Cannabis is a plant genus with three different species: indica, sativa, and ruderalis, and it’s been used for health and medicinal purposes for around 3,000 years.
Although a mild addiction to cannabis is possible, researchers agree that the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids are considerable. In particular, uses for cannabis oil cannot be ignored.
The term cannabis is synonymous with marijuana. The trichomes in the plant contain a high amount of the cannabinoid delta-9-terahydrocannabinol, or THC. It’s known for its psychoactive effects when smoked.
Facts and History of Cannabis Oil
Although they come from the same species, cannabis oil and hemp oil benefits are quite different. Hemp seed is illegal to grow in the U.S. because it contains very small amounts of THC. That said, hemp products are still available in the U.S. Hemp seed is a popular superfood, and it’s also used for topical ointments, and as a fiber for construction paper and clothing.
In the 1840s, cannabis was introduced into Western medicine by a surgeon named W.B. O’Shaughnessy. He learned about the health properties of cannabis, which include anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, anticonvulsant, sedative, and analgesic effects.
In the 1930s and 1940s, dangers around marijuana abuse led to it being banned in the U.S. and other countries. It wasn’t until decades later that cannabis was reconsidered for medicinal purposes. Today, cannabis is legal to obtain for medical usage in 25 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
10 Cannabis Essential Oil Uses
Although THC is primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, there are other bioactive compounds within it. One of the compounds, cannabidiol, is thought to have significant anti-inflammatory effects without THC. There are numerous studies that link cannabis oils and other cannabinoid compounds in the treatment of various diseases and conditions. Here are 10 of the top cannabis oil medical uses based on science.
1. Stimulates Digestive System
Consuming cannabis oil will trigger the release of hunger-promoting hormones.
Smoking marijuana is well known to increase appetite (colloquially known as “the munchies”), but cannabis essential oil can also stimulate your digestive system and induce hunger. This is useful for people who are trying to gain weight, especially after an illness or injury. According to an article published in Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science in 2015, consumption of cannabis oil will trigger the release of the hunger-promoting hormones. Depending on the hormone being triggered, cannabis oil can treat anorexia or obesity.
2. Decreases Stress and Anxiety
Cannabinoid treatment after traumatic experiences may help prevent stress-induced impairment.
Often, it seems as though stress and anxiety are just a way of life, with career, family, and social lives seemingly impossible to balance. The cannabinoids in cannabis oil can relax the mind, reduce stress, and bring a sense of calm and peace to the body. A study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology in 2013 found that cannabinoid treatment after traumatic experiences may help prevent stress-induced impairment and regulate emotional response to trauma. Cannabinoids minimized stress receptors in the hippocampus and basolateral amygdala parts of the brain.
3. Reduces Pain
Studies show that medicinal cannabis can help improve levels in pain and mood.
Curious about how to use cannabis oil for pain? It’s long been recognized as a pain relief remedy. Cannabis oil can relieve inflammation and chronic pain; in fact, many fibromyalgia and cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy often use cannabis oil to help cope. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2010 (1) suggests that cannabis helped 23 postsurgical neuropathic or post-traumatic pain patients with chronic pain over a two-week period. A longer study published in The Journal of Pain in 2015 (2) found that medicinal cannabis improved levels in pain and mood in 215 patients with chronic pain.
4. Promotes Eye Health
Cannabis oil has also been linked to the prevention of macular degeneration.
Cannabis and cannabis oil has also been linked to the prevention of macular degeneration and the treatment of glaucoma. Glaucoma is vision loss due to increased intraocular pressure (IOP). Though cannabis has been found to decrease IOP in glaucoma patients (and in normal individuals), its effects only last three to four hours, so at best it’s considered a temporary treatment. A patient would have to smoke marijuana every three hours to keep IOP low, and that has its own range of side effects, such as cognitive impairment and potential lung damage.
5. May Help Prevent and Treat Cancer
Cannabis oil may benefit cancer patients by inducing cancer cell death and cutting off the blood supply to the tumor.
