According to the National Cancer Institute, cannabis can help stimulate appetite, help with pain relief, relieving nausea/vomiting, treating anxiety and improving sleep quality.
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Pain relief has historically been the most common condition to be treated with cannabis, from headaches to childbirth (Grotenhermen, 2004). Over the years, we have learned more about cannabis’ pain relieving effects, and the mechanisms of action, along with user’s preferences to use cannabis over traditional pain medications. In two recent studies from 2013 and 2014, 87 and 94 percent of medical marijuana card holders, respectively, indicated that they used medical cannabis for “pain” or “severe pain” (Ilgen et al., 2013; Light, Orens, Lewandowski, & Pickton, 2014). This is an overwhelming majority, and a good indication that cannabis is an effective pain reliever for a wide variety of users.
Considerable evidence demonstrates that manipulation of the endocannabinoid system regulates nausea and vomiting in humans and other animals. The anti-emetic effect of cannabinoids has been shown across a wide variety of animals that are capable of vomiting in response to a toxic challenge. CB(1) agonism suppresses vomiting, which is reversed by CB(1) antagonism, and CB(1) inverse agonism promotes vomiting. Recently, evidence from animal experiments suggests that cannabinoids may be especially useful in treating the more difficult to control symptoms of nausea and anticipatory nausea in chemotherapy patients, which are less well controlled by the currently available conventional pharmaceutical agents.
CBD’s appetite-increasing effects have long been known. Recent research suggests that the CB(1) cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR141716A may suppress appetite. This research suggests that SR141716A may affect the actions of endogenous cannabinoids in regulating appetite or that it may have effects of its own aside from antagonism of cannabinoid effects (e.g., decreased feeding behavior and locomotor stimulation). In either case, these results strongly suggest that CB(1) receptors may play a role in regulation of feeding behavior.