Weed Use And Mental Illness: Does It Help?

As more and more states legalize weed, people wonder if it’s safe to use for mental health. Unfortunately, with so much conflicting information out there, it can be hard to know what to believe.

Does using weed help, or is it just a myth? It’s essential to look at the research. So, let’s take a closer look at the science behind weed use and mental illness. 

Mental Health And Cannabis Use

Mental illness is a term used to describe various disorders that affect mood, thinking, and behavior. It is a significant problem in the United States and around the world. Doctors often treat mental illness with medication and therapy. However, more people are turning to cannabis to treat mental health conditions.

When looking at the history of marijuana, you’ll find that people have used it to treat mental illness for centuries. Many argue that cannabis causes mental illness and the rest say it helps. Let’s try to understand more about the plant before deciding.

What Are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in cannabis. The most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD.

Cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, a group of receptors in the brain responsible for various tasks in the body. For example, the endocannabinoid system plays a role in mood, memory, pain, and appetite.

Cannabinoids can affect the endocannabinoid system in different ways, which may help relieve symptoms of mental illness.

THC is the cannabinoid most responsible for people’s “high” when smoking or eating cannabis. On the other hand, CBD gives you the effect of a “cerebral high,” meaning can help you focus while avoiding hallucinations.

CBD has proven to help with mental illness more than THC. However, that all depends on which condition we look at. 

Does Weed Use Help Mental Illness?

Even though there is limited scientific evidence on using cannabis to treat mental illness, some studies suggest that it may help. So, the best would be to look at a few common mental illnesses and see how cannabis may assist.

Cannabis For Depression

Weed use and mental illness: An image of a person holding a board and a sad emoji to show depression.

Depression affects about 1 in 10 people in the United States. Symptoms of depression include:

  • Sadness.
  • Loss of interest in activities.
  • Sleeping problems.
  • Changes in weight or appetite.

Many people have used cannabis as a solution, and most would agree that it does indeed help with their depression. However, it is all dependent on which strain you are using.

  • Cannatonic: The CBD dominant strain is an excellent fit for depression disorders. It has a woody aroma and flavor, and its top effect is relaxation.
  • Lifter: It is a CBD strain with an uplifting effect. It also helps you focus and makes you energetic. It has a pepper undertone.

Cannabis For Anxiety

An image of a person with a hanging head to display anxiety

Anxiety affects about 1 in 5 people in the United States. Symptoms of anxiety include: 

  • Being worried, nervous, or uneasy most of the time. 
  • Having trouble sleeping.
  • Feeling irritable.

Cannabis proves to help with anxiety disorders. Here are some strains that may help:

  • Granddaddy Purple: It is a THC strain that packs a bit of a relaxation punch. It has a grape undertone and tends to make you a little sleepy.
  • AC/DC: The CBD dominant strain is perfect for those seeking a relaxed but energetic high. It helps you focus while making you calm. In addition, it has a woody taste and can help with particular pains as a bonus. 

Cannabis For Anorexia

Weed use and mental illness: A plate with a measuring band on it to symbolize anorexia.

Anorexia nervosa affects about 0.5% to 3.7% of women in the United States. Symptoms of anorexia nervosa include: 

  • Not eating enough.
  • Being very thin.
  • Having an intense fear of gaining weight.

There are not many studies on the use of cannabis for anorexia nervosa. However, those that have done studies found that people with anorexia nervosa gained weight after using cannabis.

The factor that helps identify strains that are good for Anorexia is whether it gives you ‘munchies’ or not. Munchies is a word used to describe the urge to eat after using cannabis. It is one of the more common effects, but some work better than others. For example, here is one of the best strains for Anorexia:

  • Girl Scout Cookies: It is a THC strain famous for giving you munchies. It has a sweet and earthy flavor and will make you want to eat everything in sight. Be warned, though; you should expect a giggle-fest when using this strain.

Light Up Or Feel Down

So, what do we know about weed use and mental illness? There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that suggests weed may help treat some mental illnesses. However, scientists need to do more research before giving it a definite thumbs up. Nevertheless, we know that cannabinoids are beneficial for the human body and mind and that weed use does not seem to have any adverse long-term effects on mental health.

If you are interested in educating yourself further about cannabis and its potential benefits for mental health, sign up for our certified programs. You can also keep reading our blog for more exciting articles.