www.happymd.org - HappyMD
Posted 01/18/2023 in Culture by HappyMD

Is Self-medicating With Marijuana Right for You?

Is Self-medicating With Marijuana Right for You?

Is Self-medicating With Marijuana Right for You? 

Marijuana use has increased in the United States and globally due to its therapeutic benefits. Many individuals are switching to marijuana to enjoy the different properties and health benefits this herb offers. Surveys show many people herald marijuana as a miracle treatment therapy and medication. The marijuana plant has a wide range of beneficial properties in the medical field to improve multiple mental and physical health complications.


Reports show that the legalization of marijuana use in the United States has led to a surge in the number of users. The increased number of states legalizing this herb for medical or recreational use of marijuana across the United States and globally has led to more concerns about self-medication. Individuals are suffering from a wide range of health concerns. Reports show that many individuals consider self-medicating with marijuana as it's an effective and safe natural treatment option.


Marijuana has shown numerous positive benefits in alleviating a wide range of health concerns, including mood disorders. Furthermore, using marijuana to alleviate various health concerns has reduced the need for over-the-counter and prescription medications. Despite medical Cannabis having less harmful effects than cigarettes, alcohol, big pharma medications, and recreational narcotics, self-medicating these drugs may be risky. Some studies show that self-medicating medical marijuana can lead to long-term and severe complications rather than helping to deal with your situation.


Despite the numerous potential risks and severe consequences, self-medicating Cannabis remains among the most popular. Most patients consider self-medication to help them deal with medical and health conditions. Before you contemplate using self-medicating marijuana, it'll be good to research and understand everything about it. This article provides vital information you need to consider when planning to self-medicate marijuana without professional guidance or authorization.


Is self-medicating a Common practice?


Reports show that self-medication isn't a new habit in the medical community. It has existed for a long time as most individuals have self-medicated medications since ancient times. Despite its 'leading' name, self-medication doesn't come from the first use of the medicine, but experts regard it as continuous behavior.


Self-medication is one of the behaviors that develop after a long-term, chronic and habitual use of substances. These substances can include narcotics, medications, and other substances you can use to treat various health complications. Alternatively, you may be self-medicating these substances to make you feel good or enhance your moods without medical guidance or authorization.


Evidence and study results indicate that medicinal Cannabis can effectively alleviate various medical and health disorders. The herb has properties that help to deal with insomnia, appetite issues, inflammation, low moods, libido, and other chronic diseases. Besides being an effective treatment option, medical marijuana doesn’t result in adverse effects.


Many states, including Washington DC, have realized the medical use of marijuana to allow medical patients to legally and safely use the herb to treat their diseases. Despite the freedom to use medical marijuana to treat disease, some jurisdiction also allows residents to enjoy recreational or adult marijuana use. The states have regulations allowing adults above 21 years to access and use weed for recreational or fun activities.


Drawing the Line between Substance Abuse Disorders and Self Medication


Experts believe the increase in marijuana use is due to numerous external factors. For instance, increasing awareness, easing legal restrictions, enhancing social acceptance, and increasing accessibility are the main factors contributing to the increase of marijuana among most residents in the United States.

 Is Self-medicating With Marijuana Right for You?

Statistics reveal that Cannabis tops the list of the most commonly used illicit drugs in the US. The Centers for Disease Control reports that more than 49 million individuals in the country have used this drug in the past 12 months. With more countries legalizing marijuana and many people switching to it for medical or recreational use, there are no signs of the trend getting down.


Despite helping to alleviate multiple health concerns, experts associate medical marijuana use with addiction. Besides addiction, regular use of marijuana without professional guidance and authorization can also cause some disorders, such as Xanax, hydrocodone, oxycodone, etc. Marijuana has various cannabinoids (especially THC ) that have components that enhance interactions with the brain's reward center.


Delta -9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the most studied exogenous cannabinoids that resembles the body's anandamide and is responsible for numerous effects that marijuana consumption causes. Anandamide is one of the common and first discovered endocannabinoids in the human body and is responsible for a wide range of effects or body interactions.


