Depression and anxiety are increasing in prevalence in today’s world. Unfortunately, these mental health conditions can make it difficult to get through the day and enjoy life to the fullest.
Many people find that medical marijuana helps ease feelings of depression and anxiety, leading to greater overall mental wellness. Cannabis can provide relief from feelings of stress and tension, as well as provide a valuable boost of dopamine, to alleviate these common mental health concerns.
Medical Marijuana for Depression
A study published in September 2021 in the journal, Frontiers in Psychiatry, found that patients with diagnosed clinical depression who use medical marijuana have lower depression scores (along with better quality of life, improved sleep, and less pain) than patients not using marijuana. Additionally, patients in the study who started to use medical marijuana in a follow-up period experience decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety.
The THC in medical marijuana signals the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is considered the “feel good” hormone because it’s closely linked to pleasure and the brain’s reward system. The release of dopamine that’s stimulated by marijuana use can help improve patients’ mood, which may offset feelings of depression.
Medical Marijuana for Anxiety
CBD, one of the main active compounds in marijuana, can provide significant benefits for patients with anxiety. A 2010 study showed that people with social anxiety disorders experienced reduced symptoms with CBD oil. In this study, the participants’ brains were scanned. The scans showed that CBD altered blood flow to the areas of the brain that are responsible for feelings of anxiety. THC, the active compound that’s responsible for the high in marijuana, was also shown to reduce anxiety in small doses in a 2017 study.
In the right dose for your body, medical marijuana can promote feelings of relaxation, ease stress, and improve your mood. These effects may help people who suffer from anxiety and depression.