Inhaled cannabis reduces self-reported headache severity by 47.3% and migraine severity by 49.6%, according to a recent study. The study also found no evidence that cannabis caused ‘overuse headache,’ a pitfall of more conventional treatments. The researchers did see patients using larger doses of cannabis over time to treat headache.
It’s no secret that marijuana can put a smile on many people’s faces, but research suggests that the drug’s positive effects go beyond just getting high. A 2012 study published in the peer-reviewed academic journal European Neuropsychopharmacology suggests that the brain’s endocannabinoid system – which is activated by THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana – may play an important role in emotional processing, “an essential aspect of appropriate social interactions and interpersonal relationships.”
Researchers at the University of Buffalo have found that chronic stress reduces animals’ natural cannabinoids.
Cannabis contains more than 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids, but CBD and THC get most of the attention. These two cannabinoids affect your mind and body in different ways, but both are essential to combatting stress and inducing relaxation.
Cannabis is an herbal remedy used for relaxation throughout human history. As a natural remedy with no risk of death from overdose, it is well worth a consideration.
New research by Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior on how cannabis use alters eating behavior could lead to treatments for appetite loss in chronic illness.
According to experts, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a cannabinoid in cannabis, can bind the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and thus promote overeating and weight gain. This effect, detrimental to most people, can prove beneficial under certain medical conditions, such as cancer and HIV-associated wasting syndrome.
Pain is the alarm of disease, the symptom that announces that all is not right with our bodies. Whether due to accident or illness, it is the most common reason that people seek medical assistance. But because pain has many causes, some of which are poorly understood, it is often a vexing problem to treat. There are no truly effective medicines for certain types of pain, and sometimes relief comes only at the expense of debilitating side effects. Thus, the search for new and better pain relievers, perhaps the oldest form of medicine, continues unabated.
Early in that pursuit, people discovered the pain-relieving properties of marijuana. It has since been used to treat a wide variety of painful conditions, from headache to the pain of childbirth. Many of the medical marijuana advocates who spoke at the public sessions held by the IOM—among them cancer and AIDS patients, migraine sufferers, and people with spastic and movement disorders—described how marijuana helped relieve their painful symptoms.
The cannabis plant has been used for centuries as a sleep aid. Contemporary scientific research has measured what people have known and experienced since ancient times: cannabis has relaxing and sedative effects. In particular, cannabis makes falling asleep easier. One recent study found that cannabis shortens the time it takes to fall asleep, both for people with sleep problems and people who fall asleep without trouble. Among people with active difficulty falling asleep, cannabis use resulted in an average of 30 minutes less time in falling asleep. The study also included a group of people who were able to fall asleep without difficulty. Among this group of strong sleepers, cannabis helped them fall asleep even faster, by 15 minutes.