Cannabis is a word that is on many people’s lips at the moment. In recent years, there has been an explosion in the popularity of cannabis for medical use, and legalization across several states has led thousands of people to explore the potential benefits of consuming cannabis. While many people think of cannabis as a recreational drug, there is a lot more to this complex plant. This guide will discuss the various uses of cannabis, providing an insight into the potential health benefits of using cannabis and the possible effects of different cannabis compounds. 

A brief introduction to cannabis

It is thought that cannabis has been used to treat medical ailments and symptoms for some 3,000 years. Over the course of history, the compounds of this plant have been utilized to remedy all kinds of illnesses, but what exactly happens when you take cannabis and why is medical marijuana such a hot topic? 

Although cannabis has been used for centuries, legalization of recreational and medical marijuana is a relatively new development, and this is why there’s a huge amount of interest in the potential benefits offered by the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant contains several compounds, but if you’ve researched the possible health benefits of marijuana, or you’ve visited a Las Vegas strip dispensary before, you’re probably most familiar with THC and CBD. These are the two most well-known active ingredients of the cannabis plant. Both CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) have been used to improve health throughout history

CBD

CBD is perhaps the least controversial compound but widely spread because of its vast medicinal benefits without it doesn’t produce the ‘high’ often associated with using cannabis. Cannabidiol is one of multiple cannabinoids that are produced exclusively by the cannabis plant. CBD affects the body because our brains have receptors that respond to cannabinoids. These are known as CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD can be consumed in several different ways, and if you’re looking in the best cannabis dispensary, you’ll find it in many forms. Popular methods of consuming CBD include using tinctures, applying topical  creams and ingesting edible CBD gummies. 

THC

THC, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive component, which is responsible for producing the euphoric high you experience when you consume cannabis. THC stimulates the release of dopamine, a chemical found in the brain, which is linked to feeling good. The cannabinoid has been the subject of many recent studies. Studies suggest that THC may be able to aid in various medical conditions and more.

Terpenes

Terpenes are organic compounds, which are found in trees, and plants, including the cannabis plant. There are over 100 known cannabis terpenes, and they play a role in giving cannabis its scent and flavor. Terpenes are secreted by the glands that produce THC and CBD and they give different cannabis products distinctive scents and tastes. Some people find that they are drawn to specific terpenes rather than others. This may be due to the scent of the terpene, or its effects on the body and brain. Depending on the terpenes that are present, you might find that cannabis either relaxes or energizes you. 

The entourage effect

It’s common to find articles online that talk about the individual compounds or ingredients of the cannabis plant, but often, people who use or consume cannabis experience the entourage effect. This is a term that is used to describe the synergistic relationship between different elements of the plant. The entourage effect suggests that the plant is more effective as a unit than it is when divided up. In essence, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and the effects are more noticeable and more positive when different compounds work together. 

Uses of cannabis

Cannabis is often known as a recreational drug, but in recent years, medical marijuana has enjoyed a moment in the spotlight. As more and more states legalize medical marijuana, it’s interesting to explore the potential health benefits of cannabis and some of its most common uses. Here are some ailments and illnesses that are sometimes linked with cannabis:

Addiction

Addictions are notoriously difficult to overcome. When you have an addiction to something, you have a compulsion to take a drug or have a drink for example, even though you know your actions are harming your health and wellbeing. While cannabis is not touted as a cure for addiction, it can help some people who suffer from alcohol or opioid addictions to quit. 

Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common types of mental illness. While it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious in some scenarios and settings, prolonged periods of anxiety and feeling uneasy all the time are indicative of anxiety disorders. Cannabis is not always beneficial for people who are susceptible to anxiety, but very low doses can help to ease feelings of nervousness and restlessness and make people feel calmer and more relaxed. Some people find that cannabis can help them to calm nerves associated with social anxiety. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that high doses could potentially exacerbate symptoms of anxiety, but finding the right dose had a positive impact. 

