According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four people worldwide suffer from some kind of mental illness. While talk therapy and antidepressants are the most common treatment methods, there’s a growing body of evidence that medical marijuana could help cure many mental disorders. Below are four major psychological conditions that cannabis might be able to help.
It’s now estimated that about 6 percent of children have some degree of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which is characterized by symptoms like impulsivity and inattention. A few studies now suggest that medical marijuana could help increase the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is essential for proper learning and attention. This natural boost in dopamine levels could significantly reduce ADHD symptoms. There’s also a great deal of anecdotal evidence from ADHD patients that cannabis helps them manage their symptoms.
A new study out of Washington State University found that patients who took a small amount of medical marijuana had a great reduction in depression symptoms. While people who took more marijuana experienced greater stress reduction immediately after smoking, they were also more likely to have increased mental issues weeks later. Due to these long-term side effects, many researchers are interested in “microdosing” marijuana for depression patients. By giving patients only a little bit of weed at specified intervals, patients could experience a reduction in symptoms without harmful side effects.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an increasingly common mental issue in the USA, especially amongst veterans. Roughly 44 million Americans now have this disorder, which usually induces symptoms like nightmares, extreme anxiety, and emotionally intense flashbacks. Interestingly, medical marijuana appears to help many PTSD sufferers overcome their symptoms. In particular, research out of the University of British Columbia shows that cannabis could significantly decrease the episodes of night terrors PTSD patients suffer.
Autism is yet another condition medical cannabis could help. In particular, scientists are interested in the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD), which is a non-psychoactive compound found in both hemp and marijuana. There’s already a great deal of evidence that CBD can reduce the severity and frequency of epileptic seizures. Since many patients with autism also suffer seizures, researchers believe CBD’s calming effect could play a positive role in helping autistic children. There’s also one study out of Chile’s Fundación Daya that suggests medical cannabis could significantly reduce autistic symptoms like language issues and sleep disorders.
Consult a Medical Professional about Medical Cannabis
Before trying cannabis on your own, please double-check the legality of cannabis in your state. You should also schedule an appointment with a doctor who has experience using medical marijuana with his/her patients. Be sure to discuss all of your symptoms with your personal physician and ask whether cannabis could be useful for your condition.