There’s a difference between using marijuana as treatment for mental health issues and using it as a crutch
Have you been umm… ‘self-medicating’ your bouts of depression and anxiety during the lockdown with marijuana?
A recent research study published by the University Of New Mexico and Releaf App in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine found cannabis flower may be effective in providing immediate relief for the symptoms of depression – a condition affecting roughly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S., as well as other ailments like anxiety disorders and chronic pain.
But the long term effects are less clear and experts warn that using it as a crutch or escape from your problems will do more harm than good.
Amanda Fialk, partner and chief of clinical services at The Dorm, a young adult treatment community in New York City that provides mental health support among other services, believes medical marijuana can be effective in combatting some forms of anxiety, but also that it should be prescribed and closely monitored.
“For some people, those treatments might be effective. Where it becomes problematic is when people are self-prescribing those medications and it’s almost like self-medication versus being monitored and overseen by a medical professional,” she said. “There is a place for medical marijuana or CBD oils. I’m not a medical prescriber, but anecdotally, have I had clients who have had a positive reaction? Absolutely. On the other hand, have I seen clients self-medicate versus go to a doctor and find these substances on their own and then take them without oversight? Yes, I have. And that can become really problematic.”
Published: March 30, 2021
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News