Medical marijuana is sometimes used as support for mental health problems and moderate-to-severe pain. But does it work? Can it support the treatment of depression and anxiety? How does medical marijuana affect our mental health?
The Problem With Current Research
It has been reported that close to 3 million Americans use marijuana legally as a medication. While it remains a popular method to support various health problems, scientists have been slow to fully research the subject.
Patient Reported Outcomes, or PROs, are personal reports from individuals on their unique experiences. This can be helpful for those looking for real-life experiences but should be taken with a grain of salt. Further research is needed for reliable expectations.
Pros and Cons: Marijuana for Mental Health
Harvard Health Publishing says, A highly promising area of research is its use for PTSD in veterans who are returning from combat zones. Many veterans and their therapists report drastic improvement and clamor for more studies, and for a loosening of governmental restrictions on its study.”
The secret seems to be a person’s individual approach to marijuana. Someone who uses it only to get high isn’t thinking of their mental health when they imbibe. If you go into it looking to hide from your emotions and to dull your senses, then it will not help your mental health. But taking it to calm your mind, decrease your anxiety, and lift your mood enough to work through an issue is an ideal attitude to have. This approach may potentially do wonders for you, psychologically.
Marijuana can be good for your mental health. The trick is to treat marijuana as a medication meant to help you, instead of an illegal drug that only causes damage. Take the stigma away.
Just Another Medication
When someone uses marijuana to hide their emotions, they don’t realize when these feelings worsen. They check their self-awareness at the door. Marijuana is used as a simple avoidance tactic, but the memories will still be there when the drug wears off. And they can come back with a punch, increasing your depression or anxiety as a result.
Using marijuana as a medication may potentially cause a lift in your mood, raise positive emotions, and ease some level of psychological pain. It may enhance serotonin levels. The side effects are minimal, and it’s easy to use. For the majority of people, it is neither a gateway drug, nor is it especially addictive. It’s just another medication.
The self-aware and mindful use of medical marijuana can be possibly supportive of your mental health and your quality of life.