Sunday, September 25, 2022

Does Smoking Weed Increase Hospitalizations For Mental Health Issues?

New studies reveal that a very low percentage of people are prone to mental health issues in regards to marijuana usage, as long as it is in moderation.

Mental health is one of the more complicated issues to talk about. Similar to taking care of the body, the mind, is something we must take care of or else we suffer unwanted consequences. Nevertheless, mental health is a slippery subject to grasp simply because of the vastness of the ocean of ideas and emotions that people do not even understand where to begin.

Just like most humans have some sort of minor ailment in their bodies, most humans also have mental health issues. No matter how sane you think you are, there is always “something” wrong. They range from common problems, such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Some of them are inherited genetically while others are picked up from our surroundings as we go through life. It could be childhood abuse, trauma, head injuries, adult PTSD, and many more. The list is endless, yet the cures for these illnesses are extremely controversial.

Some people claim that smoking weed increases the risk of being hospitalized in a mental institution, while others are sitting safely in their homes smoking weed in order to avoid being hospitalized and letting cannabis alleviate their stress and anxiety.

In today’s article we’ll be taking a closer look at a new study that debunks the idea that smoking cannabis increases the likeliness of being admitted to a hospital for mental health issues.

We’ve recently learned that depression is not a chemical imbalance as was suggested by Big Pharma.

It goes without saying that struggling with depression sucks; everyone who has experienced it or is still experiencing it right now knows what I’m talking about.  It takes the award for the least exciting mental health issue.

For a long time, scientists told us that depression is an unfortunate chemical imbalance in the brain that needs medication, and a lot of people said, “oh well, that’s a bummer, guess I have a few extra pills to add to my bills.” Based on the profit margins of Big Pharma, everyone fell for this scam “hook, line and sinker…”  For the non-fishing readers out there, it means we’re the dumbest fish in the ocean.

depression anxiety
Photo by Maskot/Getty Images

Now I am not saying that being on antidepressants is bad, all I am saying is that a lot of people stopped using them because it made them feel dull, dizzy, and irritable just after a few months of use. Therefore they did not actually bring back any balance, they just helped out for a short period of time. Which is exactly their purpose.

A 2014 paper by psychiatrist Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, a longtime critic of the legitimacy of antidepressants, has turned the tables. The study provides a summary of other summaries that strongly suggest there is no evidence to support the idea that depression is caused by disturbance of the brain’s serotonin system.

RELATED: High THC Weed: A New Form Of Reefer Madness Or Worth The Panic?

So how does that relate to smoking weed? Well, a lot of marijuana users are claiming that smoking weed has helped greatly with their depression and anxiety when it is used in moderation. Other people do not agree and say the opposite. However, this also means that cannabis can play an important role in depression, especially since we’re now learning that depression “more complicated” than just an imbalance in the brain.

The studies against cannabis frequently cite “mental health risks” when it is a minimal part of the population that is affected. 

A lot of people smoke weed, and as a matter of fact, marijuana use is continually increasing especially with the efforts of legalization and the astronomical benefits that a lot of people do not shut up about.

Smoking weed went from frowned upon, to socially acceptable in the last few years, and that did not happen by coincidence.

Although many scientists claimed that marijuana use is detrimental to mental health, there are many pieces of evidence suggesting that people who use marijuana and carry a specific variant of the AKT1 gene, which codes for an enzyme that affects dopamine signaling in the striatum, are at increased risk of developing psychosis.

The striatum is an area of the brain that becomes activated and flooded with dopamine when certain stimuli are present. One study found that the risk of psychosis among those with this variant was seven times higher for those who used marijuana daily compared with those who used it infrequently or used none at all.

RELATED: Should Cannabis Products Come With Mental Health Warnings?

Yes, marijuana can mess up some people, but so can a lot of other things, from food allergies to sun exposure, and everything that is out there in the world is probably extremely harmful to a minority of people.

So in the case of smoking weed, If you have the rare AKT1 gene, you are more likely to have mental issues from marijuana use than other weed lovers. That does not mean that weed is bad for everyone, it just comes with a higher risk to a minority of people on this earth, the only thing that is not debatable by scientists is clean fresh water, everything else has polar opposites.. Furthermore, these studies need to be replicated to become fact and as you notice by most of these studies they never use the words “cause” and usually warrant “more research”.

