Studies have shown numerous benefits to the medical use of marijuana. Over 20 states have legalized medical marijuana and with legalization comes the opportunity for researchers to take an even closer look at the plant that has been known for it’s many benefits since the beginning of recorded history. Archeologists have discovered evidence of cannabis use all over the world.
Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC) are two active chemicals in marijuana that researchers believe can help relieve pain. There are a wide range of studies and patient testimonies supporting it’s health benefits. Many patients say marijuana has helped relieve their pain and is far better than the prescription drug alternatives given by their doctors. Not only can a patient overdose on prescription medications for pain, but the side-effects to taking the drugs can be severe.
Mental Health Disorders and Medical Marijuana:
Marijuana is beneficial to those suffering from mental health disorders such as anxiety, stress, and depression. THC has been shown to help regulate the system that causes fear and anxiety in the body and brain. CBD studies have shown evidence of lower heart rate and blood pressure responses to stress as well as reducing panic and anxiety behavior.
Mental Health Disorders and Medical Marijuana have long been known to interact positively.
The Department of Health and Human Services recently signed off on a study to test the benefits of marijuana use on patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder and can occur when someone has gone through severe emotional trauma. People who live with PTSD experience symptoms such as flashbacks of their trauma, insomnia and isolation. Marijuana has helped many experiencing these symptoms to maintain calmer during flashbacks, to have a better quality of sleep, and have less anxiety attacks. Cannabis is known to help slow down the bodies adrenaline and stress hormones that become hyper-sensitive in PTSD patients.
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the use of marijuana. MAPS highest priority project is funding research in treatments of post-traumatic stress disorder. Since 1992, MAPS has been working to raise money to conduct studies showing the benefits of using marijuana to treat PTSD. In 2014 they were awarded a grant from the state of Colorado in the amount of $2.15 million to conduct their studies. The studies have been approved by the FDA, DEA, and IRBs (Institutional Review Boards).
Given the ongoing data in support of the use of medical marijuana to help aid patients in dealing with emotional disorders, we anticipate more states than ever to consider easing restrictions this November.
Mental Health Disorders and Medical Marijuana have a long history of being studied and cannabis has been found to alleviate many mental health conditions.