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7 Ways Medical Marijuana Can Improve Your Health

  • Cannabis can help patients achieve a wide variety of wellness goals—mental health support and improved sleep are just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Medical marijuana patients can unlock improved nutrition, more consistent exercise, reduced social anxiety, chronic pain relief, trauma recovery, and improved sleep.

Whether you’re just starting to research cannabis laws in Louisiana or you’re ready to take the first step toward medical marijuana treatment, you might be wondering: what are some of the overall health benefits of cannabis?

At TeleLeaf, we’ve seen the powerful healing results of cannabis firsthand. While scientific research is just starting to chip away at the clinical potential of marijuana, we know that healthcare is behind the curve—people have been using cannabis to meet their health goals for decades.

In this guide, we’ll touch on just seven of the many ways that medical cannabis can improve your overall wellness. If you’re still on the fence about medical marijuana, this is the perfect starting point for your research.

#1 Cannabis Supports Improved Mental Health

Countless patients use medical marijuana for mental health support, with exceptional results. Cannabis can:

  • Help regulate mood, stress, and energy level – If you live with a mood disorder, anxiety, or depression, cannabis could offer the turning point you’ve been looking for. Since both THC and CBD (the major cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant) interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors, they can both play a role in mood, stress, and energy regulation.
  • Offer an alternative to prescription drugs – While prescription drugs (SSRIs, benzodiazepines, and MAOIs, for instance) have helped some patients reach their mental health goals, many patients are looking for an alternative treatment with fewer side effects—and marijuana answers that call.

Plus, medical cannabis can do something that pharmaceuticals can’t: pave a path to recovery, not just symptom maintenance. Read this in-depth guide to learn more.

#2 Cannabis Can Improve Your Nutrition

Popular media portrayals of cannabis often include caricatures of “the munchies”—appetite stimulation that some marijuana products can cause.

But there’s more to the story. Here are two things to know about cannabis and the munchies:

  • Not all cannabis products cause the munchies – There are hundreds of strains of the cannabis plant. Each one features a unique array of cannabinoids and other natural compounds, and these combinations produce unique effects. Not every strain induces the munchies—in other words, you can avoid cannabis-induced appetite stimulation with careful product selection.
  • You can use the munchies to your benefit – Despite what diet culture would have you believe, not everyone is focused on weight loss. For people recovering from major surgeries, treating eating disorders, or enduring difficult treatments for cancer, maintaining or increasing body weight can be very real challenges. Since some strains of cannabis can both increase appetite and decrease nausea, cannabis can actually help people get the nutrients they need to thrive.

We have a complete guide to cannabis and nutrition, too. Check it out to explore the nuances.

#3 Marijuana Can Help You Build an Exercise Routine

We know what you’re thinking: “Weed makes you lazy—how can it help you exercise?”

Let’s return to our note about media portrayals and strains. While some strains certainly induce relaxation and drowsiness, just as many subtypes of the cannabis plant actually stimulate patients. Plus, marijuana affects everyone differently; a strain that stimulates you might send another patient straight to dreamland (and vice-versa).

Additionally, in a recent study, researchers determined that runners who used cannabis enjoyed their workouts more and were more motivated to work out.

If you’re looking to build a consistent routine or simply enjoy working out more, medical cannabis could help you reach both goals.

#4 Cannabis Can Treat Social Anxiety

Since it shares a federal classification with substances like heroin, cannabis has been highly stigmatized as an illicit drug; and anti-drug campaigns often characterize drug use as a lonely road to social exile.

So, if you struggle to participate in social activities (whether you’re introverted or live with social anxiety), this characterization might make cannabis seem unattractive. But like most popular media portrayals of cannabis, the above just isn’t true.

  • Some strains stimulate conversation – Many patients find that strains that stimulate them spark the fire of socialization. Strains that stimulate complex thought often also motivate people to engage in social situations.
  • Cannabis culture has always been social – In the pre-legalization days, users had to interact with other people to get access to cannabis in the first place. Despite simplified legal access, the cannabis community remains welcoming and friendly to newcomers and veterans alike.
  • Cannabis is well-known for its relaxing properties – If you struggle with social anxiety, certain strains of cannabis can help you lower your guard and open up in group settings. Goodbye fear of rejection, hello thriving social health.

#5 Marijuana Is a Long-Standing Treatment for Chronic Pain

While scientific data is behind the curve, countless patients have been using medical marijuana for chronic pain relief—for generations—with revolutionary results.

While you can dive into our complete primer on cannabis and pain to learn the specifics, here are the basics of why cannabis works for chronic pain relief:

  • When we introduce cannabinoids (compounds like THC and CBD) into our bodies, these compounds bind to receptors in our endocannabinoid system (ECS).
  • The ECS is built-in—everyone has one. It’s a network that includes two kinds of receptors: CB1 and CB2. Both modulate a variety of critical body functions from pain signaling to immune response.
  • Since both THC and CBD interact with CB1 and CB2, both cannabinoids can decrease pain signaling—and pain itself.

