Cannabis is prescribed medically all across the nation to treat a staggeringly vast number of conditions. This is largely thanks to the ability of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD to act directly on the body’s nervous system and immune system through the endocannabinoid system. That, couples with cannabis’ lack of toxicity makes it an invaluable medicine for an every growing number of medical marijuana patients. In this article we’re going to focus on a few of the conditions that cannabis is used to treat and how our favorite herb works its magic!
From shrinking job markets to your latest tinder date, our fast paced modern world has a dizzying number of things to be anxious about. Fortunately, our favorite herb, has shown quite the capacity to ease your jitters. THC, CBD and the other cannabinoids present in marijuana are all able to bind to the body’s endocannabinoid receptors all throughout the central and peripheral nervous system. Once bound to these receptors, the exogenous cannabinoids restore balance to over excited nerves and help to ease your anxiety. In addition, cannabis contains compounds called terpenes that also show the ability to ease anxiety. In fact, the terpene linalool which is present in certain cannabis as well as lavender is used in aromatherapy for its tranquil, calming effect.
Alzheimer’s is an insidious disease that slowly erodes normal neurological function which eventually results in loss of motor control, diminished ability to use language, loss of memory, delusions and dementia. Recent studies have found that cannabis effectively slows the advance of alzheimer’s. Cannabis is able to do this by preventing the build of plaque between neurons which interfere with proper communication in between brain cells. Inflammation also plays a role in restricting traffic in the brain and causing neurodegeneration. Cannabis and its active compounds can act as a potent anti-inflammatory throughout the entire nervous system, including the brain.
Chronic inflammation is linked to a staggering number of diseases including; Crohn’s Disease, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s to name a few. Normal, healthy inflammation is part of the body’s response to stop the spread of viruses and other pathogens. However, when the body is constantly inflamed it is detrimental to your health. By bonding with CB1 in the central and peripheral nervous system and CB2 receptors throughout the gut and immune system, cannabinoids are able to balance the body’s immune response and ease inflammation. This is one of the reasons that cannabis is effective for such a wide range of conditions.
A comprehensive and conclusive study was published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) in January of 2017 that found cannabis and cannabinoids are a very effective way to manage chronic pain. NASEM found that cannabinoids THC and CBD are able to reduce pain when they bind to receptors in the central nervous system as well as the receptors scattered through the organs and peripheral nervous system. Because there are endocannabinoid receptors spread throughout the entire body, they found cannabis to be effective at relieving chronic pain in a variety of medical conditions.
It’s exciting to see so much new research into medical cannabis. It’s amazing that one plant is able to treat so many of the chronic conditions that plague America such as inflammation and Alzheimer’s thanks to its ability to balance the body’s natural immune response. As exciting as this research is, its just the tip of the iceberg! As more and more states push for legal medical cannabis we can expect more studies to come out showing just how important of a medicine cannabis is.