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Cannabis and Your Mental Health - What is the Impact?

What is the impact that cannabis has on your mental health? Can some people benefit from consuming the plant? Keep reading this installment of our cannabis 101 series for the facts as we know them currently.

Jason SanderJason Sander · Aug. 31, 2020 · 6 min read
Cannabis and Your Mental Health - What is the Impact?

What is the impact that cannabis has on your mental health? Can some people benefit from consuming the plant? Keep reading this installment of our cannabis 101 series for the facts as we know them currently.

Cannabis and Anxiety

In the past, we have covered the fact that cannabis can help with mental health conditions like anxiety and insomnia. Anxiety is one of the qualifying conditions for medical cannabis access in many of the 30+ states that have legalized it for medicinal purposes. And since those who suffer from anxiety often have trouble sleeping, it is no surprise that cannabis can help these people. But what other mental health conditions could be treated with cannabis? First, we have to take a closer look at mental health.

Mental Health is Misunderstood

In general, mental health is a misunderstood topic that doesn’t get enough attention here in the U.S. Consuming cannabis can help cheer you up temporarily - that is no secret. There have been anecdotal reports that some people find relief with cannabis from other mental health conditions like ADHD, schizophrenia, and depression. The jury is still out as to whether cannabis can be an effective long-term treatment for mental illness. However, there is some promising preliminary evidence that cannabinoids can help people who suffer from various mental illnesses. And there is certainly no concrete evidence suggesting that cannabis is a detriment. It is a broken record by now, but more research needs to be done.

panic-attack

Everyone is Different

Cannabis is just like any other food, drink, or drug in that it impacts every consumer differently. Like any other treatment, food, medicine, and so on, cannabis affects everyone differently. While many patients who have mental illness can and do find lasting relief from consuming cannabis, some might feel worse. This is especially true for many people with anxiety. One person with anxiety can feel better with cannabis, while the other can feel worse - their condition forced into hyperdrive.

This is one of the reasons why we always recommend people try micro-dosing with cannabis, especially for their first few times and if they are medicating a mental condition. And of course, different cannabis cultivars affect everyone differently.

Medical Cannabis and Mental Health – PTSD

Another mental condition that could possibly be treated with cannabis is post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. PTSD can manifest itself in people for many different reasons, but it usually comes from dealing with some significant trauma in their lives. PTSD is a condition that is very prevalent in military veterans that saw combat. Symptoms of PTSD are similar to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, but the condition isn’t fully understood at this time.

Thousands, perhaps millions of veterans, are in favor of cannabis for PTSD as well as for chronic pain. In fact, there have been many pro-cannabis protests led by veterans in favor of the VA, in the hopes that they finally recognize cannabis medicine. One of those protests that got the most national news coverage happened five years ago outside of the White House - where veterans dropped hundreds of empty pill bottles. Not to worry, it would appear they didn’t litter, and pilling up the pill bottles was just for demonstration and were picked up afterward.

Activists groups like Veterans for Cannabis are doing important work educating the American public on the potential harms of pharmaceutical pills and how cannabis is a safe replacement.

Despite some substantial evidence suggesting that cannabis can be an effective treatment for PTSD, it remains a schedule 1 substance at the federal level. Because of this, veterans are not prescribed the plant medicine at the national level and must obtain it through their state instead. Hopefully, we will see this change because if there is any group of people who deserve legal access to cannabis medicine, it’s military vets!

Can Cannabis Negatively Affect Mental Capacity?

Before we dive into this important topic - let us remind you of something essential. There is no definitive scientific evidence that cannabis lowers your IQ or makes you stupid. This is antiquated prohibitionist rhetoric that has been thoroughly debunked. Just about anything can be abused - junk food, caffeine, cannabis, and of course, booze. With this in mind, let’s continue.

Of age consumers, (21 and older) typically don’t have any issue with cannabis and mental capacity. However, there is some evidence to suggest that teenagers who ingest cannabis at too young of an age can experience some adverse effects when it comes to the development of their young brains. Again, this is a topic that needs more research devoted to it so we can fully understand it. Just because these studies show that cannabis “may change the brains of teens” who consume it, doesn’t mean that these changes are necessarily bad ones. As always, we always recommend that people consume safely, legally, and responsibly.

HashDash - Building Community and Educating

We hope you found value in our content on cannabis and mental health. This is just an introduction to this vital topic, and we will continue to add more content in this area - mainly focusing on specific conditions. If there is something you’d like to see us cover, we love to hear from you!

Be sure to check back to our blog often, because we post fresh content every week! Connect with us on social media: @hashdash.com on all platforms.

HashDash is compiling an entire information database that will continue to answer your questions regarding all things cannabis. Also, this is your source for where to find the best dispensaries in your area. Be sure to sign up for HashDash to discover your cannabis matches if you haven’t already. As always, thanks for reading, and happy consuming!

DISCLAIMER: This article is for entertainment and education purposes only. HashDash content is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent any disease, condition, or ailment.

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Jason Sander
Jason SanderJason is a versatile writer and marketer with over ten combined years of experience working with clients in various industries. He couples this expertise with six years of writing for the cannabis sector as well as a passion for the business side, and the science behind the plant medicine.

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