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In the past, there has been a lot of propaganda designed around criticizing the use of marijuana, and scaring people away from even trying it. It is interesting to consider that no one has ever died from the use of marijuana alone, in fact the health concerns of marijuana are extremely minimal when compared to the extremely popular use of alcohol, cigarettes, and the increasingly worrisome use of pharmaceutical drugs. What do those 3 things have in common? They are legal, almost everywhere around the world. Something is missing here…

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This does not mean we are encouraging people to go out and use marijuana. Many are still unaware that the health benefits of the plant are not gained unless it’s ingested properly, and that usually does not include smoking it. It’s important to do your research  and check multiple sources rather than putting your trust in just one. That being said, the healing properties of the planet cannot really be denied, and it’s information like this that helps to lift (as mentioned earlier) the propaganda around criticizing the use of marijuana.

The times are changing however, marijuana use has been becoming increasingly more popular and in many cases, less illegal. There have been 4 states to completely eradicate any laws pertaining to marijuana use to date: Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Colorado, with other cities such as New York and Washington D.C. decriminalizing possession of the drug.

There has also been a surprising amount of evidence coming forward that shows how cannabis can effectively kill cancer cells, and cure a variety of other (sometimes terminal) diseases. Generally this is the case when the cannabis is ingested (rather than smoked) in a concentrated oil form.

But many people are still wondering what’s the deal with regular marijuana use? We have been told for years that it kills brain cells and is not good for our mental health, but was there ever any science to back up this claim? Or was this just another fear tactic to keep people from using marijuana?

The Study

According to the following study, published in The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, a compound that is found in marijuana known as cannabidiol (CBD) can actually help your brain grow.

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Researchers, who were looking to investigate the effects of CBD on anxiety and depression in rodents went right to the source, a part of the brain called the hippocampus. This is the area of the brain that regulates emotion and cognitive function and is the only area of the adult brain that can grow.

The scientists found that CBD causes brain cells in the hippocampus to grow, this would be an explanation to the previous studies that identified CBD as an effective treatment for mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and stress as all of these are attributed to a lack of adult neurogenesis. This can be brought on by frequent substance use, (marijuana excluded) but also slows down naturally as you age.

The team from Brazil says that there is now hope, an understanding of how the brain reacts to CBD and other components of marijuana, “opens the door for their use to manage psychiatric symptoms in disorders such as aging, stress and neuroinflammation.”

Amazingly, CBD is present in the male cannabis plant as well, this plant is often referred to as hemp. Hemp doesn’t have any psychoactive effects when smoked or ingested because there is no THC present. This means anyone could benefit from the benefits of CBD without getting “high” from it. This is also important because in many parts of the world, including Canada hemp is completely legal. You just may want to be careful with it as it looks an awful lot like its sister Mary Jane.

The more accepted and legal marijuana becomes the more the door opens for study into its amazing healing properties. After all, it is just a plant! Shouldn’t we be allowed to test and study it? It’s a strange thing when you make nature illegal…

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