Medical Marijuana for anxiety
Marijuana is has been used medically and recreationally for long periods of time. Currently in some states in the US, the use of marijuana has been legalized This has mostly been for medical reasons.
The science community groups medical marijuana into two strains that show different healing effects for different symptoms. They are:
Cannabis Indica- Which is helps improve sleep and muscle relaxation. It also deals with anxiety and chronic pain
Cannabis Sativa- Helps with fatigue, depression and many other similar conditions
The brain and nervous system contains many receptors for what are known as cannabinoids. These form a part of a network that medics call the endogenous cannabinoid system or ECS. The ECS facilitates and maintains many functions in the body. These functions include eating, sleeping, relaxing, eliminating painful memories, regulating pain and sleep-wake cycles.
Types of Cannabinoid receptors
The Cannabinoid receptors are of different types. They perform various functions and respond differently. Although they are many, there are two major types of Cannabinoid receptors known commonly as CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors are very abundant and are located throughout your nervous system. They help modulate mood, behavior, energy usage, heart functions and sexual functions among others.
CB2 receptors are centred on the immune system and its organs. They are key in managing inflammation and immune responses.
When consumed Cannabinoids attach to the receptors in a process of binding. This then stimulates the ECS to adjust and regulate various functions of the nervous, hormonal and immune systems. CB1 activation, for example, reduces the effects of calcium and enhances the effects of potassium which then helps control the release of various brain chemicals.
The Cannabis plant contains different kinds of chemical substances that have pharmacological and psychological effects, known as Cannabinoids. The two best-known are THC and CBD.
THC is present in varying quantities in a Cannabis plant. It is activated when heated to temperatures greater than 120 degrees centigrade. THC binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors. It is however not limited to the Cannabinoid receptors. It also binds to Serotonin and, NMDA and Dopamine receptors.
CBD also has immune-manipulating properties but does not have any psychoactive effects. It helps with chronic pain, anxiety, seizures and can prevent brain damage. This is what has been proposed as a means of healing anxiety. The ability of CBD to reduce stress on the nervous and hormonal systems without any psychoactive drawbacks is what makes it a great candidate for treatment of anxiety and depression.
Currently new strains of cannabis are being researched and developed to have higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC. This aims to maximize the therapeutic properties while minimizing the psychoactive effects.
Along with its healing effects, medical cannabis is extremely safe, with very few side effects. These few side effects can be managed by selecting agents that have higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC. There are no known true toxic effects of medical cannabis.
In conclusion the risk/benefit ratio is in favor of medical conditions that are medically accepted.
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