Marijuana Health Benefits for Women

It’s leafy and potent and as likely to end up in your Vitamix as it is on your vanity. Meet the new super green blowing the wellness world up in smoke.

Weed 101

Marijuana contains over 100 different cannabinoids, compounds that interact with the body’s own endocannabinoid system. The two that get the most attention are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). They are nearly identical but with one key difference: “THC activates CB1 and CB2 receptors and is psychoactive [gets you stoned]; CBD does not and works by increasing levels of your own natural endocannabinoid, anandamide,” explains neuroscientist Michele Ross, the founder of the IMPACT Network, a nonprofit for medical-cannabis research and education. That’s not to say CBD can’t make you feel all kinds of good: Anandamide is also known as the bliss molecule for its ability to produce a state of heightened happiness. While we’re at it: There’s zero difference between hemp and cannabis. Same Cannabis sativa plant, different laws. Anything with more than 0.3 percent THC is considered cannabis, not hemp, and is illegal in states that do not permit medical or recreational marijuana use. (In those states, CBD can be sourced from legal industrial hemp.)

Cannabis to Kick Up Your Sex Life

Weed and sex have gone together since at least the Summer of Love, when a ride in a VW bus would cost you “gas, ass, or grass.” It’s only fitting that 50 years later, there’s cannabis-infused lube. Alyssa Dweck, an ob-gyn and assistant clinical professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and a coauthor of The Complete A to Z for Your V (Fair Winds Press), believes it’s legit — and safe — to use cannabinoids, such as the ones in Foria Pleasure, around your lady parts. “There may be some absorption through the mucus membranes, but when used as intended, the absorption is minimal and it should not get you stoned,” she says. “The coconut oil base should help with lubrication, and my suspicion is that cannabis lowers inhibitions a bit or lessens anxiety through muscle relaxation.” Note: Dweck, who practices in New York — not a recreational-marijuana state — hasn’t experienced the lube, Foria, directly. “New York’s a little uptight right now,” she says, adding that physicians need more controlled, randomized studies to better understand cannabis’s systemic effects.

Cannabis to Alleviate PMS

Forget Advil or Aleve. Anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabis oil could be the future of pain management when it comes to menstrual cramps. Whoopi Goldberg, who for years has been outspoken about her use of medical marijuana, partnered with businesswoman Maya Elisabeth to create an entire line of cannabis-powered period-relief products, including a topical rub and bath soaks designed to help relax contracting muscles. Another approach is Foria Relief, a vaginal suppository with THC and CBD that works preventively against pelvic pain, says Ross, who uses it to treat her endometriosis symptoms: “[The suppositories are] better than a painkiller because they can stop local inflammation and spasms that might cause more cramping.”

Juicing Marijuana

There may be no better way to start the day for a dedicated wellness warrior than with green juice. As in cannabis green. Before processing, cannabis leaves are just like most other leafy greens — chock-full of fiber, vitamin K, and antioxidants. The added superfood bonus is in the cannabinoids. “Raw cannabinoids THC acid and CBD acid fine-tune the endocannabinoid system, which regulates all your other neurotransmitters,” says Ross. When you juice or eat raw cannabis leaves, you can take in potent megadoses of raw, unheated THCa without any psychoactive effects at all. Given its reported anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, and anti-cancer qualities, “We may find that THCa is an even better vitamin than CBD,” Ross says. Consider it Generation Goop’s version of “wake and bake.”

3 Ways Cannabis Can Help You Blaze Through Your Fitness Goals

Increased motivation. “It’s a big misconception that cannabis makes you lazy,” says Jim McAlpine, who founded the 420 Games and plans to open the world’s first herb-fueled gym, Power Plant Fitness, in San Francisco next year. “I’ve found literally the opposite is true.” Sativa strains (Sour Diesel, Green Crack) in particular are known for energizing, uplifting vibes. Laser-like focus. “For me, it’s a gateway to flow state,” says McAlpine, a man who chomped on an infused chocolate bar before swimming from Alcatraz to San Francisco. “It can activate that ‘Eye of the Tiger’ mode when your mind and body become one and you’re not thinking about anything else besides that moment.” Better recovery. Both CBD and THC are potent anti-inflammatory agents, meaning they can help manage postworkout pain. Whether you vaporize, eat, or topically apply weed, it kick-starts the body’s endocannabinoid system to reduce swelling and pain.

The Future of Medical Marijuana

Good things come in small...doses. It turns out that a little THC might have a big impact on managing depression, anxiety, and pain. The newest research in medical marijuana is microdosing, using a low dose of THC (somewhere between 2.5 and 5 milligrams) to reap the plant’s medicinal superpowers without any of the buzz or brain fog. “For a long time, you couldn’t even find products under 10 milligrams because the market was primarily people trying to get high,” Ross says. Now there are all sorts of wellness teas, mints, vape pens, and tinctures with the microdoser in mind — and they’re not all used for calming down. “There’s talk of cannabis as a nootropic supplement that helps productivity, creativity, and focus. Contrary to what you think of when you think of a cannabis user, some people take a low dose of THC, say, four times a day as a replacement for Adderall or Ritalin,” says Ross.

We’re not cops. But while Allure likes the perfectly legal products and services in this story, we do not condone the use of any illegal drugs, including marijuana, in states where it’s prohibited.

 

 

BY MEIRAV DEVASH via Allure