Health benefits of cannabis, according to experts
Added on 22 September 2023
While more peer-reviewed clinical research is needed, myriad studies support cannabis as a legitimate and safe therapeutic substance when used properly under expert supervision. Learn more about the various medical conditions cannabis can help treat, as well as what industry experts have to say about cannabis use.
What Is Cannabis?
Cannabis sativa, or cannabis, is a complex plant that belongs to the Cannabaceae family. It contains about 540 chemical compounds, including more than 100 cannabinoids, the most well known of which are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
The term “marijuana” typically refers to components of the cannabis plant that contain significant amounts of THC. Meanwhile, hemp describes components of cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight, according to the federal U.S. government.
THC is the compound that gives cannabis its reputation as an intoxicatingly psychoactive drug because of the feelings of euphoria, decreased anxiety, and increased relaxation it elicits. THC and other cannabinoids found in cannabis plants can have psychoactive effects on the human body due to how they interact with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates pain, appetite and the response to stress, says Daniele Piomelli, Ph.D., director of the Center for the Study of Cannabis at the University of California, Irvine.
Potential Health Benefits of Cannabis
New research supports a number of potential health benefits of cannabis containing THC (as opposed to containing CBD exclusively).
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