After taking marijuana, the THC enters the body's systems and binds with particular receptors present in the endocannabinoid system or brain. The interaction or binding influences the brain's reward system, leading to a reduction in GABA availability and triggering the release of dopamine by the brain. Dopamine is common in the body and responsible for the euphoric or high feeling that most individuals associate with THC.


Studies show that prolonged and frequent marijuana use starts modulating your brain's reward system. The modulation will result in an increase in misuse and the possible addition of the drug. With the young brain cells and systems still growing, the adverse effects worsen in young adults or adolescents who have started using marijuana.


Many individuals prefer self-medicating marijuana as it's short-term for accessing and using medical marijuana to alleviate different symptoms and health concerns. Despite the possible long-term effects and negative perceptions that come with using this drug, many individuals are using the drug for different purposes without getting adverse health effects.


Signs and Risks that Self-Medicating Cannabis Might not be Right for You


Evidence and studies have shown that self-medicating marijuana may be risky, as it causes numerous adverse effects. But how do you know or understand that your recreational or medical marijuana use is becoming worse? Marijuana medication becomes worse after crossing the optimal threshold for medication and the advanced stage associated with misuse or abuse.


Everyone has varying tolerance and reasons why they need marijuana. However, some common behaviors or needs indicate that cessation or moderation will benefit you or help you achieve the best effects to alleviate your condition.


Let's look at the common signs or risks that show that you're at risk of misuse or abuse when self-medicating this drug.


Increased irritability


Increased levels of irritability and anger are common signs that self-medication isn't right for you. Studies show that many patients usually self-medicate weed to alleviate mood disorders and depression. Increased anger and irritability are some of the common symptoms that come with having these above psychological disorders.


Thus, if you opt for weed to control or manage these symptoms and improve your mental health, you may develop a high dependency. Study results show that when using medical marijuana to enhance your mental health, the risk of dependency will be slightly higher than nonusers or those using marijuana to alleviate their physical health complications.


Marijuana has various properties that help to alleviate or ease you through dark and sad thoughts. Easing these thoughts helps you feel better, have better body functioning, and continue normal routine activities. Nevertheless, marijuana contains various cannabinoids that affect your moods and well-being due to their interaction with ECS and the brain.


THC, the most abundant and common-studied marijuana cannabinoid, may have adverse effects on mental health, including dampening your moods. Thus, taking THC-rich marijuana strains can deteriorate your mental health, mood symptoms, and emotion. However, the chances and severity of the damages will vary for different individuals.


Tolerance issues


Studies show that prolonged or regular use of marijuana can result in or cause increased tolerance complications. High tolerance occurs when you or your system requires more or an additional dose to experience the same effects that the otherwise lower doses were achieving.


The increased tolerance leads to increased consumption or doses. Higher marijuana doses may result in undesired or unhealthy results in the body or systems. Besides the adverse health effects, an increase in a substance tolerance level may cause dependence or addiction. Below are some of the potential substance dependency issues and signs of tolerance to a certain substance, marijuana;


● Acting awkwardly or differently when you're around family, friends, and even colleagues.


● Becoming easily irritable with others or suddenly having a short temper


● Frequent and intense bouts of depression, anger, or developing mood imbalance complications.


● Persistent thoughts about how to get and use marijuana


● Unusual behaviors or characteristics resulting from the psychotropic effects.


● Engaging in predatory or unsafe behaviors. Most of these will occur when you're craving marijuana doses.


Experts rank marijuana lower than alcohol based on the scale of addictive and intoxicating properties. Alcohol and other substances have a higher addiction and intoxicating probability than marijuana. Despite carrying a higher risk of addiction, abuse, and having adverse effects on the body and related systems than marijuana, the authorities accept this drug and classify it as a non-banned substance.


Statistics show that alcohol can cause a wide range of adverse effects and even death, as reports show alcohol accounts for approximately 95000 deaths annually in the United States. With the strict regulations and limitations, we are yet to get official and accurate documentation of cannabis-attributed mortalities.


