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The Many Benefits Of Cannabis
5 min

The Many Benefits Of Cannabis

5 min

Love cannabis? Well, we do too! But did you know that cannabis can do a whole lot more than get you high for a jolly-good time? Read on to find out the many benefits of cannabis consumption.

Maybe you enjoy cannabis just for fun—and that's not a bad thing! But did you know there are many benefits to be found with your favourite herb? Not only are there a range of potential effects on well-being to be experienced, but also plenty of possible lifestyle perks as well. So whether you enjoy a social smoke with friends or prefer a solo session, you'd be surprised at just what this humble herb can do for you. So without further ado, let's look at a selection of the top benefits of cannabis consumption.

Cannabis and increased creativity

Cannabis and increased creativity

When browsing for cannabis seeds, you’ll often see strains marketed as capable of boosting creativity—but what does that mean exactly? Cannabis causes the brain to fire in different patterns than it does when sober, with certain parts that are usually active subdued, and parts that are rarely active firing excitedly. The result is an uplifting jolt that has many reaching for a paint brush or guitar.

So it should come as no surprise that many musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs are turning to cannabis as a means to boost their creative juices—with icons such as Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, and the late Bob Marley arguably being the frontrunners in cannabis-influenced artistic endeavours. However, the research behind the creative influence cannabis has over the brain is still very much in its infancy (Kowal, 2015). More studies are needed to gain a deeper understanding of whether marijuana really does improve creativity, or whether it only appears to. But hey, if it's good enough for Snoop Dogg, it's good enough for us.

Cannabis and appetite

Cannabis and appetite

It's certainly no secret that under the influence of cannabis, many of us experience a surge in appetite, aka “the munchies”. While it's often seen as a fun element of recreational use, there can actually be some real day-to-day applications. Appetite is quite a complex subject, and many factors influence it, such as mood, stress, and simply not feeling particularly hungry. No matter how you slice it, food is needed to function. Given cannabis’ propensity to increase appetite in the short term, it can encourage individuals to get the necessary calories. Of course, what choices you make food-wise are entirely down to you!

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Cannabis for tension & feelings of nervousness

Cannabis for tension & feelings of nervousness

Whether they're feeling the crunch at work or in their personal life, many cannabis fans turn to the herb to unwind. But is it just a stoner myth, or can cannabis really help you settle after a stressful day? Well, you'll be pleased to know that the research points to “yes” (Price, 2019). There is sufficient evidence to suggest that cannabis can indeed help when feeling tense, and that imbibing your favourite strain is an excellent way of easing some of the burden in the short term.

Similarly, cannabis has been cited as a means to mitigate feelings of nervousness. However, there is a caveat; while researchers found small doses of weed to have a relaxing effect, more potent varieties had the opposite impact (Parmet, 2017). So if you're looking to unwind at the end of the day or ease your mind a bit, don't go for the most potent strain you have. Hit the milder stash and enjoy soothing and relaxing sensations.

The good thing is that you don't have to look far to discover strains of cannabis with a milder psychoactive effect, or ones that completely remove it altogether. Many choose CBD-laden strains to experience the cannabinoid's potential benefits without a high.

Cannabis can promote a good night's rest

Cannabis can promote a good night's rest

While it might not be a long-term solution, some individuals turn to cannabis as a potential sleep aid. The relaxation delivered by certain cultivars is perfect for settling down. You certainly don't have to look far to find plenty of research (Babson, 2017), not to mention anecdotal reports, on the subject. Of course, it's all about balance; so strain selection (finding the right terpene-cannabinoid profile) and finding the correct dose are crucial to taking full advantage of the sleep-promoting effects cannabis can provide.

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Cannabis has a soothing effect on the body

Cannabis has a soothing effect on the body

A lot of folks who use cannabis say it produces a marked soothing sensation on the body. In fact, this beneficial effect is one of the most commonly cited reasons for enjoying the herb. So whether you're looking for a full-bodied, couch-locking stone or just slight physical relaxation, cannabis can offer both—if you choose the right strain.

Cannabis may help in the bedroom

Cannabis may help in the bedroom

Cannabis and sex is a potent combination, so much so that many are utilising the herb to spice up their sex life. But cannabis doesn't just enhance you and your partner's senses in the bedroom for a great, sexy experience. Studies have even been conducted on cannabis and sex to determine the former’s potential to make the latter more enjoyable, and whether it can enhance sex drive and orgasm. What's not to like?

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Cannabis and weight management

Cannabis and weight management

Although we've already mentioned the potential effect cannabis has on appetite, it might seem a little far-fetched to learn that weed is also being studied for its effect on weight loss (Levendal, 2012). Of course, much more research is needed to reach solid conclusions, but it’s an interesting topic nonetheless.

