Understanding Medical Marijuana and Its Potential for Treating Mental Health Issues
Mental health professionals should research more to expand their knowledge about how marijuana impacts mental illness. This research will direct them on how to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medical and recreational purposes. Several states in the US have legalized the medicinal use of cannabis, while some districts now allow adult personal or recreational use of cannabis.
The awareness about medical cannabis and the endocannabinoid system is increasing daily, but on the contrary, the medicinal use of marijuana is not getting the hype and attention it requires.
Medicinal Potential of Cannabis
For proper understanding, medical cannabis is the plant compound retrieved from the flowering areas of cannabis indica/Sativa or ruderalis biotypes. You can find them on the medical marijuana marketplace. Medical cannabis has a lot of biochemical richness, both psychoactive and non-psychoactive.
Medicinal cannabis contains close to 500 compounds; these compounds also contain many cannabinoids and terpenes. The delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is commonly known for its psychoactive effects, while the less common cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound, is known for its therapeutic purpose when used alone or with the THC.
Benefits of Medical Marijuana
Irrespective of the legal status of cannabis in some states, many patients with psychiatric illnesses have reported getting better after consuming some amount of cannabis. Medical marijuana can be used to tackle PTSD, depression, anxiety disorder, insomnia, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and chronic pain.
Also, patients use medical cannabis to tackle neurological issues, such as some disorders that standard medicines could not correct and spasticity of multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, patients use cannabis to cure the side effects of chemotherapies, and they also use it for mood improvement based on their doctor’s prescription.
Medical cannabis is now available in many dispensaries across the state as medicinal materials that can be smoked, eaten, vaporized, or consumed in different ways. The development of medical cannabis has been going on for more than two decades now, and the first set to be approved is the Sativex which contains a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD; it is commonly prescribed and administered as a sublingual spray. Sativex is also used to tackle chronic cancer and has been approved and legalized in many countries.
Cannabis and Cognition
Several researchers have shown a significant relationship between marijuana use and improved mental performance, especially among patients with psychotic issues and a history of cannabis consumption. The statistics above can represent a less cognitively-endangered group of individuals who would not have had psychosis if not been exposed to cannabis consumption.
Generally, there is a claim that acute marijuana causes disability in the cognitive areas of learning and memories. However, there is no substantial report to make a solid claim about long-term and residual mental disability. To talk about cognitive performance and psychosis development, dosage is an essential factor to consider.
We need to consider dosage because most disabilities can be traced to heavy, long term and constant users. Also, disabilities are mostly connected to individuals with cannabis use disorders.
Marijuana and Dementia
Medical professionals have not yet found any medical use of marijuana for curing dementia; however, there are some interesting findings you need to know. Some researchers have shown that cannabinoids can be used to tackle neuronal excitotoxicity and neuroinflammation. It can also be used to prevent plaque formation for Alzheimers disease.
The best benefit of marijuana to dementia patients is to control behavioral issues such as agitation, food refusal, and irritability. Recent research was conducted on some individuals with cannabis use disorders, and the result was that there is a low cerebral blood level in some regions, including the hippocampus.
The finding suggests that individuals with cannabis use disorder face the risk of having Alzheimer disease, a disease related to low cerebral blood flow. Medical professionals will need to do more research on the medicinal use of marijuana to cure dementia and to be sure whether heavy/chronic and long-term use is a risk factor.
Cannabis and PTSD
As stated for other mental health issues, there are limited findings to justify whether cannabis or cannabinoids can improve or cure the symptoms of PTSD; however, some findings have stated that cannabis can be of great benefit to curing PTSD. In some states, PTSD is among the health issues that can qualify an individual to buy medical cannabis.
Many medical practitioners have prescribed cannabis to patients and recommended that many of the prescriptions were for psychiatric purposes, with PTSD being the most common. The medical benefits of marijuana are related to the psychobiology of PTSD and the constant research on the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system consists of Cannabinoid 1 and receptors where the CB1 receptors are plenty in the brain. According to some studies, endocannabinoid helps people with the extinction of cruel memories, and both CBD and THC have been found to help eliminate conditioned fear responses.
Risks and Benefits of Marijuana for Psychiatric Patients
Generally, it is no news that marijuana and its compounds from cannabis indica help with muscle relaxation compared to those extracts from cannabis sativa, and individuals with insomnia and anxiety are always triggered towards this strain. However, the strains mentioned above are not the only factor for the varieties of cannabis that works for each patient.
The strains mentioned above are the reasons most pharmacies run a lab test on the cannabis they sell. Note that the focus has only been on THC and CBD; however, other compounds can be helpful. Individuals with mental health issues can use marijuana to improve while taking other psychiatric treatments or as a “more natural” mode of treatment.
Patients can use marijuana while still taking additional pharmacotherapy.
Get Ready for Medical Marijuana in Georgia
Medical cannabis is potentially beneficial for those who struggle with substance misuse. Even though this is still being investigated, it might be an affordable, safe option for people to work toward recovery.
Despite some delays, Georgia will soon have access to medical marijuana! We hope Georgia dispensaries should open their doors in 2023 to give patients the relief they deserve. If you are still determining if you qualify, we can help! Just give us a call.
You can reserve an evaluation online today with one of our compassionate cannabis doctors, and we'll make an appointment as soon as possible. Feel free to ask any questions in the meantime!
You and your new doctor will discuss your conditions and whether you qualify for a Georgia Marijuana Card. And if you make your reservation online today, you'll save $25 off your evaluation!
Feel free to call us at (866) 781-5606, and we can help answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Georgia.