Art by Alex Grey
Over the past few years the “green rush” has brought forth a new understanding and appreciation of marijuana. More than just a recreational substance, marijuana has many healing properties and health benefits that are now being taken seriously by mainstream culture and scientists alike.
“We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.” – Sanjay Gupta
Even CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, who once was against legalization, has come to believe in the medicinal benefits of marijuana after traveling the world, and meeting with medical experts/medical marijuana patients.
Below, we’ve curated a list of some of the more surprising benefits from smoking marijuana, and how it’s medicinal properties can be supplemental to your health and wellness.
6 Health Benefits From Smoking Marijuana
1. Marijuana Might Make You Thinner:
The Journal Obesity published a comprehensive study on the direct impact on of marijuana user’s BMIs, and fat accumulation. The results of the study showed that cannabis users tend to have a lower BMI as opposed to non-users, and low BMIs are less likely to be affected by diabetes, as well as other detrimental health issues.
2.Marijuana is Actually Good For Your Lungs
According to a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association in January 2012, marijuana has no negative impact on lung function, and can even increase lung capacity with prolonged use.
3. Marijuana Improves Creativity
In 2012, a study in Consciousness and Cognition found that pot enhances creativity, especially in the area of language. There was a direct correlation between frequent marijuana users, and an increase in fluency of speech and articulation.
“We investigated the effects of cannabis smoked naturalistically on schizotypy and divergent thinking, a measure of creativity. One hundred and sixty cannabis users were tested on one day when sober and another day when intoxicated with cannabis.”
“Cannabis increased verbal fluency in low creatives to the same level as that of high creatives.”
4. THC Slows the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.
In a study led by Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institute, results concluded THC (the active chemical in marijuana) may be able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
THC slows the formation of amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme in the brain that makes them. Amyloid plaques are what kill brain cells, and are the root cause of Alzheimer’s.
5. Marijuana Can Rid Your Body of Cancerous Cells
In 2007 researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco found that CBD may help prevent cancer from spreading.
“Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory. At this time, there is not enough evidence to recommend that patients inhale or ingest Cannabis as a treatment for cancer-related symptoms or side effects of cancer therapy.”
The researchers studied breast cancer cells that had high expression levels of Id-1, a gene that causes cancerous cells to spread, and treated them with cannabidiol. After treatment the cells had decreased Id-1 expression and were spreading less/not as aggressive.
6. It’s 114 Times Safer Than Alcohol
Weed is the safest drug available by far, outscoring alcohol 114 times. Marijuana is non-toxic, and there’s no possible way you can die from an overdose.
According to the National Cancer Institute, cannabis can’t end your days even if you wanted to, and here is why:
“Because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiratory, lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur.”
The benefits listed here only scratch the surface of the healing powers of this miraculous plant. It’s both inspiring and incredible that the past few decades have allowed research to reveal the potential of marijuana. In time one can only imagine the further implications of incorporating this supplement into our health regimen as a seeming “cure-all” for the mind, body, and spirit.