Is Vaping the Balance of Life?

Can Vaping Marijuana Improve Your Health, thus providing balance to your life?

Let’s face it it’s only a matter of time until pot is 100% legal in the United States.  As the old saying goes “When California goes, America is next to follow”.

This is definitely the case with medical marijuana. It all started out in the Golden State in the late 1990s. Boy, have we come a long way-medical marijuana is now legal in thirty-one states and the District of Columbia. In fact, pot is perfectly legal for recreational uses in nine states.  Most importantly, the number of jurisdictions legalizing weed for both medicinal and recreational purposes continues to grow.

The tide of history is definitely on marijuana’s side. It is increasingly no longer viewed as some sort of forbidden drug, but a totally natural medical option as well as a recreational alternative.

But did you know that vaping weed can actually be good for you?

I know this flies in the face of what you've been constantly seeing in the media. This definitely goes against the “Reefer Madness” narrative the government has been promoting since the 1930s. For the longest time, federal, state, and local authorities paint a nightmare scenario regarding marijuana-overdose, madness, and other disaster. But there has yet to be proven case of an actual marijuana overdose death in the United States or elsewhere.

The bottom line is that there is a whole lot of misconceptions and confusion about marijuana and the many compounds it contains.

A lot of the confusion regarding the medical effects (as well as side effects) of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) are due to US federal law. Under federal rules, marijuana is a strictly Class I drug. This means that it's absolutely illegal across the board and is officially designated as having no medical or research value by the US Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA).

There’s been a tremendous amount of groundswell in reclassifying weed so at least it can be studied by more research institutions. Throughout the years, there were several proposals to reclassify marijuana out of Schedule 1. All attempts have failed so far.  Without reclassification, it would be very hard for researchers at universities and other institutions to access marijuana legally for testing and experimentation.

What we know so far...

Still, despite this fairly strong, decades-old scientific research “embargo”, what little research has been done on THC has proven surprisingly encouraging.

Several research papers throughout the years suggest that marijuana may not be the health boogeyman that we've been led to believe. In fact, many of these studies suggest that THC can pack quite a variety of medical benefits. Of course, we really won’t know for sure until the funding, the institutional support and, most importantly, the legal restrictions on medical marijuana research have been completely lifted.

The current medical research literature suggests the following benefits to vaping weed.

Vaping pot can help you reduce your alcohol intake

Generally speaking, vaping or smoking weed is safer generally than drinking alcohol. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that smoking weed is completely risk-free. However, when it comes to addiction, it’s actually easier to get addicted to alcohol than weed.

In terms of the damage caused to your system, it's not even close. When comparing the long-term negative health effects of alcohol to THC, THC wins hands down. Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to serious liver damage, cirrhosis, alcoholic fatty liver, pancreatitis, liver cancer, and other conditions.

When medical marijuana sales become available, there’s a significant drop in alcohol sales in that area. ( SOURCE )

In a study published by Harm Reduction Journal, people who switch to pot from illegal drugs, alcohol and prescription drugs suffered less harm. These individuals who make the switch report that they have experienced fewer negative effects from smoking pot than drinking. This is especially true when it comes to withdrawal symptoms.

Smoking Weed can Help You Tremendously if You are a Cancer Patient

Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer of all kinds. One of the biggest drawbacks to chemotherapy is the nausea and low appetite patients suffer. In fact, it's not unusual for people going through some form of chemotherapy to lose a tremendous amount of weight. Again, this is because their appetite has been suppressed. Even if they do manage to eat, they can't keep it down because of nausea and vomiting. ( SOURCE )

Marijuana is known the world over for producing munchies. If you smoke a bowl or vape some pot, you develop a dry mouth as well as increased appetite. Not surprisingly, cancer patients can benefit tremendously from pot’ appetite-boosting and pain-management abilities.

Also, marijuana has demonstrated ability to reduce nausea.

