When it comes to the “hottest” topics out there, marijuana always seems to win the podium. No matter what decade you are in and no matter where you live, it seems that everyone has an opinion on whether marijuana (medical or recreational) should or should not be used.
States are passing laws and citizens have the right to agree or disagree with it. But in the end, few of the people (even among those who have a strong opinion on the topic) know exactly what marijuana treats, how it works and why it may be beneficial for certain patients.
Marijuana: How Old Is It?
When thinking of marijuana, most of you would probably think of the 60s and of the hippy revolution. Still, cannabis (under its more “medicinal” name) is not new to our lives and not new to the world in any way.
Of course, the 60s pushed it into the attention of the public again, but before that, it had been used for medicinal purposes too.
Even more, many people have the misconception that the oldest record we have of marijuana comes from Native Americans.
Yes, they may have used the plant for spiritual purposes, but other than that, you should know the fact that the very first mentioning of the “magical” plant dates as far back as 2737 BC and it is not related to Native Americans, but to the Chinese Empire.
Westerners were very much familiar with cannabis too. They used its seeds to feed animals, its oils to provide as a base for paint and its leaves as a good source of fiber for clothing and paper as well. As for using it for “recreational” or medicinal purposes, they were not completely unknown to it either.
Why Is Marijuana Believed to Treat Certain Symptoms?
It is slightly incorrect to say that marijuana treats diseases. There is no disease that can be treated by marijuana only- or at least not in the proper sense of the word.
Instead, marijuana does treat certain types of symptoms associated with several types of diseases. Still, why is it believed to be efficient for this purpose?
The beneficial effects of marijuana are still debated a lot and the research that has been made until now has been inconclusive.
Some people- even medical specialists believe it works – however, some believe it doesn’t. Those who believe it does work go for the idea that cannabis has the power to make our bodies produce more of the chemicals that help us treat ourselves naturally (natural analgesics, for example).
Those who don’t believe marijuana is beneficial go for the idea that the research made until now is not fully qualitative and that the patients who experienced an improvement of their state after using marijuana were just under the so-called “placebo” effect.
And then, there are those people in the middle of everything who believe that marijuana is worthy of attention, but that the benefits may be outweighed by the risks that come with using such a plant.
Among the side effects they point out, euphoria, dizziness, drowsiness, short-term memory loss and addiction are the most poignant ones.
Even more, marijuana cannot be used by just about anyone and people with heart diseases, pregnant women and people who have a history of psychosis should avoid it at all costs.
Anxiety: The Disease of the Century
Along with depression, anxiety has been named as the disease of the century in many occasions. Although it is not exactly a disease, but a group of mental disorders, anxiety is something as serious and as poignant as it gets.
The mental disorders falling into the category of “anxiety” include the generalized anxiety disorder (what we most often refer to when we say someone suffers from “anxiety”), panic disorder and phobic disorder.
Although the generalized anxiety disorder has been known for quite a while, there is no clear answer on what it is that causes it (the same way as there is no answer for other mental disorders either, such as chronic depression, for example).
However, scientists have been able to identify a series of potential causes and/or risk factors that can contribute to the development of this disorder:
- Certain types of addictions. Being addicted to caffeine, benzodiazepines and/or alcohol is very frequently associated with anxiety and panic.
- It is believed that living a stressful life can lead to the development of the generalized anxiety disorder- and can affect many other areas of one’s body as well.
- Although not very clearly explained, it has been noticed that anxiety can run in families and that children who come of parents who also suffer from anxiety show 6 times more risk of developing the same disorder too.
Medical Marijuana: Can It Help With Anxiety?
Like everything related to marijuana and other such “hot topics”, whether or not it can help treating people with anxiety depends on who you talk to.
Opinions are, again, split. However, those who say it works very well are very powerful on their positions and they have managed to come up with a theory on how this may function for the human body.
Apparently, marijuana works with the natural endocannabinoid system of the human body, which is the system that regulates certain emotions- including anxiety, sadness and fear.
By stimulating the endocannabinoid system to produce more beneficial chemicals for the patient, marijuana can be very efficient in reliving him/her from the symptoms of anxiety.
Again, keep in mind that it is not OK to self-medicate yourself with marijuana and that the plant is legally available in certain states only under medical prescriptions, so you will have to visit a specialist to prescribe you with this plant and to give you a card that will put you on the list of those who are legally allowed to buy it from authorized dispensaries.
Also, do remember the side effects and the potential flaws of this type of treatment too, because it will be extremely important!