4/20 is upon us. If you don’t know what four-twenty is then i'll educate you a little.
4/20 is the day that has been embraced by pot smokers over the past years as weed day. It is day where people who identify with the cannabis culture light one up – recovering addict or not.
With the decriminalization of marijuana and the legalization of weed for medicinal or recreational purpose in some parts of the world, lighting a blunt in public doesn’t seem to raise much alarm but with people being more open to consumption of marijuana, celebrating the annual 4/20 still remains a big deal to most pot consumers.
What’s the Origin?
4/20 gets its name from five High school friends collectively called the Waldos in San Rafael, California. The code first came about in the fall of 1971 because the Waldos planned to meet at a statue of Louis Pasteur at the school at 4:20 before they went on an expedition to score some free weed from a plot of marijuana plants abandoned by a Coast Guard service member.
In celebration of 4/20 this year, we run you down a list of things... good things... healthy things cannabis consumption could do to your body. You might be surprised to find out that amongst all the terrible things they say about marijuana consumption, it actually helps a lot if consumed sensibly.
It may help improve lung health and palliate or even reverse carcinogenic effects of tobacco
As published by the American Medical Association in January 2012, marijuana which is believed to be a lung killer actually improves lung capacity. Researchers looking into the risk factors of heart disease tested the lung function of 5,115 young adults over the course of 20 years. Tobacco smokers lost lung function over time, but pot users actually showed an increase in lung capacity.
These could easily be because of the inhalation of weed which requires a longer drag than tobacco.
It controls epileptic seizures
The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics published in 2003, showed how marijuana extracts helped in controlling seizures by using epileptic rats as test subjects and the results showed conclusively that marijuana does indeed cure epilepsy for about 10 hours depending on the amount taken.
A special chemical found in marijuana stops cancer from spreading
CBD may help prevent cancer from spreading, researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco reported in 2007.
According to Business Insider, Cannabidiol stops cancer by turning off a gene called Id-1, the study, published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, found. Cancer cells make more copies of this gene than non-cancerous cells, and it helps them spread through the body.
The researchers studied breast cancer cells in the lab that had high expression levels of Id-1 and treated them with cannabidiol. After treatment the cells had decreased Id-1 expression and were less aggressive spreaders.
In "WEED," Gupta also mentioned a few studies in the U.S., Spain, and Israel that suggest the compounds in cannabis could even kill cancer cells.
Proper usage decreases anxiety
Weed when consumed sensibly reduces anxiety. Medical marijuana users claim the drug helps relieve pain and suppress nausea — the two main reasons it's often used to relieve the side effects of chemotherapy.
In 2010, researchers at Harvard Medical School suggested that some of the drug's benefits may actually be from reduced anxiety, which would improve the smoker's mood and act as a sedative in low doses.
THC slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease
Amyloid plaques are the main precursors of the Alzheimer’s disease. They are formed in the brain and kill off brain cells thus aggravating Alsheimer’s. THC, tetrahydrocannabinol an active component of weed slows down the formation of the amyloid plaques by blocking the enzyme that makes them thus making Alzheimer spread less rapidly.
It improves your metabolism
A study published in the American Journal Of Medicine on April 15, 2013 suggested that pot smokers are skinnier than the average person and have healthier metabolism and reaction to sugars, even though they do end up eating more calories because of the munchies.
Marijuana brings out your creative side
Contrary to stoner stereotypes, marijuana usage has actually been shown to have some positive mental effects, particularly in terms of increasing creativity. Even though people's short-term memories tend to function worse when high, people get better at tests requiring them to come up with new ideas.
One study tested participants on their ability to come up with different words related to a concept, and found that using cannabis allowed people to come up with a greater range of related concepts, seeming "to make the brain better at detecting those remote associations that lead to radically new ideas," according to Wired.
Other researchers have found that some participants improve their "verbal fluency," their ability to come up with different words, while using marijuana.
Part of this increased creative ability may come from the release of dopamine in the brain, lessening inhibitions and allowing people to feel more relaxed, giving the brain the ability to perceive things differently.
Weed helps the brain recover from a stroke
Research from the University of Nottingham shows that marijuana may help protect the brain from damage caused by stroke, by reducing the size of the area affected by the stroke — at least in rats, mice, and monkeys.
This isn't the only research that has shown neuro-protective effects from cannabis. Some research shows that the plant may help protect the brain after other traumatic events, like concussions.
Marijuana helps in fighting alcoholism
Marijuana is safer than alcohol. That's not to say it's completely risk free, but it's much less addictive and doesn't cause nearly as much physical damage.
Disorders like alcoholism involve disruptions in the endocannabinoid system. Because of that, some people think cannabis might help patients struggling with those disorders.
According to Business Insider, research in Harm Reduction Journal shows that some people use marijuana as a less harmful substitute for alcohol, prescription drugs, and other illegal drugs. Some of the most common reasons for patients to make that substitution are the less adverse side effects from marijuana and the fact that it is less likely to cause withdrawal problems.
Some people do become psychologically dependent on marijuana, and this doesn't mean that it's a cure for substance abuse problems. But, from a harm-reduction standpoint, it can help.
Weed helps relieve pain caused from chemotherapy and stimulates appetite
One of the most well-known medical uses of marijuana is for people going through chemotherapy.
Cancer patients being treated with chemo suffer from painful nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. This can cause additional health complications.
Marijuana can help reduce these side effects, alleviating pain, decreasing nausea, and stimulating the appetite. There are also multiple FDA-approved cannabinoid drugs that use THC, the main active chemical in marijuana, for the same purposes.
With all these said, i wish you a happy 4/20. Have fun and light one up.....or two.