If you don't want to vape THC, a cannabis-derived compound called CBD (cannabidiol) can provide the same relief. The big difference between CBD and THC is the fact that CBD doesn't get you high. Still, if you’re worried about the psychoactive effects of THC, you can vape CBD products to get the same anti-nausea effect.

Vaping Pot might Help Relieve PTSD

Colorado’s Department of Public Health awarded a two-million-dollar grant to the
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies in 2014. The study aimed to research how vaping or smoking weed can help people recover from PTSD or deal with the symptoms of PTSD.

Post-traumatic stress disorder affects many Americans and can be a debilitating condition. Maybe people experience some sort of abuse or some sort of traumatic experience but, for whatever reason, the depression anxiety and other negative mental and emotional effects of that experience continue to haunt them.

It's long been suspected that marijuana contains cannabinoids that can help soothe the nervous system to help people cope with the physical symptoms of PTSD.

In fact, in New Mexico alone, the highest number of people signing up for medical marijuana cites PTSD symptom alleviation as their main reason for getting a medical marijuana license.

The 2014 study in Colorado is intended to evaluate both the effectiveness and safety of marijuana as a PTSD treatment.

Vaping Weed Reduces Parkinson's Disease Tremors

Research out of Israel indicates that when people with Parkinson's disease smoke pot, the tremors and pain they normally experience are significantly reduced. Also, patients who participated in this study report getting better sleep and rest at night. When observing patients’ fine motor skills, researchers saw a significant improvement.

A lot of scientific studies involved in medical marijuana’s benefits come out of Israel because not only is medical pot legal in that jurisdiction; there are no restrictions on medical weed research in that country. Medical marijuana research enjoys a significant amount of support from the governmental of Israel.

Vaping Buds can Relieve Discomfort from Arthritis
Marijuana’s ability to alleviate pain has been known for quite some time. It also contains compounds that can reduce inflammation and help people get better sleep.

In 2006, published in the journal Rheumatology, fifty-eight patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis were observed over a period of five weeks. The group was split into two. One group was given a placebo and the other was given Sativex, which contains marijuana-derived compounds. The group taking Sativex showed better movements because of less pain and they report sleeping better.

This is in line with previous studies that suggest inhaling marijuana through vaping or smoking as well as using cannabinoids can go a long way in decreasing arthritis pain. What makes the research in rheumatoid arthritis particularly significant is the fact that this form of arthritis is particularly painful, uncomfortable and definitely inconvenient.

Pot may Help People Cope with Bowel Inflammation Diseases

There was an umbrella of medical conditions that involved bowel irritation. These range from IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) to ulcerative colitis to Crohn's disease. When these individuals smoked marijuana as part of a research study out of the University of Nottingham, researchers found that there was an interaction between cannabidiol and THC and the body's gastrointestinal tract.

According to the research paper published in 2010 in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, this interaction in gut function helped improve overall intestinal health as well as boosted study participants’ immune response. This is due to the fact that the human body actually produces biochemical compounds that look like THC. This compound aids in increasing the nutrient absorption rate of the intestines.

When people with elevated levels of these THC-like compounds smoke or consume
marijuana, the cannabinoids introduced in their system actually serve to block the body’s own THC-like bio-compounds. As a result, the intestinal cell walls become “reinforced” and are less likely to allow the easy transfer of bacteria from the gut to the rest of the body.

The problem with the Nottingham study is that it is a fairly small study. Reviewers of this research say that further research is required. We are hoping that as medical marijuana research becomes more widespread in the United States and other jurisdictions that we will get more answers regarding cannabis’ role in helping people with inflamed bowel conditions.

Vaping Pot Delivers Powerful Pain Relief for Multiple Sclerosis Sufferers

The Canadian Medical Association journal published a study indicating that marijuana can help ease multiple sclerosis pain. This study is fairly small. It only observed thirty MS patients who suffer from very painful muscle contractions. These individuals were non-responsive to standard pain treatments.

