Cannabis is a plant-derived product containing several cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol. It may be used as a whole plant or synthetic drugs such as dronabinol and nabilone.
Most reviews compared cannabis to placebo; findings were discordant for pain outcomes. However, some of the non-pain outcomes studied were improved in patients receiving medical marijuana.
Cannabis is effective in decreasing pain from many types of illnesses. Its analgesic effects may be due to the CB1 receptor activation that decreases cytokine and chemokine release, which reduces inflammation and pain .
The current opioid crisis has prompted physicians to seek out other options for treating chronic pain. AARP research finds that medical marijuana offers a safe, effective alternative to prescription opioids and other medications. The cannabis plant contains more than 100 compounds, including cannabidiol (CBD), which is known to relieve chronic pain by inhibiting the breakdown of neurons that transmit pain signals.
Nevada medical marijuana is also thought to ease nerve and muscle pain from conditions like multiple sclerosis, HIV-related complex regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, cancer, chemotherapy, and rheumatoid arthritis. And it can help tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease. Patients report that it is a safer alternative to the prescribed drugs they use for pain, such as Neurontin, Lyrica, and opiate pills. They also say it has helped them sleep better and feel more energetic. In addition, the majority of people who use medical marijuana for pain reported that it led to a decrease in the prescriptions of both opioid and nonopioid pain medication.
Medicinal cannabis is often used for anxiety because it provides an alternative to traditional pharmaceutical treatments that can have negative side effects. It can also be more effective for some patients.
Medical marijuana binds to cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. This binding causes a reduction in anxiety levels but can sometimes induce feelings of fear or euphoria at higher doses. It is, therefore, important to find a dosage and strain that works for you. A high THC-to-CBD ratio is ideal, but it may take trial and error to find the right combination for you.
To be eligible for medicinal cannabis access, you must have a chronic medical condition, such as anxiety; other underlying health problems do not better explain that. Your prescribing doctor will assess your condition and prescribe a specific treatment plan. In addition, it is recommended that you engage in therapy to support your medicinal cannabis use.
Cannabis may help people who struggle with insomnia get a better night’s sleep. The sedative effects of THC and CBD can help ease symptoms such as stress, anxiety, and depression that often interfere with sleep. Studies also show that the compounds can help users fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and decrease the number of overnight wake-ups.
Cannabis can be used to treat insomnia in a variety of ways, including smoking dried flowers in a joint or using a pipe, consuming edibles or capsules, or vaping THC and CBD oils. When choosing the right cannabis product to treat insomnia, patients should consider the type of cannabis and its THC and CBD levels. Indica strains are usually recommended for their soothing properties, while Sativa strains can have energizing effects that could interfere with sleep.
In a study that examined the use of medical marijuana to relieve insomnia in people with comorbid anxiety and depression, patients were able to reduce their prescription drug usage while experiencing relief from insomnia symptoms. This suggests that the use of medical marijuana for insomnia can be an effective and safe treatment option for several conditions that can interfere with sleep, such as PTSD, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.
In some cases, medical marijuana has been proven to help reduce seizures. If you’re suffering from epileptic seizures, talk to your doctor about trying medicinal cannabis if it is legal in your state.
The pharmacology of cannabis is complex, but research in animal and human models suggests that its chemical compounds work together to reduce seizure activity. Researchers have shown that seizures trigger the rapid synthesis and release of an ingredient in the brain mimicking the marijuana compound THC, which has both ups and downs: It decreases seizure frequency and reduces post-seizure oxygen deprivation in the brain, but also has psychoactive effects.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, Epidiolex, which is made from a purified extract of the cannabis plant, was found to significantly reduce seizures in children with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. It has also been shown to improve the effectiveness of clobazam, a drug prescribed for seizures in people with tuberous sclerosis complex and other rare conditions. Talk to your doctor about your options, and consider participating in a medical marijuana trial for the treatment of seizures or other neurological disorders.
Depression is a serious mental illness that affects 350 million people around the world. Symptoms of the condition include persistent sadness, low energy, and loss of interest in usual activities. It is often accompanied by insomnia and anxiety. Although it is not a cure for the disorder, medicinal marijuana may help treat its symptoms. Medical cannabis may work by interacting with the brain’s endocannabinoid system and increasing levels of serotonin, which helps to improve mood. This is achieved via two main cannabinoids found in cannabis — THC and CBD.
Medicinal cannabis also works by increasing the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that reduces anxiety and depression. One study even showed that a specific terpene in cannabis, called linalool, had antidepressant effects in mice.
However, more research is needed to determine whether medicinal marijuana is a reliable treatment for depression. If you are thinking of using cannabis to manage your symptoms, it is best to consult a psychiatrist or GP for guidance.