If you’re anything like me, you often come up with a list of resolutions before the New Year that you may not necessarily follow through on completely. Like many people, I often set goals to reach a certain level of fitness and attempt to cut back on sugar or fatty foods. Year over year though, there’s one resolution that follows me, and that’s to be happier and more mentally present in the moment than I’ve been during the previous year.
Everyone experiences hardship in their daily life, and stress and depression can suddenly begin to weigh on you. As much work as I do to create a healthier mental state, there’s always room for improvement. Learning from experience, I now go easier on myself when I make mistakes, and I listen to my inner voice when it comes to taking a day off for my own mental and emotional health. I've also realized that part of creating my happy place comes from a healthy dose of exercise and sound nutrition. These are very necessary tools in my toolkit, but there's also one more.
My Cannabis Resolution
I'm going to say it out loud and stay proud: Cannabis helps me improve my own mental health and well-being. For this reason, I plan to continue to incorporate cannabis into my daily routine during coming year. Cannabis is praised for its ability to relieve pain and tension, but it can also help ease stress and anxiety that’s part of everyday life.
Cannabis’s mental health benefits don’t stop with anxiety, however. Marijuana has been found to lead to an overall more positive mood. A 2012 study, which was published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, found that the endocannabinoid system is crucial in emotional processing. Essentially, when tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is administered patients in the study responded less to negative stimuli as compared to people who received a placebo.
Improving Mood & Outlook With Cannabis
When people are more responsive to negative stimuli, they’re more likely to have mental illnesses like depression, which cannabis can help combat. Stimulating the endocannabinoid system through THC consumption can help improve the mood by leading people to have more positive associations compared to negative associations. The 2012 study not only found that cannabis can help improve a person’s mood, but it also found how deeply the endocannabinoid system is tied to emotional function.
The mental health benefits of cannabis don’t stop with its most prevalent cannabinoid THC, but extend to the more than 80 different cannabinoids that are found in different plant strains. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) are gaining traction as elements in cannabis that can help improve your overall health.
If there’s one general health concept that everyone knows to be true, it’s that inflammation is bad for you. Turmeric gained traction this year as a superfood that reduces inflammation, but CBD and THCA both have similar anti-inflammatory properties. I don’t know about you, but when I don’t feel inflammation I tend to feel great.
Incorporating CBD & THCA Into Your Daily Routine
Part of my New Year’s resolution to bettering my health involves consuming THCA and CBD that both will help improve my overall health. Reducing inflammation in my body through consuming these two cannabinoids also helps improve my mental well-being and improve my happiness. CBD also helps relieve anxiety and causes calming feelings without being psychoactive.
Getting the full benefits from cannabis involves embracing the whole plant, not just the components that are the most well-known. Cannabis is also full of terpenes alongside its cannabinoids that help provide even more benefits. Terpenes may give cannabis different strains their signature smells, but they also provide effects like alertness, relaxation, mood elevation and stress relief. Terpenes like limonene and linalool are particularly helpful at relieving stress and promoting relaxation.
Let’s Allow Ourselves to Feel Good
Let's be honest—cannabis just makes you feel good in general. Whether you're affected by stress or depression, cannabis can take the edge off when you’re having a hard day. Cannabis helps decrease the production of FAAH, fatty acid amide hydrolase, which breaks down anandamide in the body. Anandamide is an endocannabinoid that our body naturally produces; it’s responsible for the euphoric feeling we experience with exercise, eating chocolate and other foods. THC activates the same receptors in the body that anandamide does, naturally stimulating happy and joyous effects.
Cannabis is a great component to add to your New Year’s resolution on health, whatever it may be. To me, one of the most amazing benefits of cannabis is its ability to help me move away from pharmaceutical medications. Whether it be non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, anti-depressants or opioids, cannabis is a great natural alternative to potentially addictive and harsh pharmaceuticals.
Join me in making your new year one filled with health and happiness by embracing the wide-ranging benefits that cannabis can provide. Happy new year to you from everyone at HelloMD. Here’s wishing you optimum health and wellness throughout 2018.