The twenty- first century has witnessed a change in attitudes towards the perception of mental illness. As a subject, which was earlier dismissed and highly stigmatized, mental health now has an open dialogue for discussion due to a shift in the mindsets wherein people are sensitized towards it. The de-stigmatization of mental health and the subsequent realization of its importance, has led to a number of researches seeking alternative and efficient forms of treatment for mental illnesses. A number of studies have explored medicinal cannabis as a potential form of treatment for a number of mental health conditions. But is it an efficient treatment for the same? Stay tuned to understand the effects of cannabis on mental health.
Understanding mental health conditions
While there exist a number of mental health conditions, the ones which medical marijuana is most commonly consumed for are depression, anxiety disorders, and PTSD. Depression and PTSD share some common symptoms; however, they are essentially separate from one another. Despite anxiety disorder being a mental health issue of its own, it can often accompany depression or PTSD in patients struggling from either. Some commonly known symptoms of depression include; feeling numb or sad, loss of appetite, sleeping too much, disinterest in everyday activities, etc. PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) is a direct result of a traumatic event and causes behavioral changes, avoidance, anxiety due to continuous flashbacks of the events occurred, etc.
Depression, anxiety, and PTSD can often be interrelated. According to a study featuring in Jama Psychiatry, shared neural features can be identified among the aforementioned conditions. It was found that among the patients suffering from depression, PTSD, and anxiety disorders there were common hypoactive regions in the brain: the inferior prefrontal cortex, the inferior parietal lobule, and the putamen. These areas of the brain play an important role in blocking cognitive processes and switching to alternate ones. Since they are hypoactive (less active) in those suffering from the aforementioned conditions, such individuals seem to be stuck in the negative states rather than being able to reject them and switch to happier states.
Effects of cannabis on mental health
The endocannabinoid system of the body comprises endocannabinoids and their receptors. This system helps regulate important aspects of our health, including our nervous and immune systems. Endocannabinoids activate the CB1and CB2 brain receptors. The CB1s are found in the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus, amygdala, etc. Drawing parallels from the argument above, we find that the hypoactive regions common to patients of depression, anxiety, and PTSD are the very regions where the CB1 receptors are found. The CB1 receptors get blocked in the brain as a result of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Due to low levels of endocannabinoids, those suffering from the aforementioned conditions are unable to get out of negative mood states.
Cannabis can prove to be helpful in dealing with depression, anxiety and PTSD because the cannabinoids found in it resemble the endocannabinoids. THC is found to enhance sleep, reduce nightmares, and mitigate other PTSD symptoms among the patients, however, there are mixed reviews on the topic. Additionally, cannabis reduces the propensity for inflammation and could be very helpful in psychological conditions which involve inflammation within the brain due to decreased endocannabinoids. Cannabis could also help block the traumatic memories associated with PTSD.
Medicinal Benefits of CBD
Some studies have shown CBD to be useful in the treatment of the aforementioned conditions. When tested on animal models, it was found that CBD can act as an antidepressant and reduce anxiety. This is because CBD does not contain the psychoactive compounds present in THC, and can therefore, have a calming effect on the patients.
A study of Washington State University concluded that different strains that had different THC to CBD ratios had different effects on patients. For instance, in terms of depression, the study reported that individuals saw a decrease in their depression when they consumed strains with low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. High levels of CBD could also help with anxiety disorders because they help calm the patients and counteract the paranoia that THC might cause.
Word from Hempstreet
Though there is not enough research on cannabis and mental health but, it is apparent from the above information that it could be of help to those struggling. If you think that cannabis could help treat your mental health condition, it is advised that you consult your mental health professional for an appropriate prescription. We strongly advise against self-medication in order to get know about the effects of cannabis on mental health
Kameshwar Modaka: An ideal formulation for chronic IBS (GRAHANI)
Abstract: Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a burden to both patients and the healthcare system as it requires high-cost medicines, frequent clinical visits, disturbed personal and professional schedule, anxiety, and depression in the patient. This chronic disorder causes abdominal pain or discomfort and is characterized by abnormal defecation that presents mainly as either constipation or diarrhea symptoms. There is no standard allopathic treatment available for such a complex condition; the plan of treatment differs from person to person, doctor to doctor.
In such a situation most patients turn to Ayurveda that describes this disorder as “GRAHANI” in its texts as it offers a promising treatment for patients suffering from IBS and improves his/her quality of life. Kameshwar Modaka is one such miraculous formulation that has been long lost in the Ayurveda texts. This study highlights the use of Kameshwara Modaka in the treatment of Chronic IBS (GRAHANI) and also proves how it can be the ideal formulation of choice for GRAHANI treatment.
