Can medical cannabis help treat Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Insomnia or PTSD?


Roughly one in four people in the UK experience some kind of mental health issue every year. Psychiatric conditions are more common than we think and people suffering from them deserve to get the treatment and support they need to live their lives healthily and happily.

When traditional methods of treatment fail to provide results, many people seek alternative methods. PTSD, anxiety, depression, and insomnia have all been shown to benefit from medical cannabis treatments.

One key benefit is that medical cannabis can help to calm nerves and promote relaxation for some patients. For many, medical cannabis has dramatically improved the quality of life for those suffering from insomnia and PTSD in this way. Several positive links between PTSD and insomnia and medical cannabis.

For example, the study ‘Effects of Marijuana on Mental Health: Depression’ from Susan A. Stoner in 2017 showed that both “THC and CBD appear to have antidepressant-like effects in animal models at certain doses”.

While that study focused on depression, studies have shown that cannabinoids can provide relief from a variety of symptoms of psychiatric disorders by working with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays an integral part in processing emotions such as fear, anxiety and stress.

Research has also shown that both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD have proven to significantly reduce symptoms in those suffering from generalised anxiety disorders, social anxiety stress disorders and OCD.

Cannabidiol not only increases feelings of calmness and wellbeing; it also changes the way your brain responds to anxiety. Meanwhile, activation of the cannabis receptors CB1 and CB2 can help promote happiness, pleasure, and memory.

There are a wide variety of different psychiatric conditions, each with their own symptoms, forms of treatment, and unique challenges. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Agoraphobia
  • Anxiety
  • Appetite Disorders
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Stress Disorders
  • Tourette’s Syndrome

While many of these conditions have their own unique symptoms, there are also some shared ones that you can look out for. Depending on the condition, you may suffer from:

  • Stress
  • Consistent low mood
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Changes in sleep, appetite, and energy levels
  • Traumatic flashbacks
  • Poor concentration
  • Finding it hard to make decisions
  • Feeling less interested in day-to-day activities
  • Feeling overwhelmed by things
  • Tearfulness
  • Talking less and avoiding social activities
  • Finding it difficult to control your emotions
  • Substance or alcohol misuse
  • Irritability and short temper
  • Aggression

Symptoms can vary in severity and regularity from person to person. An individual may experience periods where symptoms are less intense, before relapsing back into heavier periods.

Certain situations or emotions may also trigger symptoms, such as reminders of past trauma, difficult emotions, stress, or relationship breakdowns.

Psychiatric conditions will often be treated by teams of individuals, depending on the exact condition. This can range from prescription medications, such as SSRIs, to talking therapy and behavioural changes, such as exercising more and eating healthily. The exact treatment will be affected by the severity and form of psychiatric condition that needs to be treated.

There is no specific cure for many psychiatric conditions. Some patients improve gradually over time, while for others symptoms may be lifelong. However, treatment generally seeks to help patients manage their symptoms and live full lives despite their mental health conditions.

How we can help

When traditional treatment methods fail to provide adequate relief, medical cannabis has been proven to improve quality of life for people living with neurological conditions. 

For example, this study from 2017, ‘Neurological Aspects of Medical Use of Cannabidiol’, tested the effects of medical cannabis on a variety of neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Huntington’s disease. The researchers, Carmen Mannucci, Michele Navarra, Fabrizio Calapai, Elvira V Spagnolo, Francesco P Busardò, Roberto D Cas, Francesca M Ippolito, and Gioacchino Calapai, found that medical cannabis produced “beneficial effects” in a range of the neurological conditions in question.

Medical cannabis works directly with the central and peripheral nervous systems by interacting directly with the body’s endocannabinoid system to regulate pain and provide relief from a number of symptoms. Severe epilepsy – especially in children –  is just one example. Certain childhood syndromes such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications, can also be treated with medicinal cannabis.

Further conditions treatable with medicinal cannabis include neuropathic pain, seizures, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and migraines.

The Medical Cannabis Clinics’ team is dedicated to raising awareness about how medical cannabis can help to treat neurological conditions. Our experts are ready to cooperate with you and your individual needs to find a treatment plan that works for you. Your prescription can be tailored to suit your individual circumstances and needs, with ongoing support and adjustments made as necessary.

At The Medical Cannabis Clinics, we offer personalised treatment plans and private care for patients through online video link consultations with our expert specialist doctors, who will guide you through the treatment options available from the clinic.

Appointments start from just £49. Book a private consultation today and one of our expert specialist doctors will be able to offer you targeted advice and treatment plans, unique to your needs and symptoms.

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