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reasons why you should smoke weed

15 Reasons Why Smoking Weed Is Actually Really F*cking Good For You

As more statesВ join the movement to legalizeВ marijuana, smoking weed is becoming more mainstream than ever.

Unfortunately, marijuana still tends toВ get a pretty bad rap.

But if you ask me, there are all sorts of reasons why smoking weed is actually really good for you.

And I’m not just talking about weed’s ability to make you feel more creative or the fact that it helps you chill out, either.

Apparently,В getting high can also have a myriad ofВ health benefits.

That’s right. Sparking up can improve your health in all sorts of unexpected ways, and research showsВ that marijuana can improve your mood,В boost your energy, help you lose weight and even prevent certain diseases.

If you’re looking for yet another reason to justify your weed-smoking sessions, here are 15В advantages to getting lit AF on the reg:

1. Cannabis unlocks your creative potential.

A study found that cannabis causes psychotomimetic symptoms, which could lead users to make connections between ideas that aren’t exactly related.

This type of thinking is often crucial to creativity, so grab some ganja, and get those creative juices flowing.

2. Trees can be used to treat depression.

A study conducted by Rudolf Magnus Institute of NeuroscienceВ found that THC “reduces the negative bias in emotional processing,” which means weed could be used to help people cope with depression and other psychiatric disorders.

Plus, a study published by USC and SUNY Albany found that “those who consume marijuana occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana.”

So if you’re feeling blue, brighten up your day by packing a bowl.

3. Weed can help you lose weight.

Although marijuana is notorious for giving you a mean case of the munchies, aВ study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that pot smokers are less prone to obesity.

Another study in the American Journal of Medicine revealed similar results, finding those who light up on the reg are actually a bit skinnier than those who don’t smoke marijuana.

In addition to giving you a smaller waistline, researchers also discovered that marijuana may boost your metabolism, increase fat loss and lower cholesterol. So next time you’re tipping the scale, try swapping out your salads for a different type of green.

4. Lighting up can lower your risk of diabetes.

A study published in The American Journal of MedicineВ found that people who smoke marijuana had lower insulin levels and insulin resistance levels by 16 and 17 percent, respectively.

This suggests that cannabis may play a role in regulating blood sugar, which can decrease your risk of developing diabetes.

5. Cannabis keeps you calm, cool and collected.

Researchers interviewed Swiss inmates who regularly smoked marijuana in prison and found that marijuana made the inmatesВ calmer and less stressed. Plus, marijuana use among prisoners also prevented violence and acted as a “social pacifier.”

I guess they don’t call it a “peace pipe” for nothing.

6. Sparking up is a great social activity.

Weed serves as a great icebreaker since it reduces social anxiety, encourages you to open up and makes you more accepting of others.

Plus, let’s be real: There’s no better way to spend a night in with your friends than hotboxing your basement, ordering pizza and watching all of your favorite TV shows.

7. Pot can make your periods suck less.

When it comes to managing premenstrual symptoms, marijuana could be a natural alternative to Midol.

StudiesВ have found that THC is an analgesic and antinociceptive agent that can alleviate the pain of those killer cramps and pounding headache.

Plus, marijuana has also been found to have anti-inflammatory propertiesВ that can help with the bloating that occurs around that time of the month.

8. Getting high doesn’t give you a hangover.

A night of drinking beers with your BFFs will leave you feeling pretty shitty the next morning. However, unlike drinking, smoking weed doesn’t result in a deathly hangover.

So you can get lit with your squad and still feel pretty amazing the next day.

9. Marijuana makes food taste a million times better.

There’s nothing better than getting stoned and stuffing your face with an endless array of snacks. But have you ever wondered why marijuana makes food taste soВ magical?

A study published in Nature NeuroscienceВ found that, thanks to THC’s effect on the brain’s cannabinoid receptors,В food appears more appetizing as a result of a heightened sense of smell.

Therefore, it’s probably a good idea to stock up on bagel bites and Dino nuggets before you spark up.

