Medical cannabis has received plenty of praise since the beginning of its legalization in some parts of the U.S. in the 1990s, and the continued legalizations taking place so far in the 2000s. And much of that recognition comes from cannabis’ possible benefits. But what does science have to say about medical marijuana? Is it bogus or is it the real deal? In this post, we’ll explore the answers to those questions.
The Science Behind Medical Cannabis: Benefits
Before we dive into specifics about medical marijuana’s possible benefits, we must understand two specific organic compounds. Namely, THC and CBD, the main cannabinoids in cannabis. Here are a few of the differences between them:
THC: This is the core psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. It imparts marijuana’s famous “high”—as well as possessing other possible psychoactive properties.
CBD: This is the main non-psychoactive compound in cannabis. Research has started to suggest several health-related benefits that may come from CBD use, which we’ll cover further into this article.
These aren’t the only naturally occurring compounds in marijuana. In addition, cannabinoids like CBN and CBG appear in medical marijuana in trace amounts. What’s more, flavor compounds called terpenes also have a part to play in cannabis’ effects. While these minor ingredients do have an impact on medical cannabis, the research done so far is not as significant as the research done on the medical effects of THC and CBD.
Inflammation and Chronic Pain
Two of the most commonly touted benefits of medical marijuana are its painkilling and anti-inflammatory effects. In fact, humans have used cannabis as a pain-killing medicine for nearly 5,000 years.
But what does science say about it?
A lot, actually. Researchers have looked extensively into medical marijuana’s ability to reduce pain and swelling. The data is pretty clear: This line of research indicates that CBD appears to control pain and inflammatory responses throughout the body. This information is critical to consider for anyone who suffers from chronic conditions like arthritis, neuropathy, Crohn’s disease, and more.
Stress and Anxiety
Perhaps the second best-known benefit of medical marijuana is its ability to likely help banish stress. Anecdotal evidence overwhelmingly supports the theory that cannabis alleviates stress and anxiety. Millions of Americans use cannabis every day to take the edge off. Does medical marijuana really help anxiety, though?
The answer appears to be a resounding “yes.” Data suggests that cannabis (specifically CBD) appears to have anxiolytic (or stress-relieving) effects. But medical marijuana can do more than just take the edge off, though. It may be a beneficial tool for those suffering from anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety, social anxiety, or PTSD.
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These aren’t the only possible benefits of medical marijuana. Science appears to support several other claims, from improving sleep to increasing appetite. Unfortunately, the scientific community hasn’t completely accepted medical marijuana’s role as a medicine. Instead, there are calls for more research before the scientific community reaches critical mass on a consensus.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for more studies to happen. Want to find the perfect medical marijuana edible, concentrate, flower, or other marijuana product to suit your tastes and desired effects? Check out our marijuana delivery service, where you can order medical cannabis straight to your door. Try it out!