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Cannabis has been utilized worldwide for thousands of years, according to a study published in the Pharmacy and Therapeutics journal—as patent medicine during the 19th and 20th centuries and first described in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia in 1850. The data collection on cannabis’s health benefits is ongoing, but there is a growing body of research that suggests it may be a meaningful replacement for many common medications.

Pain management

Cannabis is used by many to manage occasional and chronic pain, according to The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research, but how it works is still being explored.

The book Marijuana as Medicine? The Science Beyond the Controversy notes that peripheral nerves that detect pain sensations contain receptors for cannabinoids, and in animal testing, are believed to help block peripheral nerve pain by binding to the receptors. Cannabinoids could function similarly in humans—blocking pain receptors to provide relief without the side effects of conventional medication. Not only would cannabinoids help many with general pain management, they may also aid individuals transitioning from short-term painkiller use (such as post-surgical opioid prescriptions) to a more sustainable pain management model.

Body aches

Cannabis is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can be used orally and topically to reduce soreness. Consider cannabis to restore balance after an intense workout, soft tissue injury, or when feeling general body fatigue. CBD/THC creams or CBD bath bombs are popular topical options. Cannabis-based creams and oils may also help soothe inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and acne.


Cannabis is often used by individuals who suffer from anxiety, depression and PTSD, according to a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Cannabinoids found in cannabis, such as THC and CBD, may promote an overall sense of well-being and relieve stress.

While THC has psychoactive effects that many enjoy, for some, it can heighten anxiety. According to a study published by the National Institute of Health, high levels of THC can be associated with increased anxiety. For this reason, take your time when finding the dose that is helpful for you, and start slowly when dosing.

CBD is also commonly used for anxiety and does not cause psychoactive effects, making it an excellent option for those who prefer to avoid THC.

Medication side effect mitigation

For some individuals, cannabis might replace common over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and it may also help manage the side effects of heavy-hitting pharmaceutical drugs, such as chemotherapy, according to a 2015 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Cannabis consumers report a reduction in nausea, body aches and more when undergoing chemotherapy.

What are cannabinoids?

Cannabis is comprised of dozens of chemical compounds called cannabinoids, which are believed to be responsible for the plant’s medically beneficial effects. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are cannabinoids.

Talk to your doctor if you’re curious about using cannabis for health reasons

Each body responds to cannabis differently. Take some time to find what works for you. If you experience general anxiety or are prone to racing thoughts, try a couple indica-dominant strains. If those don’t feel right, try a sativa hybrid. While indica strains are known for relaxing some consumers, others might prefer the effects of sativa-dominant strains. Researchers have identified what different cannabinoid properties generally do, but bioindividuality is an important aspect to consider—what works for some may not work for you.

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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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