Cancer

The vast majority of us know somebody affected by cancer. There is no miracle cure for cancer, but studies show that cannabis can be beneficial for some cancer patients. Research shows that cannabis can help to reduce the severity of symptoms, and in some cases, it may also slow the spread of cancerous cells and tumor growth. One of the most significant benefits for some cancer patients is the ability to alleviate pain. Many cancer patients experience pain, and taking cannabis can help to promote comfort and, subsequently, improve quality of life. 

Pain

The most common use of medical marijuana is pain relief. If you suffer from chronic pain, and it impacts your day to day life, you might find that cannabis makes you feel more comfortable. There are multiple conditions and ailments that contribute to long-term pain. Cannabis can have a positive impact because of its relationship with receptors in the human brain and its anti-inflammatory properties. The use of cannabis for pain management is supported by a report compiled by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

Nausea and loss of appetite

When you feel sick, it’s common to experience loss of appetite. Although this is unlikely to cause long-term harm for many people, if you experience nausea over a prolonged period of time, and you’re not able to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, nutrition can suffer, impacting overall health. Cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and patients who are receiving treatment for HIV, for example, can endure nausea for weeks, even months, and this can have a detrimental impact on appetite, body weight, and nutrition. Cannabis can help to increase appetite in those who are struggling with nausea as a result of going through treatment, or due to symptoms linked to bowel conditions, such as Crohn’s disease. 

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is characterized by seizures. Seizures can vary in length, frequency and severity from one person to another. Cannabis might not always be beneficial for those who suffer from epilepsy, but it has been approved for use in some cases. Medical marijuana can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures, often leading to an improvement in general wellbeing and quality of life. Cannabis products, most notably those that contain CBD, can be particularly beneficial for seizure disorders, including Dravet’s syndrome. 

Mental health disorders

Research suggests that mental disorders have become more common in the last 5-10 years. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that in 2016 alone, over 16 million adults in the US experienced at least one depressive episode. Cannabis is not a solution for everyone who suffers from depression or PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), but some people find that taking cannabis can alleviate their symptoms and help them to feel calmer and more content. 

Palliative (end of life) care

When caring for patients with a terminal illness, comfort and dignity are the main priorities. If there is no cure, the aim is to manage symptoms as effectively as possible. In some cases, cannabis may be recommended during end of life care. Medicinal cannabis can help to ease pain and increase comfort, and it could prove hugely beneficial as most countries look for ways to provide the best standards of care for aging populations

Sleep troubles

Most people experience sleep problems at some point in their lives. There are many things you can try to ease troubles and get a better night’s sleep, including cannabis. Some people find that cannabis helps them to battle insomnia and enjoy better quality sleep. Sleep plays a crucial role in optimizing both physical and mental health. If you miss out on good quality sleep on a regular basis, this can affect your mood, it can elevate the risk of stress and depression, and it can also compromise immunity, affect cognition and contribute to fatigue and exhaustion. 

Muscle spasms

Muscle spasms and spasticity are side-effects of several illnesses, including Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. The best Vegas dispensary can provide cannabis products that could help to reduce the intensity of spasms, alleviate pain and enhance wellbeing. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that multiple sclerosis patients who smoked marijuana experienced reduced scores on the Ashworth Scale. This scale measures resistance and is used to determine levels of spasticity. 

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition, which occurs as a result of increased pressure within the eyeball. This causes damage to the optic nerve, impairing sight. Cannabis may be beneficial for glaucoma sufferers because it can reduce pressure within the eye on a short-term basis. The findings of studies so far suggest that it could be possible to develop a cannabis-based treatment in the future, which would prolong pressure reduction. 

Summary

Cannabis has a multitude of uses. Although cannabis compounds have been used to treat all kinds of ailments throughout history, the legalization of medicinal cannabis is relatively recent and there’s a great deal of debate and discussion going on about the impact of cannabis and its potential benefits. Many people have experienced an improvement in their physical or mental health as a result of taking cannabis, but that doesn’t mean that it will work for everyone or that everyone should try it. There are limitations and what works for one person might not work for another. 

If you have any questions about the uses or possible health benefits of cannabis, or you’re looking for where to buy cannabis in Las Vegas, we’d be happy to help. Contact us at Las Vegas ReLeaf for more information.

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