Is Cannabis Just a Hot Trend Or The Real Deal?
Cannabis is more than a trend. This tiny green plant continues to amaze the world and to be studied and tested as we explore its potential to treat a variety of mental health issues. While more extensive research is needed on how cannabis effects those suffering from mental health conditions, the results coming from some initial testing and case studies have been very promising.
The research on cannabis’s effect on mental health is leading some scientists to call for the allowance of CBD (cannabidiol) in various treatments. Many forward-thinking researchers want to see laws passed that allow CBD to be used for mental health treatment in the same way that it is currently used to treat epilepsy and the accompanying seizures experienced by those with the condition.
Let's have a look at the top trends we are seeing in the study of cannabis and how cannabis may be used to treat various mental health symptoms and diseases.
1. Cannabis and the Treatment of PTSD
Many veterans are currently using cannabis to help them deal with the symptoms that come with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) after returning home from service. Several states currently approve of medically prescribed cannabis as a way to treat PTSD as a specific mental health condition. While the studies of using cannabis for PTSD are not extensive, many veterans in states where it is legal are using the substance to help them cope with symptoms, including nightmares and flashbacks, that often accompany PTSD.
2. CBD and Social Anxiety
A study published in 2011 stated that there is evidence that CBD could help those who suffer from social anxiety. Participants in the study reported that they felt more at ease in social situations, such as meeting new people or speaking in public, when they were able to take limited, evenly-timed doses of CBD rather than those who did not have access to cannabis. More studies need to be done to see if these findings are substantiated.
3. CBD May Reduce General Anxiety & Panic Attacks
Many people who experience consistent anxiety and those who have panic attacks are beginning to use controlled doses of CBD to help alleviate their symptoms. CBD is believed to have an impact on brain chemistry by suppressing the hormone THC which causes anxiety and can, therefore, stimulate panic attacks. Many people who suffer from these conditions have reported that CBD eases their symptoms, including shortness of breath, chest pains, and cognitive impairments.
4. CBD and the Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
People with OCD who regularly take small, controlled doses of CBD report feeling more relaxed and less likely to repeat obsessive behaviours. While many individuals in states with legalized cannabis report these symptoms and some of the results for these individuals have been promising, these claims are not yet substantiated by medical research. Studies have been produced that show a decrease in OCD-related behaviour in rats and mice, although no human testing has been done at this time.
5. CBD Is Showing Promise To Help Those With Schizophrenia
Research is showing that there may be some substantiated claims that CBD can be used to improve the symptoms of people living with schizophrenia. Those who tried using cannabis to help control symptoms experienced fewer hallucinations and/or delusions, less difficulty thinking/concentrating, and more motivation in their daily lives.
While this research is promising, more studies are needed to determine if CBD can be used as a treatment to help a majority of those with schizophrenia disorder.
While many of these positive correlations between the use of cannabis and improved mental health show potential, far more research needs to be done before cannabis, and more specifically CBD, is accepted in the treatment of mental health conditions. As the number of studies increase, it will be determined if these findings are substantiated to recommend cannabis as a mainstream treatment for mental health conditions.
It is important to note, that the laws for purchase and consumption methods of cannabis, including CBD, vary per country and state/province. Always ensure you know and respect the law and others.
Remember to always consult your doctor before beginning any type of wellness treatment.
Stay informed. Stay connected.