There’s a lot of back and forth about cannabis and its link to mental health. Whether you consume it in a bong or in an oil form, the effects may vary on your mental state. Some studies claim that it can be a detriment to your health, causing panic or anxiety if used improperly or too frequently. According to the United States National Comorbidity Survey, respondents who were dependent on cannabis were over two times more likely to have a lifetime diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder.
However, there is also a lot to be said about the positive effects cannabis can have on mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, and it all starts with the compounds. When consumed responsibly, some compounds like CBD are better suited for treating mental health disorders.
You may be familiar with medical cannabis and how it benefits those with prescriptions. A report from Psychiatric Times states that cannabis can help those suffering from PTSD, insomnia, and ADHD on top of other comorbid mental health issues.
Whether you’re a first-timer looking for a prescription or a recreational user, cannabis has a hidden benefit for you and your daily mental state. Here are the top three ways that cannabis can help with your mental health.
Cannabis has the chemical THC, which has been known to raise serotonin levels. Serotonin is a naturally occurring chemical in the brain that acts as a mood regulator; however, some people with anxiety and depression do not produce enough serotonin to feel neutral or happy throughout the day. This includes those who suffer from anxiety or depression because they can sometimes have an insufficient amount of this chemical in their brain. There aren’t many high risks associated with short-term cannabis use compared to other pharmaceuticals, so cannabis is definitely worth trying in this case.
There was a 2010 study that found cannabidiol, or CBD oil, can reduce symptoms of social anxiety in people who live with a social anxiety disorder. The main reason is that it can increase blood flow in the regions of the mind most related to anxiety symptoms, including uncertainty and worry. This works similarly to increasing serotonin levels but is slightly different because social anxiety symptoms are focused on a social aspect rather than generalized anxiety. CBD oil not only reduced symptoms but made participants feel better.
Cannabis can arguably be used as a method to block out the outside world. However, short-term usage for anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses allows the user to gain clarity and perspective outside of their anxiety attacks or depressive episodes. Depending on the strain used, a user can experience relief from their symptoms and gain better mental clarity on how to prevent or manage attacks or episodes in the future.
Have you had experience with cannabis and its usage for your mental health? What strains did you find most effective?