May is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s no secret that anxiety and depressive disorders are on the rise. In fact, these disorders probably impact numerous people in your everyday life. With the increase in people choosing to medicate with medical marijuana over pharmaceuticals, you may be wondering if there is any validity to it. Keep reading to find out how marijuana can impact your mental health.
Medical Marijuana and Anxiety
With anxiety being the most common psychiatric disorder, it’s no wonder that people are turning to more natural methods for relief. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been proven to activate the CB1 receptors and influence the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor and the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1). According to a study by the University of Washington, CBD appears to decrease anxiety at all doses. On the other hand, THC appears to decrease anxiety at low doses and increase anxiety at higher doses. Individuals looking to experience the therapeutic effects of cannabis for anxiety should opt for a high CBD to low THC ratio in their product.
Additionally, terpenes may prove to play a role in how a specific strain can soothe anxiety. We know that certain strains of marijuana contain the same terpenes as other plants, such as lavender and eucalyptus. Look out for strains with terpenes like caryophyllene, myrcene, and limonene, which are related to reduced anxiety!
Medical Marijuana and Depression
Depression is a serious medical condition that can severely impact an individual’s quality of life. In the United States, depression affects 18 million adults in any given year. Symptoms of this disorder can include feeling sad and hopeless, loss of interest and energy, and even suicidal thoughts. While continued research will help us have more definitive findings on if marijuana can treat depression, we already have some clinical and observational data to support this.
One recent observational study found that medical cannabis was associated with lower self-reported depression, superior sleep, quality of life, and less pain on average. In pre-clinical, animal model studies, CBD was shown to have anti-depressant-like effects.
If you have been treating depression with pharmaceuticals, you should never stop taking them cold turkey. At Kaya Life, we are always willing to work alongside your primary care physician to develop a plan that works for you and help with your transition into medicating with medical marijuana.
The Entourage Effect
The endocannabinoid system plays a huge role in maintaining homeostasis in the body and is even involved in mood and related disorders. We also know that THC, CBD, and terpenes work better together when used for a therapeutic outcome. This is called the entourage effect and has the potential to improve mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. Having a plan and being educated on these topics can make all the difference when medicating.
Pre-clinical studies show how medical cannabis may be of therapeutic use for those suffering from mental health disorders, like anxiety and depression. Additionally, many individuals have self-reported improvement of symptoms related to these disorders. As more studies are done, we will have more data to support the use of medical marijuana to treat mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.
If you are interested in learning more about how you may be able to use medical marijuana to treat symptoms of certain mental health disorders, we are here to educate and guide you. Book your consultation today!