This is a case of a 32-year-old female with a history of mixed constipation and diarrhea bowel pattern for the last few years and how Kameshwar Modaka helped her overcome her complaints gradually.
According to Ayurveda, Grahani is a disorder that affects our Majjadhara and Pittadhara Kala. An ideal formulation for the treatment of Grahani would be having the properties of being ‘Grahi’ ‘Deepana’ ‘Pachak’. The Vijaya in the Kameshwar Modaka reassesses the inner dialogue in the affected person and induces calm and peaceful sleep. Which in turn helps to cure the ‘Mandagni’ cause due to mental stress.
The formulation overall serves to give promising results in Grahani as it acts as AGNIVARDHAK and GRAHI for the physical impacts of the disease, and also the MEDHYA guna of cannabis helps the patient to overcome the mental disturbances he/she undergoes while having Grahani (IBS).
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common disorder that affects the intestine. Signs and symptoms include episodes of unexplained constipation and diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, etc. It is a chronic condition that one needs to manage in long term.
The cause of IBS isn’t well understood. A diagnosis is often made based on symptoms. Moreover, there is no test to definitively diagnose IBS either. This makes the diagnosis and management of the disease an arduous task for healthcare professionals.
IBS affects an individual physically as well as mentally as it refrains you from doing even the easiest things on the schedule as you never know when the complaints kick in.
Today Vaidyas prescribe Kameshwar Modak in the treatment of Sexual Dysfunction and it has gained popularity in that field due to its promising and instantaneous results. A very few of us know that Kameshwar Modak has been mentioned as a formulation that can be used in the effective treatment of GRAHANI roga and more analysis suggest that it can be an ideal drug for the treatment of GRAHANI.
A 32-year-old female was presented with complaints with a history of mixed constipation and diarrhea bowel pattern. She reported that she ‘either can’t go or can’t stop going to the bathroom’. A few years ago (roughly 5 years) she complained of having long durations of constipations with lower abdominal pain but as time went by her symptoms progressed. The duration of constipation and intensity of pain gradually started to increase and it could turn worse with stress.
She was referred to a Gastroenterologist by a General Practitioner 2 years ago who did a full workup including blood testing and ultrasound examinations and also colonoscopy. All tests were unremarkable. She was diagnosed with IBS with constipation and started treatment with laxatives.
Over the past year, she has developed intermittent diarrhea every 10 days and followed by a few days of constipation and complaints of having 3-5 episodes of watery or semi-formed stools.
Lately, she has been training and has had a sense of incomplete evacuation with lower abdominal cramping and bloating. She has no celiac disease. She is moderately anxious.
Dietary & Lifestyle Habits
The patient has been eating healthy food but the complaints persist no matter what she eats. She does not consume alcohol nor does she have any other ‘habits’. She has a good overall routine and makes sure she gets 8 hours of sleep.
She used milk of magnesia or Castor oil when she was constipated and used TAB LOMOTIL (Diphenoxylate and Atropine) on rare occasions when she had diarrhea.
Medicines to be used – Kameshwar Modaka. She was prescribed Kameshwar Modaka 250 mg every day after food sublingual. She was also asked to make dietary modifications and practice Yoga (certain asanas) as a part of her daily routine.
Expected outcome of the treatment plan
It was expected Kameshwar Modaka would be able to help the patient ‘manage her situation’ better with time.
As expected the patient got little relief within a week. She did not have an episode of constipation and she was less anxious overall. She was keen to continue her treatment and felt hopeful for the first time during her treatment period of 2 years that her life would be close to normal again.
The treatment was decided considering the mentions of Kameshwar Modaka as one of the treatment drugs for Grahani in the Ayurveda literature.
Grahani Roga should be primarily treated for AGNIVARDHANA CHIKITSA with the help of drugs that have the quality of DEEPANA and PACHANA. Kameshwar Modak as a formulation has the aforementioned qualities and serves to be an ideal drug of choice for the treatment of GRAHANI.
This case study shows that GRAHANI can be successfully managed with Kameshwar Modaka. It is supportive for further research, as Grahani Chikitsa is one of the most challenging chikitsa Vaidyas face even today!
Dr. Sameer Paranjpe, Consultant Ayuvedacharya
Published by Hempstreet
Ayurveda has a solution for your Migraine
Abstract: This case study demonstrates the use of Trailokya Vijaya Vati highlighting its main ingredient cannabis in the treatment or prophylaxis of Migraine. A Migraine is a strong headache that often comes with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. It can last hours or days. It is a headache of varying intensity and can cause throbbing pain or a pulsating sensation in one particular area. The pain sometimes can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities.
