Medical researchers typically focus on two chemicals in marijuana: THC and CBD. The FDA in the United States has approved drugs containing synthetic THC, such as dronabinol (Marinol and Syndros) and nabilone (Cesamet).

It’s important to know that cannabis can interact with certain medicines, including blood thinners, anti-seizure medications, sedatives, and some heart medications. It also can affect the pressure inside your eyes, so it should be used cautiously for glaucoma.

Stress Reduction

Many people use cannabis as a way to relax and reduce their stress levels. That is particularly true for those with anxiety disorders, which are the top qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Anxiety is a normal response to life’s pressures, and in many cases, it can even motivate us to get things done. However, when our levels of stress become elevated or persistent, they can take a negative toll on our physical and mental health.

While people often report that cannabis helps to alleviate their stress, the science behind this claim has been limited. Researchers have found that low doses of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, do help to reduce stress, but at higher doses, THC increases it.

One interesting study found that THC can lower cortisol levels, a chemical associated with stress. It is crucial since elevated cortisol levels can raise the risk of depression and heart disease.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is another option to think about if you want to lower your level of stress. The non-psychoactive part of cannabis, known as CBD, comes in the form of oil, capsules, gummies, and skin-care creams that can be applied topically or taken internally. With no adverse effects linked to THC, CBD can offer you a safe, secure, and all-natural means of lowering your stress levels.

Pain Relief

Cannabis is used for pain relief in many patients with chronic illnesses. This is mainly due to its ability to decrease the frequency and severity of symptoms. The psychoactive component of marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), acts to modulate the endocannabinoid system by decreasing nociception and inflammation. This reduces the need for pharmacologic analgesics, which may harm some patients.

In a 2019 survey of patients, 79% of those surveyed reported that medical cannabis eased their back pain. It is also said to help with other painful conditions such as arthritis, interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia, and endometriosis. It is also used to relieve nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and other treatments. It can do so without the side effects of other pharmacologic drugs, including drowsiness.

It is important to remember that medical marijuana does not cure the underlying disease. However, it is very effective for the pain that results from it. Especially in cases where other medications are either too sedating or have severe side effects, such as the anti-seizure drug Neurontin and opioids. It allows the patient to resume daily activities, enjoy life, and sleep better. Many patients report feeling like they were “reborn” or that their quality of life was restored with the use of medical cannabis in Portland. It is a fantastic accomplishment, as traditional medicine has often aggravated the pain and suffering of these patients.

Anxiety Relief

Feeling stressed or anxious is a normal part of life, but too much can take its toll on the body. Anxiety symptoms can include excessive worry, restlessness, irritability, and sleep disturbances.

Medicinal cannabis may help relieve these symptoms through several different mechanisms. It can have a direct calming effect on some patients and improve their ability to sleep, while for others, it is a mood enhancer that elevates their general well-being. It may also act as a substitute for other medication used to treat anxiety disorders, such as SSRIs, which can have serious side effects, such as weight gain and sexual dysfunction.

The way medical marijuana functions in the brain and nervous system is through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system regulates several physiological processes, including mood, appetite, pain, and sleep. Preclinical research suggests that cannabis can stimulate the ECS to produce its endocannabinoids and may have an antianxiety effect.

If you are looking to use medicinal cannabis for anxiety, it is recommended that you start with a product with low levels of THC and a high ratio of CBD. This way, you can avoid a high psychoactive effect that may increase your anxiety. When purchasing medical cannabis, look for a dispensary with trained staff that can offer guidance based on your specific symptoms and provide a product that suits you.

Sleep Improvement

Cannabis is known for its calming effects and has been shown to help people fall asleep, as well as alleviate the pain and anxiety that keep them awake. These properties are due to how they interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which affects various bodily functions, including emotions and sleep.

CBD, a chemical component of cannabis, binds to receptors in the brain and sends messages that increase levels of sleep-promoting adenosine while suppressing the brain’s arousal system. That makes cannabis a natural sleep aid that promotes restful and deep sleep. Additionally, it has been found to decrease nightmares for people with PTSD, which can be particularly disturbing and disrupt sleeping patterns.

A recent retrospective chart review of patients who were prescribed cannabis for insomnia showed that 71% reported subjective improvement in their sleep and related symptoms. In addition, these patients were able to discontinue or reduce their prescription medications for sleep or associated comorbidities, such as depression and anxiety.

By Sambit