The treatment of mental health and mental illness is one area of medical research which is particualrly exciting. The rates of mental illness in the Unites States and the globe in general are rising rapidly. From anxiety to depression, maintaining and treating our mental health has never been more important than it is today.
Researchers believe this rise in mental illness rates is caused by modern day living and the pressures that it causes. The treatments, however, are less straightforward. Efforts continue to identify and develop new treatment methods for various mental illnesses, and cannabis is one which is proving not only effective but also versatile too.
The endogenous cannabinoid system consists of two types of Gprotein-coupled receptors: cannabinoid 1 and cannabinoid 2 receptors. CB1 receptors are the most abundant in the brain, in regions like the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, basal ganglia, cerebellum, cortex, thalamus, hypothalamus, and amygdala, and these areas are involved in cognition and in patients with psychosis.
Cannabinoids interact with the brain’s dopamine management systems, increasing the availability of dopamine. Studies have suggested that cannabis specifically the CB1 and CB2 Receptors can improve cognitive ability and impulse control.
Additionally, tetrahydrocannabinol (better known as THC) has evidenced to effect the dopamine receptors. Stimulant medications such as Ritalin and Adderall help correct dopamine levels but have side effects that cause ongoing discomfort and more severe health problems.
The effects on the cognitive receptors and the THC on the dopamine receptors and have many patients, parents, and members of the medical community along with members of the media declaring that Cannabis is a better choice to treat ADHD than the speed currently being used.
Studies such as this one are making significant and meaningful strides in the medical research field, particularly when it comes to the treatment of mental health. Although cannabis is not yet understood well enough to be conclusively recommended as a treatment for mental illness, if research continues on its current trajectory, a cannabis-based treatment for mental illness could become a reality in the not-so-distant future.
Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.