Elite Magazine asks questions. Dr. Damas provides answers.

Marijuana Q&A: The Benefits of Cannabis

Have you seen marijuana help creativity levels? Any strains in particular good for this?

Marijuana has long had a reputation amongst many musicians, artists, writers and other creatives for having the ability to help them create or overcome “block’s”. Sativa strains are known to provide the “head high” that people associate with fostering creativity. If you don’t know what specific strain names are Sativas a hint will be in the name. Fruity names or those that sound like food are usually Sativas.

Any experience in seeing lower levels of depression and anxiety with cannabis? Any strains in particular you’ve seen? Any studies you can think of that point to this?

Amongst the many benefits that people report using cannabis for (pain, insomnia), depression and anxiety are commonly reported complaints. There is a great deal of overlap between the presenting complaints (meaning they aren’t mutually exclusive). Within the cannabis plant is a compound called Cannabidiol which we commonly know by the abbreviation CBD. CBD is known to be a very effective anxiolytic (anxiety reliever) and antidepressant when used long term. CBD is found in larger amounts in Hemp plants which are cousins of what we refer to as cannabis/marijuana plants.

What strains can raise your energy levels? Why?

Sativa’s are known to raise energy levels. Although the categorization of the plants into rigid definitions (Sativa, Indica) is not necessarily the most accurate, it does allow a basic framework to work with. Within the plants there are a number of compounds including: phytocannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. These all effect the osy in different ways with regards to how they interact with cellular receptors. These receptors cause the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin which makes us happy or noradrenaline which makes us excited.

Best strains for sleep? Why?

Indica’s are known for their relaxing properties. Again this is a result of their unique chemical composition of phytocannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBN, etc) as well as their concentration of other substances like terpenes (linalool, myrcene). Indica’s can also cause the “couch lock” phenomenon some people experience. CBD can also be used for sleep because of its effect on receptors that cause sedation (GABA). One of the benefits of using CBD for sleep is that you wont be “high” like you will if you use an Indica. There can be many reasons why someone doesn’t want to be high before they go to sleep.

Any other benefits of marijuana you can think of? Let us know!

There’s so much more, we could literally do a series, but here are some bread and butter ones:

  • Surveys of medical marijuana patients find that upwards of 40% reports using cannabis for the treatment of pain – from nagging aches, episodic pain (menstrual cramps) to chronic conditions like fibromyalgia. Cannabis users tend to decrease their consumption of prescription analgesics as well as over the counter pain medications.
  • Cannabis has been shown to help with the effects of treatment for illnesses like AIDS and cancer. Some of the benefits: decreasing pain, decreasing nausea, increasing appetite and uplifting mood.
  • Studies have shown that cannabis can be an aphrodisiac. Increasing pleasure, intimacy and decreasing anxiety amongst partners.