Researchers continue to discover a deepening connection between cannabis consumption and positive health outcomes—for people of all ages and medical dispositions.

Cheech and Chong, ‘The Dude’, Jeff Spicoli, Harold and Kumar, Reefer Madness, and Pineapple Express—the portrayals of cannabis within Hollywood, have in a sense, contributed to longstanding stereotypes and stigmas—some are amusing and harmless, many are damaging. Still, notwithstanding the opinions of our current administration, nearly 64% of Americans support the wholesale legalization of cannabis.

Stigmas, however, are difficult to break. Despite the now well-documented benefits of adult cannabis consumption, among doctors, policymakers, researchers, and scientists, there are few subjects as polarizing as marijuana. Most often stigmas and stereotypes exist because of misunderstanding. It’s natural for people to dismiss what they don’t understand—for this reason, education is critical to breaking the stigma around cannabis.

We live in this world—it’s our industry, passion, and our livelihood—we believe in the benefits of this beautiful plant and we understand the potential of cannabis when consumed for health and wellness.

That said we realize there are a lot of misconceptions, inaccurate stereotypes, and a general lack of knowledge around the consumption of cannabis for health—from serious conditions to minor ailments and athletic recovery.

You don’t have to get ‘high’.

Marijuana, weed, cannabis—however you call it—getting high isn’t always the desired result, and it doesn’t have to be. Long-held beliefs about cannabis have been disrupted by scientific and medical research showing numerous applications for the treatment of medical conditions. Everything from anxiety and depression, to pain suppression and the management of complex health conditions, can be treated with cannabis—with or without feeling elevated.

Why cannabis works.

In the last decade researchers have more closely studied the impact of marijuana on the human body. Their research has led to significant discoveries surrounding the influence of cannabis on adults, specifically the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)—our bodies own biochemical structure designed to connect with cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids, the active compounds found within cannabis, help to create different characteristics inherent to each plant. Cannabinoids are the chemicals which give the plant its coveted medical and recreational properties. They hook onto receptors within your brain and act like chemical messengers to help the body maintain homeostasis.

Homeostasis is a system designed to allow your body to balance different biological functions like pain management, appetite, and motor coordination. In the process of research, scientists discovered our bodies make their own cannabinoids—Anandamide and 2AG. This discovery led to the unearthing of the Endocannabinoid System, and while there’s still much to learn about the ECS, the discovery has revolutionized the ways healthcare professionals view cannabis.

Despite being one of the most significant receptor systems in the human body however, the majority of medical schools ignore teachings around the Endocannabinoid System—we’ve got a long road ahead before the stigma surrounding cannabis is broken.

Endocannabinoid System Facts:

  • Animals have had an Endocannabinoid System within their bodies for over 600 million years
  • The cannabis plant, containing Phytocannabinoids, dates back 25 million years
  • Anandamide and 2AG, the two primary cannabinoids, were discovered in the early 1990’s
  • Endocannabinoids provide us with balance and homeostasis
  • Endocannabinoids moderate the flow of neurotransmitters, keeping the nervous system running smoothly

Cannabis for the treatment of age-related diseases and conditions.

Recent studies have revealed significant discoveries surrounding the consumption of cannabis to treat age-related illnesses and diseases. Cannabis has been found to have a positive impact on patients suffering from conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and spasticity associated with diseases like Parkinson’s.

We’ve seen an uptick in customers within our Colorado dispensaries looking for products to assist in the management of conditions like those listed above. It’s encouraging to witness a shift in the perception surrounding marijuana use for age-related medical conditions, especially among an aging population who grew to adulthood during the lengthy period of cannabis prohibition.

Cannabis is your all-natural ‘chill pill’ and a potential answer to America’s opioid crisis.

We are in the midst of an opioid crisis in America and have witnessed an increase in anxiety and depression, as well as a surge in medications prescribed as treatment. As one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States, anxiety disorders impact nearly 40 million adults (Anxiety & Depression Society of America)—roughly 18 percent of the entire population. Cannabis is an all-natural answer to the issues related to prescription drug abuse in this country, as well as an ideal treatment for symptoms related to anxiety and depression.

As researchers continue to gain deeper insights into cannabis, they are discovering more ways it can serve as an alternative to pharmaceutical medications. Increasing evidence shows the benefits of cannabis when used to treat disorders related to anxiety and depression, as well as for pain management—a common factor leading to opioid addiction.

States with medical cannabis laws have observed the following positive results:

Reduction in deaths as a result of opioid overdose

Fewer hospitalizations from opioid abuse

Reduction in hospitalizations from opioid overdose

Education and understanding are the keys to breaking the stigma surrounding cannabis.

We are committed to providing education around the myriad of benefits offered by responsible cannabis consumption and encourage you to learn how to can include this long-misunderstood plant in your overall health and wellness regimen.

Visit with an expert budtender at any Lightshade Colorado dispensary  and learn how to incorporate marijuana into your life as a component of an overall health and wellness program.