Every year, at least 20 percent of Canadians report struggling with a serious mental health condition, like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder. Thankfully, mental illness is something Canadians talk about these days. With more conversations, it’s also apparent that many Canadians are working with medical marijuana to treat these conditions. Or, if they are not already relying on the plant, they are curious about it.
This curiosity is part of the reason why sales of CBD flower online in Canada have gone through the roof. Cannabidiol (CBD) is of particular benefit for mental illness because it is non-intoxicating and has antipsychotic properties.
What do we know so far about cannabis for the treatment of some of the most common mental illnesses? It turns out, more than you might expect.
Cannabis for Anxiety
Cannabidiol is one of the most prevalent compounds in cannabis, but only recently has it gotten any attention. Unlike its cousin cannabinoid, THC, this one is non-intoxicating. Still, even if you can’t really feel it, CBD has a host of therapeutic benefits, especially for anxiety and stress.
Way back in 2011, a paper on CBD for social anxiety came out of Brazil.
Researchers in Brazil set up a simulated public speech and worked with a group of participants with diagnosed (but untreated) social anxiety disorder. One group received a dose of CBD (300mg) before the speech, and the other a placebo. Shockingly, the dose of CBD had immediate and powerful benefits for the reduction of anxiety and pre-speech stress. Both mentally and physically, the majority of participants who received CBD measured substantially lower levels of anxiety.
The unique ability of CBD to reduce anxiety without the need for pharmaceuticals is one of the reasons why everyone is on the hunt for quality CBD flower online in Canada. But beyond CBD-rich flower, there are a host of options out there like capsules, tinctures, and edibles which provide stress-relieving benefits.
Cannabis for Depression
Medical marijuana for the treatment of depression isn’t as straightforward as the use of cannabis for anxiety, but that hasn’t stopped people from using it. Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions people report using cannabis to treat.
Because depression is often so intimately connected with other health issues (chronic disease, pain, and more), cannabis might help depression as a secondary benefit. Because it reduces pain and improves quality of life, cannabis might subsequently reduce the severity of depression.
Another theory based on early studies using animal models is that endocannabinoids play a key role in the development of depression. Lower rates of endocannabinoids can trigger the onset of this challenging mood disorder. Some researchers theorize that cannabinoids, like CBD, could help balance the endocannabinoid production and return the system to normal.
Cannabis for Bipolar Disorder
Beyond anxiety and depression, and you are curious about CBD flower online in Canada for the treatment of bipolar disorder? Again, this is a pretty new area of cannabis research, but the early work suggests potential.
First, there are no studies yet looking at bipolar disorder in humans and the effectiveness of any cannabis products. Yet, many people with bipolar disorder report significant therapeutic results from medical marijuana use.
Second, because some people experience psychosis during the manic period of this condition, finding CBD flower online from Canadian dispensaries could be immensely beneficial. Why? Because CBD has established antipsychotic properties, useful for reducing the severity of the symptoms of psychosis.
Third, on the other end of the spectrum, cannabis works within the endocannabinoid system to influence mood. Perhaps, as it regulates the production of endocannabinoids, it reduces the severity of bipolar disorder’s depressive state.
There are a few clinical trials now underway exploring cannabis and CBD for the treatment of bipolar disorder, but most research is in the early stages of investigation.
Risk Factors of Cannabis Use for Mental Health
There are a few points to note before lighting up a bowl of Master Kush, if you struggle with mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. While many people rely on cannabis for the treatment of these conditions, there are some risk factors you’ll want to take into consideration.
The first is the increased risk of psychosis. If you have a genetic predisposition towards psychosis or anyone in your family with schizophrenia, cannabis use could trigger a psychotic episode. Although it’s unlikely that cannabis causes schizophrenia, it could highlight underlying susceptibilities. You’ll want to steer clear of potent THC-laden edibles and concentrates and stick with pure CBD options.
A second consideration is the relationship between cannabis and depression. Scientists know there is a connection between cannabis use and depression, but they aren’t sure which way the correlation goes. Does cannabis use increase the risk of depression? Or are people with depression more likely to use cannabis? What we do know is that people who became chronic cannabis users as teenagers are more at risk for depression and mental health issues later in life. We also know that the earlier the use, the higher the risk.
Beyond these two points, medical marijuana has a much better safety profile than many drugs used to treat mental health conditions. It has a much lower rate of addiction, no risk of deadly overdose, and mild side effects. While it’s always best to chat with your health care provider first, mood disorders are the most commonly treated issue with cannabis. If you are worried, look for CBD flower online Canada as CBD specifically is well tolerated.
Cannabis for Mental Health, Final Thoughts
Cannabis isn’t a cure for any mental health condition, including those discussed above: anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. However, because the endocannabinoid system plays a substantial role in mood disorders, cannabis may help with the symptoms.
Finding CBD flower online in Canada for the treatment of these conditions is now easier than ever before. Other products, like CBD edibles, tinctures, and concentrations, also make it easier for people with anxiety or depression to find the treatments they need. Mental health is a daily concern for many of us, and treatment with cannabis is affordable, effective, and readily accessible.