There has been quite a bit of discussion about marijuana being the new medicinal marvel as its benefits are making it one of the most popular compound that heals effectively. While the pharmaceutical industry continues raising its research and retail prices, more and more patients are turning to remedies that are easy on the wallet, and the body.
This organic medication is not just limited to the treatments that come from the East. While one section of the population leans towards ancient Indian and Chinese medical techniques, a lot of people are questioning whether the infamous “gateway drug” marijuana might be the secret solution to helping people manage their pain (both emotional and physical).
As Very Well Mind describes, self-medication is the process of administering any kind of treatment on oneself in order to help with an ailment. Whether the ailment is self-diagnosed or diagnosed by a doctor also plays a role in how effective self-medication is. As a self-fulfilling prophecy, it often signals to the brain that the medication is working the moment there is a “feel-good” factor following the intake of the medication.
In this case, the moment one chooses to use marijuana to help with anxiety and there is a reduction of the anxious feelings, one would automatically assume that marijuana is helping the anxiety problem and continue usage.
Marijuana is becoming popular as the cure for anxiety owing to the presence of cannabidiol which helps in calming the nerves and muscle tension and proves to be useful in treating anxiety.
This is not to say that marijuana absolutely does not work for anxiety, or that the mind does not play a role in healing. Most clinical and drug trials for chronic conditions involve placebo medication that works on this very principle – where the mind believes that a certain medication is working, and the body responds accordingly.
So how does that work in the case of anxiety? Our brain produces a chemical called “anandamide”, a neurotransmitter that influences the areas of the brain associated with pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, and movement. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the active ingredient in marijuana, which gives the “high” feeling – is structurally very similar to this neurotransmitter. As a result, the brain can easily recognize it and allow it to attach to the neurotransmitter receptors.
Unfortunately, there is a lack of concrete evidence that this is an effective method of anxiety treatment. The current research that exists on medical marijuana does not have enough affirmative proof.
A study by Washington State University suggests that use of cannabis can significantly reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. However, these effects are short-lived. There is an even chance that the use of marijuana could have a long-term negative effect on these symptoms of chronic mental health issues.
Both the studies by Washington State University and by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute found that there is a difference between the consumption of THC and CBD that has an effect on the patients. The conclusion was that although excessive use of THC heavy marijuana can have a counterproductive effect, the presence of CBD in the right amounts could have a general positive impact on the patient’s health.
Marijuana, like any psychoactive drug, has the possibility of creating dependency in its users. Although marijuana may not cause a physical dependency like in the case of chemical drugs (like cocaine or heroin), it certainly can cause psychological dependence. This can exacerbate the very symptoms that it is being used to combat. Moreover, since the reaction in the brain is linked to neurotransmitters that are also related to memory, excessive use of marijuana might also cause short term memory issues.
The use of marijuana is more effective when used for acute symptoms and in controlled, medicated dosage. It is also effective when recommended by a physician, and in combination with psychological therapy and other proven effective methods of combating depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Acquiring medical marijuana has certainly been made easier by many state laws across the United States, with patients flocking to the likes of Florida and California to access this alternate care option. But doing it with informed guidance is the way to go to achieve optimum results. Visit Florida MMD to connect with the best medical marijuana doctors for the right advice and suggestions.
Learn all about using cannabis as a form of alternative medicine.