Cannabis and Its Effects on Health

Cannabis and Its Effects

Did you know that 21% of American adults experienced some form of mental illness in 2020? The number comes up to a staggering 52.6 million. Moreover, 1 in 20 of those people dealt with severe symptoms of their illnesses. 

With the widespread legalization of cannabis, more and more people are turning to it to help with their mental health. However, you may have also heard some contradictory things, such as how cannabis has a negative effect on mental health. 

So, what is the truth? Should you consume cannabis for mental health issues or is it going to make them worse? To answer, we need to understand how cannabis works, as well as its relation to mental health in detail. In this article, we will look at how it impacts mental and physical health, and what are the goods and bad of it. So without any further ado, let’s get started! 

Related – Cannabis And The Cannabinoids: Understanding The Complex Plant

How Does Cannabis Work?

Cannabis contains more than 500 known compounds. The most common ones are THC and CBD. THC is responsible for causing euphoria, as a result, you feel intoxicated. However, this chemical compound also has many medicinal benefits. So what if we told you that you can reap all these benefits without feeling intoxicated? Wouldn’t that be fantastic? 

This is where CBD comes in. CBD is another chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. It is known for its many benefits, which we will discuss below in more detail. So, why is it so popular? Well, besides offering many benefits it doesn’t impart a psychotic effect. As a result, it is very popular amongst medical patients with mild problems. 

Let’s see how these two compounds affect the body differently.

How THC and CBD React With the Body Differently

THC is known to bind with the CB1 and CB2 receptors present in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for regulating many crucial functions, such as memory, pain and immune responses, sleep, emotions, pleasure, appetite, and the ability to learn.  

As a result, THC is able to change how you perceive these things, leading to euphoria. However, it not only causes euphoria but its binding with the receptors also allows you to feel medical benefits such as pain relief, an increase in appetite, etc. 

CBD, on the other hand, does not bind with these receptors at the same affinity as THC. Moreover, it only binds to CB1 receptors only, and that too, very weakly. This is also why you won’t experience any euphoria after consuming just CBD. 

Consumers can also tolerate CBD with ease, even when consumed in higher quantities. It binds with the serotonin receptor in the brain, and due to this interaction, it works effectively as an antidepressant and neuroprotective chemical.

Also, you should always remember that marijuana will not react the same way as everyone. A few things that influence its results are:

  • The product/ strain you’re using
  • Its quantity
  • Your age
  • Method of administration
  • Your mental and physical health prior to consumption
  • The quality depends on where you sourced it
  • Whether you are consuming it with alcohol and other drugs 

Now that you have a general idea of how the chemical compounds present in cannabis work, let’s look at how they impact consumer health. 

What Are the Effects of Cannabis on the Body?

First off, it is important to remember that the THC content in any strain or product will directly impact what you feel. This is also why people report feeling completely different things. So, depending on the aforementioned things, you may experience pleasant or unpleasant results. Let’s look at them all in brief detail.

Positive Effects of Cannabis

  •  Anti-anxiety –  According to a survey, 58% of users reported using cannabis to treat their anxiety. Another study revealed that many college students use the substance to cope with social anxiety and interact with their peers without feeling nervous. 
  • Pain relief and anti-inflammatory – Many medical users of cannabis deal with chronic pain, joint pain, nerve pain, as well as athletes to relax their muscles. Cannabis reacts with the part of the brain responsible for sensory signals, thus changing the way you perceive pain. It is also great for reducing inflammation quickly, which is also why many sportspeople use it. 
  • Regulates mood swings – Since cannabis reacts with the neurons in the brain’s reward system, increasing the production of dopamine, it can help control mood swings. As a result, it can help control a lot of mental health issues such as depression. The substance also provides instant relief, making it a popular choice amongst mental health patients.  
  • Other benefits – Some more benefits of consuming cannabis include Glaucoma relief. The cannabinoids present in it help relieve intraocular pressure (IOP), similar to the medication prescribed for this condition. However, marijuana should be ingested and not applied to the eyes. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy also consume it to suppress the symptoms of the treatment. 

Negative Effects of Cannabis

  • May impact the lungs – If you smoke cannabis regularly, it will impact your lungs the most. It is better to alternate between methods or look for other ways of administration for long-term use. 
  •  May increase anxiety – Yes, we just said that cannabis helps with anxiety, so why would it make it worse? Well, if you consume too much THC, this is bound to happen. Remember that it is a very strong cannabinoid that needs to be regulated. So unless you have chronic pain, it is best to consume THC in low amounts. 
  • May cause euphoria – Again, this should on;y happen if you consume too much THC. So, it is best to start small and build up a tolerance. Doing so will also help you avoid other problems like delayed responses, paranoia, etc. 

So, what is the verdict? Should you consume cannabis for mental health issues? 

Conclusion

You can absolutely rely on cannabis to help treat mental health issues; however, you should not do so without medical advice and assistance. A healthcare professional will be sure to guide you well in how to avoid experiencing the negatives of cannabis. 

Remember, if you consume medical marijuana responsibly, you can reap numerous mental and physical benefits from it. Moreover, getting a doctor’s recommendation will help you save a lot of money on cannabis bills. 

If you are looking for a “medical marijuana card near me” in Los Angeles, look no further than this! Online MMJ Los Angeles provides quick and affordable medical cards. Get in touch today. 

In light of the COVID pandemic, we advise all our patients to see a doctor online instead of visiting the clinic. Help us flatten the curve by opting for an online 420 evaluation.