Stress and Medical Cannabis

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What is Stress?

Stress is the body’s natural response to change and unknown situations in life that require us to adapt. Since many changes occur throughout our existence it is inevitable that stress will occur. The problem arises when the feeling of stress extends over a long period of time, affecting aspects of life such as relationships or career.

CBD (Cannabidiol) plays an important role in decreasing the anxiety that develops in stressful situations. It has also been proven that the medical properties of cannabinoids reduce stress, improve sleep disturbances and help to combat problems of perception or memory following a stressful event, among other symptoms that may be present.

The effect of cannabinoids is notorious for the decrease in anxiety.

Research on the use of medical cannabis as a stress reduction treatment

The use of cannabinoids for relaxation is known and used by many people in many different ways such as inhalation. Until the first studies were published, it was not allowed to claim that cannabis could reduce stress, despite many people already knowing otherwise.

There are many types of stress that can be treated with medical cannabis. One of these types is cognitive stress, which can affect mental processes such as perception, memory or language. In 2012, researchers [1] were looking into how the effects of cannabis on cognitive processes were affected by stress. Another study [2] showed that regular cannabinoid use improves stress responses as they exert long-term antidepressant effects.

Seeing the success in treating these conditions, the same researchers who conducted this study decided to see if cannabinoids could also be used to treat chronic stress, which is what occurs when stress is constant over time. In a new study [3], researchers examined whether cannabis could prevent long-term effects of chronic stress exposure on cognitive function, including plasticity in synaptic activity and short-term memory. The findings showed that it is necessary to support the development of strategies directed to the endocannabinoid system in search for new approaches to improve current therapies.

Bibliography on Stress and the Use of Medical Cannabis

[1] Macrı̀, S., & Laviola, G. (2004). Single episode of maternal deprivation and adult depressive profile in mice: interaction with cannabinoid exposure during adolescence. Behavioural brain research, 154(1), 231-238. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15302129

[2] Abush H, Akirav I (2012) Short- and Long-Term Cognitive Effects of Chronic Cannabinoids Administration in Late-Adolescence Rats. PLOS ONE 7(2): e31731. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0031731

[3] Abush, H., & Akirav, I. (2013). Cannabinoids ameliorate impairments induced by chronic stress to synaptic plasticity and short-term memory. Neuropsychopharmacology, 38(8), 1521-1534. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23426383

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