Why Your Mental Health Matters When Using Medical Marijuana
Many people use medical marijuana for psychological ailments, such as PTSD and anxiety. While cannabis can ease symptoms of these conditions, some people may experience additional feelings of anxiety and paranoia so youll need to track your response. If you end up spiraling out, call your doctor right away and be sure to note which strain/brand caused the effect so that you dont take it again.
People with psychoses may wish to avoid medical marijuana as it can increase the risk of or symptoms of these disorders.¹²
One collection of studies associated heavy use of marijuana during adolescence with increased rates of mental illness and cognitive impairment. This may be due to the endocannabinoid systems important role in brain development. This does not necessarily preclude young adults from medical marijuana use but it should be taken into consideration.
And remember, medicinal or not, marijuana can still get you high. If you dont do well feeling out of control, cannabis may not be the best choice for you.
It’s Worth Noting That Marijuana Has Likely Gotten Stronger Since The 1980s And That Its Ratio Of Thc To Cbd Has Changed As Well
The THC content of marijuana across the US has tripled since 1995, according to a large recent study in which researchers reviewed close to 39,000 samples of cannabis. While THC levels hovered around 4%, on average, in 1995, they skyrocketed to roughly 12% in 2014.
Meanwhile, the CBD content in marijuana the part that’s responsible for many of the drug’s therapeutic effects has dropped, the researchers found, shifting the ratio of THC to CBD from 14:1 in 1995 to about 80:1 in 2014.
Still, tracking THC potency over time can be tricky. The older a weed sample gets, the more its THC appears to degrade. How it is stored matters too. These two barriers could be interfering somewhat with the metrics on pot’s potency.
Dosing Cannabis For Stress Anxiety And Depression
When it comes to inhaling cannabis for stress, anxiety and depression, a study by the Washington State University suggests that cannabis can be particularly useful in the short-term in the following dosages:
he WSU research team found that one puff of cannabis high in CBD and low in THC was optimal for reducing symptoms of depression, two puffs of any type of cannabis was sufficient to reduce symptoms of anxiety, while 10 or more puffs of cannabis high in CBD and high in THC produced the largest reductions in stress.
Of course, the problem with measuring dosages by puffs means that precise dosages are not given. There are also a huge number of different types of cannabis, so it is questionable whether any type of cannabis is sufficient for reducing the symptoms of anxiety. It is possible to use CBD in equal ratios to THC to balance out the psychoactive effects of THC whilst still retaining some of its therapeutic properties. Many would also recommend utilizing tinctures of CBD:THC 3:1, 2:1 and 1:1 in small doses 2-3 times a day, and seeing which one is most effective for you, and at what dosage. As far as inhalation methods go, unfortunately smoking cannabis is not really the ideal way to consume a medication! High-quality vaporizers are a potential alternative, but many disposable ones are not necessarily always of the highest quality and could lead to lung injuries. Inhalers are another alternative, and can provide more precise dosages.
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Cannabis And Anxiety: How Does It Work
When it comes to marijuana and anxiety, researchers are still trying to discover exactly how the plant works in the human body. In their review of studies on using cannabis for anxiety, Professor Michael P. Barnes and Dr. Jennifer C. Barnes found that cannabis helps alleviate various illnesses and symptoms by mimicking the bodys own natural chemicals.
These chemicals bind with tiny cannabinoid receptors located throughout the brain and body. In various situations , the body produces chemicals to bind to the cannabinoid receptors. This helps do things such as reduce pain and control movement disorders. Researchers have discovered that the cannabinoids produced by marijuana can replace these chemicals.
Researchers arent entirely sure how THC uses this process to cause or alleviate anxiety, but it is clear that CBD is more consistent in providing relief for people who suffer from the disorder. There is speculation that CBD might decrease high levels of blood flow that supply areas of the brain that are responsible for generating fear and anxiety. Another theory is that the chemicals somehow affect behavior of the brains serotonin.
Acute And Chronic Stress As Risk Factors For Cannabis Use
The impact of stress on substance use has been demonstrated in two areas, initiation and maintenance of use, including relapse. For example, stress and early life adversity predict the onset and use patterns of multiple drugs of abuse, including cannabis . Research has also shown an association between negative affect and cannabis use . These relationships may be enhanced in the presence of other triggers, such as the acute stress may increase craving for cannabis among chronic users in the presence of cannabis-related cues . Additionally, research on the influence of the role of stress responses in predicting cannabis use has also been undertaken in the context of longitudinal studies of adolescents and young adults. In one study, blunted cortisol stress response to a laboratory social was associated with an increase in risk of lifetime cannabis use as well as the repeated current cannabis use .
