We’ve watched with joy over the last few years as cannabis legalization spread throughout the country. This year, in 2023, there are only six states – Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, and the Carolinas – where cannabis is still considered illegal. Meanwhile, cannabis is at least partially legal in 44 states and fully legal in 22 states, including our home sweet home in Oregon.
A big reason for marijuana’s boost in popularity comes from a growing number of studies suggesting a wide variety of health benefits cannabis provides. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is known for its psychoactive effects or for creating the high associated with weed. Meanwhile, cannabidiol (CBD) is credited with being a sort of miracle drug responsible for an array of health benefits. The truth is both THC and CBD contain a multitude of benefits.
Regulate and prevent diabetes and Help lose weight
Considering weed’s reputation for giving us the munchies, the fact that cannabis can actually help you lose or stabilize your weight may seem counterintuitive. Yet, that’s exactly what research shows. Weight control appears to be a benefit of studies that suggest several possible ways cannabis may aid people who have diabetes. See, cannabis has been linked to helping our bodies stabilize our blood sugars and regulate insulin levels, lower blood pressure, and improve
blood circulation. All of which can help prevent and regulate diabetes and, as it happens, help us lose weight.
Milk has long been advertised as a way to strengthen your bones. More specifically, calcium is the component to thank for bone health. Although now, cannabis is also an advocate for healthy bones, especially when mending bones after injuries.
In 2015, researchers at the Bone Research Laboratory in Tel Aviv announced that CBD cannabis can aid in healing bone fractures. Not only that, but it appears to help strengthen the bones, too, as they heal.
Oxidative stress, triggered by an abundance of molecules called reactive oxygen species (ROS), can negatively impact our immunity, putting us at risk of developing illnesses or diseases. That’s where antioxidants enter the picture. Antioxidants are compounds that bring order to chaos by minimizing the harm caused by ROS on cells and making them less reactive.
Many plants contain antioxidant properties, and cannabis is no different. Both THC and CBD compounds have been shown to possess potent antioxidant effects, though CBD appears to be more beneficial between the two. In fact, some research argues that CBD is a more effective antioxidant than vitamins E or C. Additionally, the antioxidant richness of cannabis contributes to the following two health benefits on our list.
In partnership with its antioxidant benefits, cannabis has also been found to possess incredible neuroprotectant abilities. This means that cannabis helps protect brain cells from damage. At first thought, it might seem like CBD would be the primary benefactor seeing as THC is known for the psychoactive high. But research shows both CBD and THC have neuroprotective properties.
Studies show that THC can halt brain damage and protect the brain from long-term cognitive damage after experiencing a lack of oxygen, seizures, or toxic drugs. Cannabis, especially CBD, is also shown to limit damage from strokes and the effects of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and HIV dementia. Not to mention CBD’s role in protecting the brain after a concussion.
Inflammation is a term thrown around a lot these days, but few know what it actually is. So before we can appreciate the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis, let’s refresh ourselves. When our immune system is
activated, it sends out inflammatory cells to attack the threat of such bacteria or heal damaged tissue. When working as intended, this system is excellent for keeping us healthy.
But sometimes, our bodies send out inflammatory cells when we aren’t sick. This is known as chronic inflammation and is sometimes a symptom of a larger problem or disease – anything from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to Alzheimer’s. Thankfully, plenty of anti-inflammatories are on the market, and cannabis, especially CBD, is repeatedly shown to provide awesome anti-inflammatory effects and an array of inflammation-related ailments, including Chron’s disease.
Seeing as Greeley Gallery is our recreational and medicinal cannabis dispensary, we clearly love weed. Not just because it’s fun and feels good but also because of the growing number of health benefits cannabis contains. While we should always be safe when consuming cannabis and only do so responsibly, it’s not something we need to feel guilty about.
Marijuana is much more than just a way to relax after a stressful day. Weed helps protect us from all angles. Feeling relaxed, calm, sleepy, creative, and even euphoric are all common among cannabis users, but cannabis is also protecting our brain cells, calming inflammation, regulating our blood, and strengthening and mending our bones, all while filling us with antioxidants.
So stop into Greeley Gallery, located near the University of Portland, and take your pick from our selection of high-quality and locally produced cannabis options. We’re conveniently open every day of the week between 7am and 10 pm. We’ll see you soon!
Written By: Katrina Paulson