As more states join the movement to legalize marijuana, smoking weed is becoming more mainstream than ever.
Unfortunately, marijuana still tends to get a pretty bad rap.
But if you ask me, there are all sorts of reasons why smoking weed is actually really good for you.
And I'm not just talking about weed's ability to make you feel more creative or the fact that it helps you chill out, either.
Apparently, getting high can also have a myriad of health benefits.
That's right. Sparking up can improve your health in all sorts of unexpected ways, and research shows that marijuana can improve your mood, boost your energy, help you lose weight and even prevent certain diseases.
If you're looking for yet another reason to justify your weed-smoking sessions, here are 15 advantages to getting lit AF on the reg:
1. Cannabis unlocks your creative potential.
A study found that cannabis causes psychotomimetic symptoms, which could lead users to make connections between ideas that aren't exactly related.
This type of thinking is often crucial to creativity, so grab some ganja, and get those creative juices flowing.
2. Trees can be used to treat depression.
A study conducted by Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience found that THC "reduces the negative bias in emotional processing," which means weed could be used to help people cope with depression and other psychiatric disorders.
Plus, a study published by USC and SUNY Albany found that "those who consume marijuana occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana."
So if you're feeling blue, brighten up your day by packing a bowl.
3. Weed can help you lose weight.
Although marijuana is notorious for giving you a mean case of the munchies, a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that pot smokers are less prone to obesity.
Another study in the American Journal of Medicine revealed similar results, finding those who light up on the reg are actually a bit skinnier than those who don't smoke marijuana.
In addition to giving you a smaller waistline, researchers also discovered that marijuana may boost your metabolism, increase fat loss and lower cholesterol. So next time you're tipping the scale, try swapping out your salads for a different type of green.
4. Lighting up can lower your risk of diabetes.
A study published in The American Journal of Medicine found that people who smoke marijuana had lower insulin levels and insulin resistance levels by 16 and 17 percent, respectively.
This suggests that cannabis may play a role in regulating blood sugar, which can decrease your risk of developing diabetes.
5. Cannabis keeps you calm, cool and collected.
Researchers interviewed Swiss inmates who regularly smoked marijuana in prison and found that marijuana made the inmates calmer and less stressed. Plus, marijuana use among prisoners also prevented violence and acted as a "social pacifier."
I guess they don't call it a "peace pipe" for nothing.
6. Sparking up is a great social activity.
Weed serves as a great icebreaker since it reduces social anxiety, encourages you to open up and makes you more accepting of others.
Plus, let's be real: There's no better way to spend a night in with your friends than hotboxing your basement, ordering pizza and watching all of your favorite TV shows.
7. Pot can make your periods suck less.
When it comes to managing premenstrual symptoms, marijuana could be a natural alternative to Midol.
Studies have found that THC is an analgesic and antinociceptive agent that can alleviate the pain of those killer cramps and pounding headache.
Plus, marijuana has also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help with the bloating that occurs around that time of the month.
8. Getting high doesn't give you a hangover.
A night of drinking beers with your BFFs will leave you feeling pretty shitty the next morning. However, unlike drinking, smoking weed doesn't result in a deathly hangover.
So you can get lit with your squad and still feel pretty amazing the next day.
9. Marijuana makes food taste a million times better.
There's nothing better than getting stoned and stuffing your face with an endless array of snacks. But have you ever wondered why marijuana makes food taste so magical?
A study published in Nature Neuroscience found that, thanks to THC's effect on the brain's cannabinoid receptors, food appears more appetizing as a result of a heightened sense of smell.
Therefore, it's probably a good idea to stock up on bagel bites and Dino nuggets before you spark up.
10. Smoking a bowl can boost your energy.
There's a stigma surrounding marijuana use that it makes you lazy. However, not all strains of cannabis turn you into a complete couch potato.
Research has supported a link between the brain's CB-1 and CB-2 cannabinoid receptors and dopamine. Essentially, small doses of marijuana won't hurt your efficiency level, and an increase in dopamine levels gives you the focus you need to get your shit done.
If you're looking for a little pick-me-up, swap out your coffee and smoke a Sativa-dominant strain like Sour Diesel or Jack Herer, instead.
11. Smoking weed can help you fall asleep.
Everyone knows weed helps you unwind.
While there is considerable debate over the long-term effect marijuana has on sleep cycles, some feel that smoking a bowl before bedtime acts as a better sleep aid than other substances, like alcohol and certain sleeping-inducing medications.
(Unfortunately, though, it's said that marijuana's effectiveness as a sleep aid decreases with increased usage.)
12. Marijuana can also eliminate nightmares.
Marijuana is also known to disturb the sleep cycle and suppress REM sleep.
Since dreams occurring during this type of sleep, marijuana can be used to interrupt this REM sleep and eliminate your full capacity to dream, thus eliminating your nightmares.
13. Everyone respects someone who can roll a blunt that's lit AF.
Every pothead knows rolling the perfect joint or blunt is basically a form of art.
Learning how to roll an impressive blunt takes a lot of time and practice to master, so people will always respect a stoner who has decent rolling skills.
14. Smoking weed makes you worry less.
An article published in a 2010 Harvard Mental Health Letter also suggested marijuana alleviated symptoms of anxiety when administered in small doses.
The article also mentioned that small doses of THC act as a sedative, decreasing symptoms of anxiety. So the next time you can't stop worrying about something, break out the weed.
15. Ripping the bong can actually be good for your lungs.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that marijuana smoke is not detrimental to your lungs.
In fact, past studies found lighting up can briefly increase your lung capacity in the short term... you know, from all that inhaling you're doing.