By now, everyone is aware of how CBD is the latest and greatest wonder drug, the compound that could cure a thousand conditions. CBD, derived from non-psychoactive cannabis, does not make users high but does seem to provide a wealth of health benefits, like alleviating pain, reducing inflammation and regenerating neurological tissue. As a result, CBD products have become available, largely over the counter, in most places in the U.S. and abroad.
However, CBD is far from the only beneficial compound within cannabis. THC, which is more plentiful than CBD, is mainly responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects, but its effects can also be incredibly useful in combatting certain health conditions. Read on to learn how to use THC to boost your health and wellness.
When THC binds to endocannabinoid receptors throughout the central nervous system, it effectively blocks pain signals from reaching the brain. What’s more, THC produces within the brain a feeling of euphoria, which combats feelings of discomfort and pain. Though CBD has a huge reputation as a pain reliever, the truth is that THC might be even more powerful at alleviating different kinds of pain.
THC also binds to endocannabinoid receptors within the digestive system, which helps to remove feelings of nausea. In fact, so powerful is THC’s nausea alleviating capabilities that in the 1980s, the FDA approved a medication that utilizes a synthetic form of THC to manage nausea. Still, the natural compound is preferred by most nausea sufferers, especially those seeking relief from the effects of chemotherapy.
In addition to combatting nausea, THC in the digestive system also jumpstarts a user’s metabolism, making that user hungry. This effect is often referred to jokingly as “the munchies,” but for some, stimulating appetite is incredibly important for encouraging healthy weight gain. Deadly diseases like cancer, AIDS and anorexia cannot be treated effectively without a roaring appetite, which THC safely provides.
Though we don’t know the long-term effects of THC on the brain, some studies indicate that THC actually protects brain cells from physical damage. A study in 2014 found THC seemed to improve outcomes for sufferers of traumatic brain injury. This could mean that THC is a powerful neuroprotectant, which is contrary to previous beliefs about the drug.
This is another category in which THC seems to out-perform CBD. Studies on insomnia from the 1970s found that THC helps those suffering from sleep disorders fall asleep much faster, and the cannabinoid seems also to help sleepers stay asleep by improving respiration. Considering how important sleep is for overall health, this could be an important treatment option for insomniacs and others.
The endocannabinoid system is responsible in some capacity for managing the memory centers of the brain, so when THC binds to ECS receptors, it can affect memory storage. This is important for those who suffer from PTSD and who are plagued by traumatic memories. Using THC during a panic episode can help to rewrite the problem memories, allowing sufferers to recover from past trauma in a healthy way.
Cannabis plants produce THC for many reasons, but a big one is that THC helps the plants fight off pests, including harmful bacteria. Animal studies have found that ingesting THC can alter a user’s gut microbiome, eliminating dangerous or unhelpful bacteria so that beneficial bacteria can flourish. This could make THC useful in encouraging healthy digestion as well as fighting bacterial infection.
Oxidative stress from the environment causes damage to all human cells, which is why the most beloved superfoods have antioxidant properties. THC also has been found to be useful as an antioxidant, and as a result, THC has become a powerful compound for managing both stress and aging.
Admittedly, THC’s application as a direct treatment for cancer is incredibly controversial. Most cancer patients visit Arkansas medical marijuana dispensaries to use cannabis products for the management of pain, nausea, stress and appetite, not to kill their cancer cells. However, some studies have found that the direct application of THC to tumors causes those tumors to shrink. Cancer patients might talk to their doctors about the viability of this treatment in their unique case.
Inflammation is a common symptom of a bevy of health disorders, and sometimes inflammation happens in healthy people, too. Unfortunately, inflammation causes discomfort and pain — but fortunately, THC can help the body stop producing compounds that encourage inflammation. In this way, CBD and THC work together to function as an effective anti-inflammatory treatment.
By no means is CBD the only useful compound found in cannabis. Research has shown that THC can be incredibly useful as a medical treatment; already, patients around the country rely on THC to keep their conditions in check.