Marijuana is typically viewed as a non-psychedelic drug in that it doesn’t produce hallucinations or create the illusion of expanding one’s consciousness, but Julie Holland, a psychiatrist in New York who runs her own private practice, says that some of the effects of cannabis actually are psychedelic.She spoke on the topic recently at a conference on the science of psychedelics in London, and she said that marijuana use could very well be linked to a phenomenon that contemporary psychiatrists are calling “dehabituation,” which is defined as the process of seeing something anew.
“That can be very helpful in psychiatry,” Holland said.Many kinds of psychotherapy focus on the notion that circumstances that trouble people center around discrepancies of perspective.By looking at these same circumstances from a different viewpoint or seeing them in a new way, typically with the assistance of a therapist, people can adjust their thinking to a viewpoint that is less off-putting and more comfortable.
The Latin root, psyche, which appears in both terms, psychedelic and psychiatry, means “mind,” and both terms incorporate that syllable because they act on the mind in different ways.Even despite the vast differences between the two, though, some of the end results are a bit similar, which is why dozens of researchers, including but not limited to psychiatrists like Holland, are becoming more supportive of the notion that psychedelic drugs could actually play a role in treating mental illness.
Research centering around traditional psychedelics like LSD, mushrooms, and ayahuasca being used to treat psychological ailments like depression, drug addiction or anxiety have recently regained previously lost attention in the past few years.Even though less of it is concentrated on specifically cannabis, Holland still says the herb holds certain attributes that might make it ideal for psychiatric use.
“The thing that I’m interested in with cannabis is how it does this thing where everything old is new again,” Holland explained.With this in mind, Holland is working as a medical monitor for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) on its new study with the objective of determining whether or not cannabis can facilitate the mitigation of PTSD symptoms for afflicted veterans and obviously also for others suffering similar forms of PTSD.
Marijuana is technically not classified as being a psychedelic drug or even a drug at all necessarily other than in the context of its usage.The term, drug, after all is attributed to substances in a medical context on the basis of their use as drugs but not outside of such use because it is a naturally occurring substance; contrarily, other substances that are man-made as well as administered medicinally but are not naturally occurring substances are always referred to as drugs.
One obvious issue with medical marijuana is proving that it is as beneficial as supporters claim.Lots of evidence has surfaced lately about how clearly marijuana has been shown to relieve certain uncomfortable symptoms of different illnesses like specific types of pain, vomiting, or nausea.Patients with multiple sclerosis, AIDS, and cancer (if they have had to endure chemotherapy) have all been treated with medical marijuana, and marijuana has even been used to relieve the side effects of other medicines.
Probably most notable, though, is that former United States Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders has publicly called marijuana remarkably safe because of it being less toxic than several of the drugs that physicians around the world give to their patients every day.
A piece that aired on 60 Minutes, “Medical Pot: Will Colorado’s ‘Green Rush’ Last?”, reported that, in Colorado, Washington, and California, both medical and recreational uses of marijuana have been legalized; the substance is taxed, and the industry is booming.In fact, Colorado has, if nothing else, proven the economic benefits to legalizing marijuana as their clinical marijuana venues now outnumber both their Starbucks and McDonalds locations.This is a benefit directly resultant of legal marijuana, but more pertinently, it serves as a means of threat assessment, making Colorado and other states like it a sort of experiment whose results may or may not affect the rest of the country.
Research on the effects of marijuana are largely inconclusive despite the length of time allotted to the subject, but research suggests that marijuana is addictive solely on the basis that approximately nine percent of users become addicted, which is not only so small that it mitigates import but also a sketchy figure in that it is incredibly difficult to confirm scientifically or even sociologically, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The U.S.Drug Enforcement Administration classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance, which makes it difficult to study in any 47 of the 50 states or in U.S.territories like Guam or Puerto Rico.The most comprehensive report to date on the science of cannabis concluded that much remains misunderstood about the herb’s effects on the brain.The most common example in scientific research as well as in that specific report is how people who use cannabis regularly have a statistically inflated susceptibility to schizophrenia, depression and social anxiety disorders.
Holland: “In psychiatry it seems that cannabis is grossly underused and understudied.”