Medicinal marijuana is now available in 16 States plus the District of Columbia. There are now well over a million medical marijuana patients with valid cards in the US, and who knows how many individuals are self-medicating.
The different states have significant variances with regards to the debilitating conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. Arizona, for instance, has 13 debilitating conditions, whereas in California physicians can decide if a patient has a condition that would benefit from marijuana. In most states, mental conditions are not allowed for medical marijuana, but however, the benefit is often concomitant with the other allowed conditions. For instance, chronic pain is a qualifying condition, and those patients often suffer from insomnia click here.
The most common mental condition for which medical marijuana assists is insomnia. Marijuana can either be smoked or ingested for this. There is a difference with the onset of action. Smoking’s onset is within minutes, if ingestion is used it may take an hour or so. Medical marijuana is typically preferable to addictive drugs such as Xanax. It is not physically addictive or habit forming.
Migraines also respond well to medical cannabis. If the marijuana is smoked or ingested, one of the benefits is that retrograde inhibition will assist in slowing the brain’s neurotransmitters. This can relieve the pain along with the nausea and sensitivity that accompanies migraines. There can be significant side effects to traditional migraine medications, such as increased blood pressure and sedation. With marijuana, sedation can be a side effect as well, but this can be adjusted.
Cannabis is very helpful for anxiety, which is often experienced by patients dealing with cancer, chronic pain, and other conditions for which marijuana is helpful. Medical marijuana may slow down thought processes, helping break up some of the upsetting thought patterns that anxiety suffers have to deal with.
Marijuana users in general report report fewer episodes of depression than non-smokers. Usage in depression can help break up negative thought cycles that may lead to a debilitating episode. Marijuana does not magically treat depression and will not cure the root problem leading to it. However, it can help considerably with mood while the patient works with a professional to treat the root cause.
Medical marijuana may calm mood swings substantially that are seen with bipolar disorder. Lithium is a traditional medication for bipolar disorder and may cause issues with the thyroid, kidneys, or heart. Cannabis may achieve an equivalent mood stabilizing effect without the emotional deadening of lithium.