It’s fair to say that 2020 has been a year that many will be thankful to leave behind. Between the historically contentious U.S. election, the endless “doomscrolling” on social media during the lockdowns and, of course, the on-going global pandemic that has killed more than a million people worldwide, has left millions jobless, and left many feeling stressed out and anxious about the health of themselves and their loved ones, we’d say that’s a fair observation. But in only a few days, 2020 can be left behind. Many have already started setting New Year’s Resolutions and getting their mindset right for a better, brighter 2021. The problem with those resolutions, however, is that they’re not so easy to stick with. Research shows that while about 60 percent of us make resolutions at the beginning of every year, only about 8 percent of people accomplish those goals. That’s why this year, we here at Leafwell think that you should incorporate medical cannabis into your New Year’s health and wellness routine. Not only have civilizations been using cannabis as medicine for thousands of years already, but modern medical research also has shown that cannabis is effective in managing symptoms for issues like chronic pain and muscle soreness, stress and anxiety disorders, depression, and insomnia. This article is going to break down four ways you can use cannabis to get off to a good, healthier start in 2021 by improving both your physical and mental health, getting you more restful sleep, improving how long and hard you can workout, and enhancing your recovery from those very same workouts. Incorporate CBD Throughout Your Day CBD has absolutely exploded into the mainstream over the last few years. Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD products for American consumers, the market has been absolutely flooded with CBD-infused products. There’s a reason that CBD has inflated into a potential $20 billion cash cow by 2024. Plain and simply, it’s because it works! CBD has been shown to have a calming, relaxing, pain-dulling impact on those who take it, even those dealing with serious medical issues like cancer, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, or cancer. In fact, it’s so effective that one study showed 97 percent of cannabis-using patients said that CBD works so well that they were able to decrease the amount of addictive, synthetic opiates they took to manage their symptoms. What’s even more impressive is that 81 percent of those patients “strongly agreed” that CBD itself was doing a better job of managing their symptoms than their prescription opioids. CBD isn’t just for managing these serious medical issues, however. Almost anyone can benefit from the effects of CBD. A few drops of tincture or CBD oil in your coffee in the morning will be a great way to relax and go into your day less stressed out and anxious. A few hits from a vape filled with CBD oil is a great way to wind down and get your head out of work-mode on a Friday evening ahead of the weekend. Maybe a pill or transdermal cream before bed to help you settle down and get some restful, restorative sleep. Plain and simple, CBD is a great, naturally-occurring cannabinoid that can help take the end off of stressful times, without the mind-altering effects of THC along with it. Help Recover From Workouts with Cannabis Every year, millions of people make goals and resolutions for the coming year. The vast majority of those resolutions, according to recent polling, involve exercising more and losing weight. While it might surprise some, there’s some incredible research showing that cannabis use and working out go hand-in-hand. Researchers surveyed 600 cannabis users in California, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon and Washington about the impacts of cannabis on athletic performance and the results were stunning. Those who used some form of cannabis an hour before working out and/or within four hours after their workout reported getting 43 more minutes of exercise each week than those who didn’t. On top of being able to work out for longer, cannabis also does a great job of helping you recover and reduce muscle soreness after tough workouts thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that CBD users reported their sore muscles recover faster than without CBD, and are just as effective as over-the-counter inflammation-reducing medications like aspirin. With a medical cannabis card of your own, which you can get from a Leafwell certified cannabis doctor via online consultation, you also have a wealth of options on how to feel the healing effects of cannabis. You can get topical creams, vapes, traditional dried, smokeable flower, edibles, and oral supplements, just to name a few. For those who are health conscious and might want to avoid smoking, a visit to your local medical dispensary once you get your card will be really eye-opening! Relaxing After a Long, Hard Day Getting your brain out of work mode can be hard enough at times. It’s even harder now that many Americans have spent the last nine months working from home, calling into Zoom meetings from the couch, and using their kitchen table as a substitute work desk. That’s where cannabis can help. Cannabis is a great way of taking your mind off of work, reducing those stresses and anxieties at the front of your mind to mere afterthoughts after a few hits. Cannabis has a calming impact on those who use it, meaning that it’s a far better alternative than other addictive substances like alcohol for taking the after-work edge off. You’ll just need to keep in mind the strain you’re interested in, take close notes of the terpenes and THC/CBD levels, and figure out the proper dosage for you in the form of your liking. The best part is that research has shown that there’s no link between off-hours cannabis use and workplace performance, meaning you’ll be able to puff away in peace knowing that you’ll be able to give your best at work the next day without any adverse effects. With the pandemic still raging in the U.S. with no signs of it slowing down anytime soon, figuring out a way to reduce work-related anxiety and stress and being able to mentally check out of the workplace for a bit is a great president to set going into 2021. Sleep Better With Cannabis One of the best things you can do for your overall health is to get more sleep. Sleep is your body’s chance to heal and repair vital parts of your body like your heart, blood vessels, stomach, kidneys, and brain. That’s why suffering from sleep deprivation, deficiency, or insomnia can be so problematic and put your overall health at risk, especially in the midst of a once-in-a-generation pandemic. Because of that pandemic and the economic uncertainty caused by it, many have suffered from issues like anxiety and stress disorders that have negatively impacted the quality of their sleep. Research has shown that those who use cannabis increase the number of hours of deep, or slow-wave, sleep on average. That type of sleep is important because that’s the sleep stage linked with bodily restoration. In other words, this can help aid in recovery from pain and injuries and keeps your immune system in better shape. Both of those things sure would come in handy for 2021, right? Another advantage to using CBD or cannabis as a sleep aid is that, unlike other synthetic sleep aides, it’s far less addictive and has nowhere near the amount of harmful side effects. Of course, you should still talk with a doctor, like one of Leafwell’s certified cannabis doctors, about the proper dosage and form of cannabis product you should use for sleep aid. How will you be using cannabis in 2021?