Mental health is a complex issue, and while it can be difficult to find the right solution for you, cannabis may be an option worth considering. Cannabis has been used throughout history as a medicinal plant, but in recent years its use for mental health issues has become more widely accepted.
Here are just a few ways cannabis can help improve your mental health, including how to find the right strain to maximise benefit.
Cannabis has been known to have a profound effect on reducing stress and anxiety. When consumed, cannabis can act as a natural sedative, helping to calm the user down and encourage relaxation.
Studies have also shown that cannabis helps regulate cortisol levels in the body, which helps to reduce feelings of fear and panic. Additionally, cannabis can help increase feelings of peace and contentment, making it a great choice for those looking to unwind after a stressful day.
Improving sleep quality
The sedative effects of cannabis can also be beneficial for improving sleep quality. Cannabis can help reduce insomnia, as well as improve the duration and depth of sleep. This is especially helpful for those who suffer from a lack of restorative sleep or have difficulty falling asleep in the first place.
Cannabis has been found to have positive effects on mood, both short-term and long-term.
Short-term effects include feeling relaxed and uplifted, while long-term use may help stabilise overall mood and reduce the severity of symptoms associated with depression.
Additionally, cannabis can be beneficial for those suffering from bipolar disorder or similar mental health issues, as it can help to regulate mood swings.
Alleviating symptoms of PTSD
Cannabis has been found to be beneficial for those suffering from PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder). Studies have shown that cannabis can help reduce the severity of symptoms such as anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, and depression.
By helping to reduce stress and improve sleep quality, cannabis can be a great tool to help those dealing with PTSD.
Cannabis can also be used to help increase creativity. Studies have found that cannabis can improve divergent thinking, which is the ability to come up with multiple solutions or ideas for a given problem.
This can help individuals in creative fields such as music, writing, and art by allowing them to think more creatively and experiment with new ideas.
Cannabis can also help to improve focus and concentration. For those who struggle with ADHD or other conditions that affect their ability to concentrate, cannabis can be a great option for helping to stay focused and on task.
Additionally, it can help reduce mind wandering and keep the user more engaged in whatever activity they are doing.
Relieving chronic pain
Finally, cannabis can be beneficial for those suffering from chronic pain.
Cannabis has been found to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, making it a great option for relieving pain associated with conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.
Additionally, the calming effects of cannabis can help reduce stress and anxiety associated with chronic pain.
As it’s becoming increasingly obvious, our bodies, minds, and emotions are much more interlinked than once believed. Keep in mind that any additions to your treatment should be discussed with your care provider to make sure there are no negative reactions.
How to choose the right cannabis strain
If someone wants to use cannabis for their mental health needs, they should find a strain that helps reduce the problem they’re targeting.
Luckily, strains that tend to relax can be effective for specific problems like calmness for sleep or soothing anxious thoughts. However, other issues will need to look for specific, targeted strains.
And if you’re looking at it on a macro level – It’s difficult to definitively say whether indica or sativa strains are better for mental health, as both have their own unique effects on the user.
For example, indica strains are typically known for being more sedating and calming, while sativa strains are more stimulating and energising.
Cannabis can be a great option for those looking to improve their mental health.
From reducing stress and anxiety to improving sleep quality, cannabis offers a variety of benefits that can help individuals better manage their mental health.
If you think cannabis could be helpful for you in managing your mental health, it’s crucial that you consult with a healthcare professional before attempting to use it as mentioned above.
Zuella Montemayor did her degree in psychology at the University of Toronto. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.