For many, marijuana has become the new glass of red wine before bed. Smoking a joint or a few bowls from a bong or pipe is the perfect way to turn off the voices in your brain, forget about your stresses, and relax after a long, hard day. For others, marijuana is used more as a way to enhance something – to take something already enjoyable, and make it even better. The “cherry on the sundae,” if you will. Smoking weed right before you watch one of your favorite movies, or even a notoriously bad movie that you can’t help but want to watch. Like a train wreck you witness in person; horrifying, but you can’t look away. It’s also a great way to loosen up and enter into an experimental head space when preparing to be intimate with a partner.
But smoking or vaping marijuana as part of your daily or weekly routine serves yet another purpose as an effective pain reliever. In the book Marijuana as Medicine: The Science Beyond the Controversy by Allison Mack and Janet Joy, note that peripheral nerves that sense pain contain an abundance of receptors for cannabinoids. And as it turns out, cannabinoids “appear to block peripheral nerve pain in experimental animals.”
Mack and Joy make an argument later on in their book, stating that opiates, which are traditionally prescribed by doctors, do serve a purpose for pain relief, but only in the short term. People who are given opiates for chronic pain, often develop tolerances for their drugs over time, making them less effective. They conclude that marijuana might be the solution to relieving chronic pain for most people.
One type of chronic pain most people experience at least once throughout their week, are the aches and muscle pains that are a consequence of a heavy workout.
According to Business Insider, marijuana has been shown in clinical studies to reduce not only pain, but also muscle inflammation, all while decreasing stress and improving mood. For professional or amateur athletes, or anyone that considers themselves a health buff, would be wise to steer away from marijuana consumption methods like smoking, considering how the combustion of plant material can wreak havoc on an individual’s lung capacity. Sticking with edibles or oils would be a much better call.
For those of you enjoy high endurance or high impact sports like football or hockey, professional fighters, and mountain athletes like skiers and rock climbers, marijuana is especially good for recovering from injuries endured during play. Although, its unfortunate that substances like marijuana are banned in the professional ranks for most sports, which force players to use drugs that are potentially addictive and ineffective in the long term.