Does Marijuana Help Users With Mental Health Issues?
As a person who suffers from a few different mental health illnesses, including depression, anxiety, and ADHD, I am always looking for new ways to help make the symptoms of these issues better. I’ve taken countless medications, and still do, but that can get expensive and there are many side effects to these medications. I started smoking weed regularly when I was in college and noticed that my mental health was better than it had been in the past. I was able to focus when I needed to focus and was also able to calm my anxiety when I started to feel stressed out.
With this in mind, I started to pay more attention to what type of weed I was getting and its specific effects. When I moved to LA, I found out that many people use marijuana to cope with their illnesses.
Since then, I’ve always tried to keep track of what helps with my focus and creativity during the day and what helps with my anxiety and depression in the evening. I even felt that I was sleeping better than ever before and that was due to my discovery of gummies. I knew I wasn’t the only person who felt cannabis helped them with their mental health issues, but there was and still is little to no research that proves this fact. It is not easy to study this subject as there is no correct way to determine whether cannabis is helping or not. One of the most common side effects of cannabis is to relieve depression and anxiety, but it is difficult to find actual evidence of this being true.
Antidepressants and other medications for mental illness have their own side effects including withdrawal and possible addiction. Studies of marijuana have shown no real side effects, especially compared to side effects people get from prescription medication. Also, as I said, treatments can get expensive while cannabis comes in many less expensive ways. Of course, there are studies that say people can become addicted to marijuana but none of the facts are super clear on this. It is said that one in ten people can become addicted to marijuana, but the consequences do not even compare to people who use and are addicted to alcohol or pills.
Although there are said to be possible downsides to marijuana use, it is much less common than most other substances. On the flip side of that, the effects of marijuana have shown to vastly improve symptoms of seizures, cancer treatments, anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia, while also helping patients with PSTD and insomnia. There are many variables that affect whether a person will experience less or more anxiety after using cannabis, including the user’s mindset going into using it. Some other things that affect the experience are potency levels, the amount used, the frequency of use by the person, prior experiences with cannabis, and the type of cannabis used.
Certain strains of cannabis release endorphins into the user’s body, making them happier. This is what studies have said people become addicted to, but with no real scientific facts, it’s hard to trust that it is the truth. According to a study done by Barbara Weiland, marijuana does not change the brain structure whether in adolescents or adults. While other studies have shown that there are changes in the brain of some users, that could be from other drug use, not necessarily marijuana. There is no direct link between the two things. Essentially, even with studies claiming that people can become addicted to cannabis, there is no actual proof of this.
However, many cannabis users have said that it does help with their mental health issues more so than medications they’ve taken in the past. With cannabis becoming more normalized in the world, we should at least be considering the possibility that it is better for mental and physical illnesses. If the user lives in a state where medical marijuana is legal, they should consider talking to a doctor about trying it out. I did that with my doctor and was told that as long as I wasn’t feeling any side effects from mixing it with my medications that it was a good idea.
Cannabis use offers an easy and healthy way to cope with mental illness without a ton of side effects. Be sure to do some research on the strain before trying it out, because it is true that some strains will be more helpful than others. There are still conflicting ideas on whether cannabis is beneficial for people with mental illnesses, but in my experience, it has only helped me. If the user can find a balance between cannabis use and medication, or even just cannabis use, they can hopefully cope with their illnesses without a ton of side effects or paying a lot of money.
With all the known benefits of cannabis, it is not surprising that this conversation has become more prominent in the world. Some people truly believe that cannabis helps with their mental illness, while others say it makes it worse, but without factual research on this topic is it hard to know the truth. Personally, cannabis has always helped with my mental illnesses and made me feel so much better in my day to day life. The only way users can really know is it try it out.