Coffee, Wine, Weed & Health
In the last few weeks there has been exciting information about coffee, wine, weed and health. The three stimulants can be addictive, enjoy a robust retail market (weed in limited states), and may have health benefits. My clients and readers of this blog know my mantra: “There is no thing that is all good or all bad, and moderation is key.” Although research is still ongoing on the three, below is a brief overview about how they can affect your health.
According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 54 percent of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee daily, and 65 percent of those drinkers consume coffee during breakfast hours. The key component associated with coffee consumption is caffeine. Coffee is a stimulant that can improve mood, increase energy, and increase cognitive function. When coffee is consumed, caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the brain, where it blocks a neurotransmitter. This blocked neurotransmitter results in a stimulating effect, which can make people feel more alert, energetic and positive with improved cognitive functioning.
I am a wine lover and like to drink wine in moderation. Per capita consumption of wine in the US is about 3 gallons, much less than other countries. Wine has heart health benefits, a reduced risk of cancer, and long-term depression. Red wine is high in antioxidants, which are linked to heart health and lowering blood pressure. One of the antioxidants that has been touted recently is resveratrol. Although resveratrol is still being studied, this antioxidant found in red wine is believed to protect blood vessels, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and prevent blood clots.
White wine is also beneficial for heart health due to the antioxidants found in grapes. There was also early research linking drinking two to three glasses of champagne a week to preventing brain diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Well, a glass of bubbly is always a good thing, but note that this research continues in search of definitive evidence.
Still considered taboo in many circles, weed, also known as marijuana, can also have health benefits. One-fifth of Americans live in states where marijuana is legal. The label medical marijuana refers to the use of the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its extracts to treat symptoms of diseases and other conditions. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has NOT approved the marijuana plant as a medicine. However, the FDA has approved scientific testing of chemicals at the said facility cannabinoidswhich have resulted in two FDA-approved drugs containing cannabinoid chemicals in pill form.
To date, research from the National Institutes of Health has focused on two cannabinoids—THC and CBD. CBD is a cannabinoid that does not produce a “high”. The results suggest that THC can stimulate appetite and reduce nausea, which may be beneficial for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Researchers continue to conduct preclinical and clinical studies of marijuana and its extracts to treat disease symptoms and conditions that compromise the immune system, including HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis (MS), pain, inflammation and seizures.
This post is a quick overview of trending coffee, wine, and weed topics. These topics will continue to be of interest and the upcoming California Wine and Weed Symposium will certainly be a catalyst for further conversation.
Bring away: There may be undiscovered health benefits to coffee, wine, and weed in the future, but my caveat is to make wise choices, and moderation is essential.
Thanks to Michelle J Stewart