After the thirty patients smoked pot for a few days, they indicated that they were suffering less pain. Researchers suspect that marijuana’s THC binds to nerve receptors, and this leads to a substantial pain relief. ( SOURCE )

THC has been Linked to Slowing Alzheimer’s Disease Progression

Alzheimer’s disease can progress fairly rapidly if it isn’t diagnosed soon enough. In research published by the Scripps Research Institute, pot may actually slow down the rate Alzheimer’s disease progression substantially.

In the 2006 study, which was published by the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, THC was demonstrated to slow down amyloid plaque formation in the brain. Scientists have suspected that an increased concentration of amyloid plaques in the brain is one key factor or is the cause of Alzheimer’s. ( SOURCE )

THC actually blocks the brain enzyme that creates these plaques. Since their production is reduced, the rate of brain cell death due to these amyloid plaques is greatly reduced. Indeed, when THC is mixed with CBD, researchers working with mice have shown that this combination can preserve memory.

Vaping buds can help reduce epileptic fits’ intensity

Many parents of children living with epilepsy report that their kids’ symptoms have been reduced by Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in marijuana. While these reports are quite numerous, these are still anecdotal evidence. As of now, there hasn’t been any double blind highly controlled scientifically valid experimental studies on the link between CBD and epilepsy symptoms.

Vaping THC can reduce glaucoma eye pressure

Ever since a study done in the 1970s showed that smoked THC is effective in reducing the internal pressure suffered by glaucoma patients, weed’s glaucoma treating power has long been accepted among medical marijuana advocates. Not surprisingly, almost all states that allow smoking pot for medical purposes list glaucoma as one ‘qualifying health condition’ for medicinal marijuana access.

Although the National Eye Institute accepts the 1970s study suggesting pot as a glaucoma treatment, there’s not enough recent research done on one key issue: how long does weed’s reduced internal eye pressure last? Again, marijuana’s Class I scheduling is preventing research institutions from getting the material and funding they need to get to the bottom of weed’s glaucoma treatment potential.

Vaping marijuana might increase your lung capacity

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it turns out that smoking weed doesn’t reduce or weaken lung capacity unlike smoking nicotines. Instead, researchers found that smoking pot might actually have the opposite effect-it can increase lung capacity! ( SOURCE )

Researchers tracked over 5000 subjects over the course of 20 years to study heart disease risk factors. While the lung capacity of tobacco users declined over time, pot smokers’ lungs didn’t suffer a similar drop.

Vaping marijuana may enhance meditation and awareness

For many years, studies show that Cannabis have been recognized to deliver strong mental, emotional even spiritual effects when used. Marijuana is known to possess exceptional properties that not only improved physical and mental health of a user but it also helps Cannabis to be more suitable for continued use. In fact, most research shows that majority of adults that uses Cannabis, experience positive effects without the feeling of being addicted or even suffering long-term harm.

But not all people experience the positive effects of Cannabis, there are some rare events in which heart problems or mental disorders are exacerbated by Cannabis Medical research shows that people, regardless of what background, consistently report that Cannabis has enhanced their overall wellness. Here are some common effects as reported:

Decreased muscle tension

Enhanced sensory perception (heightened sense of awareness and focus)

Increased sense of arousal and sexual intimacy in both sexes

Better relaxation (it helps you focus on the present moment without any stress or distractions)

Enhanced mood

Increased sense of pleasure, calmness, and health

Some users may have experience some of these effects, while others may experience more. Also, the same individual user may experience it on a separate occasion depending on the amount and the method used to administer cannabis (e.g. vaporization). ( SOURCE )

Given all the interesting research described above, it is clear that vaping marijuana can actually deliver substantial health benefits providing a more balanced lifestyle. Of course, we will not conclusively know the full extent of weed’s medical benefits until the extensive research restrictions placed on it have been removed both by the US government and other authorities.