Self-Care Week 2022: How can medicinal cannabis support your wellbeing?

This week marks Self-Care Week in the UK. This is the annual event focusing on setting time aside for ourselves and doing what we feel necessary to improve our mental and physical wellbeing. Let’s take a look at how medicinal cannabis can improve your sleep, mood, and appetite when anti-depressants or other traditional prescriptions are not effective

Reducing stress and anxiety

Have you heard of the ‘self-care revolution’? The intermittent lockdowns over the last two years caused many of us to introspect, whilst rates of depression have more than doubled.

Medical cannabis has become increasingly valuable in easing symptoms of stress and anxiety, as proven in this 2015 study on anxiety and in this 2019 study by Washington State University.

Below, we’ve collected the current evidence about medical cannabis’ effectiveness in supporting the improvement of health and wellbeing. Keep reading to see how it could work for you.

Improving low-mood

We found that 14% of Brits have left a long-term mental health issue untreated over many years to avoid taking prescription drugs. In the UK, anti-depressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the primary medication route for treating common mental health issues. In fact, a record 8.3 million people were prescribed these drugs this year alone.

Our research also found that 57% of Brits were not even aware that they could get a prescription for medicinal cannabis through private services in the UK. Studies have shown that medical cannabis and CBD can help to improve low-mood symptoms associated with depression. This works by boosting the release of serotonin in the brain, resulting in stabilised mood and over time, positive wellbeing.

Let’s see what our healthcare professionals have to say:

Dr Farrah Ayob, a specialist consultant from Mamedica, has witnessed first-hand the improvements medical cannabis has on her patients: “Patients who have has a significant ski injury, paraplegia and all that sort of complex pain issues. Cannabis is really helpful for them. Not only for their pain but also for their wellbeing and mood.”

Dr Anup Mathew also said: “Their mood, their hope, their view of the future – everything changed. Their side effect profiles changed because they were able to reduce their prescriptions for traditional medications – and in some cases come off those medications completely. Patients became less anxious, better able to function, were able to go back to work, start new relationships and engage with their families again.”

Promoting a healthy appetite

Another key benefit of using medical cannabis is its positive effects on hunger and appetite. Cannabis is a known stimulant for appetite and therefore helps people whose symptoms of their condition involve decreased hunger and nausea.

This can be a side-effect of prescribed medications and is commonly observed in medical conditions such as cancer. Scientists have found that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) activates the endocannabinoid system, a large biological system that communicates with our central nervous system (CNS) and helps to regulate eating behaviour and energy balance. The release of these neurons increases our motivation to eat. THC also causes a dopamine release, which can enhance your enjoyment of food.

Supporting a better night’s sleep

Insomnia affects one in three people in the UK. You may not realise that this issue can be treated with the appropriate dosage of medical cannabis. Research from the Insomnia Severity Index has found that medical cannabis can help to increase sleep time and quality. Certain compounds of cannabis, particularly elements in CBD, have relaxing and sedative effects. One recent study found that cannabis shortens the time it takes to fall asleep, both for people with sleep problems and people who fall asleep without trouble. Among people with active difficulty falling asleep, cannabis use resulted in an average of 30 minutes less time in falling asleep and lengthened deep sleep.

How can Mamedica help me?

We don’t believe in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Our service offers unrestricted access to one of the widest range of cannabis-based prescription medicines available in the UK. We encourage patient feedback at every stage of treatment to monitor medical effectiveness so doctors can make adjustments accordingly.

We offer advice and guidance on which strains, dosage and form of prescription would prove beneficial to targeting your symptoms linked to your condition. Each prescription plan is personalised to you and your unique endocannabinoid system and medical needs.

This Self-Care Week, check in with yourself. If you have symptoms that are impacting your wellbeing, click here to learn how Mamedica can help.