Ever wondered if cannabis can be used to improve your quality of life? The Little Book of Cannabis covers 10 ways this powerful plant can be used to better your health and increase overall wellness. Take a sneak peek of the 10 topics covered in the book below and pre-order your copy here.
1. Improve sleep
For centuries, cannabis has been known among alchemists, gurus, and medicine makers for its sleep-inducing qualities. While history’s cannabis users may not have understood exactly what occurred in the body to create such wonderful conditions for a good night’s rest, scientists have discovered the intricate ways that the compounds in cannabis work within the body to induce sleep. Not only can cannabis help reduce the length of time it takes to fall into a deep sleep—it can also greatly improve the quality and length of one’s rest.
2. Decrease stress and anxiety
There’s a reason many perpetuate the idea of the “relaxed” cannabis user: one of the highest reported reasons for use among cannabis consumers is relief from stress and anxiety. The body produces its own compounds to help conquer feelings of stress and cannabis contains compounds called cannabinoids that operate similarly. While THC, the herb’s more well-known cannabinoid can bring relief with a side of euphoria, CBD is quickly becoming a popular choice among users with anxiety because it doesn’t cause a “high”—a feeling that some enjoy, and others say exacerbate stress.
3. Boost mood and creativity
Mood and creativity are intricately related, and cannabis, it seems, can affect both in a profoundly positive way. Although cannabis may be used with the intention of improving one’s mood, many users report that it can have an acute effect on their creative drive as well. For centuries musicians, writers, and artists have used cannabis to stoke creative thought— although, when we look at the research, it seems the jury is still out on whether cannabis use actually causes increased feelings of creativity. (Some research suggests that creative people are simply more likely to use cannabis.)
4. Support metabolic health, weight management, and exercise recovery
Given the concept of “the munchies,” you might be more inclined to believe that using cannabis leads to weight gain. In fact, long-term studies have shown that while users may consume more calories than non-users, they have lower waist circumferences, healthier lipid and glucose levels, and are overall less likely to contract cardiovascular disease. In addition to preventing diseases associated with weight gain, cannabis use can also lend itself to exercise recovery, and is used by many professional athletes to sooth sore muscles and joints.
5. Cannabis as a superfood?
It’s a buzzword that has been thrown around for the last decade or so: from acai berries to avocados, we’ve have become obsessed with the phenomenon of superfoods. Many would argue that cannabis—technically a vegetable—is a superfood in a category of its own. Not only is the herb packed with several cannabinoids that come with their own unique benefits, it also contains antioxidants, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins, and is incredibly nutritious in its raw form. While the buds of the plant can be used to infuse food with THC and CBD, it’s roots, leaves, and seeds can also be used in food in variety of ways.
6. Initiate a steamier sex life
Long before infused lubricants first mentioned in women’s magazines, cannabis was used as an aphrodisiac in Ancient Egypt, and in conjunction with tantric sex in 6th Century India. While ingested cannabis can be used to help make sex more comfortable by promoting feelings of relaxation, topical cannabis can make sex feel more pleasurable, and can be incredibly beneficial for individuals who sometimes experience discomfort.
7. Manage pain effectively
It’s been said that cannabis has been used in the context of pain management in one way or another for longer than written history. In addition to mountains of anecdotal evidence, research has shown that cannabis can indeed reduce the intensity of chronic pain. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD have a profound effect on the way the brain perceives pain, and patients often say that while cannabis use doesn’t exactly make their pain go away, it makes it a less prominent part of their day-to-day lives.
8. Support cancer treatment
While there is no evidence to support that cannabis is a “cure” for cancer, there is evidence to show that, when used in conjunction with other treatments like chemotherapy or radiation, cannabis can not only decrease the side effects associated with conventional treatment but also help to make them more effective. Cannabis treatment is also unique because it can kill cancer cells (through a process called apoptosis) while also protecting the body’s healthy cells— something that can’t be said for chemotherapy or radiation. (The reason physicians avoid the word “cure” is because in the vast majority of cases in which a patient’s cancer has entered remission, the patient in question must continue to use cannabis to ensure the cancer stays away.)
9. Ease the aging process
You might be surprised to learn that seniors are the fastest growing demographic of cannabis users in North America, with many reporting that they’ve opted to taper off of conventional medications for a more natural form of relief from the ailments that come with getting older. As we approach the end of our lives, we’re more likely to struggle with chronic pain, disease, and fear or anxiety about death—issues that can all be helped by cannabis. Add that preliminary research shows cannabis use may in fact delay aging in the brain, and it becomes obvious why scientists are becoming increasingly interested in the anti-aging properties of the plant.
10. The exit drug
Forget the gateway drug theory; the idea that cannabis can be used as a substitution for (and eventually an “exit” from) addictive drugs was proliferated long before North America was in the grips of an opioid crisis. Scientists and physicians have both noted that cannabis can be used as an alternative to hard drugs for several reasons. Not only does it provide relief from the symptoms of withdrawal, it can also be used to replace a variety of substances, putting an end to addiction entirely. The concept is becoming so popular that a treatment facility in California has integrated cannabis use into its recovery program.