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The relationship between humans and cannabis is not a new one. The ancient Egyptian goddess of wisdom is always depicted with a cannabis leaf above her head and in ancient China there are medical references for the use of the cannabis plant. So for as far back as we can see in recorded history, mankind has used cannabis for a variety of reasons and purposes. Throughout the ages we have evolved with this plant and it has benefited society in numerous ways. From medicine to the arts and knowledge cannabis has been there. Cannabis became accepted because people understood its benefits, uses and impact on the quality of life.
Ultimately, the end result of cannabis on the individual quality of life is going to depend on the individual and their personal responsibility. For example, if a person is using cannabis as a means of “mental escapism”… they will likely achieve that. If the individual is using cannabis to improve their life and enjoy it more, they will. The “intention” behind the use often gets amplified. So its not the cannabis plant itself that creates the outcome, its the intention and individual responsibility of the user that produces the outcome.
But lets a take a look at the science, studies and how cannabis has been shown to improve the quality of life among a variety of people.
How Recreational Use of Cannabis Effects Quality of Life
For many who use cannabis recreationally on a daily or weekly basis the quality of life is generally improved for a variety of reasons. In a Canadian study they found that people’s motivation’s for using cannabis was the same as alcohol or coffee which was to “enhance relaxation and concentration while engaged in leisure activities”. Honestly, I don’t think we needed a study to understand that but at least its out there.
Intuitively many people understand that they’re generally happier when using cannabis and are aware that other people who use cannabis experience life in a more pleasurable way. If we’re doing things that make us happy and experience life in a more pleasurable way… it makes sense that the quality of life would be higher because of cannabis. This is why sativas are generally great for recreational use since they energize, socialize and enhance focus. We can be high and functional at the same time.
Cannabis and Quality of Life for Medical Patients
Indica strains have been at the top of the list for medical use even decades before cannabis was made legal. What makes indica strains ideal for medical use is their relaxing nature. Medical patients often have problems with pain which prevents them from relaxation and sleep. All 3 of which are required for healing. So cannabis indica is an all in one treat from nature. THC and CBD from the plant help with pain management, cannabis in general helps with physical/mental relaxation and potent indicas help with sleep. The BC Cancer Foundation published ways that cannabis can help improve patient quality of life which spoke to it’s uses as a pain management tool. This is one of the many reasons that the elderly also benefit from having a higher quality of life associated with cannabis use.
The Canna Foundation in Spain published a study on measuring 7 different dimensions on how cannabis effects the quality of life. They took a look at different factors and measured how cannabis effected each factor of life. They indicated that cannabis reduces the use of other medicines and for those who respond well to cannabis, generally have a higher quality of life because of that.
For a variety of illnesses, cannabis is either used by itself or in conjunction with other methods to help people heal and recover. Cannabis is quickly becoming one of the most studied plants for it’s medical benefits due to compounds like CBD and THC and so that we can understand future uses for compounds we aren’t aware of yet. As an example, there were variations of THC and CBD discovered called THCP and CBDP that occur in small amounts but are 20 times as potent. No one is quite sure yet of what benefits they may have to the medical community but one can imagine since potency is exponential. To this day there are still numerous ways that compounds within cannabis help the body and mind heal that we don’t fully understand yet.
Cannabis has also received a lot of attention for it’s use with patients that have recurring issues with epileptic seizures. There are compounds within cannabis that work on the mechanisms that cause these seizures to be greatly reduced or even stop them from happening. For people with epileptic seizures that can have them as often as every few seconds in the worst cases essentially effecting their functionality and life. In a study on the effects of cannabis on epileptic seizures, they concluded that with the use of cannabis compounds “significant improvement in seizure frequency” was observed and called for further study of cannabis’ therapeutic potential.
Its not just the physical benefits for medical patients but the mental ones that are just as important. For patients with terminal illnesses, cannabis has been known to improve the outlook on life and rather focus on what is being lost and value the time they have.
Connecting Humanity Back to Nature
The more humanity uses cannabis, the more farmers, growers, trimmers, cultivation managers, etc are required to produce it. Not only does this provide more jobs it allows more people to reconnect with the land we live upon. They work with nature to produce something we can all benefit from which results in hundreds of thousands of people working with the land and millions more receiving the benefits of it. Creating more jobs that allow people to work with nature everyday is beneficial to society as a whole. More farmland and greenhouses are dedicated to the use of this crop instead of housing developments or industrial complexes that don’t benefit nature.
People who use cannabis tend to be pulled to nature at some point. While some people become introspective with cannabis use (in which sitting indoors can sometimes be beneficial to the mind) many others become more social and desire to get out more. One can only sit inside so long and use cannabis before they realize that using cannabis with outdoor activities is far more enjoyable.
Studies that have shown how nature has an impact on human health like how spending 120 minutes in nature per week effects health and wellbeing done at the European Centre for Environment & Human Health, all conclude that nature has a positive impact on our overall health.
So we understand that exposure to nature is key for both mental and physical health but with cannabis those benefits seem like they would be exponential. Since cannabis amplifies the senses… things we would see, sounds we would hear, the feel of the grassy Earth under our feet and the sight of stars in the sky with the use of cannabis would all be “experiences” instead of “a walk outside in nature”.
Future of Improved Quality of Life from Cannabis
A plant that has had such a beneficial impact on human society, medicine, health, nature and the quality of life has no reason to be illegal. The act of making this plant illegal, in itself, is a crime. The way cannabis effects the quality of life cannot be ignored any longer. It has now become a beloved part of the fabric of society whether its CBD use or cannabis use and I’m looking forward to a human future that embraces the quality of life that cannabis provides.
References of Study
- Understanding the motivations for recreational marijuana use among adult Canadians – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18365950
- The Effect of Medicinal Cannabis on Pain and Quality-of-Life Outcomes in Chronic Pain – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26889611
- Cannabis for the Treatment of Epilepsy: an Update – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30194563
- Ecopsychology: How Immersion in Nature Benefits Your Health – https://e360.yale.edu/features/ecopsychology-how-immersion-in-nature-benefits-your-health
- Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing – https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-44097-3
- How Can Cannabis Improve Patient Quality of Life? – https://bccancerfoundation.com/blog/october-01-2018/how-can-cannabis-improve-patient-quality-life
- Cannabis and Quality of Life – https://www.fundacion-canna.es/en/cannabis-and-quality-of-life