10. Smoking a bowl can boost your energy.

There’s a stigma surroundingВ marijuana use that it makes you lazy. However, not all strains of cannabis turn you into a complete couch potato.

Research has supported a link between the brain’s CB-1 and CB-2 cannabinoid receptors and dopamine. Essentially, small doses of marijuana won’t hurt your efficiency level, and an increase in dopamine levels gives you the focus you need to get your shit done.

If you’re looking for a little pick-me-up, swap out your coffee and smoke a Sativa-dominant strain like Sour Diesel or Jack Herer, instead.

11. Smoking weed can help you fall asleep.

Everyone knows weed helps you unwind.

While there is considerable debate over the long-term effect marijuana has on sleep cycles, someВ feel that smoking a bowl before bedtime actsВ as aВ better sleep aid than other substances, like alcohol and certain sleeping-inducing medications.

(Unfortunately, though, it’s said that marijuana’sВ effectiveness as a sleep aid decreases with increased usage.)

12. Marijuana can also eliminate nightmares.

Marijuana is also known to disturb the sleep cycle and suppress REM sleep.

Since dreams occurring during this type of sleep, marijuana can be used to interrupt this REM sleep and eliminate your full capacity to dream, thus eliminating your nightmares.

13. Everyone respects someone who can roll a blunt that’s lit AF.

Every pothead knows rolling the perfect joint or blunt is basically a form of art.

Learning how to roll an impressiveВ blunt takes a lot of time and practice to master, so people will always respect a stoner who has decent rolling skills.

14. Smoking weed makes you worry less.

An article published in a 2010 Harvard Mental Health Letter also suggestedВ marijuana alleviated symptoms of anxiety when administered in small doses.

The article also mentionedВ that small doses of THC act as a sedative, decreasing symptoms of anxiety. So the next time you can’t stop worrying about something, break out the weed.

15. Ripping the bong can actually be good for your lungs.

A study published in theВ Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that marijuana smoke is not detrimental to your lungs.

In fact, past studiesВ found lighting up can briefly increaseВ your lung capacity in the short term. you know, from all that inhaling you’re doing.

As more states join the movement to legalize marijuana, smoking weed is becoming more mainstream than ever. Unfortunately, marijuana still tends to get a pretty bad rap. But if you ask me, there are all sorts of reasons why smoking weed is actually…

Alcohol & Other Drugs

A reminder that this article from our magazine Visions was published more than 1 year ago. It is here for reference only. Some information in it may no longer be current. It also represents the point of the view of the author only. See the author box at the bottom of the article for more about the contributor.

Why People Use Cannabis

Reprinted from “Cannabis” issue of Visions Journal, 2009, 5 (4), p. 9
On stigma

“Lots of people know me, know I do pot, and they think that I’m a pothead. But really, the thing they don’t realize is that I have a reason for it.” 1

Cannabis users are often portrayed as unmotivated, lazy “stoners.” But research into why people use cannabis paints a different picture. It shows that most people use cannabis as a rational choice to enhance their quality of life. 1-2

Cannabis affects people in different ways. It depends on the person, the situation, the type and quality of cannabis, and the method of use. Research shows most people who use cannabis use it moderately. Since cannabis has a low risk for physical addiction, 3-5 most people are not compelled to continue to use it. Instead, people use cannabis when they perceive its effects are beneficial. People all over the world have used cannabis for thousands of years—for social, medical and spiritual reasons. Sometimes these reasons are distinct, but often they overlap.

On social use

“Just about any activity is enhanced while under the influence of cannabis. I like hiking, cycling and dancing when I’m stoned or high and. I enjoy art, music, philosophy and meditation while intoxicated. Going to a museum is one of my favourite activities under [the] influence.” 1

“In my humble opinion, weed is not a drug; it’s a seasoning. like salt for your life. So, just the same as a person would use salt to enhance a bland soup or what have you, smoking weed can make things more intense and enjoyable. ” 1

Social Use

The social use of cannabis includes its use for recreation, socializing and generally improving quality of life. Most people who use cannabis today do so for these reasons.

