The Shocking Health Benefits of Marijuana You’d Never Expect

Put aside everything you previously thought about marijuana. Seriously. Take that image of Jeff Spicoli falling out of his van completely blitzed, and chuck it out the window. Because it is likely that you aren’t aware of all the good that smoking sweet leaf can do for your health. Many of the health benefits are quite unexpected!

1. Marijuana helps regulate your weight

A woman wears green glasses with decorative marijuana leaves.

Contrary to popular belief, you won’t gain weight from using marijuana. | Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images

Surprising, right? Isn’t ganja supposed to give you the munchies and make you overeat? Quite the contrary. The National Center of Biotechnology compared a variety of studies and found that smoking reefer is not directly connected to calorie intake. Cannabis users actually have a lower body mass index and smaller waistlines, suggesting that weed can actually help regulate appetite and calorie intake in most individuals.

2. It can control seizure activity

Marijuana leaves in yellow light.

Marijuana has gained popularity due to its many health benefits. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Research in recent years has shown an amazing connection between marijuana and seizure activity. The Epilepsy Foundation chronicled in early 2017 that medical herb can help control seizures. This is especially good news for controlling more difficult cases such as Dravet syndrome in children and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in both kids and adults.

3. It can help Tourette’s syndrome

A person grabs leaves from a bundle.

Researchers made a remarkable discovery. | Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

This debilitating syndrome can manifest in children as young as 6 years old, and the physical and verbal tics that accompany the nervous system malfunctioning are difficult to control. However, a recent study found that medicinal marijuana helped Tourette patients control their verbal and motor tics. Researchers are calling for more studies to get an even better idea as to how effective cannabis is in treating Tourette syndrome.

4. It fights diabetes

Marijuana laid out to look like a heart and a container on a white table.

Marijuana can help with diabetes. |

Perhaps one of the most impressive findings in recent years is that grass helps fight diabetes. Medical cannabis helps with blood sugar levels and insulin resistance in diabetics. Moreover, marijuana can help diabetics maintain their blood sugar over long periods of time. Pot can also help relieve some of the ailments that accompany diabetes, like chronic pain and eye disorders like glaucoma.

5. It helps with glaucoma

Marijuana plants in white pots on the ground.

The ingredients in the plant help those who suffer from glaucoma. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The practice of smoking weed to help your eyesight dates back to the 1970s. However, it is more of an aid for dealing with glaucoma and not an overall treatment option. Marijuana has been proven to relieve the high pressure put on the eye in glaucoma patients. However, the relief only lasts for a few hours, instead of giving the 24-hour relief that glaucoma patients need. It’s important to talk to your doctor before using medicinal marijuana as a glaucoma aid.

6. It ails anxiety and depression

A person cutting up marijuana leaves into trays while wearing gloves.

Many recreational users seek out marijuana for this reason. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Perhaps the most controversial subject surrounding medicinal cannabis is how it impacts individuals with anxiety and depression. Marijuana can have a positive affect on stabilizing mood and relieve anxiety symptoms, research has found. But as Healthline points out, more studies are being done.

7. It combats arthritis

A man soothes his foot.

Marijuana might help those painful joints. |

We’ve already discussed that smoking grass can help relieve chronic pain. In recent years, scientists have gone so far as to say marijuana can also be beneficial in helping soothe the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. There are even topical creams spiked with weed that you can rub on your joints to help relieve arthritic pain!

8. It fights cancer

Cannabis at the growing facility of the Tikun Olam company.

Perhaps its most well-known medical use. | Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Surely you have heard “marijuana” and “cancer” used in the same sentence before. As the American Cancer Society summarizes, smoking the green stuff helps chemotherapy patients feel less nauseous and need less pain medication. It has also been more recently revealed that cannabis has the power to stop the growth of some cancer cells. Research is still on-going, but health benefits continue to be uncovered.