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Cannabis & Mental Health

Updated: Apr 21

With mental health seemingly on the decline in many countries, more and more people are seeking solutions to help improve their mental state and create more happiness in their lives. With the state of the world the past 5 years, who can blame people for looking at alternative options rather than pharmaceuticals, especially with opiods and over-prescribing being other large issues plaguing society.

Throughout cannabis prohibition, and even currently to some extent, we have been told that cannabis causes mental health disorders and distress. There are some cautions to using cannabis regarding mental health, especially to brains before the age of 25, for those who are predisposed to mental health issues, and those on medications for their mental health. For these groups of people it is important to monitor your usage and consult a doctor before use if their are concerns, but it wont make someone into a crazy andd immoral being like the Reffer Madness era had people believing. Another consideration to be had would be the amount of THC in a product, due to THC having psychoactive effects it can cause anxiety in some people when high amounts are taken. Even with these precautions, Cannabis on its own without any other factors wont make someone insane.

With Cannabis legalization now having been 6 years ago, we have been seeing more studies showing the efficacy of using cannabis for Mental Health. Some studies are showing improvements in the brains of patients after only three months of using cannabis, and many results are finding that patients are seeing improvements in their quality of life. According to a study from McLean Hospital in Massachusetts (Refrence #1), when studying 22 medical cannabis patients for three months researchers noticed that medical cannabis use improved changes in brain activation patterns and helped improve task preformance in patients.

They also found that after the three months of study the participants brain activity was similar to non-cannabis using patients in good health. This revelation is amazing, considering it could mean that medical cannabis has the potential to recover brain function, which could brovide extremely useful when treatng diseases like Alziemers and Dementia, amoug other degenerative diseases.

It was also noted in this study that many patients reported" Significant improvements on measure of deprssion, impulsivity, sleep and quality of life", as well as a notable decrease in pharmaceuticals, particularily opiods and benzodiapenzies, along with antidepressants and mood stabilizers.

This evidence along with many other studies are suggesting that drugs and medicines that target the ECS (Endocannabinoid system) are promising pharmacotherapies. The ECS is a system of neurostransimmters in our bodies which functions as a fundemental modulator of neurodevelopment, emotional states, stress responses, and cognition. (Reference #2) This system is dirrectly impacted by molecules in Cannabis called Cannabinoids (like THC and CBD etc.). Our bodies also produce similar chemicals called Endocannabinoids, although many factors can alter the amount of Endocannabinoids the body creates, including diet, stress levels, hormones, and genetics. Its also interesting to learn that in people with psychological and mental health issues ECS systems are highly disregulated, suggesting the two are related. This shows great potential for medical cannabis being a versitile option for people looking to regulate their ECS and improve their mental health. In years to come there will be more research and it will be exciting to see the improvements that can be made in mental health restoration. In many studies thus far, chronically ill patients frequently report reductions in anxiety, stress, and improved mood as the main reasons they use cannabis.

As a last note, its always impotant to remember than Cannabis effects everyone differently. Not everyone will react the same way to a product, and its important to keep the idea of balance in mind when learning what works best for you.

As always,

Peace & Puffs

The Herb Witch

Reference #1 -

Reference #2 -

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