Mental Health

Medical cannabis for Mental Health

One in four people experience mental health issues each year. At any given time, one in six working-age adults have symptoms associated with mental ill health meaning that it is more common, long-lasting and impactful than other health conditions.

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Mental Health Conditions

There are a wide variety of different mental health conditions, each with their own symptoms, forms of treatment, and unique challenges.


Medical cannabis may be beneficial in improving sleep, anxiety, depression and related comorbidities. There are several mechanisms by which medical cannabis may ameliorate these conditions, including activity of the major cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) in limbic and paralimbic brain areas, and direct agonist action of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on cannabinoid (CB) receptors.

Neuroimaging studies show that CBD decreases activation of regions of the brain associated with anxiety, fear and emotional processing, supporting medical cannabis use in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These anxiolytic and antipsychotic properties of cannabis may also be of benefit in neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a long-term condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations. People with GAD feel anxious on most days and struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed.

Anxiety can cause both psychological and physical symptoms which often varies from person to person, these may include dizziness, headaches, shaking, palpitations / chest pain, feeling restless or having trouble concentrating and sleeping. GAD is a common condition, affecting up to 5% of the UK population.

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by stressful, frightening or distressing events. PTSD may develop following one or more repeated exposures to traumatic events, causing the person to relive the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks. Associated symptoms include poor sleep and poor concentration. These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.

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Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of symptoms which may include fatigue, impaired concentration, poor appetite, poor sleep, feelings of worthlessness and guilt. If you are given a diagnosis of depression, you might be told that you have mild, moderate or severe depression. There are also specific types of depression e.g., dysthymia and seasonal affective disorder.

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Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects people’s behaviour. Symptoms can be categorised into two types of behavioural problems: inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. The symptoms of ADHD in children and teenagers are usually noticeable before the age of 6. Symptoms often persist from childhood into a person’s teenage years and then adulthood.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition that involves challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviours. The effects of ASD and the severity of symptoms are different in each person. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and often change over time. Autistic people may find it hard to communicate and interact with other people and find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming or stressful.

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