Consider the alternatives: prescription opioids, for instance. While they produce powerful results, they’re also highly addictive. More than 81,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2023 alone.

As an all-natural option with limited dependence potential and very few side effects, cannabis is an exceptional alternative to prescription pain relief formulas—and it works.

#6 Marijuana Can Support Your Trauma Recovery Journey

When we’re stuck in the seemingly endless cycle of trauma—complete with debilitating symptoms like flashbacks—recovery can feel impossible. And prescription drugs don’t reach the root of the problem: the unprocessed trauma that bubbles beneath the surface of everything we do.

Cannabis doesn’t just help relieve the symptoms of triggering moments (from anxiety attacks to angry outbursts). It can also help trauma survivors:

  • Slow down – Since many cannabis strains offer somewhat immediate relaxation, they’re an excellent as-needed treatment for unexpected episodes of stress.
  • Reflect – With a slower internal monologue, people suffering an attack can actually acknowledge and assess what they’re feeling as the moments pass. With time, they may even be able to work through the traumatic events of their past.
  • Recover – As patients slowly unpack their unresolved trauma and learn how to respond to triggers in healthier ways, they can recover from their past for good.

#7 Cannabis Can Support Healthy Sleep

Because some strains support intense relaxation, many patients utilize cannabis as a sleep aid. People struggling with their sleep hygiene often find that medical marijuana helps them:

  • Fall asleep faster
  • Sleep throughout the night without interruptions
  • Achieve more restful, restorative sleep

Again, consider common alternatives:

  • Zolpidem (Ambien) comes with significant baggage: side effects and dependence potential are just two examples.
  • Benzodiazepines (like Xanax) aren’t recommended for sleep support, but they’re often prescribed off-label for this purpose. Like opioids, “benzos” pose a high dependence risk.
  • Melatonin (a common supplement used for sleep support) isn’t explicitly regarded as an addictive substance, but users can develop a tolerance and have trouble falling asleep without it.
  • Benadryl (an allergy medication often used off-label to induce drowsiness) has recently been connected to increased dementia risk.

By comparison, medical marijuana is a safe, effective, and non-habit-forming alternative to today’s prescription and over-the-counter sleep remedies.

TeleLeaf: Your Bridge to Medical Cannabis Treatment

Needless to say, you can unlock numerous wellness benefits by embracing the potential of medical marijuana. Not sure where to start your journey to cannabis relief? We can help.

TeleLeaf is the best online medical marijuana card service provider on the market today. Our network of cannabis-informed, licensed medical providers can help you unlock the mysteries of marijuana; they can also provide the recommendation you need to access dispensary-grade products.

Ready to get started? Schedule an appointment with TeleLeaf today.


Sources:

Healthline. A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System.
https://www.healthline.com/health/endocannabinoid-system

PsychCentral. Can Medical Cannabis Ease Anxiety and Depression Symptoms?.
https://psychcentral.com/depression/medical-marijuana-for-anxiety-and-depression#cannabis-basics

GoodRx. Why Does Weed Make You Hungry?.
https://www.goodrx.com/health-topic/cannabis/why-does-weed-make-you-hungry

University of Virginia. What Is ‘Diet Culture’ and How Can You Avoid Its Pitfalls and Accept Your Body?.
https://news.virginia.edu/content/what-diet-culture-and-how-can-you-avoid-its-pitfalls-and-accept-your-body

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. The Effectiveness of Common Cannabis Products for Treatment of Nausea.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35258504/

Healthline. Cannabis 101: A Guide to Sativa Strains.
https://www.healthline.com/health/sativa-strains

University of Colorado Boulder. Study: Cannabis Can Make Workouts More Fun, But It’s No Performance-Enhancer.
https://www.colorado.edu/today/2024/01/03/study-cannabis-can-make-workouts-more-fun-its-no-performance-enhancer

US Drug Enforcement Administration. Drug Scheduling.
https://www.dea.gov/drug-information/drug-scheduling

Cleveland Clinic. Opioids.
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/21127-opioids

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. US Overdose Deaths Decrease in 2023, First Time Since 2018.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/nchs_press_releases/2024/20240515.htm

Mayo Clinic. Zolpidem (Oral Route).
https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/zolpidem-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20061195?p=1

Medical News Today. Alternative Xanax Treatments for Falling Asleep.
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/xanax-alternatives

The New York Times. Can You Get Hooked on Melatonin?.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/06/well/mind/melatonin-dependency.html

Harvard Medical School. Common Anticholinergic Drugs Like Benadryl Linked to Increased Dementia Risk.
https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/common-anticholinergic-drugs-like-benadryl-linked-increased-dementia-risk-201501287667

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