Despite the lack of proper documents, evidence shows that heavy marijuana consumption may lead to substance dependence and abuse, which can cause mental illnesses in most people. Experts reveal that irritability is one of the common and good indicators that you have risk-seeking and tolerance behaviors. The behaviors can worsen, leading to a wide range of mental disorders, including panic disorder, mania, worsening depression, psychosis, or other anxiety symptoms, if you don't get timely and proper intervention.


Social anxiety


Social anxiety, isolating behaviors, and avoidance are the common and most damaging effects of self-medicating any substance, including marijuana. Studies show that seeking time for yourself occasionally is good for your physical and mental enhancement. However, experts reveal that it's a red flag when you find yourself passing or not attending invites and special events with your loved ones or friends. If you find yourself spending more time alone and feeling better or prefer smoking a joint to socializing, then it should raise the alarm. In a certain study, researchers found that social anxiety or isolation was one of the main disadvantages of self-medicating marijuana.


In addition, avoidance behaviors and social distancing are common among adults who self-medicate marijuana. These conditions result from the guilt, embarrassment, or shame they feel for the behavior. Consuming some marijuana strains may induce or increase anxiety disorders in some individuals. Experts refer to social avoidance as a unique form of anxiety impacting approximately 15 million individuals in the United States and increasing the risk of more mental health issues and the possibility of substance abuse.


Primary Mechanism of Coping with Emotional Distress


Many individuals have found marijuana consumption as a habit-forming practice. Remember, chronic or long-term use of Cannabis can result in addiction. Despite being aware of the numerous warnings, most individuals usually use marijuana frequently, especially when they experience unpleasant issues or receive negative information or news.


If you find yourself regularly lighting a joint every moment you get emotional or encounter a stressful situation, it'll be appropriate to seek an alternative way or solution. The solution should provide you with a beneficial and advantageous way to cope with the circumstance without risking more mental health issues. You can consider a tolerance break or seek help from a medical professional.


Research shows that medical marijuana can be the appropriate solution for you if you find it hard to resolve or process your reactions without a dose of Cannabis. It'll be wise to develop the appropriate and healthy coping skills that'll help you reduce the pressure and urge to self-medicate marijuana. In addition, a healthy coping mechanism will help you avoid anger, irritability, depression, and other negative issues.




Research shows that using marijuana for a long time can result in psychosis. This condition involves hallucinations or delusional thoughts, including hearing/seeing things or people that don't exist. Besides offering an unpleasant feeling or experience, psychosis can also be dangerous. Most marijuana users with these conditions are likely to have a future recurrence of these episodes.


Experts have perceived marijuana as a harmful and toxic substance with a wide range of psychotropic effects. With scientists discovering THC ( a hallucinogenic cannabinoid for molecules in marijuana plants), weed enthusiasts can restrict or avoid THC-rich strains to prevent the risk of psychosis or hallucinations.


Can Self-medicating Marijuana Predispose you to Dependence?


Despite understanding the signs and risks of substance dependence, studies show that many users are usually unable to spot the signs of these complications. So, how can you know that your self-medicating habits are becoming unhealthy? Below are common questions to help you determine if the habits are becoming unhealthy;


● Do you smoke or consume marijuana for nonmedical alleviation at all times of the day?


● Does self-medicating with marijuana result in financial issues or constraints?


● Donyou feel embarrassed or discouraged with your usage or dependence on marijuana?


● Are consuming Cannabis as a way to keep off alternative or conventional treatment for your condition?


● Does missing a single marijuana dose cause uncontrollable urges or persistent thoughts about the drug?


● Do you take marijuana to control official and diagnosed health concerns or symptoms?


While asking yourself these questions, and one leads you to a 'Yes' response, it'll be wise to visit a medical physician. The physician will help to check if your medical marijuana treatment habits are becoming unhealthy or putting you at a greater risk of unhealthy things like dependence. Using medical cannabis products and dosages as a patient will benefit you if you feel that you're concerned or unsure of the risks that come with self-medicating the weed.


