Medical Marijuana and Mental Health

by | Feb 12, 2018 | Health Featured

For a lot of mental health patients, everyday life can be an uphill battle. Basic tasks, such as getting out of bed in the mornings, cooking food and going to work may be unachievable without dosing up on medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like The great thing about medical marijuana is that it can be used as a substitute, and a safe one at that.

A natural alternative to prescribed medication, such as Opioids, medical cannabis was being used by approximately 19.8 out of every 1000 residents in the State of California, according to Statista. In fact, one of the most common reasons for medical marijuana use these days is to treat mental health conditions, such as arthritis, depression and bipolar disorder.

Obtainable with a Doctor’s recommendation/MMJ card, medical-grade cannabis can be found inside a San Francisco marijuana dispensary.

Using Medical-Grade Cannabis to Improve Mental Clarity

In the past, there was a big stigma attached to the topic of cannabis, with a lot of uneducated individuals believing it to cause mental problems. Things couldn’t be further from the truth, with scientific research unmasking the Cannabis plant and its plant-derived cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) for their medical powers.

Believe it or not, the brain contains neurons, which may become underactive (a major cause of anxiety) if they do not come into contact with suitable neurotransmitters. Cannabinoid receptors occur naturally as part of the body’s endocannabinoid system and so, when somebody uses medical marijuana for their mental health, neurons will react sensitively to the chemical messengers (cannabinoids), which act as neurotransmitters.

Types of Medical Marijuana for Anxiety and Depression

Don’t be fooled into thinking that cannabis must be smoked in order to experience the health-enhancing effects. The following types of medical cannabis can be purchased at a San Francisco marijuana dispensary:

  • Bud – The dry plant matter is commonly referred to as “bud” and it can be acquired from a medical marijuana dispensary. Grind it up and roll a joint or smoke it using a tool, such as a bong or dry herb vaporizer.
  • Oil – Cannabinoids, when isolated from the plant matter by means of extraction, can be consumed in oil form. Usually golden and liquid-like in consistency, oils are pure and potent.
  • Wax/concentrates – A thicker type of cannabis extract is a wax or concentrate. Dab it using a rig, health stone or hot nail.
  • Edibles – CBD-infused edibles are a popular option on the medical cannabis market right now. They are delicious, diverse and the effects are long-lasting.
  • Liquids – Don’t fancy a cannabinoid-rich brownie? Sip some infused soda, tea or juice. The effects will be strong and slow-releasing, like edibles.
  • Topical Solutions – Patients with skin conditions, like psoriasis, may apply salves or balms directly to the affected area.
  • Capsules – Take your marijuana medication on the move and monitor your dosage by swallowing a cannabis capsule.
  • Sprays – Rather than swallowing a liquid, consider spraying a THC/CBD-rich solution onto the tongue. It will absorb into the bloodstream within seconds.
  • Suppositories – Rectal suppositories that contain cannabinoids will also hit the bloodstream quickly and effectively. Suppositories offer a discreet option.

Choosing a Medical Cannabis Strain for Mental Health

Not only is there more than one type of consumption method but also, there is an ever-expanding selection of strains, some of which are cross-cultivated with other well-known strains.

High-CBD strains are generally a better option for mental health patients, simply because they do not alter the mind. A budtender can assist you in finding a strain and he/she will likely advise you to try the following types of cannabis as a way of improving mental clarity:

  • High-CBD Strains – Non-intoxicating, CBD is a cannabis compound that will not cause addiction, but it will function as a safe alternative to pharmaceuticals. Citrus-flavored Cannatonic and pungent AC/DC are two recommended high-CBD strains.
  • High-Myrcene Strains – Remember terpenes? They are the aromatic essential oils secreted from the Cannabis plant. Myrcene is one of the most frequently found terpenes and the effects are fairly upliftine. High-myrcene strains are often used to treat patients with cancer-related pain.
  • Indica Strains – Kandy Kush, Blue Cross and OG Kush are three popular Indica strains that will leave the medical marijuana patient feeling relaxed and full of health.

Meeting the Medical Marijuana Eligibility Criteria

Already own an MMJ card or have a recommendation for medical marijuana from your Doctor? If so, great! If not, you must arrange a meeting with your Doctor, who can give you the go-ahead to apply for a medical cannabis card. A patient will not qualify unless their healthcare physician complies with The Compassionate Use Act of 1996. After a written recommendation is received, you must register with Medical Marijuana Program Unit.

Once you are in possession of an MMJ card, you must present a valid form of California identification as proof of residency. Passports, driving licenses and bank statements will be accepted. If possible, take Doctor documentation or health records to the dispensary.


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