Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, marijuana hasn’t enjoyed a positive reputation. At best, it was a waste of time only burnouts indulged in. At worst, it was a scourge tearing our society apart.
But over the last decade or two, that perception has shifted. As of 2022, marijuana is ostensibly legal in 18 states. And a major impetus for that change has been marijuana’s purported benefits.
In particular, using marijuana for mental health purposes has become popular. But is there anything to it? And how can you make use of it yourself? To give a sufficient answer, let’s address those two points individually.
Why Are People Turning to Marijuana for Mental Health?
Researchers have been exploring the potential benefits of medical marijuana. You’ve probably heard of some of its touted benefits, like treating chronic pain or improving the quality of life of cancer patients.
But using marijuana to self-treat mental issues like depression and anxiety is increasingly common among the general public.
The reasons why may vary from person to person. Some prefer a natural alternative to prescribed psychiatric medications. And for the uninsured, it may be more affordable. And others opt for marijuana after having negative experiences with psychiatric drugs.
But does it work? The short answer is that it depends on the patient, but there’s some evidence to explain how marijuana may help.
Marijuana interacts with the limbic system, a group of interconnected structures located deep within the brain. It’s the region of the brain responsible for governing emotional and behavioral responses.
Because of how marijuana interacts with the limbic system, doctors will sometimes prescribe it to help in treating anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental conditions. That knowledge helps to explain why some people use it even without a prescription to self-medicate.
Finding Legal Medical Marijuana
If you decide to use marijuana to try and aid your mental health, it’s important to try to only use marijuana from reputable sources.
One reason is purity and safety. While it is uncommon, it’s not unheard of for illegal marijuana to be laced with fentanyl or other drugs. It’s thought that the most common reason for this is to make a sub-par product seem more potent — and therefore more valuable — than it is.
And on that note, pursuing legal marijuana allows you to purchase the exact potency level you need. For example, if you’ve never used marijuana before, you would be wise to start with a less-potent variety.
A good, legal dispensary can also help the unfamiliar navigate the sheer variety of products on the modern market. For an example of a good dispensary with multiple locations, check out Harvest House of Cannabis.
Tending to Your Mental Wellness
Many people use marijuana for mental health purposes with success. But it’s important to remember that marijuana is still a drug that may not affect two people the same way. And like any drug, you should be sure to discuss its use with your doctor to make sure it doesn’t interact with any other medications you may be taking.
As time goes by, we can only learn more about the ways marijuana can affect our mental wellbeing. So to make sure you’re up-to-date with all the pertinent information, be sure to keep up with our latest health and wellness news.