The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids
The cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa) is truly one of a kind. It's the source of hundreds of naturally-occurring chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
The health benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids continue to be a highly-researched medical topic.
The number of cannabis research studies has increased greatly in countries such as the US, the UK, and Canada - thanks to relaxed marijuana laws.
The ultimate goal of most cannabis research studies is directed towards understanding the therapeutic (health) benefits of cannabis and its related products.
The increased acceptance of cannabis products for recreational use has, however, awakened experts about the possible health dangers of cannabinoids.
As we speak today, cannabis research, as well as its consumption, is widespread.
Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids
The following are some major highlights of the health benefits of cannabis and its derivatives.
Management or treatment of chronic pain is one area that has seen the application of cannabis and cannabinoids.
Many research studies have, indeed, shown that patients who are given cannabis or cannabinoid treatments report reductions in the severity of their chronic pain conditions.
In some studies, oral cannabinoids have also proved beneficial to adults with muscular sclerosis.
Marijuana has been linked to cancer for some time now. But what do researchers say about it?
Some studies have found substantial evidence suggesting that smoking of cannabis doesn't expose one to high risks of cancer in the same way that smoking tobacco does.
Regular smoking of cannabis has been closely linked with worsening the symptoms of patients with chronic bronchitis and chronic coughs.
However, it's unclear whether asthma and poor lung function symptoms have anything to do with cannabis smoking.
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Cannabis and cannabinoids have enjoyed a long-lasting relationship with mental health conditions.
Cannabinoid treatment has helped some patients to manage depression, anxiety, and stress.
On the other hand, higher doses of psychoactive cannabinoids such as THC can mess up a person's mental health.
Studies have shown that people who abuse cannabis are more prone to nursing suicidal thoughts than those who don't take cannabis at all.
For people with bipolar disorders, regular use of cannabis can exacerbate their symptoms.
Psychosocially, continued use of cannabis can impair the user's memory, alertness, and even their learning ability.
In terms of therapeutic importance, there is little data available on the effects of cannabis on the immune systems of humans.
While researchers haven't confirmed that the use of cannabinoids can boost the immune systems of HIV/AIDs patients, there is limited evidence that proves cannabis does have anti-inflammatory effects on the human body.
Though medical cannabis/cannabinoids have been legalized to certain degrees in some geographical regions, research on their health effects has been inadequate.
Researchers have a hard time getting the right quantity, type, and quality of cannabis samples for research. The existence of regulatory barriers has hampered the progress of researching the health effects cannabis and cannabinoids.
Nevertheless, the demand for CBD products is still high. For example, a recent survey in the US found that over 22 million Americans (aged 12+ years) use cannabis every month. Elsewhere, such as in Europe, the trend is no different.