Depression and anxiety are known to affect close to 350 million people around the world. These mood disorders are the primary cause of disability in the world. But still many of them do not get the appropriate treatment. Symptoms of depression may manifest as a feeling of sadness or the total lack of interest in one’s favorite activity.
Treatments like oral medication and therapies are the current solution to depression. Scientists have however shifted their attention to medical marijuana as an alternative treatment.
Advantages of using medical marijuana
- It is a pain management tool
- Useful in relieving anxiety
It’s also important to note its potential treat nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.
Medical marijuana can treat anxiety
Recent studies show that anxiety disorders can be treated using medical marijuana. However, other researchers believe that anxiety can be as a result of using medical marijuana.
The use of medical marijuana as a treatment for depression and other health conditions has existed for centuries. Some 400 years ago, depression cases in India were treated using cannabis. Since then, cannabis use as the mode of treatment has been carefully analyzed to establish its effects on patients. In the USA today, there has been the continued legalization of medical marijuana in various states. Nonetheless, usage is primarily considered unlawful under the U.S federal laws
Results from medical studies have found evidence, which indicates that the presence of the chemical compound cannabidiol (CBD) in marijuana is the primary ingredient that treats anxiety. Another compound, the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for preventing vomiting in cancer patients and nausea. However, the compound produces a reverse effect when using it as a treatment for anxiety.
The chemical make up of medical marijuana
There exist 85 natural compounds in cannabis (cannabinoids). They are responsible for relieving symptoms. They do so by attaching themselves to brain receptors. The receptors’ function is to look for naturally occurring compounds that appear similar. The medicinal cannabis strains on their end are bred to contain specific levels of each compound needed for different various conditions.
The other compound (THC) is used as a treatment for muscle relaxation, to reduce inflammation, seizures, stimulate a person’s appetite and to lower the blood pressure. It also works as an anti-depressant.
History of medical marijuana for the treatment of anxiety
The use of cannabis as a form of treatment has been there for ages. For instance
- The Harrison Act of 1914 declared its use illegal, and by 1937, only 23 states had outlawed it.
- Still, in 1937, the federal government instituted the Marijuana tax act that deemed nonmedical use illegal
- In the 1970s strict anti-drug laws were established, nonetheless, California went on to be the first state to legalize it in 1996.
- The British government in 1998 commissioned GW pharmaceuticals to carry out research on cannabis for medical purposes.
- Come 2009, medical researchers began to discover new cannabis strains and established their effects on patients.
Arguments against marijuana use to treat anxiety
Recent studies have shown that medicinal cannabis can treat anxiety. However, some scientists still believe that its use is the leading cause of anxiety. They argue that THC can cause paranoia and anxiety as it stimulates the brain’s area of fear (amygdala).
For persons that feel using marijuana as a treatment for anxiety is useful, they should ensure that they get the appropriate dose. Studies have proven that higher levels of THC may raise anxiety levels. Therefore, to treat anxiety appropriately, the patient should find marijuana strains rich in cannabidiol.
Source: Weed Brief –