Cannabis surely has caught the attention of many recreational users and healthcare experts over the past few years. Some studies backing up the hyped myths of Cannabis being highly medicinal plants has created a strong polarity. And that is a cause of concern!

If it is really as beneficial as we hear it around, then there should be a global legalization call. But if not, what potential risks are users taking by self-medicating Cannabis for mental health issues?


How Cannabis Affects Your Mind And Body

The Cannabis or hemp plant has nearly 500 different compounds. About a hundred of them being Cannabinoids (CBD) and Tetra Hydro cannabinoids (THC). These two major compounds found in the plant have the most noticeable physical psychotic effects.

You consume it by eating, smoking, drinking, or vaping. THC is the main psychoactive compound present that gives you the euphoric “high.” In contrast, CBD is the calmer compound that is assumed to be anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety.

CBD and THC interact with the naturally existing cannabinoid systems of your body. And these may alter emotions, pain sensitivity, appetite, sex, and the digestion of your body. However, due to a lack of gold standard medical research, it is unknown whether they change the way your body reacts to the pleasure hormones (Dopamine and Serotonin) or the increase the amount of these hormones in your body.

Either way, many users report significant changes in mood, emotions, and stress levels after use. But could there be more solid truth to it than taking another’s word for it?

The Health Benefits And Risks Of Cannabis

Due to a lack of proper research, we do not have solid evidence to back these myths up. But on a survey basis and user consumption, we see a much greener side to this plant.

Cannabis shows commendable differences in:

Easing chemo symptoms among patients undergoing cancer treatment.

The intensity and frequency of seizures in patients who have Epilepsy.

The eye pressure of patients having Glaucoma.

Easing depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, among other mental health issues.

The ease of falling asleep of those having insomnia.

And the list goes further on. However, the main reason why Cannabis has been receiving such hype is because of its potential replacement for opioid-based medicine for mental health. Opioids are quite effective when it comes to mental health and pain relief treatments. But they also come with a saddle full of side effects.

Abnormal weight change, drug dependency, overdosage, losing touch with reality, and emotional imbalances are some of the most pressing side-effects of opioids. When it comes to Cannabis, it may not be as instantly effective as opioids, but it does show commendable results.

And that too without any side effects! Since there is no possible way of overdosing on Cannabis products, it is a fairly safe option for recreational and medicinal users. People with high regard for their health often prefer and even self-medicate cannabis treatment for their mental health issues. The credit for this is paid to famous influencers and personalities promoting its use for depression and anxiety.

Moreover, Cannabis is also an excellent relief for addiction recoveries. CBD joints help break the dependency on other substances and reduce the withdrawal symptoms that people suffer from. And since it’s minutely addictive or even not at all, it provides the perfect alternate.

But still, there is a concern among physiatrists and healthcare professionals that Cannabis may indeed be addictive. According to some studies, every one in ten users may be subject to addiction. Even though the number doesn’t sound alarming, it still makes up a huge population of people.

The addiction to Cannabis may also depend on several factors. The potency of CBD or THC that you use, the frequency that you use it in, the dosage that you use, and the presence of other compounds. Because Cannabis has not been largely studied and regulated, it is very easy to come across addictive compounds mixed or disguised in a regular supply.

How You Should Use Cannabis For Your Mental Health Issues

Not only for Cannabis products, but self-medication is something that you should steer clear from anyway. Suppose you feel you can improve much better by shifting your treatment plan to Cannabis. In that case, you must always consult your therapist, pharmacist, or doctor before doing so.

Even though Cannabis may be beneficial for your treatment, the sudden cut off from your previous medication may have some serious repercussions that may worsen your symptoms. Generally, CBD in drinks, vape, or oil is considered a safer and more medicinal solution than THC.

Another thing is that the mental health benefits of Cannabis are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every person’s body has a different way of reacting to other compounds. And depending on your condition, you may likely worsen your symptoms if you take a shift to Cannabis without consulting your therapist.

A healthcare professional will prescribe the right dosage and potency that matches your condition. And that way, it will have the best chance of improving your mental health while keeping the side-effects at a bare minimum.

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