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Medical Marijuana for Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety & Mental Health

After the legalization of cannabis in 29 US states, people are coming forward to try this magical drug for the betterment of their health. Soon, they have started recognizing the potential of cannabis. But, for consuming cannabis in any form, you need to qualify for MMJ card. If you reside in Los Angeles, then you can get your medical marijuana cards in Los Angeles from the renowned clinic. Marijuana has been found effective in decreasing several mental health issues.

In ancient times, it was not grown to get high but used as herbal medicine. Its use started in Asia around 500 BC. Moreover, the history of cannabis cultivation in America dates back to early colonists.

Its medical use was recognized in 1830’s by Sir William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, an Irish doctor. He found that cannabis extracts provided relief against stomach pain and vomiting in people infected with cholera.

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Later on, scientists discovered that THC has some medicinal properties.

Furthermore, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two drugs with THC (Marinol and Syndros) to treat nausea caused by chemotherapy and loss of appetite in AIDS patients.

Mental health problems lead to sleepless nights. Fears can strike at the middle of the night. Various mental disorders impact our lives such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression.

Let’s know more about these mental disorders.

Bipolar is one of the most mysterious mental health ailments which is suspected to be the reason behind the deaths of many celebrities. This condition was known as “manic-depressive illness” and later in 1990 “bipolar” term became prevalent. Bipolar is a mood disorder, and it comes under clinical depression. It causes prolonged depressive and manic episodes.

Depression

Next, comes the depression. It is a mental health disorder which impacts the day to day activity of an individual. It is accompanied by depressive mood, loss of interest in the activities which one earlier used to enjoy.

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Anxiety

Anxiety refers to several mental disorders that lead to a feeling of nervousness, fear, and worrying.

Can cannabis cure bipolar disorder?

A team of researchers in Canada and US found that cannabis can benefit people dealing with depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Moreover, Zach Walsh, an Associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia says “We should be looking at it in the same way [as other drugs] and be holding it up to the same standard.”

The Journal of Psychopharmacology published a review and discussion by C.H. Ashton, exploring the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in bipolar affective disorder. According to the report some patients take it to alleviate symptoms of both mania and depression and therefore, suggesting cannabis has a possible therapeutic effect on bipolar disorder. The study also found that cannabinoids exert sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic, antidepressant, antipsychotic and anticonvulsant effects.

The scientists have discovered that chronic stress can suppress the brain’s activity and can lead to depression-like behavior. However, introducing cannabis into the system restores normal functions of the brain and helps in countering depression.

Then in 2012, a study by Raphael J. Braga, et al., focused on the cognitive and clinical outcomes associated with cannabis use in patients with bipolar disorder. The main objective of the study was to compare clinical and neurocognitive measures in the individuals with bipolar disorder with a history of cannabis use disorder versus those without a history of CUD (cannabis use disorder). The study found that CUD subjects showed better performance regarding attention, processing speed and memory.

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Later on, a detailed study was conducted by Sagar between 2008 and 2014. The part of the study were 12 bipolar patients who smoke cannabis, 18 bipolar patients who don’t smoke cannabis, 23 cannabis smokers without bipolar disorder and 21 healthy controls. He found that there are no significant differences between cognitive function of bipolar patients who smoked cannabis and those who don’t.

Moreover, bipolar participants who smoke cannabis regularly reported having a reduction in mood symptoms. Furthermore, bipolar participants who regularly smoked cannabis reported notable reductions in mood symptoms each time they medicated with cannabis, indicating potential mood-stabilizing properties of cannabis in at least some participants. The current study also showed that cannabis use in bipolar patients might not result in additional impairment.

Can marijuana cure depression?

A study conducted in 2012 found that THC increases BDNF which is a brain protein that is less in people with depression. Increase in BDNF exhibits antidepressant effects.

Another study in 2014 reviewed all the CBD and depression studies conducted on animals and concluded that CBD could act as an antidepressant. It activates both endocannabinoid and serotonin systems.

Moreover, a 2016 study found that CBD can treat anhedonia which is the symptom of depression and makes people feel no pleasure. The study also revealed that CBD is a fast-acting antidepressant.

How does marijuana help in treating mental disorder?

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When fears strike at night, they can be tamed with cannabis. It causes drowsiness and let you relax. When you smoke or ingest cannabis, your brain releases a chemicals anandamide and dopamine. They serve as an antidepressant and relax you. Moreover, smoking or ingesting cannabis before bedtime promotes good sleep and keeps negative thoughts at bay.

Human has endocannabinoid system with has receptors for cannabinoids which are found in the cannabis plant. The primary receptor is CB1, which is located in the brain and throughout the nervous system.

Depression impact person’s nervous system and normal functions of human body get impacted such as energy levels, sleep patterns, and eating habits.

People with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) often experience nightmares which don’t let them relax. However, marijuana relaxes the mind and stops it spinning for a while. Sometimes, in case of anxiety, muscles could become tense after a panic episode. You might start feeling chronic muscular pain. Smoking marijuana can suppress some of the pain.

Still, more research is needed to incorporate cannabis in the therapeutic use. But, we cannot ignore the fact that cannabis provides relief against various mental disorders. So, you should start consuming cannabis in moderation but under the guidance of your doctor to get some relief against the underlying illness.

About the Author:

Julie Nicholson-Author - Medical Marijuana for Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety & Mental Health

Julie Nicholson is a freelance writer. She has been writing on Healthcare & Beauty for e-magazines and websites Online MMJ Los Angeles for the last over 7 years. She writes in-depth and always writing new is his passion. She formerly worked out of Medical Marijuana Card Clinic, Los Angeles.

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