Marijuana was popular in the 1900s among jazz musicians apparently because unlike alcohol which dulls and incapacitates, marijuana allowed users whose job involved playing long into the night to forget how exhausted they were. In addition, the drug seemed to make their compositions more imaginative and their music sound more unique – at least according to the people who played and listened while also under its influence.
Marijuana is often a confusing topic for people who have no history with the drug, but perhaps using marijuana as you read and think about it is the best way to understand and learn about it. In this article, we’re going to discuss a number of surprising (and rarely discussed) facts about marijuana which might change the way you look at this natural medicine.
Marijuana is a preventative and restorative medicine
Did you know that eight out of ten Americans support the use of medical marijuana? Relaxed government restrictions have also led to an overwhelming interest and support for marijuana as a mainstream medicine that can help people suffering from conditions such as:
Huntington’s Disease, etc.
Even more surprising is the fact that using cannabinoids can be a safe, preventative measure for a lot of the conditions that it helps to alleviate. A medical report published on Cancer Prevention Research showed that 20 years of marijuana use contributed to a reduction in the risk of head and neck squamous cell cancer.
According to a study published in the Journal of Neuro-psychopharmacology in 2013, cannabidiol (one of the active compounds in weed) can, in fact, help to grow brain cells. This, of course, contradicts the old stereotype that marijuana makes people stupid, and shows the drug as a powerful treatment for mental health disorders
Marijuana does not damage motor skills, self-control, memories, or moral character
Much of what our society believes about marijuana comes from the negative stereotypes and deliberate misinformation designed by the Harry J. Anslinger campaign in the 1930s, even though the drug has been made legal in over 20 states in the country. What many studies are now revealing is that marijuana isn’t debilitating at all as shown in much anti-cannabinoid propaganda.
Marijuana can also be used to manage painful memories and this is where the stereotypes about forgetful stoners originate. Survivors of crime, sexual abuse, and natural disasters have been able to erase traumatizing memories with the help of cannabis and as a result, these people manage to speed up recovery without going through anxiety or depression.
Not all marijuana makes you feel high
There are potentially thousands of marijuana strains being produced today and many of these products are known to have broader medicinal applications and can be used to relieve pain or anxiety without necessarily going through the euphoric “high” that some strains are known for. Physical relaxation and mental focus are some of the benefits of marijuana as seen in this study that found that exercising affects the endocannabinoid system the same way that using cannabis does.
Let’s talk about Sativa and Indica
When searching for cannabis at a shop you may come across different strains that are generally broken up into three groups: Sativa, Indica, and hybrid. Indicas have a strong sedating effect and are ideal when used to relax, watch a movie, or to induce sleep. Sativas, on the other hand, provide a more stimulating and invigorating cerebral effect that pairs quite well with creative work, social gatherings, and physical activity. Hybrids are the combination of these two strains and tend to fall somewhere between the Sativa-Indica spectrum based on the traits the manufacturer wants to make more dominant. Let’s look at these qualities more closely.
- Muscle relaxation
- Mental relaxation
- Reduced nausea
- Increased appetite
- Increased dopamine levels
- Higher pain threshold
- Reduced anxiety
- Soothing effect on chronic pain
- Improved mental focus
- Higher creative output
- Increased serotonin levels
Because of these major differences in the effects, patients using marijuana to manage medical conditions should learn more about each strain’s classification. Generally speaking, Indica is best used at nighttime because of its relaxing effect; and because Sativa goes well with social gatherings and creative output, you may find it more useful during the day. Whichever your preference, you can find either strain at your nearest marijuana dispensary.