By now it’s no secret that there’s more to marijuana than meets the high.

Not only can marijuana provide an enchanting recreational experience, but it also offers a myriad of health advantages to those who use it. Here are just five of the ways that the powerful cannabis plant benefits the body naturally.

There’s a reason it’s called cannabis, not can’t-abis, amiright? | Photo Credit: VICE News

1. It helps improve lung function. Yes, really.
It may seem counterintuitive, but studies show that the use of marijuana actually improves lung function. The Journal of the American Medical Association published the findings of a longterm study that tested more than 5,000 adults over the course of 20 years and found that, while tobacco users exhibited decreased lung function, marijuana users actually gained lung capacity over time. 

2. It boosts the metabolism.
This might be surprising, considering the correlation between marijuana and the munchies, but marijuana can actually aid in maintaining a healthy weight. It helps the body process sugars more efficiently and have a higher functioning metabolism. A study published by The American Journal of Medicine showed that participants that were current marijuana users had lower fasting insulin levels—and smaller waists—than their counterparts.

3. It aids in creativity.
While creativity may not always be directly associated with health, the ability to think, form ideas, and allow for total openness to the creative process positively impacts a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing. A study reported by Psychology Today showed an upswing in levels of verbal fluency in marijuana users and posited that the way marijuana increases the brain’s dopamine levels may lower the inhibitions that block a more relaxed approach to creativity.

4. It relieves the pain and other symptoms of a whole host of disorders.
Marijuana has been known to deliver a potent one-two punch to the faces of many disorders, positively impacting their symptoms and providing support for the people who live with them. Here’s a quick, not-even-a-little-bit-all-inclusive list:

  • People with Parkinson’s disease who were treated with marijuana saw an improvement in fine motor skills and a decrease in pain and tremor activity.
  • Marijuana relieves the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
  • It also prevents seizures due to epilepsy.
  • It is known to decrease and prevent the pressure in the eye associated with glaucoma.
  • It provides treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s.

5. It helps people with cancer.
No list of marijuana benefits would be even close to complete without touting its use in the treatment of cancer. Not only is marijuana used to ease the pain of chemotherapy and provide relief from its subsequent nausea and appetite loss, but in previous breast cancer studies, marijuana has shown that it also contains the cancer-halting chemical Cannabidiol, or CBD. It’s suggested that CBD has the power to inhibit the ID-1 gene, thought to be a conductor of cancer cells, from being expressed.

That means cannabis may contribute to the destruction of cancerous tumors.

Consider it dropped. | Photo Credit:

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Check back every Wednesday at 4:20 for more Cannabis Health with Kelsi

Born and raised in Alabama, Kelsi Nuss has been exploring the Deep South for writing inspiration since she was just a small (town) girl. This passion led Kelsi to Auburn University where she earned a BA in English and creative writing and began her career as an anything-and-everything writer and a someday novelist. Her fiction has been published in Auburn University’s student literary magazine, The Circle, and various other pieces of Kelsi’s have been featured online. Her growing interest in cannabis advocation brought her to Leaf of the Week, where she works to destigmatize the plant one blog post at a time. When she’s not out saving the world with her dazzling web content writing, Kelsi is at home with her husband and daughter listening to music too loud and plotting their next adventure.