Mental Health

As we all know, cannabis has been used as medicine for centuries. It is continually becoming seen as a viable option for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric conditions.

It would seem that the benefits need to be balanced against the potential side effects on a patient’s mental health, as with any medication. This may cause some debate as well as a few challenges in the use of medical marijuana in the context of treating mental health conditions. 

Making use of medical marijuana is causing many worldwide discussions amongst medical professionals, and sometimes it would appear that the average user has a better understanding of the effects than the professionals, although that’s just another CBDzine personal opinion, but it is good to see certain professionals beginning to re-evaluate cannabis medicinally. Focusing on the natural benefits rather than lab treated medication as an alternative.

A range of ailments are starting to be identified as something that could be treated with greater success with cannabis than with conventional and over-the-counter medicines. There is still an uncertainty surrounding the connection between the psychoactive, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) sides of cannabis.

Other debates have arisen from the contents found within herbal and prepared form, and which would hold the highest levels of THC and CBD, there is also debate around the delivery system, ie. whether it is smoked, made into an edible, whether it is combined with nicotine, etc. A number of these debates have begun to create options with medical professionals which are coming down in favour of prescription based distribution, therefore having control over strains, and amounts. 

Current knowledge and studies have seen a certain amount of mental side effects which may cause an impact on mental health, so it isn’t recommended for everyone who is challenged with mental health illnesses. It is a very personal journey, as with any medication that affects brain chemicals, and is not a one-size-fits-all cure. Playing around with dosage, strength and keeping an eye on side effects such as paranoia, anxiety and discomfort, is the safest way to find what helps your personal experience.

Cannabis is obviously known for being associated with pleasurable experiences, as well as within certain religious and spiritual contexts.

Reports and evidence will vary wildly, even though many people do make use of cannabis based products for their treatment, and many will say that it has effective results. 

During the 2000’s, the 2010’s, and now the 2020’s there has been an ever growing trend towards prescription, and non-prescription use of CBD and cannabis based products. 

Apparently, in the northern hemisphere of the USA, around 10% of adults, and 25% of high school students are users of marijuana. Europe and Australasian countries also report high levels of use. This would raise the question whether this is down to the introduction of medical cannabis, or whether people now have greater access to it, and are discovering the benefits. Although, some of the associated mental health related side effects may become a disadvantage in certain cases.

There is a wealth of documentation around so you can make up your own minds, but we implore you to weigh up the information, and look at more than just the one source. The results would seem to suggest that cannabis can have both positive and negative effects on a number of conditions, including; psychosis, anxiety disorders, cognitive problems, addiction, depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and many others. It is worth bearing in mind that there is the potential for addiction and psychological dependency, and it will vary depending on your personal relationship with substance issues.

Psychotic mental disorders can cause a greater level of concern, but there are some studies that suggest a partial link between early cannabis use and later psychotic mental disorders, this pathway may well be a complex one, and the whole mechanism is poorly understood. Although there can be correlations, not everyone will develop psychosis nor will those with previous psychotic tendencies be affected negatively. 

With current studies into the effectiveness of cannabis on physical systems, it becomes perfectly possible that some unintended mental health consequences will be discovered. 

It has become clear that there are positive effects from cannabis on pain, inflammation, epilepsy, and more and more are being realised, and although there is both positive and negative effects cited on the use of cannabis, and mental disorders, patients are arguing that cannabis is “their medicine”, and “why should a natural remedy be illegal”. Of course the question surrounding legality has been long-standing and, as our society grows to understand the benefits of medical marijuana and cannabis, there is an increased motivation for it to be legalised.

To summarise, there are still many challenges before the connections between cannabis and mental health are fully understood, whether these connections are positive, negative, or a little of each. Although, in another CBDzine personal opinion moment, plenty of other psychoactive and antidepressant medications can also cause a wealth of side effects, addiction, and dependency, so please, do your research, and make your own minds up.

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