August 31, 2020
Among Americans, the interest in marijuana’s medical potential for treating mental health conditions is on the rise. In the past few years, there has been a wide range of studies conducted to determine how it works and is it safe. And, the majority of them have shown positive results. That’s why more patients are preferring cannabis over harmful prescription medications.
To use medical marijuana legally, you need to follow cannabis laws in your state. Currently, 33 states allow medical use of cannabis. And, you require a medical cannabis card to access licensed dispensaries.
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Mental Health is Important
Mental wellness is as important as physical wellness. It has a direct impact on what you think, feel, and how you perform. Moreover, mental health determines how you manage stress, interact with others, and make decisions. So, if you are suffering from mental health problems, they will definitely interfere with all corners of your life.
Some of the common factors that contribute to mental illnesses are life experiences, genetics, and biological factors.
For fighting mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, doctors usually prescribe medications, such as antidepressants, SSRIs, etc. These medications can help boost mental health, but they can lead to some side-effects.
Using Marijuana For Boosting Mental Wellness
Marijuana has therapeutic properties, which can boost mood, memory, sleep, etc. When you consume cannabis in any form, the cannabinoids bind to receptors, thus providing positive effects.
Top Mental Health Benefits of Marijuana
Anxiety is a common mental illness, which is characterized by excessive worrying, panic attacks, sleep problems, and difficulty focusing on work. Workload, relationship problems, and substance abuse are some of the common causes of anxiety. In the United States, millions of people are suffering from anxiety disorders.
Marijuana’s medicinal properties are helpful in easing anxiety symptoms. Chemical compounds in the herb can help release more endorphins, thus triggering positive feelings.
According to a study published in 2017, cannabis can help in improving cognitive abilities, allowing patients to fight with anxiety and depression.
Additionally, CBD can play a role in increasing the serotonin levels in the brain. So, it works the same way as SSRIs. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, which means, it won’t make the consumers experience high effects. So, it’s perfect for patients who haven’t smoked cannabis before, helping them relax and improve wellness.
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PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is caused by a traumatic event. It’s common among military professionals returning from war. Common symptoms include bringing back memories of the traumatic event, depressed mood, trouble sleeping at night, social isolation, irritability, and negative thoughts. According to recent research, the COVID-19 pandemic may cause PTSD in survivors.
Medical studies have found that endocannabinoid deficiency contributes to the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Additionally, the body is unable to produce enough anandamide—the bliss molecule.
The therapeutic properties of cannabis can help ease PTSD. Cannabinoids, such as THC bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, especially CB1, thus reducing anxiety levels and other symptoms.
Marijuana is effective in managing PTSD symptoms, such as nightmares, mood swings, etc. Some of the best marijuana strains for fighting PTSD are—Gobbstopper, Frosted Freak, Balmoral, Sour Kush, and Snow Leopard.
ADHD is an abbreviated form of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It’s a neurological disorder, which can interfere with the brain areas linked to planning, concentrating, and performing tasks.
The CDC estimates that about 6.1 million people in the United States are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The number includes 4 million children aged 6-11 years.
Common signs of ADHD in children are lack of focus, trouble finishing tasks on time, self-focused behavior, fidgeting, and avoiding tasks that require mental efforts.
Marijuana compounds THC and CBD can help in boosting mood, appetite, memory, and sleep by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. Research says that cannabis works the same way as ADHD medications work, i.e. stimulating the dopamine in the brain.
Additionally, a 2017 study published in Nature journal reported that THC can help increase the levels of dopamine in the brain. However, it’s true for short-term use, while long-term use may lead to some health problems.
The Sleep Foundation estimates that 50-70 million American adults suffer from a sleep disorder. And, 30-40 percent of the population will experience insomnia.
Marijuana is effective in treating sleep disorders such as insomnia. Unlike sleep pills, it doesn’t cause any side-effects. A 2008 study reported that taking high-THC strains can help in reducing the amount of REM sleep and improving deep sleep.
However, many consumers report that cannabis reduces the amount of time to fall asleep. A study of 147 patients reported that marijuana helped boost sleep.
A recent study found that CBD could help reduce anxiety levels and boost sleep. The participants (47 patients with anxiety and 25 patients with poor sleep) were given 25 mg of CBD every day. After one month, 66.7 percent reported an improvement in sleep.
It’s a neurological disorder, affecting about 3.4 million people in the United States. It is characterized by disturbances in different regions of the brain.
Research says that cannabis can help in correcting brain signaling systems and reduce seizure activity and inflammation.
Patients with epilepsy also experience stress and anxiety. And, marijuana can help in managing these conditions. A recent study found that the endocannabinoid 2-AG could help reduce anxiety levels between the amygdala and the frontal cortex. 2-AG interacts with the same receptors as THC—the main psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana.
Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug, is approved by the FDA for Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome—the two severe forms of seizures.
Top strains for fighting epilepsy are—3D CBD, Charlotte’s Web, Harlequin, and Cannatonic.
How to Use Cannabis?
Cannabis can help you ease anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc. only if you use it the right way. Do comprehensive research on how marijuana can help you alleviate your symptoms. Try different strains, and carefully monitor the effects of each.
Moreover, you should consume the right amount of cannabis. Medical researchers have found that taking low doses can help ease anxiety while high doses can cause opposite effects. However, how much cannabis you should consume depends on the type of strains and consumption methods. Discuss with your doctor to figure out what works for you the best.
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Most importantly, check local cannabis laws. In California, patients and caregivers can possess up to 8 ounces of dried marijuana or concentrates. To buy medical marijuana, you must be at least 18 years old while age requirements for recreational users are 21 years.
You should have a medical cannabis card to use marijuana legally. Moreover, the card allows you to grow your own cannabis plants at home for personal use.
Using marijuana can help boost mood, memory, sleep, and focus, thus improving overall health. Medical studies have found that cannabis compounds work by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for controlling important functions of the body.
Marijuana is proven effective for fighting anxiety, depression, stress, ADHD, PTSD, insomnia, and epilepsy. The kind of effects you receive from cannabis use depends on three major factors, dosage, strain, and delivery method. So, work with your medical marijuana doctor to evaluate what’s right for your condition.