Medical marijuana has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments and health conditions. One area that has gained significant attention in recent years is the use of medical cannabis for anxiety and depression, and it definitely has a huge health potential, according to scientists and patients with these health conditions. In this article, West Coast Bud experts take a look at the current studies about cannabis treatment, benefits and drawbacks of using cannabis for these mental health diseases, and learn how to choose the best strains.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is something that many people experience, it’s a normal and often healthy emotion. However, when a person regularly feels disproportionate levels of anxiety, it can become a mental disorder. Anxiety disorders form a category of mental health diagnoses, and encompass a range of disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and so on. During the attacks of anxiety, people experience increased heart rate, tightness in the chest, rapid breathing, and racing thoughts. It can be caused by various life events, environmental exposure, or even genetics, but it’s possible to cope with it.
What does the current research say about cannabis for anxiety?
Current research on the use of medical cannabis for anxiety is still in its early stages, but many studies suggest that it has potential as a treatment option. It was found that cannabis can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, including social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and panic disorder. Some studies have also suggested that cannabis may be effective in treating anxiety associated with other medical conditions, such as chronic pain, since cannabis has health benefits in relieving it, so it’s worth learning more about medical cannabis to improve health conditions.
How does Cannabis Help Treating Anxiety?
The mechanism by which cannabis helps treat anxiety involves the way chemicals in cannabis interact with the brain. The main psychoactive compound in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), mimics the effects of natural chemicals in the brain called endocannabinoids, which are involved in regulating mood, anxiety, and other mental health conditions, and reducing the symptoms. So, is cannabis good for anxiety? It can definitely improve your condition and relieve the sign of the disease, however, it’s better to consult with a specialist before using cannabis for anxiety to get the proper treatment.
The side effects of using cannabis for anxiety
Even though many patients with anxiety note health benefits the most, it’s important to keep in mind that there can be various side effects. Usually, they include:
Some people also note increased anxiety, but it really depends on the individual, and it’s better to turn to using cannabis for anxiety after making sure that other ways of treating this disease don’t work. Consultation with a specialist can help determine the best option for you and add medical cannabis to your treatment if necessary.
Is it worth using medical cannabis for anxiety treatment?
When you start using cannabis for anxiety, you can reduce feelings of worry or fear that go with this mental health disease. Also, cannabis is often used as an alternative treatment for anxiety, as it can be less addictive and have fewer side effects than many prescription medications.
It’s important to mention that using cannabis for anxiety can have a variety of side effects. Cannabis can also lead to addiction and withdrawal symptoms, and it may interact with other medications that you are taking to cope with anxiety. In some places, cannabis is illegal, so it may be difficult to access it as a treatment option.
How to choose the right cannabis for anxiety treatment
When it comes to treating anxiety with medical cannabis, not all strains are equal. You need to decide what cannabis products are good for anxiety, and considering the strains that these products are made of is important. Some strains are high in THC and may cause increased anxiety, while others are high in CBD and may have a calming effect, so you should look for the products with the appropriate content of these components. You should also consider the form of cannabis that you’re planning to take because there’s a wide range of products on the market, from flower buds and tinctures to edibles, and some people prefer using extracts or capsules over smoking cannabis. Also, it’s better to talk to a healthcare provider or a cannabis specialist to find the strain that may be best for your individual needs.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a common and serious medical illness that affects the way people feel, think and act. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems, and it can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and home. Depression causes feelings of sadness or a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed, and about 280 million people worldwide have this mental health disorder. People going through a major life change, experienced stressful events, or even with relatives who have this disorder can struggle with depression, but just like using cannabis for anxiety, it can help people cope with it.
What does the current research say about cannabis for depression?
According to various studies, cannabis can help reduce symptoms of depression, such as feelings of sadness, fatigue, and a loss of interest in everyday activities. Also, many people with treatment-resistant depression note the beneficial effects of cannabis. However, some studies have found that using cannabis for depression may worsen the symptoms of this disorder because of the psychoactive component THC that can cause paranoia in excessive amounts, so more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between cannabis and depression, and it’s better to consult with a specialist.
How does Cannabis Help Treating Depression?
Studies have shown that people with depression have higher levels of inflammatory markers in their blood and brain, and cannabis may help reduce inflammation in the brain, which is thought to play a role in the development of depression. Cannabis treatment for depression has a huge potential, it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating a wide range of physiological processes, including mood and emotion, producing an antidepressant effect. Also, anxiolytic effects of cannabis reduce anxiety symptoms, which are often associated with depression. So using cannabis for depression definitely has a place to be.
The side effects of using cannabis for depression
Just like with anxiety, using cannabis for depression can be highly effective. But side effects are there as well: dry mouth and dry eyes, that are commonly noted by people using cannabis even for recreational purposes, along with increased appetite, dizziness, and drowsiness. People using cannabis to cope with symptoms of depression can also experience paranoia and anxiety, but in most cases, it happens after consuming too much. Anyway, it’s better to check whether you have some underlying health conditions that can increase the chances of dealing with these side effects.
Is it worth using medical cannabis for depression treatment?
Cannabis may have a positive effect on depression symptoms, with patients reporting a reduction in feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and anxiety. Also, using cannabis for depression can provide you with anxiolytic effects. For people who have not responded well to traditional antidepressants or have unacceptable side effects from them also can use cannabis as an alternative treatment.
As for the cons of using cannabis for depression, it’s important to remember about the side effects and its interaction with other medications that can be prescribed for depression treatment. Also, remember about addiction, and the withdrawal symptoms can occur if a person stops using it abruptly.
How to choose the right cannabis for depression treatment
While choosing the best cannabis strains for depression, it can be a better choice to focus on strains that have high content of CBD as they provide sedative, anxiolytic, and calming effects. But also, some strains that are known to have a high amount of THC may have an antidepressant effect as well because they can leave you uplifted and energized, and that’s something people with depression struggle with the most. Moreover, since there’s a variety of cannabis products and it’s not that hard to find the suitable form for you, some patients prefer taking snacks infused with cannabis to cope with depression, but it’s better to keep track of the amount of edibles to avoid overconsumption. So it’s up to you to decide what cannabis products to take, just consider the balance of THC and CBD there to get the best from both.
The use of medical cannabis for treating anxiety and depression has been a complex topic of debate for years, and it requires further research to fully understand its potential benefits and risks. There’s no clear answer to the question “is cannabis good for depression and anxiety?”, but it definitely has a huge health potential, and many people with these conditions note beneficial effects. Also, cannabis is used by many people who haven’t responded well to the traditional methods of curing depression and anxiety, and it may have fewer side effects than some prescribed medications. It’s possible to find out what type of cannabis is best for depression in your case, but It is necessary to note that cannabis may not be suitable for every single person, and consulting with a healthcare provider before trying any new treatment should be done for the best result.