Updated on December 17, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
While we talk a lot about the physical effects of conditions like complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), we don’t talk as much about their emotional impact. Dealing with chronic pain is rough, and sometimes patients need a little extra help to manage their mood symptoms.
Mental health medication can have unpredictable effects, making prescribing and dosing a guessing game. Plus, they can cause a wide range of side effects. So, some CRPS patients use medical marijuana to handle mood disorders caused by their condition.
CRPS doesn’t directly harm your mental health. Since it affects the sympathetic nervous system, it likely doesn’t change the chemicals in your brain on its own. Instead, CRPS patients deal with depression and anxiety as a response to the challenges that the condition poses.
Having chronic pain can decrease your quality of life, especially when you have severe chronic pain. The pain and tenderness associated with CRPS make it harder to do the things you love, such as going out with friends. People with conditions like CRPS must also face the stigma and discrimination that come with having a chronic disorder.
But, you’re not alone. By treating your mood issues like any other health problem, you can find a remedy that works for you — and we’re here to help.
By using the right marijuana medication, you can experience fewer depression symptoms. Sativa strains of marijuana provide feelings of euphoria, lifting your mood. You don’t even have to take the bud on its own — you can use any medication made with a sativa strain.
Many say marijuana can cause depression, but this is a myth. Many marijuana users with depression already had it, indicating they use it to treat their symptoms. So, cannabis could actually work better than pharmaceutical antidepressants for some patients.
In addition to helping patients with depression, cannabis medicine can also relieve anxiety. However, instead of using a sativa strain, you may want to use an indica or hybrid strain. Sativa-dominant strains can exacerbate anxiety symptoms, so by taking care and consideration to use indica or indica-dominant strains, you can feel more at ease.
If you deal with both depression and anxiety, you can still reduce both conditions’ symptoms with careful medication management. Depending how you react to cannabis, you could use a hybrid strain to tackle both disorders at once with fewer side effects. Or, you can use an indica strain as needed for anxiety symptoms and a sativa strain during depression flare-ups.
As you can see, mood disorders are complicated health issues. To get the most out of your cannabis medicine, you should work closely with health experts. See a marijuana-certified doctor or talk with a dispensary budtender to start your path to relief.