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Learn The Significance Of Different Marijuana Species
So, lets say youve decided to try medical marijuana. Now what? You may notice that marijuana dispensaries often break products into three different categories or species:
sativa said to be more energizing, sativa was traditionally found in Western Europe and Eurasia, where it was cultivated for its fiber and seeds these plants are tall and have thin leaves
indica said to be more relaxing, indica was traditionally found in India, where it was harvested for its fiber, seeds, and hashish production these plants are stout and have broad leaves
hybrid said to be more balanced, hybrid types are bred from a combination of sativa and indica
This categorization is related to the relative CBD:THC ratio in each species . However, the scientific communitys growing ability to test the chemical make-up of marijuana plants has shown that many of these species are in fact mixed and no longer true to their origins. Because marijuana has been cultivated over the years, pure strains are rare, and lucky for us, most marijuana strains sold today are a hybrid which makes this information helpful to know, but not necessary to memorize.
Regular Marijuana Use May Also Be Connected To An Increased Risk Of Social Anxiety
Researchers think it’s possible that CBD might be a useful treatment for anxiety disorders, and that’s something that several institutions are currently trying to study.
The recent report suggested that evidence of a link between marijuana and an increased risk of most anxiety disorders was limited.
However, the authors wrote that there is moderate evidence that regular marijuana use is connected to an increased risk of social anxiety. As in other cases, it’s hard to know whether marijuana use causes that increase or people use marijuana because of an increased risk of social anxiety.
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Acute Effects Of Cannabis
The two primary chemical constituents of cannabis are THC and cannabidiol . THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, and both THC and CBD bind to cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors . While CB2 receptors are predominantly in immune cells and play a role in the anti-nociceptive effects of cannabis, CB1 receptors are located in central and peripheral neurons. CB1 receptors are located in the amygdala, hypothalamus, hippocampus, neocortex, and basal ganglia . These receptors may, therefore, mediate the influence of cannabis on emotion regulation and stress responses.
The acute effects of THC include feeling a high associated with mood changes, alterations in the sense of time, experiencing difficulty in thinking clearly, and alterations in processing sensory information from surrounding stimuli. These effects tend to occur within 3060 min after consumption of cannabis. In contrast, CBD tends to produce acute reductions in tension and anxiety. For example, research has focused on the potential effects of CBD in anxiety-related symptoms and post-traumatic stress disorder focusing on CBD potential therapeutic effects . In this context, research in animal models demonstrates potential effects of CBD on anxiety-related memory processes and acute effects of CBD seems to occur through learned fear and impairing the ability to acquire fear conditioning in preclinical models .
Risks And Side Effects Of Using Cannabis For Sleep
Used on a short-term basis, cannabis may help you fall asleep faster. Health experts generally do not recommend using sleep aids, including cannabis, on a long-term basis, because of their potential to negatively impact your sleep quality and cause other side effects.
Studies suggest that people who use cannabis as a long-term sleep aid tend to develop a tolerance to its sedative effects, and may need to take more to obtain the same results. Heavy cannabis use, especially on a long-term basis, may have consequences for sleep, including:
- Less sleep overall
- Less time spent in deep sleep
- Longer time to fall asleep
- Frequent awakenings
One study found high doses of THC at night can lead to unwanted side effects the following day, such as impaired memory and sleepiness. Cannabis withdrawal can also produce sleep-related side effects, such as strange dreams, difficulty falling asleep, and less time spent in deep sleep.
Long-term cannabis use may also have health-related side effects. Studies have found the substance may reduce the volume of gray matter in your brain and, when smoked, increase your risk of chronic bronchitis. Health experts also recommend people avoid using cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding.
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Top Medical Marijuana Strains For Stress Relief
Stress is a normal part of life that everyone experiences now and again. Stress can motivate you to get tasks done, but sometimes high levels of stress can lead to anxiety and take a negative toll on your body. Fortunately, certain medical marijuana strains have become one of the go-to solutions to rapidly reduce elevated stress and anxiety levels.
There’s Evidence That Marijuana Use During Pregnancy Could Have Negative Effects
According to the new NASEM report, there’s substantial evidence showing a link between prenatal cannabis exposure when a pregnant woman uses marijuana and lower birth weight. There was limited evidence suggesting that using marijuana during pregnancy could cause complications and increase the risk that a baby would have to spend time in a neonatal intensive care unit.
A study published in JAMA Psychiatry in September 2020 found that pregnant women who used marijuana had a higher risk of their children having ADHD and/or psychotic behaviors that have been linked to schizophrenia.
And an analysis, published in Nature Medicine in August 2020, linked cannabis use among pregnant women to autism in their children. The study, conducted in Ontario, Canada, involved data from 3,000 women who used cannabis during pregnancy.
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How To Prevent Weed Anxiety
Prevention is always better than a cure, as the adage goes. Here are a few ways to ward off potentially traumatising weed anxiety episodes.
|More CBD, less THC||Pick a strain with a THC:CBD ratio that favours the latter. A ratio of 1:1, also known as the golden ratio, will still get you high, but the psychotropic force will be more tame thanks to the presence of CBD.|
|This is geared specifically to first-time users who are most susceptible to weed anxiety. Its okay to take smaller doses for your maiden cannabis voyage. This way, you get to familiarise yourself with its effects much better. This is especially pertinent when it comes to taking edibles for the first few times.|
|Set up a comfortable environment|
|Ideally, you want to be in a controlled space with people you trust. Set up the lights in a way that creates a chill vibe. Also, have some food nearby for when the munchies hit, and some water for the cotton mouth.|
A Washington State University Study Has Examined How Cannabis Combats Stress Anxiety And Depression By Looking At Different Strains And Quantities Of Cannabis Being Inhaled By Patients At Home
The work, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, suggests that inhaling cannabis can significantly reduce short-term levels of depression, anxiety, and stress but may contribute to worse overall feelings of depression over time.