Historical records also point to the social uses of cannabis. Ancient Hindus in India were against the use of alcohol, but accepted social cannabis use. In ancient Rome, wealthy people finished banquets with a cannabis-seed dessert that was known for the good feeling it caused. At ancient Indian weddings, cannabis (bhang) was served for good luck and as a sign of hospitality. 6

Today, people often use cannabis for specific activities and occasions. When used properly, it helps some to relax and concentrate, making many activities more enjoyable. Eating, listening to music, socializing, watching movies, playing sports, having sex and being creative are some things people say cannabis helps them to enjoy more. Sometimes people also use it to make mundane tasks like chores more fun. 1

Cannabis, used socially, often becomes part of a person’s daily routine without negative health, social, legal or economic consequences. 7 Most people use it responsibly to improve the quality of their lives, similar to the way others use alcohol or coffee. 1

The World Health Organization Constitution defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” 13 Therefore, the social uses of cannabis sometimes coincide with, or complement, its medical uses.

On medical use

“Those persons in our lives that we met that think it’s all about getting high often misunderstand that that high often relieves us of the tears, of hurt, of stress, of living with a terminal illness and a lot of other things in our daily lives.”16 “It relieves the nausea from the meds and allows me to have an appetite and to stick to the regimen of taking pills. And certain strains work better for the pain.” 16

Medical Use

Like people who use cannabis for social reasons, people who use cannabis for medical reasons also use it to improve their quality of life. Medical use is linked to managing physical and mental problems and to preserving health.

Cannabis has been used medically for thousands of years. In 2700 BCE, Shen Neng, Chinese Emperor and father of Chinese medicine, used cannabis as a remedy. The Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical text, also mentions cannabis. It was written in 1500 BCE and is one of the oldest pharmaceutical works known. 6,8

In Canada, cannabis was used as a medicine until it was added to a list of controlled substances in 1923.9 In 2000, patients won the right to again use cannabis legally as a medicine. The court ruled that people should not have to choose between their liberty and their health because both are protected in the constitution. In July 2001, in response to the court’s decision, Health Canada introduced the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR). 10 Under the MMAR program, people can apply for a licence to legally possess and grow cannabis for medical use.

Currently, there are many barriers to the Health Canada program. For example, some physicians don’t want to participate. Also, the options for a legal supply of cannabis are limited. As a result, only about 3,000 people have licences at this time. However, about 4% of Canadians (1.2 million people) use cannabis medicinally. 11 In BC, about 200,000 people report using cannabis as medicine. 12

Cannabis is used to treat many medical conditions and symptoms. It is effective in treating nausea, loss of appetite, pain, anxiety, insomnia, inflammation and muscle spasms. These symptoms are often part of physical or mental conditions. Arthritis, cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, ADHD and post-traumatic stress disorder are some conditions cannabis can help treat.

Sometimes cannabis is more effective than pharmaceutical drugs and has fewer negative side effects. Some people use cannabis to help them cope with the side effects of, or to replace, these medications. Others use cannabis to deal with withdrawal symptoms from other legal or illegal drugs.

On spiritual use

“Marijuana actually, what it does to me beyond all other social aspects of it, it actually really combines me with nature. A lot of my religious experiences have actually come through marijuana. It is just that connection, an awareness of yourself, I think, and that you are part of nature. ” 1

“When you ingest plants that have psychoactive effects, it’s sort of like the consciousness of the plant expresses itself vicariously through your body and your mind. I like to use it for learning and to gain knowledge on how to treat people and how to live. ” 14

Spiritual Use

Spiritual well-being is widely accepted as an important part of overall health. Spiritual use of cannabis relates to seeking a sense of meaning, enlightenment and connection.

