What are the main medical benefits of Delta 9 THC? Here’s everything you need to know, complete with citations from studies…
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Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta-9 THC, is the primary psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. While it’s best known for its mind-altering effects, Delta-9 THC also has a range of potential medical benefits that are making it an increasingly popular choice for therapeutic use.
Here, we’ll delve into some of the key medical benefits of Delta-9 THC.
Delta-9 THC Medical Benefits
One of the most well-documented medical benefits of Delta-9 THC is its potential to relieve pain. Studies have shown that Delta-9 THC can help alleviate chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and pain associated with conditions like multiple sclerosis and cancer.
It’s believed that Delta-9 THC achieves this by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors that play a key role in regulating pain.
Enhanced Sleep and Insomnia Aid
Delta-9 THC is often used to promote better sleep and help manage insomnia. Many users report that Delta-9 THC helps them fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and achieve a more restful night’s sleep.
This is likely due to Delta-9 THC’s relaxing and anxiety-reducing effects, which can help prepare the body and mind for sleep.
Anxiety and Stress Reduction
Many people use Delta-9 THC to help manage anxiety and stress. Delta-9 THC is known for its calming and relaxing effects, which can help reduce feelings of anxiety and promote a sense of calm.
In comparison to placebo, 7.5mg THC significantly reduced self-reported subjective distress after the TSST and attenuated post-task appraisals of the TSST as threatening and challenging. By contrast, 12.5mg THC increased negative mood overall i.e., both before and throughout the tasks, and pre-task ratings of the TSST as threatening and challenging. It also impaired TSST performance and attenuated blood pressure reactivity to the stressor.Study Source
In contrast, it is also worth noting that high doses of Delta-9 THC can sometimes cause or exacerbate anxiety, so it’s crucial to start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed.
Anti-Nausea and Appetite Stimulation
Delta-9 THC has been recognized for its potential to manage nausea and vomiting, particularly in the context of cancer treatment. For decades, it has been used as a supportive care option for patients undergoing chemotherapy, a treatment known for its challenging side effects, including severe nausea and vomiting.
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) can be one of the most distressing side effects for cancer patients. It can lead to dehydration, malnutrition, and may even cause some patients to discontinue their treatment.
Delta-9 THC, through its interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system, can potentially alleviate these symptoms. It’s believed to do this by activating the CB1 receptors in the brain and digestive tract, which can help suppress nausea and vomiting.
Several studies have shown that Delta-9 THC can be as effective, or even more effective, than some traditional antiemetic medications. This makes it a valuable option for patients who don’t respond well to other treatments.
By helping to control nausea and vomiting, Delta-9 THC can improve the quality of life for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, making it easier for them to complete their treatment.
In addition to its anti-nausea effects, Delta-9 THC is also known for its appetite-stimulating properties. This is particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with conditions that cause loss of appetite or weight loss.
Conditions such as HIV/AIDS and certain types of cancer can often lead to a severe loss of appetite, resulting in significant weight loss and malnutrition. Delta-9 THC can stimulate the appetite by interacting with the CB1 receptors in the brain’s hypothalamus region, an area that controls hunger signals.
By enhancing the sensation of hunger, Delta-9 THC can help patients maintain their weight and nutritional status, contributing to their overall health and well-being.
Potential Neuroprotective Properties
Some research suggests that Delta-9 THC may have neuroprotective properties, meaning it could help protect brain cells from damage. This could potentially make it a treatment option for conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, but more research is needed to fully understand these effects.
Certain components of marijuana, like THC and a synthetic version called WIN55,212-2, can protect brain cells from damage caused by certain chemicals (like glutamate or NMDA) in isolated neurons or in the brain. This protection is achieved by activating a specific type of receptor in the brain called the CB1 receptor.
However, using these components as treatments can cause mind-altering effects because they also act on these CB1 receptors. On the other hand, CBD, a non-mind-altering component of marijuana, and other synthetic versions like HU-211, along with THC, have been shown to be powerful antioxidants and/or protectors against glutamate-induced death or oxidative stress in neuron cultures. These substances don’t cause the mind-altering effects associated with marijuana.Study Source
Despite the numerous potential medical advantages of Delta-9 THC, it’s essential to be aware that it can also lead to side effects, such as anxiety, paranoia, and temporary memory loss.
Moreover, the legal status of Delta-9 THC is not the same everywhere, so it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the laws in your area before buying or using Delta-9 THC.
Key Takeaways: Medical Benefits of Delta-9 THC
- Pain Relief: Delta-9 THC has been shown to help alleviate various types of pain, including chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and pain associated with conditions like multiple sclerosis and cancer.
- Enhanced Sleep and Insomnia Aid: Many users report that Delta-9 THC helps them fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and achieve a more restful night’s sleep.
- Anxiety and Stress Reduction: Delta-9 THC is known for its calming and relaxing effects, which can help reduce feelings of anxiety and promote a sense of calm.
- Anti-Nausea and Appetite Stimulation: Delta-9 THC has been used to help manage nausea and vomiting, particularly in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. It’s also known for its appetite-stimulating effects.
- Potential Neuroprotective Properties: Some research suggests that Delta-9 THC may have neuroprotective properties, meaning it could help protect brain cells from damage.
- Side Effects and Safety: While Delta-9 THC has many potential medical benefits, it can also have side effects, including anxiety, paranoia, and short-term memory impairment. It’s crucial to use Delta-9 THC responsibly and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.
- Legality: The legality of Delta-9 THC varies depending on where you live, so always check your local laws before purchasing or using Delta-9 THC.