Whether you started your New Year’s resolution on January 1st, or at any point this year, the best time to better yourself and improve your health is right now. With the COVID-19 pandemic still limiting a lot of our free time, you can dedicate more time towards bettering yourself in several ways.

Cannabis is a natural plant that has become more popular as each year goes by, and for good reason. It offers many health and wellness benefits that you can easily take advantage of, and it carries little to no risk of adverse effects. You can order it online from your home, or pick it up at a dispensary. Your area may even have a local cannabis club, like this one, where you can consume your cannabis with like-minded individuals.

Many of the benefits you can gain from cannabis and products extracted from it will depend on its legal status in your location. In some places you may not be able to get it at all, while in most others there are varying levels of restrictions, such as attaining it with medical prescription.

In most places you can get cannabinoids with no restrictions, as they are the chemical compounds extracted from marijuana and hemp. All cannabinoids except THC do not make you high, and it is the non-THC product that is legal almost everywhere. Want to know more about the benefits of cannabis? Here are four ways that cannabis can help you improve your health in 2021.

1. Better Sleep

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Lack of sleep is a problem for around one-third of all adults, and it also comes with many adverse effects on your health. It can make you feel more stress, gain weight, diminish your memory, result in high blood pressure, and carry a greater risk for issues like diabetes and heart disease. Cannabis has thankfully been found to improve sleep disorders that can lead to sleep deprivation, like insomnia.

In fact, one study found that Sativex — a medication made of both THC and CBD — improved the sleep quality of people with arthritis. Another study found that it helped improve sleep in children suffering from insomnia and PTSD. Cannabis can help improve sleep both by treating underlying conditions that can make it difficult to sleep, and by acting as a sleep agent on its own.

2. Reduced Pain

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One of the most well known benefits for cannabis is treating pain. This is why it is used for treating both acute pain from injuries or surgeries, as well as numerous chronic pain disorders, including:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraines
  • Cancer symptoms

If you suffer from any chronic pain condition, cannabis can be a great way to get more freedom from your condition to live your life the way you want. It can sometimes be used along with other prescription medication or over the counter pain relief pills. However, it may also interact with some medication negatively, so always ask your doctor first. In fact, one of the benefits of using cannabis for pain is that it can replace pain medication that has larger risk of addiction or harsh side effects like opioids, but also NSAIDs to a lesser extent.

3. Improved Mental Health

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Many people deal with stress on a daily basis, and that’s only increased since the pandemic has threatened the livelihoods of so many people. Mental health disorders of some kind affect an estimated one in four people globally, whether it’s chronic stress, anxiety or depression, or more severe disorders like PTSD. Like with chronic pain, there are already a bevy of treatment and medication options to treat a person’s mental health disorder. However, prescription medications come with other risks and side effects.

If you’re dealing with a lot of stress at work, or in your personal life as you are confined in your house with your friends or family, cannabis can be a big relief. More specifically, you can take CBD that is extracted from cannabis plants. Unlike marijuana, it doesn’t make you high and it does not make stress or anxiety worse. It’s a great way to improve your mental health this year. Even if you have more severe mental health disorders, you can still look into prescription-strength CBD.

4. Workout Recovery

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With more free time at home, it’s time to dedicate yourself to a regular exercise routine to get in better shape. Exercise not only improves your physical health, but it also is a huge boost to your mood by reducing anxiety and stress. One thing that can get in the way of exercising regularly is the recovery period. When you’re starting out, or if you have a really intense workout one day, you may find that you’re stiff, sore, or even in some pain by the time your next workout comes around.

You can take cannabis, especially CBD, to reduce both pain and inflammation. You can get CBD protein powder to add to a smoothie as the perfect recovery drink. What helps is that cannabis, as well as individual components extracted from it (such as THC or CBD), are both effective at reducing pain. CBD is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, so it can help reduce swelling and inflammation in your joints and muscles that you use in a workout.

The legal status of cannabis can vary depending on the exact form of the product you want to use, and where you live. If you are in a state or country where cannabis is illegal or restricted, you can always just get CBD as it is legal almost anywhere. Otherwise, you may need to get a medical use card, or get it in private from a designated club or organization.

If you want to use cannabis for a medical reason, it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor first. They can tell you of the legal status for various kinds of cannabis products. They can also warn you if it would have a bad reaction to your other medication you are taking. It’s just safe to get a consultation with them ahead of time.