There is mounting evidence that the endocannabinoid system can directly reduce migraine pain when activated by naturally produced cannabinoids or medical cannabis taken by patients. Cannabis can help to reduce inflammation in the protective dura mater tissue covering the brain and minimize the release of pro-inflammatory substances, both of which contribute to the onset of a migraine. Also, there is a presence of cannabinoid receptors in the brain. These receptors interact with the cannabinoids in the formulation and help to strengthen the body’s ability to reduce pain sensation.
This is a case of a 35 yr old female with a history of Migraines for the last 20yrs (since she was 15-16 yrs old). She has been taking anti migraine medicine every time she has had an attack for relief. Her migraines have changed in nature (intensity has fluctuated) over the last 20 years. In her teens, they were at their worst. She used to panic, her professors in college didn’t really understand the severity of it and often would think that she was trying to get out of the class. She was often misunderstood. After trying out many medicines available in the market for her migraines she decided to opt for Ayurveda / Herbal remedy for her sufferings.
According to Ayurveda, migraine is termed ARDHAVABHEDAKA and is mainly caused due to imbalance of VATA DOSHA. The increased VATA DOSHA hence causes SHOOLA. The most defining symptom is ARDHASHIRSHA VEDANA meaning pain in half the region of the head.
Vijaya is having Tikta Rasa Ushna Virya it has laghu Tiksnha Guna and Katu Vipaka. Hence it pacifies the Vata Dosha and helps in the treatment of any kind of SHOOLA. The VATASHAMANA action of Vijaya eases the migraine and the sedative action helps the patient with substantial rest required after a triggered panic.
For those who regularly experience migraines, life carries unique challenges. Absolutely harmless sensory stimuli like bright lights, strong fragrances, or loud noises can trigger unbearable pain. Stress or even jet lag can set a crippling migraine in motion too! This agonizing pain can be accompanied by a loss of sensation, nausea, or alarming visual changes. The disruption associated with chronic migraines can be so persistent it can even erode one’s sense of self.
Although drugs commonly prescribed for the prevention and treatment of migraines help some individuals, they don’t offer relief for all the ones suffering from migraine! Similar to many heavy-hitting medicines, a host of unwanted side effects may evolve with use. However, the evidence is accumulating that Cannabis may be an effective treatment for migraines and chronic headaches.
This is a case of a 35 yr old female with a history of Migraines for the last 20yrs (from since she was 15-16 yrs old). She has been taking anti migraine medicine every time she has had an attack for relief. Her migraines have changed in nature (intensity has fluctuated) over the last 20 years.
She has had migraines for the last 20 years. The frequency of migraines was more in her teens and gradually decreased and she could go for months without an attack. But in the past 1 year, the frequency of attacks has increased to a minimum of 1 attack per week. For her the worst aspect of migraines has been their unpredictability – “One moment you could be cycling down the street, the next, I can’t see!” she described. She has had aura symptoms and is unable to tolerate light and sound when she had an attack. This was having a huge impact on her professional and personal life. She has been prescribed almost every medicine available in the market from sumatriptan to almotripan to zolmitirpan and even combinations.
Physical examination results
She was brought by her husband just after she got a migraine attack which was the third attack in the last 10 days. She was unable to open her eyes fully and insist on the doctor to speak in a low voice. She was unable to understand the questions asked to her and was dizzy.
Medicines to be used – Trailokya Vijaya Vati . She was prescribed Trailokya Vijaya Vati only when she would feel migraine-like symptoms were aggravating. She was also asked to keep a tap on the factors that were aggravating her migraines. 1 tablet was to be taken when she would experience even mild headaches for the next month and then only when there is a pulsating or throbbing headache or other likely symptoms.
It was expected not immediately but over time that the patient would find relief with her migraines and also that frequency of the migraines would decrease gradually.
The patient came for a follow up after 15 days. There was an improvement in her symptoms. There was a significant reduction in the frequency of attacks and the duration of pain. She took a tablet every time she left even the mildest of the symptoms and would feel relieved within 15-20 minutes of taking the tablet. She has been sleeping well and was not feeling panicky anymore.
The treatment was decided on the basis of the predominance of VATA DOSHA involvement. The Vijaya as mentioned has anti-inflammatory properties and is also an effective VATASHAMANA herb. It helps in reducing the pain gradually. The VATASHAMANA action of Vijaya eases the migraine and the sedative action helps the patient with substantial rest required after a triggered panic.
This case study shows that Migraine can be successfully managed with Trailokya Vijaya Vati. While science is supporting the use of Cannabis (Vijaya) in the treatment of migraines, practical knowledge regarding how – how much, and when to dose still requires further research.
