Tag Archives: stress marijuana

Marijuana helps with Stress

Stress Kills You

Here are some alarming stress statistics, 44% adults feel more stressed than they did 5 years ago, 1 in 5 adults experience ‘extreme stress’ causing shaking, heart palpitations, depression. Work stress causes 10% of strokes. Stress is the basic cause of 60% of all human illness and disease. 3 out of 4 doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments. Stress increases your risk of heart disease by 40%, heart attack by 25%, and stroke by 50%. 40% of stressed people overeat or eat unhealthy foods. 44% lose sleep every night. Stress related ailments cost Americans $300 billion every year in medical bills and lost production. So it seems stress is a serious problem. If It feels like stress Is killing you, that’s because it is. When you feel ‘frazzled’, so do your organs and cells.
Marijuana and its derivatives have profound effects on a wide variety of behavioral and neural functions, ranging from feeding and metabolism to pain and cognition.

Stress Kills Brain Cells – The endocannabinoid system

Stress is a killer—at least for brain cells. A new study shows that a single socially stressful situation can reduce the production of endocannabinoids in the brain, reducing production of newly created neurons in the hippocampus, the brain region involved in memory and emotion. Although most of the brain stops growing by adulthood, new nerve cells are continually generated in the hippocampus, where they are essential for learning. Scientists have long known that chronic stress can inhibit this process by which neurons are generated and lead to depression. Stress shrinks the brain. Chronic stress leads to depression. Marijuana’s cannabinoids can replenish this shortfall of endocannabinoids, therefore, no depression.

Cannabinoids, Endocannabinoids and Stress

Endocannabinoids are chemicals in the brain that are quite similar to the chemicals known as cannabinoids in marijuana. Endocannabinoids are involved in appetite, memory, mood, and pain sensations. They’re also involved in the psychoactive effects that weed has on us, as well as brain functions like cognition, behavior, and emotions. Among its various functions, the endocannabinoid system naturally regulates anxiety and stress levels. It does this through the release of chemicals that belong to the same class of chemicals found in marijuana: (endo)cannabinoids. In small doses, weed high in the cannabinoid CBD’s, relieves anxiety. Marijuana can act as a sedative and improves mood by reducing anxiety. The natural endocannabinoid system regulates anxiety and the response to stress by dampening signals in the brain. Marijuana regulates both anxiety and the body’s fight-or-flight response. When a person is exposed to chronic stress, or severe emotional trauma, there can be a reduction in the production of natural endocannabinoids. When this happens, anxiety levels tend to increase. Using marijuana can reduce this anxiety because the effect of its cannabinoids on the cannabinoid receptors in your body makes up for the reduction in the production of natural endocannabinoids.

Weed has a calming and relaxing effect

Most common reason people use cannabis is rooted in its ability to reduce feelings of stress, tension, and anxiety. Significant numbers of people may be self-medicating with weed in an attempt to reduce excessive anxiety. Weed is not dangerous as is alcohol, and it’s a peaceful drug: It has a calming and relaxing effect that must be associated with decreased anxiety.

A new study highlights the drug’s potential anxiety relief effects. Researchers at Vanderbilt University discovered cannabinoid receptors in an emotional hub of the brain in mice, which monitors anxiety as well as the flight-or-fight response. The authors state this is the first time that cannabinoid receptors have been found in the amygdala, the amygdala is an almond shaped mass of cells located deep within the temporal lobe of the brain. It is involved in many of our emotions and motivations, particularly those that are related to survival. The amygdala is involved in the processing of emotions such as fear, anger, and pleasure. It “could be highly important for understanding how cannabis exerts its behavioral effects,” Dr. Sachin Patel, senior author of the study, said in a press release. “We know where the receptors are, we know their function, we know how these neurons make their own cannabinoids,” Patel continues. “Now can we see how that system is affected by stress. It might fundamentally change our understanding of cellular communication in the amygdala, which has shown in research to perform a primary role in the processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions.”

The use of cannabis in the treatment of anxiety disorders such as chronic stress was first described by ancient Indian medical literature, which said that cannabis helped its user to be “delivered from all worries and care” (Da Orta 1563). Regular marijuana users report that marijuana helps to reduce their anxiety levels. Studies show that the endocannabinoid system – the body’s natural cannabinoid system – plays a major role in regulating anxiety as well as the growth of new brain cells (neurogenesis), which is believed to improve anxiety levels.

On the other hand, paranoia and anxiety attacks are some of most commonly reported side-effects of marijuana use, especially in new and infrequent users. Indeed, studies have revealed a complex link between cannabinoids and anxiety, suggesting that marijuana’s effect on anxiety depends on both the dosage taken as well as the type of cannabinoids that are present. Today’s marijuana strains were bred to have very high levels of THC with low levels of CBD and CBG, thus the anxiety and paranoia. The weed we use today is not like the leaf of the sixties. Users who claim they get paranoid when they smoke weed would tell a different story if they smoked a reefer with high levels of CBD’s . Most studies involve pure THC which fail to accurately portray the effects of marijuana on anxiety, since cannabis contains over 60 different cannabinoid compounds. Studies have found CBD to play a major role in regulating anxiety and have even suggested that it may be a more effective treatment than THC for anxiety disorders. The first study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6285406) to document CBD’s effect on anxiety was published in 1982. The study found that CBD could block the anxiety provoked by THC among 8 healthy test subjects, implying that CBD-rich marijuana strains may be a better option for relieving anxiety.

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– The Endocannabinoid System and the Brain
Annual Review of Psychology
Vol. 64: 21-47 (Volume publication date January 2013)
First published online as a Review in Advance on July 12, 2012
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143739

– http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6285406

– http://www.cell.com/neuron/abstract/S0896-6273%2814%2900017-8

– http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306142803.htm

– Cannabinoids Ameliorate Impairments Induced by Chronic Stress to Synaptic Plasticity and Short-Term Memory http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v38/n8/full/npp201351a.html

– Cannabinoid Receptor Activation Prevents the Effects of Chronic Mild Stress on Emotional Learning and LTP in a Rat Model of Depression http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v39/n4/abs/npp2013292a.html