It’s common knowledge that when you take cannabis, you might get the munchies, have red eyes, or get a dry mouth. You probably know that some people use cannabis because it may help with inflammation, pain, and seizures. Even though the research is still hazy, there are some other things you may not know about cannabis.
1. It Can Affect Your Emotions
One study found that if you regularly use cannabis, it makes you more susceptible to substance use disorders by dulling your emotional response. In the study, 108 people in their 20s were studied. Each of these people was involved in more significant research on substance use.
The participants sat in MRIs while playing games. Every time they saw a certain target on a computer screen, they pressed a button. They had been told that they could win $5 or 20 cents, or they might lose that amount. They might also have no reward. The researchers looked at the participants’ responses when they knew they could get a little richer.
This would be a cause of excitement for many people, but the more cannabis that they reported having used, the less the reward centers in their brains were activated. This means that something that most people would find rewarding was no longer so. That suggested that cannabis may have hijacked their reward system, so they would have needed marijuana to feel rewarded.
2. It May Help to Lower Your Blood Pressure
Cannabis is thought to be a vasodilator, which means it can make your blood vessels open up. When your blood vessels open, you can get better circulation throughout your body, lowering your blood pressure. For this reason, some people have bloodshot eyes when they use cannabis. That is also why some research suggests that it may work well for treating glaucoma. It might reduce your intraocular pressure by as much as 25 percent.
3. It Might Help You Sleep
Feeling stressed? Using cannabis may help you to sleep better at night. It might also increase the amount of sleeping time. Studies have shown that you might be able to reduce the amount of time you spend in REM sleep when you use cannabis. So if you have nightmares, this can be a good technique for potentially reducing them. People who have PTSD often use cannabis so they can rest better and sleep throughout the night.
4. It Could Help With Broken Bones
One study suggested that cannabis might help your bones to heal faster and stronger. The cannabinoid known as cannabidiol, which you can find in the stems and leaves of the plant, helped mice recover from broken bones. The researchers think that cannabis might help minerals enter your bone tissue faster. It makes your bones stronger, less likely to break again, and sturdier.
5. It Might Help You Cool Off
One study from the U.S. National Library of Medicine found that cannabis, especially CBD, might affect the receptors in your body that help you feel the temperature. That means that if it is a hot day outside, you might get relief from the heat.
6. It Can Help With Workout Recovery
Do you have a favourite sport you play all the time? If so, you might want to consider using cannabis. Some users believe that it can help to improve their recovery after workouts. For example, if you just had a long session at the gym, you can consider taking cannabis to reduce sore muscles potentially.
7. It Can Be an Alternative to Harsher Drugs
If you have a headache, you might take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like naproxen sodium or ibuprofen. However, they might not be as safe as you initially thought.
If you are an athlete who likes to run particularly long distances, you might want to avoid NSAIDs if you have a long event or training session. The reason for this is that it can increase your risk of renal damage. However, even if you only do short workouts, using NSAIDs for long periods might make you more likely to suffer from a stroke or a heart attack.
For this reason, more athletes are turning to CBD because of its potentially pain-relieving effects. CBD may reduce or even eliminate the need for NSAIDs for pain from exercise. Often, cannabis users notice few to no side effects.
According to one review of studies, products made from the cannabis plant have not caused any documented deaths. This review noted that almost all of the reported adverse effects were not considered to be serious.
That means that you might be able to use cannabis as an alternative to opioids as well. The CDC has reported that in the year 2016, over 42,000 deaths in the United States were caused by opioids. That includes things like codeine, oxycontin, and morphine.
These are effective for relieving pain, but they can also be highly addicting, carrying the risk of death if you overdose on them. Some people are turning to cannabinoids for relieving intense, acute pain, especially for long-term use. People use them either by themselves or with other methods. When using cannabis, you are less likely to face accidental death or overdose.
8. It Could Potentially Calm Your Gut
If you have inflammation in your large or small intestines, it can cause quite a bit of discomfort. GI distress can have a negative impact on your life. If you have underlying issues of inflammation that cause gut issues, you might consider using CBD to alleviate the symptoms.
Your colon has CB1 and CB2 receptors, and one study in mice suggested that activating these receptors might help reduce symptoms of colitis. Taking an edible might help with unpleasant GI symptoms.
There are many potential benefits of using cannabis. But you should err on the side of caution and make sure that you talk to your doctor before beginning to use marijuana. If you take certain medications, you may need to switch to something else to avoid combining them with cannabis.