This new study is one of the first attempts by United States scientists to assess how cannabis with varying concentrations of THC and CBD affect medicinal cannabis users feelings of wellbeing when inhaled outside of a laboratory.
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Does Smoking Weed Really Make You Lose Weight
Even if you dont smoke weed, youve probably heard of the munchies that overpowering drive to eat all the snacks after smoking cannabis.
But others swear that smoking weed not only makes them eat less, but also causes them to lose weight.
Using cannabis may be associated with lower body weight, but its not as straightforward as it sounds.
Heres a look at what we do and dont know about the relationship between smoking cannabis and weight loss.
Understanding Marijuanas Physical Effects
Now, there are two sides to the story. While marijuana has made me relax, and feel anxiety free many a time, it has also led me to near nervous breakdowns. During those times, my heart raced a million miles an hour, and I was convinced I was peeing my pants . Its not just me, either. Marijuana affects different people differently. And different strains of marijuana can affect the same person differently. At times, the effects of the drug can be rather unpredictable. Its strange to think that the same drug that can result in a person feeling totally zen can also result in triggering a full blown anxiety attack.
So, how does weed work, anyway? Theres a chemical in our brain called anandamide which is pretty structurally similar to THC , the active component in marijuana that gives you a psychoactive high. So, when THC enters your body, it sort of recognizes it. The THC attaches to cannabinoid receptors and disrupts normal mental function as we know it, resulting in a high. Thats the short version.
As for why the drug affects people so differently, there are many factors many of which are out of our control. There are factors within us that determine how well vibe with weed, such as age, body fat, and genetics. Believe it or not, even growth and harvest conditions of the marijuana plant itself can impact the way it makes us feel.
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A Guide To Using Medical Marijuana For Stress Relief
In the short-term, stress can be beneficial, making you feel focused, alert, and ready to face challenges head-on. But as stress levels rise and return on a daily basis, your health can end up taking a hard hit.
If you frequently feel overwhelmed or on-edge, like many of us in todays demanding world, it might be time to re-think the way you manage stress and consider using medical marijuana for stress relief.
What Can I Do Right Now
The best thing you can do right now is to educate yourself about your own state laws around marijuana. NORML is a nongovernmental organization that focuses on the legalization of responsible marijuana use for adults and serves as an advocate for access to high quality and safe marijuana. You can access state-by-state laws. In addition, can help you find a doctor who is familiar with medical marijuana.
You might also learn about other complementary treatments, such as CBD, treatments, and manipulation.
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Is Cannabis Effective At Relieving Mild Everyday Stress
Our modern world is full of stress: traffic jams, the 24-hour news cycle, social media, a presentation at work. Stress is anything that increases emotional or physical tension. Treating stress like it doesn’t exist is a surefire way to get burnt out. We must develop effective stress management strategies to maintain our mental health and well-being when facing stress inducing situations on a daily basis. People have come up with various ways of managing stress. Some people like to listen to calming music, take deep breaths, and drink lavender tea. Others prefer stress reduction techniques involving meditation, yoga, or tai chi.
Some people like to counter bad stress with good stress by vigorously exercising, sweating in the sauna, or taking a cold shower. Others find the most benefit by just getting out of their head whether that is playing with pets, listening to upbeat music, or cleaning the house. Many people find that a purposeful dose of cannabis or CBD provides them with natural stress relief on demand. Let’s find out: does weed help with stress?
Can Cannabis Help Treat Anxiety Disorders
The authors of the review also reported that CBD may be helpful in the treatment of social anxiety disorder, based on the findings of a significant study. A single 600mg dose of CBD helped students with SAD to dramatically reduce anxiety, mental blocks, and discomfort in their speech performance. Other preliminary research in the review pointed to the usefulness of nabilone, a synthetic form of THC, for the treatment of night terrors associated with PTSD.
Its worth pointing out that many states in the US that have legalized medical marijuana accept PTSD as a qualifying condition for cannabis prescriptions.
In addition, a 2022 clinical study that followed 150 participants over a year found that those who used cannabis saw a more significant reduction in their PTSD symptoms than those who didnt. Cannabis users were also 2.57 times more likely to recover from PTSD during the study than those who werent using weed.
Even though robust clinical research may be scarce, surveys suggest that many individuals are already using cannabis to treat their anxiety disorders anyway. For instance, one study of 2032 people found that nearly half of the respondents had substituted an anxiety medication prescribed by their physician with medical cannabis. Sixty-one percent indicated that cannabis had completely replaced their prescribed medication.
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