Being Canadian has its benefits, sure it’s cold as fuck for about 8-months a year, but the people sure are nice and polite, we have free healthcare, beautiful landscapes, maple syrup, back bacon and of course cannabis is legal!
Although it’s only recently been legalized, if you grew up in this fair country, not unlike me you wouldn’t know the difference. My parents are products of the 60’s; 4:20 is your right of passage. But getting high is only one of the awesome benefits of this magical medicinal plant; it could soon be considered a part of your essential supplements for keeping active and healthy!
If you’re curious about the benefits of medicinal marijuana and its main chemical components – CBD and THC, read on to learn why it’s OK to be ‘high’ maintenance.
The Chemistry – CBD and THC
There are literally 100s and 100s of active chemical compounds in cannabis, but by far the best known two are CBD and THC. CBD – cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound. THC – tetrahydrocannabinol on the other hand is the fun psychoactive compound. Both of these compounds interact with the endocannabinoid system producing different effects in the body.
Basically, we have receptors in our brains that are activated by these compounds causing a result or reaction. Both CBD and THC interact with the cannabinoid receptors, causing a release of neurotransmitters – chemical messengers to be deployed and act on various parts of the body.
Where THC has a strong affinity with the cannabinoid receptor causing a ‘high’ or euphoria sensation, CBD has a weak affinity and can in fact block THC from binding to this receptor reducing its psychoactive effects. Although research is still quite new on the benefits of these chemical compounds in MJ, there are many positive benefits that have been uncovered.
Reduce Post Workout Pain
Studies have shown that CBD can help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity reducing inflammation, while THC can also have a positive effect on the perception of pain.
If you’re a workout freak, CBD can basically help with your recovery reducing soreness and inflammation that comes with intense training sessions. In fact, there’s some research to suggest that CBD’s antioxidant effect might be stronger than commonly used vitamin C.
What’s even more encouraging is that WADA – the World Anti-Doping Agency, removed CBD from its prohibited substance list, meaning athletes are free to use CBD oils as part of their recovery regime without worry.
Reduce Anxiety and Improve Mood
CBD oil has been shown to help provide improvement in the feeling of anxiety, brought on from social anxiety, as a result of CBD’s ability to act on the receptor for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and sleep. Additionally, THC at low doses can help to reduce stress, while high doses can produce the opposite effect.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects may help to reduce production of sebum. This is an oily secretion made by sebaceous glands in the skin. CBD may help to prevent secretion of oil from the glands and reduce the occurrence of inflammatory response. Using a topical CBD oil maybe helpful to keep the skin clear.
Studies have shown that CBD oil may have benefit on the heart and circulatory system including the ability to lower high blood pressure, due to its ability to lower the stress response.
CBD may also help to reduce the inflammatory response associated with heart disease due to its powerful antioxidant ability to reduce reactive oxygen species or ROS that can cause cell damage.
Helps Improve Sleep
THC can help induce deeper sleep, although it can reduce the amount of REM sleep you get. REM sleep is considered the dream state of sleep. REM sleep is important for cognitive function; so long term use of cannabis for sleep is not ideal.
One thing to remember, cannabis can remain active in our systems for up to 12 hours depending on the amount taken, the strain and how long it takes the body to process. Experimentation is key!
Weight and Blood Sugar Control
It has been shown that pot smokers are generally skinnier, have healthier metabolism and better reaction to sugar than non pot smokers. Data showed a relationship between cannabinoids and metabolic processes. There was a significant association of smaller waist circumference, and lower fasting insulin levels in those who were current users.
Another compound from cannabis – THCV has also been shown to have positive benefits on weight control. THCV was shown in a 2016 study on type 2 diabetics to significantly reduce fasting plasma glucose and beta-cell function.
Until Next Time…
Be Fierce & Rule the World,
Jadoon KA, et al. Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol and THCV on Glycemic and Lipid Parameters in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Pilot Study. Diabetes Care. 2016. 39(10): 1777-86.
Mouhamed Y, et al. Therpeutic potential of medicinal marijuana: an educational primer for health care professionals. Drug Healthc Patient Saf. 2018. 10: 45-66.
Olah A, et al. Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and anti-inflammatory effects on human sebocytes. J Clin Invest. 2014. 124(9): 3713-24.
Penner EA, Buettner H, Mittleman MA. The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin and Insulin Resistance among US Adults. AJM. 2013. 126(7): 583-89.