Photo by Nik Shuliahin via Unsplash

This study supports the notion that the vast majority of users are fine.

Some Canadian researchers assessed marijuana-related hospitalizations among over 23,000 authorized medical cannabis patients. Their study was published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse in 2020.

During their research with the patients that lasted 240 days, there were reports of 14 patients that were hospitalized for cannabis toxicity issues, and 26 were admitted for mental and behavioral issues.

“The results suggest that the incidence of cannabis poisoning or cannabis-related mental or behavioral disorders was low among patients who were authorized to use cannabis for medical care,” the authors concluded. “Our observation of small rates of ED visits and hospitalization for cannabis poisoning and CUDs cannabis use disorders among this large cohort of medical cannabis users helps address concerns regarding the increasing use of medical cannabis.”

To put it in simple words, scientists used to claim that most people who dabbled with weed would eventually trigger something in their heads that would require professional assistance. However, new studies reveal that a very low percentage of people are prone to such issues regarding marijuana usage, as long as it is in moderation.

Furthermore, if you look into this further, you’ll probably discover that the vast majority of the people who did suffer hospitalization were most likely already diagnosed with something or had other variables at play.

Mental health is going to undergo a major revolution (the introduction of psychedelics) and as a result, the way we look at mental health will change

Over the past several years, we have witnessed a psychedelic renaissance, and a growing body of evidence suggests that several psychedelic compounds hold strong therapeutic potential for a wide array of mental health conditions.

Once dismissed as dangerous and having little therapeutic potential, psychedelic drugs are gaining mainstream acceptance. Research data continue to demonstrate that, on the whole, these medicines are not only safe but mostly well tolerated.

smoking marijuana
Photo by LightFieldStudios/Getty Images

There are endless stories about how people took acid, mushrooms, or did an Ayahuasca ceremony and it completely changed their lives. Some even claim that they don’t need their medication anymore, while others claim to be completely free of depression and suicidal thoughts afterward.

It is important to note that psychedelics work differently on each person’s brain, so we will never truly know what it does with 100% certainty, but all the evidence so far suggests that when used properly and with good intent, it gives breakthroughs and opens up people to who they truly are and helps them let go of what no longer serves them both physically and mentally.

Former heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson says his experience with 5-MeO-DMT, aka toad venom (one of the many psychedelics out there), has reshaped the way his brain thinks for the better. “The toad is a totally interesting aspect of my whole being now,” he said on his “Hotboxin’ with Tyson” podcast. “It takes you to a place that takes you to another dimension.  Ever since I did it, I’ve had a miraculous change about me.”

When you consume cannabis mindfully and use it for what it is, it can provide significant relief and act as a bridge to wellness.

Smoking marijuana in moderation can completely change your life for the better, but do not take moderation lightly; any substance that you abuse in this physical realm will eventually backfire. That is just a law of nature that we have to accept. While you would most likely not experience extreme adverse events, some people may use cannabis as a crutch to avoid dealing with painful issues in their lives. This is true for going to the gym, eating, anything really.

Smoking weed mindfully helps reduce anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, nausea, and a bunch of other ailments, the list is long and to each person it will manifest differently. I have long believed that cannabis is a “What do you need” type of drug and bends to the needs of the user.

RELATED: Cannabis For Mental Health In The Workplace — How Canada Is Showing Us The Way

It is also pleasurable and creates a genuine sense of well-being since it helps you relax your muscles, and enhances some senses that make life more enjoyable even in the simplest of things.

Whether you need something to help you manage your physical pain, anxiety, depression, or sleep, marijuana will not fail you.

Many people consider weed a sacred plant that was bestowed to us as a gift, it is a light psychedelic that can help you reach deep down into your soul and clear the fog of your perceived self. For many people, marijuana is a spiritual enhancer or bridge, it is not an ordinary plant.  Be mindful of how you use this wonderful plant, see it as a gift, and take it in moderation and you will reap the benefits mentioned above.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.

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