Although research is still ongoing, cannabis oil is considered an option in the treatment and prevention of cancer. Using cannabis oil in cancer prevention or treatment may help reduce tumor size and alleviate weakness, pain, nausea, and a lack of appetite. There are dozens of studies that link cannabis against different cancer types including pituitary, colon, lung, thyroid, prostate, breast, and brain, plus leukemia and melanoma. In a study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in 2006 (3), researchers determined that THC and cannabidiol significantly reduced the growth of breast cancer cells. Cannabis oil may benefit cancer patients by inducing cancer cell death and cutting off the blood supply to the tumor. Other case reports have found that cannabis oil is a non-toxic chemotherapy alternative that increases vitality in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
6. Beautiful Skin
Cannabinoids produce lipids, which can help treat dry skin, dandruff, or acne.
What are the benefits of cannabis oil on the skin? Cannabis oil can help dead skin cells shed and promote the appearance of healthy skin. Cannabinoids produce lipids, which can help treat dry skin, dandruff, or acne. The oil is also thought to fight free-radical damage and reduce the stress linked with eczema, rosacea, and acne. There are also cannabis oil benefits for the hair.
7. Benefits Heart Health
Cannabinoids cause blood vessels to relax and widen, which improves circulation and reduces blood pressure.
Animal studies have suggested that cannabis may prevent heart conditions such as heart attacks, atherosclerosis, stroke, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. A 2014 study published in the journal Pharmacological Research suggests that cannabinoids cause blood vessels to relax and widen, which improves circulation and reduces blood pressure. More research is necessary to prove the safety of cannabis for heart health since this study is the first human trial examining cannabis for heart conditions.
8. Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The cannabinoids in cannabis regulate neurotransmitter release and help increase pleasure.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition that results from life-threatening experiences such as military combat, serious accidents, or natural disasters. In a study published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy in 2015 (4), researchers found that cannabis is effective for military veterans with PTSD. The cannabinoids in cannabis regulate neurotransmitter release and help increase pleasure. Military veterans with PTSD have reported improvements in coping abilities, and a reduction in insomnia and anxiety.
9. Treats Asthma
The THC in cannabis is thought to improve breathing in asthmatic patients.
Smoking marijuana can also help calm asthma attacks, according to a study published in the American Review of Respiratory Disease in 1975 (5). The THC in cannabis is thought to improve breathing in asthmatic patients. Cannabis oil, on the other hand, may improve asthma symptoms without the potential side effects of smoking.
10. Helps Improve Sleep
THC may help reduce sleep interruptions and improve nighttime breathing problems.
The calming effects of cannabis oil can help reduce restlessness and anxiety in people who are trying to sleep. The THC in cannabis is responsible for helping insomniacs and others fall asleep faster. In a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry Sleep Disorders in 2013 (6), THC was deemed safe and well-tolerated in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. THC reduced sleep interruptions and improved nighttime breathing problems.
Other Health Benefits
THC has been used to treat vomiting and nausea in cancer patients since the 1980s. Cannabis oil is also thought to treat Dravet syndrome and relieve headaches and migraines. Other conditions that may be treated with cannabis oil include multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, and osteoporosis.
How to Use Cannabis Oil
What is the best way to use cannabis oil for medicinal purposes? Cannabis oil is used by adding it to a liquid to mask potency or ingested with an oral syringe. The dosage and frequency will depend on the condition being treated. It’s wise to start with a small dose and work your way up over time.
Where do you find cannabis oil? Unfortunately, cannabis oil cannot be purchased at stores or online. However, some states offer cannabis or cannabis oil for medical use, such as Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, and Washington.
Possible Interactions and Side Effects
Cannabis oil uses may have various side effects or interactions. For instance, cannabis oil may interfere with learning and thinking, and reduce concentration and memory. It’s not considered safe to mix cannabis oil with medications that may cause fatigue and drowsiness, including muscle relaxants, pain relievers, seizure drugs, anxiety medications, and antidepressants. Cannabis oil is also not recommended for breastfeeding women, pregnant women, or women who are trying to get pregnant.
It’s also important to note that not all cannabis or cannabis oils are the same, and there are various strains of cannabis. When buying cannabis oil through a company, make sure the oil is pure and lab-tested to help ensure its effectiveness.