How & Why Medical Marijuana Can Help With Stress

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  • Updated 439 days ago
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Excess stress can start taking a toll on people, resulting in poor relationships, health problems, and loss of productivity at work.

These days, people are turning to CBD oil, medical marijuana, and other more natural methods to deal with their health issues. Stress is a big one for many people and it it has been shown that cannabis is a useful tool for relieving stress.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA),one-third of Americans are dealing with extreme stress, and 48% of Americans feel their stress has been increasing for the last five years.

Excess stress can start taking a toll on people, resulting in poor relationships, health problems, and loss of productivity at work.

While everyone may have to deal with stress daily, it may cause health problems if poorly managed. Many people may resort to emotional eating or smoking for coping with stress.

But now, many people can identify adverse effects of stress on their health any try exercise and meditation to manage stress.

The How: Understanding Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana comes from the cannabis, a flowering plant with fibrous stalks. The leaves, flowers, and roots are used for medicinal purposes. While this article will focus on medical marijuana, it's essential to understand how it works-- as a whole.

Breaking down the cannabis plant

Cannabis is a plant that gives us marijuana and hemp. They both contain the cannabinoids THC and CBD, two out of over 100 known cannabinoids found in cannabis. The difference is in the amounts. Marijuana has more THC, which is why it gives you a “high” feeling. It also contains CBD, but not as much as hemp. Conversely, hemp contains more CBD and less THC, (less than .3%) which is why it is legally permitted for general use. Most people agree that the best way to benefit from the cannabis plant is to ensure that as many cannabinoids are present as possible due to something called the entourage effect.

The entourage effect

Your body has what's called an endocannabinoid system, which is the largest regulatory system in your body. Endocannabinoids are the natural cannabinoids made by your body to provide balance. The system also has receptors in your brain, nervous system, organs, and skin - pretty much everywhere. It naturally regulates things like sleep and mood and keeps your internal systems running smoothly. The endocannabinoids bind to the receptors when things are going haywire to help balance your body. Cannabis helps provide homeostasis in your body by working through the endocannabinoid system. If you were to isolate THC or CBD alone, and not include the other cannabinoids from the plant, you would still gain benefits, but when combined, they are stronger and more effective as they work in concert to trigger the receptors.

The Why: Medical Marijuana's Effect on Stress

Stress, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), is how the brain and body respond to a demand, whether it's a positive or negative demand. At some point, everyone will deal with negative stress, but it's how you perceive the demand that determines if your body and mind are functioning properly. While stress itself isn't an illness, it can lead to disease, so learning to manage stress can be crucial to your overall health and wellness (and success in life!)

When stress affects you negatively

When stressful situations occur, finding a way to calm yourself is of vital importance. Some people will take unsafe measures like street drugs, overusing prescription medications, drinking alcohol, or engaging in dangerous high-risk behaviors. These are ultimately not only temporary fixes but can exacerbate your existing circumstances with many unwanted side-effects. Medical marijuana, when used properly, is not harmful. It's a safe, non-addictive alternative to finding relief during difficult and challenging times.

Why medical marijuana works

Studies have shown that cannabis can help relieve stress. It can reduce both physical and emotional symptoms. Some of the symptoms of stress that you may find relief for include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Low energy
  • Insomnia
  • Tense muscles
  • Headaches
  • Overwhelming feelings
  • Agitation or frustration
  • Restlessness, inability to relax or quiet your mind

Relief happens when those cannabinoids we talked about earlier give your endocannabinoid system a boost by connecting to the receptors and acting as a mood stabilizer. It increases your serotonin levels the same way SSRI medications (Prozac, Zoloft) do but naturally. This helps relax your body and mind and relieve your stress.

Is Medical Marijuana Right for You?

Knowing if you should use medical marijuana to help combat your stress is ultimately a decision you must make with the help of a doctor or trusted healthcare professional. But knowing how it works and why it can help alleviate your stress is an excellent place to start.

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