Cannabis is legendary for its popular, psychoactive effect, but there’s much more to it than just getting high. Cannabis is believed to promote homeostasis or balance in the body, which is why people use it for so many different health applications, from stress relief to pain management to non-pharmaceutical treatments for autism. Here are seven ways people are using cannabis and not getting high.
Those inexperienced with cannabis edibles are advised to try no more than a 5 mg dose of THC, marijuana’s psychoactive compound, and then wait at least two hours to gauge the effects before consuming more.
Studies show cannabis targets receptors in the body and on the skin to block pain signals and reduce inflammation. Low-dose edibles, capsules, and suppositories can offer hours of relief from back and joint pain. Creams, lotions, and bath soaks are also popular for muscle pain, neuropathy, arthritis, and menstrual pain.
More than 4.4 million people have watched a video clip of Larry Smith smoking cannabis to stop his tremors from Parkinson’s disease. It’s important to consult your neurologist or other doctors about trying this, though.
“I’ve used cannabis to control my nighttime anxiety and distance myself from alcohol,” says Aaron Petersen, 34, who works in information technology. “After having kids and getting into a more stressful career, I developed nighttime anxiety that was fairly intense.” Petersen says he “doses” nightly, which means he ingests THC in some form. As a bonus, he says he’s lost nearly 70 pounds over the past year, which he attributes to avoiding alcohol and curbing anxiety-induced stress eating.
Insomnia and Sleep Problems
Inhaling a sedating strain of cannabis smoke — Indica strains are known for this trait — or eating a small gummy or piece of THC-infused chocolate is all many cannabis users need to get a good night’s sleep. “It helps me turn my mind off,” says Eri Edgington, a paralegal from Burton. “I don’t wake up with a hangover like prescription sleep medication gives you.”
At Elevated Yogi, held at the Cannabis Counsel Legal Office in downtown Detroit, participants have a puff before rolling out their mats and easing into downward dog. Participants say it helps them connect with their bodies and relieves discomfort associated with working out.
Autism is a qualifying condition for juveniles to use medicinal cannabis in Michigan. Jamie Cooper, an administrator of the private, 5,000-member-strong Michigan Cannabiz Professionals Facebook group, is one of the moms who asked that it be included on the state’s list of qualifying conditions. “Cannabis has done wonders for my 7-year-old autistic son and helping him focus more during school,” says Cooper, 39, of Grand Haven, who administers the boy’s doses by giving him tinctures or mixing cannabis oil into food. “The teachers are to the point where they beg me to not miss doses.”
Small doses of cannabis are being studied as a potential libido-booster. According to research by the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, doses as low as 2.5 to 5 mg may be enough to help you get and stay in the mood. Cannabis can lower inhibition, increase sensation to touch, and improve sexual function. “In one study, women who used cannabis regularly [and not only prior to sex] had twice the likelihood of having a satisfying orgasm,” according to the society’s website.