Cannabis plant extract commonly referred to as marijuana is well known for its recreational use and its potential health impacts. The medical applications of marijuana are currently under study and may help in the treatment of mental disorders.
Cannabis is a highly controversial plant which is well known for its therapeutic and addictive properties. The isolated substance from the cannabis plant parts is named Marijuana. On the one hand it is well known as a substance of drug abuse which has ruined the lives of many individuals,on the other hand research suggests that it has highly beneficial therapeutic roles, which may be helpful in the treatment of mental disorders.
Many misconceptions and social stigmas are associated with use of cannabis or medical marijuana. Due to its dual role, severity and impact, it becomes necessary that we are well aware of the pros and cons associated with recreational and medicinal uses of marijuana.
Important Cannabis Plant metabolites:
Researchers show that the plant parts of the Cannabis contain around 400 bioactive chemicals and secondary metabolites. Out of these, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and Cannabidiol are most researched and talked about. These compounds are both famous and infamous for their physiological and societal implications.
THC is usually associated with the addictive response of marijuana while Cannabidiol is associated with therapeutic responses.
Medical Marijuana in treating mental disorders
Recent research studies have shown that cannabis or medical marijuana can prove instrumental in the treatment of mental disorders such as depression, loss of appetite, psychotic disorders and even Alzheimer’s disease. The Cannabidiol is specifically known for its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective roles. It is also used medically for pain relief in accidental or surgical cases.
Pharmaceutical products from Cannabis
The exact physiological responses of administration of cannabis or medical marijuana are debatable. It is suggested that it may lead to addiction or anxiety disorders in the patient. The currently available pharmaceutical products from Cannabis are manufactured and distributed under stringent laws and regulations.
The United States Food and Drug administration Agency has approved two medications containing synthetic THC, namely Dronabinol (Marinol) and Nabilone (Cesamet). Current investigations on Cannabis focus on the therapeutic roles of Cannabidiol. It is referred to as “liquid cannabis” and is usually administered as sprays, which is sprayed on the tongue of the patient. The pharmaceutical drug based of cannabidiol is under investigation and may be marketed in the recent future.
As of now, many speculations are present related to Cannabis or medical marijuana that either support or protest its therapeutic administration. Further research on the long term impacts of administration of medical marijuana, dosage formulation and combating the side effects is needed. However, it should be remembered that marijuana should never be taken without medical consultation as it may lead to addiction and sometimes fatality due to overdosing.
Walsh, Z., Gonzalez, R., Crosby, K., Thiessen, M., Carroll, C., & Bonn-Miller, M. O. (2016). Medical cannabis and mental health: A guided systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review.
Harvard Mental Health Letter,Medical marijuana and the mind, http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/medical-marijuana-and-the-mind