People since the inception of Mankind have been traditionally using herbs and plants for the ailment of many diseases as in some regions it also has been regarded as a plant of religious as well as of spiritual importance. In the 21st century having a sound mind is as important as a sound body and the topic of mental illness is much discussed today as in the past it was considered as a taboo.
With the Legalization of Marijuana in the states of Canada, the first question that arises is “IS WEED GOOD FOR MENTAL HEALTH?”
At first weed (Marijuana) was considered as a controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) schedules which are part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. These categories are classified based on their potential for abuse, safety, addictive potential, and whether it has or no legitimate medical potential and use.
Marijuana was placed under SCHEDULE I because it was considered as a drug of abuse and dependency, but later on, according to the federal laws, it was legalized in many states of CANADA. Through researches, it was concluded that marijuana can be used medicinally to treat many mental disorders which include anxiety, depression, and, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Cannabidiol present in CANNABIS received approval from the FDA in June 2018 as it was found beneficial in the treatment of epilepsy.
Medicinally weed is becoming an effective and safe drug to treat pain and many neurological diseases, which is the largest cause of its legalization. However, a prescription is still needed in severe cases to avoid dependency and harm from the drug rather than cure. Medical marijuana or weed can be used to treat the following:
1. NAUSEA AND VOMITING
Marijuana contains a compound called CBD (cannabidiol), CBD is a non-psychoactive substance which is proven to control the endocannabinoid system of the brain which reduces the function of nausea as it is suppressed, although nausea can be due to an underlying problem or disease which also needs to be treated also.
2. CHRONIC PAIN AND CANCER
Weed or marijuana is most commonly used by cancer patients to elevate pain and nausea by chemotherapeutic treatments, as cancer patients endure high levels of pain which are intolerable for them, usually, opiates are prescribed to them, but the human body builds tolerance towards opiates gradually over years as a result frequency is increased which also causes an increase in sedation and other side effects too. On the other hand, CBD is also found to have slowed down the multiplication of cancer cells and also stops the spread to other parts of the body.
3. DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
Recent research shows that marijuana possesses some Anti-depressant compounds that treat depression and anxiety, CBD which is found in weed triggers the brain receptors of the NEUROTRANSMITTER serotonin, serotonin is known to regulate the mood, appetite and social behavior of an individual. It also has effects on memory and cognition which can also helps the patient of PTSD to elevate their bad memories and past stressful experiences.
Researches have been conducted and weed was found to successfully treat and manage the symptoms of epilepsy and seizures. THC AND CBD found in weed have shown some Anti-convulsant effects. They were found to treat two major types of disorders called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome that are difficult to control with other types of medication. The CBD-based drug that is used to control them is known as Epidiolex. It was also found to have to manage epilepsy successfully in children too.
A study published in 2017 found that the use of CBD resulted in far fewer seizures among children with Dravet syndrome, compared with a placebo. The researchers also found that the children who received the CBD solution experienced a downfall in their seizures from having around 12 seizures per month to an average of six seizures per month. Also, three children receiving CBD did not experience any seizures at all.
5. MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS AND NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS
Scientists have conducted a study in which they claim that weed also acts as a NEURO-PROTECTANT shielding the nerve cells from degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. It also has found to play a vital role in Schizophrenia as it helps in patients experiencing dementia and hallucinations.
Weed was also found to treat arthritis, a condition in which there is inflammation of joints and the patient experiences severe pain and discomfort, Marijuana was found to contain some anti-inflammatory properties that helped patients in treating arthritis and also improved their sleep.
Weed was also found beneficial in treating diabetic neuropathy, it is a condition which is progressively caused in years when diabetes type 1 OR type 2 is left untreated, it affects the nerves of the legs and can cause many symptoms like numbness, pain, loss of sense of touch, vision trouble, etc. Patients who consumed THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) as a part of the study trials found that they experienced less pain while on weed.
AVAILABLE FORMS OF WEED
Despite its medicinal uses, weed is also widely used recreationally and is available easily online on Online dispensaries for e.g. budstars. It can be easily brought by 18+ or an ADULT. It is available in the following forms:
- HERBAL CANNABIS (MARIJUANA):
The most common form of prepared cannabis is the dried and cured flowers of female cannabis plants. The flowering portions of the plant contain the highest concentrations of terpenes and cannabinoids, which is the most demanded form for medicinal and recreational use. Other preparations are derived from this form as it is the richest source of weed.
Kief is a powder obtained from the trichomes of the weed plant which gives It its authentic smell and flavor, it also contains high amounts of cannabinoids which is responsible for most of its effects. It is used to make waxes and other products as it is a potent part of the plant.
It is formed by compressing the resin of the plant and it is one of the oldest forms.
It is an alcoholic based liquid in which cannabinoids are extracted from cannabis by using an extraction process.
- HASH OIL:
Butane solvent is used in the process of extraction of hash oil, it extracts the resinous material from the marijuana plant’s flowers. Butane extraction produces the concentrate BHO (butane hash oil), one of the strongest concentrates.
It may also be available in the form of extracts, vape, concentrates, topicals, and other edibles.
Contrary to belief weed can help in improving the quality of life and health of those patients who are battling through serious diseases and can help them get to improve their lifestyle.