Medical Cannabis and Mental Health – Can It Help Treat Conditions?
Which, if any, mental health conditions can be treated with medical cannabis? Can the plant medicine have a negative impact on mental health? Here are the facts as we know them right now.
Mental health is a misunderstood and underplayed topic for far too many in the U.S. There are many people who can give anecdotes about weed helps them. Smoking weed can make you happy temporarily, sure. And many people who suffer from conditions like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, ADHD and insomnia report that their symptoms are improved to varying degrees. But as far as medical cannabis and mental health, is it a long term treatment?
The answer falls in line with most of the other answers about cannabis and scientific evidence – more studies need to be done. There is little peer-reviewed scientific evidence that cannabis is a good treatment for mental health conditions at this time, but that certainly doesn’t mean that is concrete evidence against it.
Science Doesn’t Care About Your Feels
We interrupt your regularly scheduled loudness for a brief public service announcement. Here at Loud News, we are sticklers for science and using the right words. Science doesn’t care about your feelings. That includes calling things what they are. Words matter, and using the right ones help shed stoner stereotypes. Weed is a drug, the plant medicine TREATS, it does not cure, we consume, we don’t use, marijuana is a made-up word that fueled the drug war since 1937, and so on. Words matter, so please get it right. And now, back to the show.
Medical Cannabis and Mental Health – Anxiety
There are some states that have mental health issues added to their qualifying conditions. One of those states in particular that recognized medical cannabis and mental health equaling relief is Pennsylvania. Last summer, the state added anxiety disorders to its list of qualifying conditions for patients to obtain medical cards.
Just like any other treatment, food, drug, and so on, cannabis affects everyone differently. Some people might feel relief from their anxiety, but others will have their anxiety launched into hyperdrive. Maybe the latter feel paranoid, or whatever it is, there is no one-size-fits-all. Additionally, different cultivars (often wrongly called strains, but more on that in the future) will cause everyone to feel differently. Some variants of cannabis will be better than others.
Medical Cannabis and Mental Health – PTSD
We’ve covered military vets and how many of them say cannabis helps them with their PTSD, but the VA isn’t ready to give them legal access to it yet. Sadly to say, this is completely on-brand when it comes to the U.S. federal government’s stance on cannabis plant medicine. It is borderline criminal that cannabis is STILL a schedule 1 drug. Unfortunately, veterans who find relief from their PTSD with medical cannabis have to often utilize the black market. Symptoms of PTSD are similar to that of bipolar and depression, and those suffering from depression often can be uplifted from cannabis.
Does Cannabis Have a Negative Impact on Your Health?
Teenagers who consume cannabis can experience some negative effects on their overall brain development. “I smoked weed when I was 16, I turned out fine!” That might be true for many people, but the unfortunate truth is that some people can’t stop. The definition of addiction is hard to pin down, but if you can’t handle your high as in you mess up at your job or in your relationships or if you hurt someone – you should cut back. With that in mind, just about anything can be abused.
“People say you can abuse marijuana. You can abuse cheeseburgers. Does that mean we should close Burger Kings?” – Joe Rogan
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