Case Study shared by Dr. Radhika Mohite, Consultant Ayurvedacharya Published by HempStreet
Trailokya Vijaya Vati: A solution for multiple ailments
Abstract: This review summarizes the evidence for the use of Trailokya Vijaya Vati in the Pain encountered in Ureteric Calculi with Hydronephrosis and indigestion.
Stones can cause splitting pain in our bodies. A lot of people suffer from stones and the condition affects a number of people every year due to our unhealthy and improper diet. Research says that 1 out of 10 Indians will experience having a Stone in their lifetime. As far as the stone is in the kidney there are certain complaints, but definitely not alarming.
The real set of complaints arise when the stone starts to pass from the kidney downwards out of the urinary tract. Passing a stone can be very very painful. Small stones may form and pass on their own without causing any symptoms. However, most medium and large stones are extremely painful to pass and require medical attention, especially for pain management.
Indigestion occurs when stomach acid comes in contact with the sensitive and protective lining of the digestive system. The stomach acid breaks down the lining leading to irritation and inflammation which can be very painful.
Patient 1 – This is a case of a 35 yr old male with complaints of ‘jumping pain’ in his lower abdomen radiating towards the groin. He was apparently alright till morning and started experiencing this pain after traveling (for about 50 km). USG suggested that it was ureteric Calculi about 8.4 mm in left ureter.
Patient 2 – A 26 yr old female with the complaint was brought by her husband who complained of indigestion and burning pain in her chest, pain in the back and abdomen. She was vomiting food and water when ingested. She required immediate pain relief.
Pain is the alarm of the underlying diseases. A symptom that announces that something is wrong with our body. Today, pain management in various conditions or diseases is a newer concept with an approach to managing only and only pain in the list of complaints to give a feeling of ‘being alright’ to the patient and gradually treat the condition without disturbing his/her routine.
Medical Cannabis is an increasingly popular alternative against opioids, other traditional drugs, or even against modern medicine.
How does Cannabis work in Pain Management?
The Cannabidiol (a component of Cannabis) stimulates the brain’s cannabinoid receptors and reduces inflammation and pain levels.
Side effects of Medical Marijuana use are minimal especially as compared to opioids or modern medicines and they as not as addictive as opioids as well. Over years, Cannabis has shown significant promising results in pain management.
Case Report (Patient 1)
This is a case of a 35 yr old male with complaints of ‘jumping pain’ in his lower abdomen radiating towards the groin. He seemed to be apparently alright till morning and started experiencing this pain after traveling (for about 50 km).
USG was done immediately which showed Left Ureteric Stone 8.4 mm with Hydronephrosis. The patient was a healthy individual with no co-morbidities.
Physical examination results
The gait of the patient was antalgic and he was restless. He represented typical loin to groin pain.
Medicines used – Trailokya Vijaya Vati. He was prescribed Trailokya Vijaya Vati SOS after the onset of pain, as he insisted on pain relief as a primary expectation. He has also prescribed medicines for the management of Ureteric Calculi.
Expected outcome of the treatment plan
Immediate pain management.
The patient rested in the clinic until she was free from pain. She was advised to rest and opt for LAGHU AAHAR. After about 30 mins of ingestion, the patient felt relief from pain.
Pain management was the only target outcome of the treatment. But in the case of indigestion, Trailokya Vijaya Vati served both the purposes
- Pain management
- Disease management due to its VATAGHNA, DEEPANA, PACHANA, and AGNI VARDHANA properties
As evident from the above case, nature is the best combinatorial chemist and has possible answers to all diseases for mankind. Medicinal plants and their formulations especially Cannabis formulations play a vital role in pain management with minimal, easily manageable, and reversible side effects. Modern medicines give results but come with undesirable side effects that may sometimes cause permanent damage to an organ or a system. To increase the acceptability and awareness amongst the people regarding herbal formulations there is a need for plenteous research.
Case study shared by Dr. Neeraj Kamathe, Consultant Ayuvedacharya
Published by: Hempstreet
Latest11 months ago
5 Sacred Plants in Vedas
11 months ago
Surprising Health Benefits of Medical Cannabis
11 months ago
Cannabis in Ayurveda and Its Holy Connection
Blog11 months ago
FUTURE ACMES OF BHANGA (Cannabis sativa L.): AYURVEDA BACKGROUND AND CONTEMPORARY RESEARCHES
Blog3 weeks ago
Trailokya Vijaya Vati: A win over menstrual cramps
Blog11 months ago
Cannabis in treating Chronic Pain and Menstrual Cramps
12 months ago
What’s the difference between Cannabis, CBD, THC, and Hemp?
12 months ago
How to use Cannabis Oil? – Ultimate Guide for Beginners