May 6, 2020

Marijuana and its Effects on Mental Health

May 6, 2020
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Medical marijuana is often used for control of chronic pain, which can often be associated with aging. Marijuana may also be effective for easing nerve pain, and it is particularly beneficial because it helps manage pain without extreme sedation. Studies are examining the efficacy of cannabis at alleviating stress, anxiety, and depression as well. Using marijuana to treat various mental health disorders has become more widespread in recent years, and more people are turning to weed to treat their health issues.

Some cannabinoids present in marijuana, or weed, have an effect on the brain and central nervous system. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is non-psychotropic, meaning that it is non-intoxicating. At the same time, CBD appears to show pharmacological benefits when used to treat anxiety, depression, addiction, and schizophrenia. When CBD is administered with THC, it counters the typical sedating and intoxicating effects of THC. When THC is taken at lower doses, it often reduces negative emotional responses to challenging stressors. Higher doses of CBD can help individuals experiencing social anxiety disorder and panic attacks.

Cannabis eases anxiety and insomnia, induces hunger, enhances mood, and gives people a boost of energy. In addition, daily low doses of THC can help the body produce serotonin, which is a natural mood stabilizer. People who experience chronic stress may suffer depression as a result of this anxiety, but marijuana may help stabilize moods and ease depression. Those with bipolar disorder may also experience benefits of medical marijuana’s mood-stabilizing effects.

As cannabis enhances serotonin levels in the brain, health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder may be better controlled. Recurrent nightmares and insomnia are common symptoms of PTSD; medical marijuana may also be an effective treatment for insomnia because it helps calm the mind, which can help fix disruptions in a sleeping pattern. If cognitive abilities fade with aging, marijuana may be beneficial for improving memory. Cannabis can help the brain focus, understand, learn, and remember because it has anti-inflammatory properties. Even schizophrenic patients experiencing speech problems and hallucinations may benefit from medical marijuana. Cannabis may have an antipsychotic effect on the brain, connecting neurons more efficiently and transmitting messages from the brain to body parts more effectively.

Anxiety can manifest itself alone as a social anxiety disorder, or it may accompany other mental or physical ailments such as chronic pain. Using cannabis medically can help reduce anxiety. However, low doses of THC or therapeutic doses of CBD seem to be most effective for treating anxiety. Individuals with anxiety may be tempted to self-medicate with weed to relieve symptoms, but prudence is important in this situation because problematic marijuana use could ensue. Social anxiety disorder has a correlation with marijuana dependence.

People managing cancer symptoms may also turn to medical marijuana for relief. THC can help alleviate pain, nausea, and vomiting. THC also helps increase appetite, which is typically reduced due to chemotherapy. Patients who have not been successful finding symptom relief from traditional pharmaceuticals may find that marijuana alleviates several symptoms at the same time. Advanced cancer patients experiencing extreme pain may not always get full pain relief from strong opioids: Combining opioids with cannabis can be an effective method of pain control.

Benefits of Marijuana

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