In our last post, we began our discussion of the different health benefits of medical marijuana, but let’s continue and discover more ways the plant can enhance one’s life.
Although medical marijuana has garnered the reputation as a gateway drug by prohibitionists and anti-marijuana activists, studies have shown marijuana can actually help ween people off of those harmful and addictive substances. One study from 2009 found people used marijuana as a replacement for alcohol, prescription, and illegal drugs, mostly due to the fact that marijuana effectively manages health issues while producing few adverse side effects, and leaving little risk for withdrawal symptoms. This is an especially important benefit in light of the opioid epidemic currently ravaging the country. Not only is marijuana a healthy alternative to harmful substances like cigarettes, but it may even benefit the lungs and improve lung capacity. One study from the Journal of the American Medical Association involving 5000 participants over the course of 20 years linked marijuana users with a higher overall lung capacity than non-users. Additionally, marijuana’s ability to act as a bronchodilator makes it a powerful tool for asthma sufferers.
Medical marijuana also acts as a sleep aid for those who suffer with insomnia or other sleep disorders. Studies have found THC reduces the time it needed to fall asleep in healthy volunteers and insomniacs, so consuming marijuana prior to sleeping can help induce sleep. That said, some studies suggest cannabis can interfere with the deeper stages of sleep where dreaming occurs, known as REM sleep. Another use for medical marijuana is in enhancing sexual health. One study from 2017 found small doses of marijuana increases sexual drive and libido, and consumers report it increases orgasms and sexual enjoyment. That said, consumers shouldn’t go overboard: some studies have linked heavy long-term use to negative side effects like lack of sexual interest, erectile dysfunction, and reduced testosterone levels.
Stay tuned for the third and final installment of our discussion on the overall health benefits of medical marijuana. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.