It’s normal to feel down, scared, confused, angry, or anxious from time to time. But, if these feelings don’t go away, they can become very disruptive to your daily life. While this may sound far-fetched to some, to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and other depressive disorders, it is like being held in a prison of your own thoughts.
Treating Anxiety, PTSD, and Depressive Disorders
Those seeking solace from the negative feelings associated with the aforementioned ailments are usually prescribed antipsychotics and antidepressants. And, while these medications do work for some, it can make things worse for others. For instance, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (which increase serotonin levels in the brain) can also produce suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Other side effects associated with these types of medications include:
- Sexual problems
- Excessive sweating
- Appetite loss
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Loss of bladder control
Cannabis and Depressive Disorders
For those who don’t want to use prescription meds, there are many who tout the benefits of cannabis. Take Cody, for example.
When Cody got out of the military, he wasn’t in the best shape. He had two herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, PTSD with major depressive disorder, anxiety, and depression with suicidal ideations and tendencies.
When things became too much for him to handle, Cody began researching alternative options to help him deal with his symptoms. Time after time, he came upon articles about cannabis but, initially, he rejected the idea that it could help.
Out of desperation, he finally decided to give it a try. Almost immediately, the cannabis began alleviating his problems. Within 6 weeks, he’d significantly decreased his use of cigarettes. Within 6 months, he’d lost 30 pounds, started sleeping and eating better, and stopped taking all his medications.
How Does Cannabis Help Those Suffering From Mental Health Disorders?
The feelings of fear, worry, hopelessness, and anxiety associated with the above disorders cannot be fully eliminated. But, for some, cannabis provides a respite sans all the debilitating effects of prescriptions. Still, it’s important to note that, the results are dependent on the type of cannabis you are using.
For instance, cannabis contains two major cannabinoids, THC and CBD. THC is the more popular of the two because it’s associated with feelings of euphoria. But, because it activates the amygdala (the part of the brain responsible for fear), it’s also linked to feelings of anxiety and paranoia.
CBD, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive () compound that can counteract these feelings. In fact, there are studies that show that taking it on its own can reduce or even eliminate anxiety. Read more about the differences here.
Using Cannabis to Treat PTSD, Anxiety, and Depressive Disorders
Did you know that cannabis has been used for centuries to treat depression and other medical conditions in Eastern countries like India? And, new research is finally catching up. In fact, there are some studies that show that cannabis may hold significant benefits for people suffering a variety of mental and physical health conditions.
How does this work? It’s quite simple really. Cannabis has the ability to improve the mood while simultaneously addressing the primary symptoms associated with depressive disorders. For instance, cannabis can help slow down negative cyclical thought patterns that cause so much grief and pain. And, if you take a canna-brownie or cookie about an hour before bed, a good night’s sleep is ensured.
The Bottom Line
As of right now, the information available on the benefits of cannabis for depressive disorders is mostly anecdotal. But, forward momentum is building as more people are learning about the healing properties of this healthful herb. Think about it, wouldn’t it be cool if a joint a day could keep the psychiatrist away?