Great Alternative to Alcohol
From a societal and health standpoint, perhaps one of the best benefits of cannabis is that it serves as a great alternative for alcohol. Alcohol happens to be the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States and it doesn’t end there. Alcohol is an addictive and damaging product and is the contributing factor for many workplace and domestic disputes. This varies greatly from cannabis, which has caused zero deaths to date and actually improves health and reduces anxiety and depression. In fact, cannabis is found to be 114 times safer than alcohol!