Medical marijuana is probably the hottest topic in the medical and clinical scene at present, thanks to the new research projects coming up regarding the medicinal benefits of marijuana. As of now, research reveals that cannabis has the potential to treat many ailments like inflammation, autism, cramps, etc. If this is the case of physical illnesses, there is much evidence to testify that cannabis treats psychological disorders like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, etc. Many countries now also allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for these psychological conditions. In this article, we shall discover the Benefits of Cannabis for Anxiety & Depression.
What is Depression?
Depression is a psychological episode of extreme sadness, accompanied by feelings of extreme helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. This may, in some cases may result in suicide. World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that about 800,000 people die of suicides every year and depression is one of the leading causes of suicides.
At present, depression is treated with a combination of antidepressants drugs like citalopram, paroxetine, etc and cognitive behavior therapy. Even this, even at its best, does not yield the expected results. So, some people are desperately looking out for any other alternative medicines to help them manage their systems.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a psychological condition which is characterized by extreme fear of certain situations or things. Anxiety comes with physiological symptoms like increased heartbeat, perspiration, profuse sweating, going blank, etc. These symptoms worsen as the intensity of the situation increases and may often result in the person getting unconscious.
Anxiety causes the patients to avoid those situations that cause them extreme fear. It affects their self-esteem and may not let them enjoy life to its fullest.
Treatment of anxiety is often a combination of drugs like Benzodiazepines and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Some people, however, are not able to benefit from these conventional treatments. There also is a need to find some new effective treatment for anxiety.
Benefits of Cannabis for Anxiety and Depression
Cannabis seems to be a ray of hope for people suffering from anxiety and/or depression. For many centuries, people were using cannabis by smoking or directly consuming plant matter of cannabis and at present hybrids like the Black Diamond Strain, to relieve themselves from the symptoms of anxiety and depression. But there are not many research projects that support this claim. This automatically results in legal issues regarding the use of cannabis for medical purposes. While some countries have legalized medical marijuana, many others are still considering the case. Anyways, we shall see how cannabis treats anxiety and depression.
How does Cannabis Work?
Some active ingredients of medical cannabis like Cannabinoids and Tetrahydro cannabidiol cause the release of hormones like serotonin, dopamine, the happiness hormones which cause the highs that marijuana users say they experience.
Anxiety and depression are also caused by fluctuations in the natural endocannabinoid system which is more or less responsible for your mood. Underproduction of endocannabinoids causes depression.
Anxiety comes with many physiological symptoms which are the responses of the autonomic nervous system like sweating, increased heartbeat, profuse sweating, increased irritability and so on. Cannabis helps to calm the person by decreasing these symptoms.
Cannabis also helps to get rid of the intrusive and repetitive negative thoughts and the increased negativity bias that are the determining symptoms of depression and anxiety. This is why people self-administer cannabis for depression and anxiety.
What do the studies say about the effect of Cannabis on Anxiety and Depression?
For depression, one of the studies in 2014 has concluded that increased endocannabinoid signaling helps to produce biochemical and behavioral changes which are as effective as conventional medicines.
For anxiety, Brazilian scientists have conducted a small double-blind study on patients with social anxiety. They have reported that after cannabis consumption, the patients showed lesser anxiety. The researchers cross-examined patient’s report with their blood flow patterns in their brains, which were well consistent with the anti-anxiety effect.
In another study, people with social anxiety were tested. They had to give a public speaking test before and after having a certain amount of cannabis. As expected, people performed better after consuming cannabis than before.
With these things in mind, if you would like to try out marijuana for your symptoms, you can obtain it from the dispensaries or if your country allows it, grow it from cannabis seeds.
In spite of these researches that prove beyond any doubt that cannabis has a link with the treatment of anxiety and depression, there is a strong statement that opposes the use of the cannabis for treating depression and anxiety.
Does Cannabis use increase depression and/or anxiety?
While cannabis can help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety immediately, it is said to increase the symptoms of anxiety and depression in the long run. However, there is no strong scientific evidence both to support or negate this statement.
There is a study which shows that using cannabis over the fixed dosage increases depression in people. Plus, using cannabis above the prescribed limit may cause addiction.
This was all that you have to know about the Benefits of Cannabis on depression and anxiety. All that the field requires is more and more researches regarding the topic, thus giving more evidence to find and utilize the full potential of cannabis to treat depression and anxiety effectively with the least possible side effects.