Cannabis has a rich history of spiritual use. It is listed as one of the five holy plants in the Atharvaveda, a sacred Indian text from the second millennium BCE. The Scythians, who lived in what is now Eastern Europe, used cannabis at funerals to pay respect to departed leaders. Ancient Chinese texts say that cannabis can lighten a person’s body and allow them to communicate with spirits. The Persian prophet Zoroaster (7 BCE) relied on the intoxicating effects of bhanga, a cannabis drink, to bridge heaven and earth. Some researchers believe that kannabosm, a plant mentioned in the Old Testament as an ingredient in the sacred anointing oil, was an ancient name for cannabis. 6

Today, some people use cannabis in their spiritual practice. Rastafarians and some Hindus and Sikhs use cannabis in religious ceremonies. Other people use it in ways they consider spiritual, such as for reflection, contemplation or personal growth. The relaxing effects of cannabis help some people gain a different perspective when trying to understand difficult life situations. 1 Some believe that cannabis, as a plant, has something to teach them. 14

Cannabis is used by some to increase an appreciation for and connection with nature. 1,14 People also use cannabis to bond with each other. These feelings of connectedness contribute to an overall sense of “oneness.” 1

Conclusion

Despite the criminal laws in Canada surrounding cannabis, about 50% of Canadians have tried cannabis at some point in their lives. About 14% of Canadians are current users. 11 People who don’t use cannabis may not understand why others do use it. The same is true for those who have tried it and didn’t see any benefit. However, with a better understanding of the reasons people use cannabis, we can look past the stigma and assumptions. From here, it will be easier to find ways to enhance the benefits and reduce potential harms to individual cannabis users and the wider population.

About the author
Footnotes:

Osborne, G.B. and Fogel, C. (2008). Understanding the motivations for recreational marijuana use among adult Canadians. Substance Use & Misuse, 43(3), 539-572.

Hathaway, A. (2003). Cannabis effects and dependency concerns in long-term frequent users: A missing piece of the public health puzzle. Addictions Research and Theory, 11(6): 441-458.

Looby, A. & Earlywine, M. (2007). Negative consequences associated with dependence in daily cannabis users. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 2(3).

Melamede, R. (2005). Harm reduction—The cannabis paradox. Harm Reduction Journal, 2(17). www.harmreductionjournal.com/content/2/1/17.

Nutt, D., King, L.A., Saulsbury, W. et al. (2007). Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse. The Lancet, 369(9566): 1047-1053.

Russo, E.B. (2007). History of cannabis and its preparations in saga, science, and sobriquet. Chemistry and Biodiversity, 4(8), 1614-1648.

Thomas, G., Flight., J., Richard, K. et al. (2006). Toward a policy-relevant typology of cannabis use for Canada: Analysis drawn from the 2004 Canadian Addiction Survey. Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse. www.ccsa.ca/2006%20CCSA%20Documents/ccsa-011334-2006.pdf.

Hanus, L.O. (2008). Pharmacological and therapeutic secrets of plant and brain (endo)cannabinoids. Medicinal Research Reviews, 29(2), 213-271.

Le Dain Commission. (1972). Cannabis: A report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs. Ottawa: Information Canada.

Government of Canada. (2001, July). Marihuana Medical Access Regulations. Canada Gazette (Part II), 135(14). www.gazette.gc.ca/archives/p2/2001/2001-07-04/pdf/g2-13514.pdf.

Stockwell, T., Sturge, J., Jones, W. et al. (2007). Cannabis use in British Columbia: Patterns of use, perceptions and public opinion as assessed in the 2004 Canadian Addictions Survey. Centre for Addictions Research of BC, University of Victoria, and Centre for Applied Research on Mental Health and Addictions, Simon Fraser University. carbc.ca.

Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 states (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948. www.who.int/governance/eb/who_constitution_en.pdf.

Moffat, B.M. et al. (2009). A gateway to nature: Teenagers’ narratives on smoking marijuana outdoors. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29(1), 86-94.

Bottorff, J. et al. (2009, April 23). Relief-oriented use of marijuana by teens. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 4(7).

Cannabis users are often portrayed as unmotivated, lazy “stoners.” But research into why people use cannabis paints a different picture. It shows that most people use cannabis as a rational choice to enhance their quality of life.1-2