10 Things that we've learned about cannabis through research

Published Jun 26, 2021 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Ivan-balvan

After decades worth of experimentation and research, there is still a lot that we don’t yet know about the cannabis plant, but along the way, we’ve also discovered some pretty amazing things. Though we cannot wait to get all of the answers that we’ve been looking for, it is important for now to focus on what we do know, and with that, we’ll leave you with ten things that we know for certain about cannabis thanks to scientific research.

1. It can help you to sleep

This is one of the more widely known side effects of cannabis, as any cannabis user could confirm, but few realize just how well it can work to help you to get some rest when it’s needed the most. Not only can it help you to drift off into la-la land, but cannabis can also make sure that you stay out for the entirety of the night, and that once you’re awake, all of the effects will have worn off, so that you can go about your day without fear of being impaired.

2. It can reduce anxiety

Cannabis users who either take too much, or that come to the table with a low tolerance, sometimes report heightened feelings of anxiety, but in small doses, a combination of CBD and THC can be incredibly effective at managing this uncomfortable problem. For some people, it’s all they need to start the day off on the right foot, so that they have the confidence to face the world and all that it has to offer.

3. It can relieve pain

Whether you suffer from chronic debilitating headaches and migraines or you’ve got some temporary aches and pains due to a recent injury, cannabis can help in a few ways. It can help to reduce the swelling around the impacted area, and it can help to ease the pain almost instantly, but many feel that it’s the biggest benefit in this sense is due to its ability to keep you relaxed and doing as little as possible while you heal.

4. Many self-titled recreational users are actually self-medicating

Everyone has their own reason for using cannabis. Some will claim that it’s for medicinal purposes, and others tout its recreational benefits for their decision, but we now know that many of those who believe that they’re using cannabis on a regular basis are actually self-medicating, even if they don’t realize it. In a world where much of the population suffers from mental health issues, it makes sense to assume that the majority of cannabis users take it because they feel good after, which is the very essence of medicine.

5. It is a safer alternative to alcohol

For a very long time, uneducated people feared cannabis for all of the damage that it could cause, but now that we’ve had time to research this idea, we know that it’s the opposite. Cannabis doesn't hurt, it heals, and if you compare it for safety against other alternatives such as alcohol, it won’t take long to realize that it’s a much safer alternative with far fewer risks for your health. We also know that it’s nearly impossible to take enough of it to put yourself in danger of an overdose, which is the reason behind so many people's decisions to make the switch.

6. It can often work in conjunction with prescribed treatments

Though cannabis is often touted as a miracle cure for just about everything you can think of, it does have a fair number of limitations on its own, but it has shown to be incredibly effective when used in conjunction with more traditional treatments. One great example of this is with cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy, a lifesaving treatment that can take a toll on the body and mind. For them, cannabis can reduce nausea, improve appetite, and speed up the healing process, making it the perfect drug to pair with some pharmaceuticals.

7. Every person experience cannabis differently

Most medications affect those who take them in a similar manner which makes them easy to measure and administer predictably, but after years of research, we now know that cannabis impacts each and every person differently. Some will feel a calming sense of euphoria after getting high, whereas others might get nothing more than a headache, or wind up with so much motivation they don’t know what to do with it. The spectrum is vast and unpredictable, regardless of how much information we’ve uncovered about it.

8. Topical cannabis products can offer effective spot treatments

We used to believe that the only way to use cannabis or any of its derivatives was by smoking or eating it after decarboxylation, but we now know that there are many benefits that can be achieved with topical cannabis products. The biggest success has been found with balms and salves that can offer effective spot treatment solutions for those who don’t like the idea of getting high, but who still need pain relief.

9. There are more than 3000 different strains in existence today

It might sound like a rather large amount, but this is only a modest estimate of the number of cannabis strains that have been officially cataloged and tracked after their creation or discovery. In reality, there are likely thousands more strains than this in existence, but we know for certain that at least, this many are in wide circulation across the market in some form or another today.

10. CBD can be just as effective as THC even if it’s less noticeable at first

We’ve once believed that THC was the only real active cannabinoid within cannabis, but after many years of clinical trials and research, we now know that other naturally produced elements within the species like CBD, can be just as effective at treating many of the same conditions without the impairing stereotypical high. This is excellent news for medicinal patients and opens up the possibility of other cannabinoids that could be just as helpful to the medical world, which is pretty amazing.

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