Stoners have known for many years that smoking marijuana is an immediate stress reliever, but a new study suggests that specific cannabinoids may offer benefits in treating a variety of diseases brought on by chronic stress.

It is widely known that ongoing stress can create inflammation in the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to a wealth of illnesses. Studies that are more recent have concluded that chronic stress can cause depression and fatigue, as well as severe neurological disorders.

A team of researchers from the Complutense University in Spain recently set out to explore the effects of marijuana as a combatant against stress in laboratory rats. What they discovered was once specific marijuana pathways, commonly referred to as CB2 receptors, were activated, there was a significant decrease in inflammation produced from chronic stress.

Researchers point out that CB2 receptors regulate the activity of immune cells, but unlike their CB1 counterparts, they do not facilitate the stoned effects from marijuana. 

Lead researcher Dr. Borja Garcia-Bueno says the study has uncovered evidence of an “anti-inflammatory profile for CB2 receptor activation,” which ultimately suggests marijuana could be invaluable medicine “for the treatment of stress-related pathologies with a neuroinflammatory component, such as depression.”

Dr. Garcia-Bueno’s team, whose findings were published in the latest issue of the British Journal of Pharmacology, hopes their research will lead to more comprehensive studies on the subject of stress-related neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases.

On a comedic note: here at HIGH TIMES, our definition of “Chronic Stress” is when we have trouble scoring a bag of weed.

Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.