Why Thousands of Americans are Using Medical Marijuana for Depression & Anxiety
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness facing Americans, affecting 40 million adults in the USA each year according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Many Americans don’t get help, which leads to anxiety and depression being closely related mental conditions that can co-occur.
There has been a varied discourse surrounding marijuana and anxiety and depression. Generally, anti-cannabis groups have touted that there is a link between consuming cannabis and instances of anxiety and depression. At the same time, other discourses are examining the effectiveness of cannabis to relieve the emotional pain experienced by anxiety and depression.
Here, MyCannX explores some of the perspectives surrounding cannabis and mental illness and why thousands of Americans are turning to medical marijuana to relieve themselves of feelings of anxiety and depression.
The (Outdated) Link Between THC and Psychosis
The mental health community has generally taken the perspective that cannabis can exacerbate the negative feelings associated with anxiety and depression, which has led to a stigma against cannabis from the medical community.
These warnings by physicians aren’t completely wrong. Some mental health groups have drawn the link between high-doses of THC and feelings of paranoia and worry as well as the negative emotions associated with depression. Generally, an anxious person who is exposing themselves to high levels of THC could be adding to, not aiding in, their depression and anxiety.
As research and people’s experiences within cannabis advances, people are finding out the results are showing quite the difference in what we previous believed--- and perhaps even the mental health community could stand to learn more about cannabis, especially CBD.
When you look at medical marijuana from the perspective of the benefits of CBD, or cannabidiol, one of the most valuable compounds in the cannabis plant, the discourse on the effectiveness of cannabis on anxiety and depression significantly changes.
Examining the Role of CBD in Anxiety and Depression
THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid is taking a back seat to CBD, or cannabidiol, in the investigations into cannabis for mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
Scientifically, most of the research on CBDs are in “pre-trial” phases, and most of the cannabis research is being held up by red tape involved with the DEA and the Department of Justice, but it’s not stopping information from being shared about CBD.
CBD is non-psychoactive and is proving to work with the brain and the body’s endocannabinoid in pretty mind-blowing ways, without the usual high associated with cannabis.
The endocannabinoid system is full of cannabinoid receptors, including serotonin receptors (specifically called 5-HT1A). Many big pharma companies are producing anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs targeting the serotonin receptors specifically. Medical marijuana, specifically CBD-rich strains, may be able to help the user boost the effectiveness of the body’s serotonin receptors, which can reduce anxiety and boost mood.
Scientists are also looking into the role of CBD and its relationship to the brain’s hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory and cognition. CBD may be integral in helping the hippocampus regenerate neurons, which the study of depression has revealed to be an important part of the brain’s processes in healing itself.
In addition to anxiety and depression, CBD is also becoming very important in the communities that are exploring Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, where CBD is showing the ability to interrupt signals in the brain related to fear-related memories and its fear-based responses. As a result, especially combat-veterans who have accessed their cannabis cards have come out in great support of how medical marijuana is changing their lives and decreasing their anxiety and depression.
Tips for Using Medical Cannabis for Anxiety and Depression
MyCannX can help you get your medical marijuana card and can help you access medical cannabis to help you relieve yourself of the emotional pain caused by anxiety and depression. Those who are using medical marijuana for anxiety and depression are incorporating it into their lifestyle in these important ways:
It’s All About the Strain
If you’re seeking the support of medical marijuana in relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety, strain choice is everything. Understanding strain ratios, the level of THC to CBD in your cannabis strain, can help you choose the high-CBD strains with the lower-THC. Some recommended strains for anxiety include Cannatonic, Sour Tsunami, and ACDC.
While it’s been shown that small amounts of THC can help to elevate the anti-anxiety effects of THC it’s generally suggested that lower-THC strains are always the way to go for medical marijuana for anxiety and depression.
Microdosing is a method of consuming cannabis that involves consuming smaller amounts of cannabis throughout an extended period of time so to increase and extend the effects of cannabis on the body.
It’s also a very effective method of ensuring that you gain the medical benefits of marijuana without the psychoactive effects.
People use edibles, vaporizers, tinctures, and cannabis drops to microdose their cannabis with controlled doses while being sure to notice and record the effects that their doses have on them.
Understand Dosing to a T
Dosing is key to microdosing and safe cannabis consumption. Especially with edible products that contain levels of, it’s possible to consume too much (although no one ever died from a cannabis overdose!).
When you have a medical cannabis card, be sure you talk about dosing and how much cannabis you should be consuming to achieve your desired effect. When you understand the dosages of your edibles or can understand the level of THC and CBD in your flower, you can take a very proactive way to ensuring your body gets just the right amount of cannabis.
Find Relief with Cannabis
Anxiety and depression can be painful, for the sufferer and their loved ones. Explore how you can register as a medical marijuana patient in your own state and find relief to your depression and anxiety with cannabis today.