We all know that weed typically makes you feel ‘good’. And with the rise of medical marijuana legalization, we’re also more aware of the medical benefits of THC. But a small part of the population actually understands how cannabis therapy, and the plant’s natural effects can boost wellness.
That’s why we’re breaking down the top 3 ways cannabis treatment helps to benefit health – physically, psychologically, and spiritually. So, go on, keep reading, to understand the unique compounds, and inner workings of marijuana therapy for feeling good, and optimizing health.
How Cannabis Can Be Therapeutic
The first question to answer when understanding the therapeutic uses of marijuana is – how does cannabis actually work?
The plant itself produces a variety of compounds and phytonutrients that interact with our body for its effects to be felt. More specifically, these compounds, like THC, influence and interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
This system is lesser-known than most, but is just as vital. The ECS is integral in maintaining and regulating all other systems by serving as the body’s communication network. What does that mean? Let’s say you stub your toe. To feel that pain, receptors travel from the toe to the brain to signal pain. To circle back, these receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system that marijuana’s compounds affect.
Cannabis’ most therapeutic and important compounds to know include:
- Cannabinoids, like CBD, THC, CBN, CBC, THCA.
- Terpenes, like limonene, linalool, myrcene, pinene, and others which give the marijuana flower its individual aromas.
- Flavonoids, like cannaflavins and others, add to the flavor, contribute to the colors of your favorite bud, and are pharmacologically active.
Each cannabinoid, terpene, and flavonoid delivers its own unique benefits. Hence, why one cultivar may produce sedative, calming effects, while another energizes, and uplifts your mood. Together, however, an ‘entourage effect’ is also offset. Meaning, when combined – cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids interact with one another to amplify overall effects.
Through experimentation and journaling, conscious consumers are able to decipher which cultivar contains the unique combination that works best for them. In today’s world of weed, cannabis can be used for therapeutic effects through the traditional puff, puff, passing, concentrates, vape pens, capsules, edibles, tinctures, transdermal patches, even cannabis suppositories. Allowing those with unique medical conditions, to reap the benefits of the plant with a variety of new methods.
Through these unique combinations of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and varied delivery methods, now more than ever, cannabis therapy is used for natural and organic health benefits – physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
Next, let’s explore each unique benefit to see how the therapeutic uses of marijuana may help you achieve optimal wellness.
Cannabis Therapy Benefit #1: Physical Effects
By interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, THC and CBD directly interact with varied pain receptors, overall dampening their signaling for the pain to be felt.
This is similar to the way common pain relievers like ibuprofen work. Especially considering ibuprofen and over-the-counter pain medications are often NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Cannabis doesn’t just contain one compound that’s anti-inflammatory for pain, it contains many, including:
- Studies show THC, THCa CBD, CBDa, CBN, are specifically anti-inflammatory.
- Terpenes like limonene (lemon-scented), myrcene (earthy & musky), linalool (floral aromas), and caryophyllene (herbal & spicy) have been proven to be anti-inflammatory in nature.
- The cannabis flavonoids, beta-sitosterol, apigenin, cannaflavin A and quercetin are all anti-inflammatory too.
Unlike pain caused by inflammation, nerve pain is harder to target for over-the-counter medicines. Neuropathic or nerve pain can stem from various ailments or conditions, like multiple sclerosis, lupus, IBS, amongst others.
Luckily, studies prove cannabis’ beneficial compounds can help. What research has uncovered so far, is THC and CBD directly interact with CB1 receptors found in the endocannabinoid system. This interaction lessens pain that’s felt through the spinal cord, which results in nerve pain. Overall, these cannabinoids weaken the strength of pain signals sent that are processed in the brain.
Last but not least for the physical benefits of cannabis therapy, is the way the plant compounds can address muscle strain. Which is one reason why cannabis is trending amongst athletes and those with active lifestyles is its ability to relax the muscles.
Research shows cannabinoids like CBD and THC interact with our body’s messengers, specifically in the central nervous system, to communicate their calming effects for muscle pain. In fact, there’s already a cannabis-based prescription Sativex, formulated for MS patients and other conditions that produce muscle spasms and pain.
Cannabis Therapy Benefit #2: Psychological Effects
In addition to knowing that marijuana can make our bodies feel good, it’s also quite notorious for uplifting spirits. The psychological effects of cannabis are just as abundant as its physical effects and are proving to be helpful for a number of mood-related conditions, like anxiety, stress, and depression.
Here are the top ways that cannabis therapy can be beneficial for moods, and our psychological wellness.
Mood Enhancer & Relieves Depression
Another receptor that cannabis compounds can directly influence is serotonin, AKA, the ‘happy chemical’. Appropriate levels of serotonin are influential in maintaining good moods, while low levels of the receptor can cause symptoms of depression.
In addition to cannabinoids boosting levels of serotonin, early studies are showing that the limonene terpene may be an antidepressant individually, and can increase levels of serotonin.
Addresses Anxiety & Stress
Feeling overly anxious or paranoid is a common myth that surrounds the use of THC. But, with the right combination of cannabinoids and phytonutrients, cannabis has the ability to reduce or balance anxiety levels while relieving overall stress.
Apigenin, a common cannabis flavonoid can reduce anxiety, as does a variety of terpenes. Including, myrcene, caryophyllene, linalool, pinene, and again, limonene as well.
Cannabis Therapy Benefit #3: Spiritual Effects
Finally, cannabis treatment and the beneficial effects of marijuana can amplify our inner spirituality. Which is just as important for mentally feeling at peace, as psychological effects can be.
In ancient times, cannabis was held as a sacred plant for the spiritual benefits and connections it produced. Often classified as an entheogen or plant that can expand consciousness and promote spiritual growth. In today’s modern times, these effects are quickly becoming re-discovered.
The relaxing properties of marijuana have the ability to ‘quiet the mind’ allowing for more introspective thoughts, while also heightening the senses, and boosting creativity.
These unique effects can offset new perspectives, an ‘enlightening’ type of experience, and nurture your personal sense of self. Today, many incorporate cannabis with meditation, and yoga, to enhance the practices’ spiritual effects.
Achieve Wellness with Cannabis Therapy
Physical, psychological, and spiritual balance is the key to feeling ‘well’ overall. Now that you know how cannabis therapy works internally for beneficial health effects, you can fine-tune the way you consume.
Mastering the medical benefits of THC, and other cannabis compounds can be life-changing, to say the least. So, stay in tune with the Cannabis Therapy Network Hub to keep learning tips and tricks for optimizing your conscious cannabis use, to feel better and live better, too.
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