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Cannabis and mood

Cannabis and mood

We've touched upon how cannabis can potentially relieve tension and ease moments of nervousness, so it should come as no surprise that it is noted for having a generally positive effect on mood, at least in the short term. However, some researchers believe it’s not just a quick, temporary impact, and that cannabis may help to “rewire” our brain for a positive long-term effect on mood and cognitive function (Grunberg, 2015).

Cannabis and the fight or flight response

Cannabis and the fight or flight response

Although formal research into this subject is not as developed as it could be, there are some promising studies looking to determine cannabis' effect on the fight or flight response. Of course, the link between cannabis use and mental health/hormones is one that is multifaceted and needs much further investigation.

Cannabis can make you more sociable and talkative

Cannabis can make you more sociable and talkative

We've all been there; getting stoned with friends and just talking about anything and everything that comes to mind. So it stands to reason that cannabis can help people be a little more social. This might not be the case for those looking to get insanely high from a really potent strain, but low doses of the right strain can really help you loosen your tongue. You'll still get that uplifting and euphoric effect, but it will be more akin to enjoying a bit of alcohol with friends.

Cannabis and lung capacity

Cannabis and lung capacity

Smoking and increasing lung capacity are two factors you wouldn't necessarily put together, and that's certainly true when it comes to tobacco. But what about smoking bud? A 2012 study tested the lung function of over 5,000 adults over the course of 20 years (Szalavitz, 2012). They noted that tobacco smokers showed the expected drop in lung function over time, whereas cannabis smokers showed unexpected positive results.

However, researchers were quick to point out that increased lung capacity was noted only in moderate and occasional smokers who blazed a few times per month. The positive effect was most likely due to the habitual action of taking longer, deeper tokes and holding their breath. They didn't see any improvement in the heaviest users, showing that moderation is likely the key to this outcome. However, this is all still theoretical, as this is but one piece of evidence on the matter.

Cannabis can bring on euphoria

Cannabis can bring on euphoria

Known as the “feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness”, experiencing euphoria is bound to make you feel awesome. It's also one of the most common feelings reported by cannabis users. While this effect is expected with an uplifting and energising cannabis cultivar, the outcome can vary from strain to strain. After all, cannabis can have a different effect on each person, so find a strain that makes you feel good, and embrace it.

The future of cannabis and its benefits

The future of cannabis and its benefits

As you can see, there's plenty to shout about when it comes to the potential benefits of cannabis. However, like most things in life, weed is not a one-size-fits-all situation. You may find that while you experience certain benefits from a certain strain, someone else may find it's too strong and provokes uncomfortable sensations.

Anecdotal evidence only goes so far, but high-quality research on cannabis and the human body is being carried out as we speak. We're certainly excited to see how this humble herb continues to influence our mood, sleep, appetite, and much more. Who knows; there might come a time when a single strain provides all of the benefits we've mentioned in this article. Wouldn't that be nice?

Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Professional cannabis journalist, copywriter, and author Adam Parsons is a long-time staff member of Zamnesia. Tasked with covering a wide range of topics from CBD to psychedelics and everything in between, Adam creates blog posts, guides, and explores an ever-growing range of products.
Disclaimer:
We are not making medical claims. This article has been written for informational purposes only, and is based on research published by other externals sources.

External Resources:
  1. Babson, K. A., Sottile, J., & Morabito, D. (2017). Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Current Psychiatry Reports, 19(4). - https://doi.org
  2. Grunberg, V. A., Cordova, K. A., Bidwell, L. C., & Ito, T. A. (2015). Can marijuana make it better? Prospective effects of marijuana and temperament on risk for anxiety and depression. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 29(3), 590–602. - https://doi.org
  3. Kowal, M. A., Hazekamp, A., Colzato, L. S., van Steenbergen, H., van der Wee, N. J. A., Durieux, J., Manai, M., & Hommel, B. (2015). Cannabis and creativity: highly potent cannabis impairs divergent thinking in regular cannabis users. Psychopharmacology, 232(6), 1123–1134. - https://doi.org
  4. Levendal, R-A., Schumann, D., Donath, M., & Frost, C. L. (2012). Cannabis exposure associated with weight reduction and β-cell protection in an obese rat model. Phytomedicine, 19(7), 575–582. - https://doi.org
  5. Parmet, S. (2 juni 2017). Low-dose THC can relieve stress; more does just the opposite. UIC Today. Geraadpleegd op 23 februari 2022, op - https://today.uic.edu
  6. Price, S. (5 september 2019). Study shows that cannabis combats stress, anxiety and depression. Health Europa. - https://www.healtheuropa.eu
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