What are the Considerations About Self medicating with Cannabis?


Despite the adverse risks and consequences, some individuals have successfully and safely self-medicated with this herb. However, there are various things you need to consider after choosing self-medication. These considerations will help you lower or reduce the risks of the procedure. These considerations include


● We currently don't have a standard dose for using marijuana without medical guidance or authorization. Thus, it'll be good to research the different strains, properties, and benefits of the products available. You can also check how these products can help you meet your needs or alleviate your conditions.


● Check all the possible side effects and risks of using marijuana. It'll be a good step when you're relying on other prescription medications to manage or alleviate your symptoms or health concerns.


● Self-medicating with marijuana can sometimes be costly. Getting the drugs becomes expensive, especially when having a high tolerance or misusing the drugs.


● Have an open mind to accept and try multiple drug formulations. Trying different product potencies and types helps you determine the right one that suits your needs.


● Keep up to date with your state or the country's marijuana regulations and developments. Remember, some states allow self-medication of recreational Cannabis.


Consider applying for and getting a medical cannabis recommendation card or treatment. Getting the right marijuana treatment type and strain always involves a trial and error process. Choosing a reputable medical marijuana physician or clinic for 420 evaluations is a convenient, safer, and faster way to understand the different product firms, potencies, and strains that offers the best results for your needs. The recommendation card will help you save more resources and time on treatment; most states provide cheaper MMJ products for cardholders. Thus, it's the best and most affordable option than recreational marijuana use and self-medicating the drug.


Becoming a Medical Cannabis Patient Vs. Self Medicating with Cannabis?


Despite the stance of the federal state on Cannabis, some states in the country have recreational marijuana use allowing decriminalization of possessing and using self-medication marijuana products. Nevertheless, many individuals find it more convenient and easy to follow when medicating the drugs for themselves than enjoying the benefits that come with being a medical marijuana patient. Let's look at the benefits of becoming a medical marijuana patient.


High product quality


Remember, not every user self-medicating marijuana uses products from legal or safe sources. Despite the lively nature of the street market, it's usually hard to determine the cannabis products' quality and potency.


Furthermore, using street weed can predispose you to multiple risks, including those resulting from pharmacological narcotics or addictive street contaminants. Remember, marijuana product impurities increase the risk of dependence or addiction, which leads to life-threatening or adverse effects.


Medical marijuana patients in most states use products that state-approved vendors, producers, and retailers regulate. Before the authorities release the products to the market, they have to undergo a strict quality check to ensure that they don't contain any contaminants or harmful substances. Furthermore, state medical dispensaries sell safer and higher quality marijuana for recreational and medical use or consumption.


Better treatment fit


When you consider self-medicating with Cannabis, you may have to try multiple products and strains to determine the one that works best for you. In contrast, when opting for medical marijuana patients, the trial and error process becomes a thing of the past. You'll work with certified and qualified doctors to help you understand the different and appropriate cannabis strains, products, potencies, and benefits. Thus, you can choose the one with optimal results and minimal adverse risks.


Is Self Medicating with Marijuana Right for You?


Experts reveal it'll be appropriate to visit a medical cannabis physician to discuss your concerns before opting for self-medicating with marijuana. Importantly, you can also consider your body and symptoms. Nevertheless, choosing proper and comprehensive medical guidance will help you track your progress and treatment, helping to avoid risks and dangers resulting from self-medication.


Despite being an easy way to access and use marijuana to alleviate your health concern, self-medicating marijuana can lead to adverse health effects. Visiting a qualified and experienced physician will be vital to get proper evaluations and guidance on medical marijuana use. HappyMD has a wide network of qualified and state-approved medical marijuana physicians who can guide you in choosing the best medical marijuana strain and doses for your needs. You can also apply for and get your medical marijuana card online to help you access the right cannabis strain and doses to prevent self-medicating.


Contribute to the Cannabis Community - Add Your Comments Below

Banner Ad
Banner Ad