The Medical Benefits of Using Cannabis To Treat Anxiety and Depression
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 11/01/2016 in Medical Marijuana Research
Most of the research done on the use of cannabis to help alleviate the symptoms of health related disorders has primarily taken place in the physical arena. There has been much research done on medical marijuana and cancer, pain relief and other medical conditions. It has only been recently that research has begun to explore medical cannabis as a possible treatment for mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorders. Given the considerable number of veterans using cannabis to help ease the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it is imperative that research be conducted to fully study and explore what benefits medical marijuana offers individuals suffering mental health issues.
Some form of anxiety accompanies many mental health issues. Anxiety disorders include general anxiety, social anxiety, PTSD, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). In addition, disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder include anxiety. There are several theories on how medical marijuana works to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. The first is that the cannabidiol (CBD) cannabinoids in the cannabis oil attaches to the cannabinoid receptors that carry both serotonin and dopamine through the brain. These two neurotransmitters are responsible for both alleviating depression and creating a calming effect. By stimulating the receptors, the CBD allows for increased production of both, creating the sense of well-being marijuana users have long noted.
Another is that the CBD stimulates the growth of new neurons within the hippocampus. Subsequently, these new neurons help alleviate anxiety and panic, creating a sense of calm that is missing during anxiety-inducing situations. Various other possibilities as to why CBD works have been put forth, but because of the federal scheduling of cannabis, researchers are prohibitted from actually studying cannabis or any of it’s cannabinoids.
Cannabis Peer Reviewed Usage Statistics
Until more scientific studies have been conducted done, it is necessary to gather data from as many individuals suffering from depression and anxiety disorders who find medical benefit from using marijuana as medicine.
A unique study is now being conducted, crowd-sourcing data from patients nationwide, in the efforts to help create the data to support the federal rescheduling of cannabis in recognition of marijuana’s medical benefit for depression and anxiety disorders, and other debilitating ailments and conditions. Patients nationwide are invited to join the study by registering on MarijuanaDoctors.com (MD) online, or via the MD mobile app or mbile site. The study is being conducted in real-time and relies heavily on patient participation — if you are a patient using marijuana as a medicine to treat depression or anxety-related disorders, play a proactive role in helping marijuana become a medicine everyone can use, not just some patients in one of the 25 legal medical marijuana states in the U.S. By documenting your medical marijuana needs you are offering other patients suffering similar symptoms insight on ways they may be able to further improve their current quality of life
The peer-reviewed study’s initial findings report that 17.4 percent of patients suffering anxiety disorders are in California, 12.7 percent are in Illinois, 9.3 percent of patients are in Pennsylvania, and 8.9 percent are in New York. Of the patients using cannabis to treat depression and other anxiety-type conditions, 42.6 percent are also using Codeine, Aspirin, Apap Formula No.4; 15 percent are also using Xanax; 9.4 percent are also using Clonazepam, in addition to their medical marijuana therapy. Additionally, 37.39 percent of patients are between the ages of 20 and 29.
Medical Benefits of Cannabis for Anxiety Disorders and Depression
While we don’t yet know the long-term effects of treating anxiety and related disorders with medical marijuana, there are very real benefits of its use that have already been documented.
- Cannabis can be used on an “as needed” basis rather than the continuous daily dosage use required by pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medications.
- There are fewer side-effects experienced with medical marijuana as opposed to prescription drugs currently available.
- Social anxiety seems to respond better to cannabis than any other treatment and effects of a dose of CBD cannabis oil can be achieved in less than two hours after only one dosage.
- There is some evidence that usage can prevent brain damage that results from attacks of constant anxiety and stress.
- Better sleep seems to be possible with medical cannabis, which helps the body to fight stress easier and further reduce anxiety.
More Research Needed
What is needed now is an even greater amount of research into the varied uses of medical marijuana, for all disorders, including mental illness. By signing up to MarijuanaDoctors.com patients will instantly have free access to the Symptom Tracker app, being used to capture cannabis titration data. While study participants will be helping the medical marijuana movement, the tracker also serves as a device with which to monitor your personal medical marijuana needs. Furthermore, for the first-time ever marijuana doctors also now have the unique opportunity to monitor their patient’s progress, in real-time.
The tracker’s findings will have no limits and strives to aid patients with anxiety-related disorders reach a greater quality of life. Because the cannabis peer reviewed study is crowd sourced, patient participation plays a crucial role — the more patients use the tracker, the more data will be generated daily. If you suffer anxiety disorders or depression and would like to sign up to start contributing to the nationwide cannabis peer review study, visit MarijuanaDoctors.com to register today. The more data we can collect, the sooner it will be possible to provide medical marijuana to more individuals who can positively benefit from it’s therapeutic use.