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  • Drew Herb Lesser

Can Medical Cannabis help with Mood Regulation?

Updated: Dec 20, 2023


Medical cannabis, also known as medical marijuana, has been used for centuries to help regulate mood and manage a wide range of medical conditions. It has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety, depression, and stress, as well as in improving sleep, appetite, and overall quality of life. One of the primary ways in which medical cannabis regulates mood is through the action of cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. These compounds interact with the endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors and neurotransmitters that is present in all mammals and plays a key role in maintaining balance in the body. The endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the body including the brain, modulating many functions and it is involved in mood and related disorders.

There are two main cannabinoids that are of interest when it comes to mood regulation: THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive compound that is responsible for the "high" associated with marijuana use. It works by activating the CB1 receptors in the brain, which can lead to feelings of relaxation and euphoria. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive and has been shown to have a number of therapeutic effects, including the ability to reduce anxiety and improve mood. In addition to their effects on the endocannabinoid system, both THC and CBD have been shown to have other mood-regulating properties. For example, THC has been shown to increase the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood and anxiety. CBD, on the other hand, has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect and to modulate the activity of other neurotransmitters, such as GABA and serotonin, which can help to improve mood and reduce anxiety. The endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the body including the brain, modulating many functions. It is involved in mood and related disorders, and its activity may be modified by exogenous cannabinoids. CB1 and CB2 receptors primarily serve as the binding sites for endocannabinoids as well as for phytocannabinoids, produced by cannabis inflorescences. However, ‘cannabis’ is not a single compound product but is known for its complicated molecular profile, producing a plethora of phytocannabinoids alongside a vast array of terpenes. Thus, the “entourage effect” is the suggested positive contribution derived from the addition of terpenes to cannabinoids. Here, we review the literature on the effects of cannabinoids and discuss the possibility of enhancing cannabinoid activity on psychiatric symptoms by the addition of terpenes and terpenoids. Possible underlying mechanisms for the anti-depressant and anxiolytic effects are reviewed. These natural products may be an important potential source for new medications for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.

A growing body of evidence unequivocally demonstrates that deficits in endocannabinoid signalling may result in depressive and anxiogenic behavioural responses, while pharmacological augmentation of endocannabinoid signalling can produce both antidepressant and anxiolytic behavioural responses. There are a number of ways in which medical cannabis can be used to regulate mood, including smoking, vaporizing, and consuming edibles. Each method has its own pros and cons, and it is important to consult with a healthcare provider or a trained medical cannabis professional to determine the best course of treatment.

It is worth noting that while medical cannabis can be an effective treatment for mood disorders, it is not without its risks. Like any medication, it can have side effects, and it is important to use it responsibly and in accordance with the recommendations of a healthcare provider. Additionally, it is important to note that medical cannabis is not legal in all states, and it is important to be aware of the laws and regulations in your area. In conclusion, medical cannabis has been shown to be an effective treatment for mood disorders, including anxiety, depression, and stress. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system and modulating the activity of neurotransmitters, it can help to improve mood and overall quality of life. However, it is important to use it responsibly and in accordance with the recommendations of a healthcare provider. References

Hill, M. N., & Gorzalka, B. B. (2009). The endocannabinoid system and the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. CNS & Neurological Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-CNS & Neurological Disorders), 8(6), 451-458. Ferber, S. G., Namdar, D., Hen-Shoval, D., Eger, G., Koltai, H., Shoval, G., ... & Weller, A. (2020). The “entourage effect”: terpenes coupled with cannabinoids for the treatment of mood disorders and anxiety disorders. Current neuropharmacology, 18(2), 87-96.



Disclaimer:


This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and is provided for educational purposes only. It should not be relied on as health or personal advice. The author is NOT a Doctor. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.






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