Cannabis Could Treat Addiction, Some Mental Health Issues

Indoor marijuana growing operationMarijuana could treat some forms of addiction, according to a systematic literature review published in Clinical Psychology Review.

The study also found cannabis might prove effective in the treatment of some mental health diagnoses, such as posttraumatic stress (PTSD). Previous research supports this finding. In 2014, a study found marijuana might treat symptoms of trauma in rats, suggesting humans who have been through trauma might also respond well to the treatment.

Can Marijuana Treat Mental Health Conditions?

The study involved a review of previous research on medical cannabis and mental health. Researchers also looked at recreational cannabis use. The results suggest cannabis may be an effective treatment for mental health conditions such as PTSD and social anxiety. However, cannabis may not be safe for people with some conditions, including bipolar or a history of psychosis.

The study also points to a role for marijuana in treating alcohol and opioid abuse. According to Zach Walsh, the study’s lead author and a University of British Columbia associate professor of psychology, many people may use marijuana as an exit drug when they are trying to limit their intake of more harmful substances, such as prescription opioids. Both prescription and illicit opioids are contributing to the current opioid abuse and overdose epidemic in the United States. Opioid overdoses have surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death.

Medical Marijuana Legality Varies by State

Some medical advisory committees have expressed interest in using marijuana to treat addiction. This could eventually change state recommendations for the use of marijuana. In New Mexico, for example, an advisory panel recently voted to add opiate addiction to the list of conditions for which medical marijuana treatment may be used.

Twenty-eight states plus the District of Columbia currently allow at least some medical uses of marijuana. Another study published earlier this year suggested prescription drug abuse may be lower in states with medical marijuana laws. Medical marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, which means users can be prosecuted by federal authorities even if their states of residence have legalized the drug.

References:

  1. Haywood, P. (2016, November 4). Advisory panel backs medical cannabis as tool in opioid war. Retrieved from http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/health_and_science/advisory-panel-backs-medical-cannabis-as-tool-in-opioid-war/article_8d908f3f-b334-536a-9804-80857f76c471.html
  2. Marijuana could help treat drug addiction, mental health. (2016, November 16). Retrieved from http://news.ubc.ca/2016/11/16/marijuana-could-help-treat-drug-addiction-mental-health/
  3. Medical marijuana now legal in majority of U.S. states. (2016, November 15). Retrieved from http://www.voanews.com/a/3596353.html

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  • janet f

    janet f

    November 29th, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    Does it seem strange that something that is illegal would be used to treat addiction?

  • Farrah

    Farrah

    November 29th, 2016 at 2:01 PM

    Say what you want to say and believe what you want to believe but there ca truly be some healing properties in all natural things that we might on one hand view negatively but if we take a step back and study them more closely then you can actually see that some have some very worthwhile qualities. I am sure that there are millions of addicts out there who want to kick the habit and they have tried everything but nothing has worked for them. Why not allow them to try something new, something outside of the box? It’s not like they have anything left to lose and in the end it could actually be beneficial to them. I use the rule of thumb that I never like to rule anything out until I have been proven wrong.

  • ronald

    ronald

    November 30th, 2016 at 10:26 AM

    If this is the case then why not make this a federal law and not one that can be decided upon state by state?

  • dell

    dell

    December 5th, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    I am open to pretty much anything but I think that it is going to take a whole lot of convincing to a whole larger segment of the population to convince them that cannabis really can have healing properties. I think that when most people think of it they only think of what it has generally been used for, getting high, instead of the other benefits that it could have for users. I would be much more likely to try this than to add any more chemicals that I had no idea what they really were to my daily regimen.

  • Anne

    Anne

    December 23rd, 2016 at 6:29 AM

    Another awesome post on Cannabis.

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