Cannabis for wellness

Explore the potential of cannabis to enhance wellness, reduce stress, aid creativity and more.

Chronic conditions needn't come in the way of happiness and well-being of a patient. A lesser known fact - wellness and disease can coexist! Read on...

The Potential of Cannabis

Much can be said about the potential of cannabis and natural remedies to improve human health, including CBD oil for stress relief and as an alternative medicine for pain management. Scientific studies are being published almost every day showing the potential benefits of cannabis for everything from epilepsy to chronic pain to psoriasis and brain trauma. However, cannabis’ potential does not end at treating life-altering diseases and conditions. Marijuana can also be used as a natural remedy to improve and enrich life in many other dimensions.

Defining Wellness

Wellness is a concept that arose in recent decades to describe a state of being that is far beyond health, and includes physical, mental, and social well-being. According to scholars from Stanford University and the London School of Economics, wellness refers to “choices and activities aimed at achieving physical vitality, mental alacrity, social satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, and personal fulfillment.”

Following this definition, wellness is not reserved for the healthy. While health and disease can be antonyms, wellness and disease can coexist, and patients with long-lasting conditions can enjoy elevated states of well-being.

Reducing Daily Stress

Two men smoking a joint
One doesn’t have to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder to experience anxiety. (Shutterstock)

One of the most common reasons people consume cannabis as a natural remedy is as a way to cope with the stress of daily life. According to the American Institute of Stress, stress is most commonly defined as “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.” While scientists agree that a certain amount of “good stress” or “eustress” is positive for tackling the daily challenges of life, too much of it can have serious consequences in health and well-being. This is where CBD oil for stress relief plays in.

According to a report by the American Psychological Association, 77% of              Americans regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress like fatigue, headaches, stomach ache, and muscle tension, and 73% regularly experience psychological symptoms due to stress like irritability and sadness.

While stress is a response to an external factor, anxiety is considered the internal reaction to that response. In that way, one doesn’t have to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder to experience anxiety due to money, work, or relationship trouble.

Beyond cannabis being used as an alternative for pain management, cannabis, especially at lower doses, may be a positive tool in reducing stress and anxiety.     8% of participants had a reduction of these symptoms after c. onsuming THC-rich cannabis at lower doses. CBD has been found to reduce stress-related anxiety regardless of the dose.

Improving Focus

A young man focuses on a task at his computer in a modern office
Cannabis can help many people focus on one task. (Shutterstock)

Many people who choose to consume cannabis and natural remedies for extra-medical reasons do it in their leisure time. Others use CBD oil for stress relief to tackle everyday activities like work or study.

Most scientific research elating cannabis and alternative medicine to concentration has been done in regards to serious medical conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While this field of study is still being explored, there’s a strong link between ADHD and dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system, and preliminary evidence suggests that cannabis may improve symptoms of ADHD.

For those who don’t suffer from a diagnosed attention deficit disorder but still could use a hand getting things done, cannabis can be of help. In recent years, a large amount of anecdotal evidence has been accumulated by many users who report that specific cannabis chemovars help them “get in the zone” at work or other activities that require focusing. This may be a result of the plant’s potential to block out outside stimuli and place one’s full focus on the current task at hand.

Sparking Creativity

A woman takes a macro hotograph of a flower in the park
People have been using cannabis to spark creativity at least for decades, although probably for thousands of years. (Shutterstock)

The use of cannabis among the artistic and creative communities throughout history is very well documented. However, one doesn’t have to be a famous musician from the 1960s to take advantage of cannabis’ potential for creativity instead of only using it as an alternative medicine for pain management. Creative problem solving is an ability that can be applied to any aspect of life, and is especially helpful in work environments.

THC, cannabis’ primary psychoactive compound, has been found to stimulate the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that has been widely associated with “divergent thinking,” which is the ability to form loose associations in order to come up with new ideas.

Divergent thinking is described as one side of the creative process, while “convergent thinking” is the other. In order to generate novel ideas and solutions, the loose associations sparked by divergent thinking must be converged into a working solution to the problem at hand.

However, another study found that too much THC can actually hinder divergent thinking. In this research, lower doses of THC are found to produce better creativity.

While the scientific study of cannabis in relation to stress reduction, concentration, and creativity is still at its first steps, a lot of anecdotal evidence shows that the use of the plant and alternative medicine for these purposes has existed for many decades, even centuries. Cannabis is great as a natural remedy and CBD oil for stress relief has proven to be effective, but many creative thinkers have used cannabis to help find inspiration as well throughout history. 

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  1. Naci, H., & Ioannidis, J. P. (2015). Evaluation of Wellness Determinants and Interventions by Citizen Scientists. JAMA, 314(2), 121–122.
  2. Mitchell, J. T., Sweitzer, M. M., Tunno, A. M., Kollins, S. H., & McClernon, F. J. (2016). “I Use Weed for My ADHD”: A Qualitative Analysis of Online Forum Discussions on Cannabis Use and ADHD. PloS one, 11(5), e0156614.
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This article was originally published on The Cannigma, and shared here with permission.