Cannabis Therapy: Healing Agent or Dangerous Drug?
Dec 15, 2016 01:55PM
● By Robert Bergman
Disclaimer: The views of this guest blogger do not necessarily reflect the views of Natural Awakenings Boston, nor do we attest to any medical claims reported in the article.
Whether your first impression of marijuana is that it is a medicine or a dangerous drug, you will be interested to note that a third of Americans will try marijuana (whether it is smoking, ingesting, or getting it in some other way) at least once during their lives.
For better or for worse, marijuana contains THC and other cannabinoids, many of which are the root cause for either the fear or love of this controversial plant. Smoking marijuana is nothing new, but the controversy surrounding it is a present-day problem. It is up to each individual to decide whether cannabis is a dangerous drug or a healing agent.
Marijuana can sometimes make people feel negative right after they smoke it. This could include red eyes, psychosis, dry mouth, dizziness, a faster heart rate and fatigue. This will last about an hour after you smoke it for the first time. It could also lead to a feeling of paranoia or anxiety, depending on the strain and your own body that day. In the worst cases, this can even cause panic attacks.
Smokers of cannabis also have reported that it can lead to depression. Depression is more common among smokers, but this is a correlation, not a causation. It is unclear whether the depression is a result of smoking weed or whether people smoke weed because they are depressed.
Memory can also be impaired when you smoke marijuana. Short-term memory impairment is normal and expected, but long-term memory loss is also possible. In fact, certain studies make it look like marijuana might even decrease IQ levels in users, but of course, more studies are necessary to know for sure.
As with smoking anything, smoking marijuana is not good for your respiratory system. Your airways and lungs can be irritated, causing more phlegm and even a chronic cough. This is worsened if you are using marijuana frequently, as marijuana addicts do. Less than 10 percent of marijuana users end up addicted to it, and that comes with an entirely new set of problems.
Other health problems that have been correlated with smoking marijuana include low blood pressure, liver disease, or diabetes with the heavy use of marijuana. Testosterone could also be lowered (which affects sperm count), and it’s possible that there is a link between cannabis and schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts.
A more positive side to cannabis is that as a healing agent.
First of all, medical cannabis can be used to treat glaucoma (an eye disease that can eventually lead to blindness). According to studies, the pressure in the eye that results from glaucoma is eased when patients smoke marijuana. The progression of the disease can also be slowed through the use of marijuana.
Believe it or not, smoking marijuana can actually increase your lung capacity rather than having the carcinogenic effects that tobacco typically has. This could be because of the deep inhaling done by users, but in any case, it shows that marijuana does not have the same negative effect on your lungs as tobacco does.
For people with epilepsy, cannabis is a godsend. Studies show that it can actually prevent epileptic seizures, presumably because THC attaches to the very brain cells that are in charge of excitement and relaxation. Cancer is another disease that can be stopped or slowed through the use of cannabis. It is possible that marijuana could even kill cancer cells, which is a huge step up from simply stopping the spread of cancer.
If you suffer from anxiety, medical marijuana could be an excellent answer for you. When people suffering from anxiety use it, they feel extreme benefits and their mood may improve. It can also reduce pain and nausea as well. For this reason, it can perhaps be utilized best in the treatment of chemotherapy side effects.
Marijuana has a variety of other benefits as well, including keeping users slim (marijuana smokers are slimmer than their non-smoking counterparts, and have healthier metabolisms). This could help lower the risk of the development of diabetes. Not only that, but it makes users more creative and come up with new ideas. Nightmares are also decreased, which can be truly life changing for people suffering from PTSD.
All in all, marijuana has aspects that have a very strong effect on your brain, including protection from concussions, trauma, and keeping it safe after a stroke. It has even helped people lower their alcohol intake and helped with Crohn’s disease. The possibilities are seemingly endless.
Robert Bergman has been on a quest for over 20 years to breed the best cannabis seeds in the world. In this journey, he accumulated a wealth of knowledge growing buds that he now shares with the world through Bergman’s Lab and ILoveGrowingMarijuana.com. Besides growing, he also aims to bring full knowledge about the pros and cons of using the plant with articles such as the above.