Unexpected Health Benefits of Using Cannabis Recreationally. Most everyone knows that cannabis has significant benefits for certain sufferers of health conditions. Medical marijuana programs have been operational across the U.S. for nigh on 20 years in some states, and there is plenty of research proving that cannabis improves outcomes for those suffering from cancer, AIDS, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and many other painful and debilitating disorders.
Yet, what about people without medical conditions who want to use cannabis recreationally — do they experience any health benefits from the drug? The answer, it seems, is a resounding “Yes!” Here are a few positive effects of cannabis consumption for occasional-to-moderate cannabis users.
Cannabis primarily interacts with the human body through the endocannabinoid system, which has most of its receptors located in nervous tissues, like the brain. However, a large number of receptors are within the digestive system — which means cannabis consumption affects digestion, overwhelmingly in a positive manner. Studies have found that cannabis users typically enjoy less inflammation of their digestive tracts, which means lower rates of nausea, bloating and pain.
Interestingly, few states allow medical marijuana access to those suffering from digestive distress, with the exception of severe digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease. Thus, patients interested in using cannabis to manage IBS, IBD, food sensitivities and other digestive concerns might only find relief from a recreational Aurora dispensary.
Endocannabinoid receptors are also present in within the reproductive system, and research has found cannabis consumption to have particularly pronounced effects on female reproductive cycles. Many women who use cannabis attest that the drug radically increases their sex drive, and it can also help them to relax during sexual activities and more likely to reach orgasm.
However, it is worth noting that the effects of cannabis on the reproductive system seem to vary from individual to individual. Studies have found that cannabis can increase a woman’s testosterone level; in some users, this is a boon to fertility, while in others, it impedes fertility. Those who experience an increase in fertility likely enjoy a much more significant boost to their libido.
The myth that cannabis kills brain cells was busted decades ago, though it lingers in some anti-cannabis spheres. Yet, emerging research indicates that for adult users, cannabis could offer vital neuroprotective properties, which help the human nervous system defend against various threats.
One study found that amongst a group of patients with traumatic brain injury, those with cannabinoids in their system enjoyed better outcomes than those who endured brain damage without any cannabis consumption. This has spurred a rash of research on the potential application of cannabis as a preventative or responsive treatment for all sorts of brain injury, to include neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Many researchers believe that moderate cannabis consumption could help cushion nervous tissues and strengthen them against many types of degradation and damage.
Less Weight Gain
“The munchies” are an oft-dreaded symptom of cannabis consumption, wherein users feel intense hunger as soon as their weed high hits. Often, the munchies drive users to eat all sorts of unhealthy junk food, like chips, cookies, candy and fast food, and as a result, many people suspect that cannabis use is associated with uncontrolled weight gain.
However, the opposite seems to be true. A study on moderate cannabis consumption found that regular cannabis users gained less weight over a period of three years than non-cannabis users, that the munchies do not have a drastic impact on weight gain. There are several potential reasons why this occurs, such as that cannabis increases users’ metabolic rate to burn more calories or that cannabis users offset the munchies with a healthier lifestyle overall. Ultimately, moderate cannabis use could ensure less weight gain over time — which can be exceedingly positive for some consumers.
Finally, the best and most widely known effect of recreational cannabis use is stress relief. Cannabis relaxes the body and mind, helping users’ worries and concerns melt into euphoria. Considering that stress is a significant cause of various physical and mental health problems, from heart disease to major depression, the opportunity to relieve stress in a safe, effective manner shouldn’t be overlooked. However, users should be careful to avoid relying to heavily on cannabis as a stress reliever; as with alcohol, consumption in moderation is best.
Medical marijuana is a godsend for many suffering from the most serious health conditions, but even those who are healthy can benefit from occasional cannabis use. Fortunately, as more areas legalize recreational cannabis, we will gain even more insight into how the drug is helping everyday users.