When people smoke or eat cannabis, the psychoactive chemical THC passes quickly from the lungs into the bloodstream. THC affects brain areas that help with thinking, memory, concentration, coordination and movement, sensory perception and feelings of pleasure.
It also changes the way the brain builds connections with other parts of the body. These changes may be permanent.
Stress is an emotional response to a situation or an event that causes your body to release hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones cause your heart to beat faster, your muscles to tense up, and your skin to become sensitive. When this happens, it’s usually a sign that your body is preparing for a ‘fight or flight’ scenario.
Chronic stress can lead to a number of health issues, including depression and anxiety. It can also interfere with your sleep and cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhoea and constipation.
Studies have shown that cannabis can help alleviate many of these symptoms. It has been used for centuries to treat inflammation, gastrointestinal disorders, and pain.
It has also been found that it can regulate the brain-gut axis. This is because cannabis can interact with cannabinoid receptors in the gut. It may also affect the microbiome, or the community of bacteria in the gut.
Research has shown that the microbiome is responsible for maintaining the health of our organs, including the liver, heart, and lungs. It can also influence the inflammatory process in the body and protect against diseases like diabetes and cancer.
The microbiome also has a major impact on the way our bodies respond to stress. Its composition can change after chronic stress, which can alter the immune system and lead to a range of health conditions.
Moreover, stress can cause the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to produce more corticoids than is necessary. HPA dysfunction can cause hypercortisolemia and increase the risk of schizophrenia.
In addition, stress can be a triggering factor in substance abuse. It can cause increased initiation and maintenance of use for some substances, such as cannabis, and it can cause relapse. It can also contribute to mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder and social phobia.
Stress can be triggered by a wide variety of events and situations, from everyday stressors to severe trauma. It can be caused by work, financial pressures, or relationships. It can also be a sign of illness or bereavement. Regardless of the source, it can be difficult to control the effects of stress on our physical and mental health.
The brain-gut axis is a complex system that can be affected by many factors, including anxiety. The connection between the two systems is an “emerging field of research,” says Bryn Sachdeo, PhD, a review editor at the journal Frontiers in Nutrition and a scientist who studies the gut-brain axis.
It’s important to understand the relationship between the brain and the gut because it can help you understand why you feel anxious or experience symptoms like gastrointestinal distress. When you’re feeling anxious, your brain sends signals to your stomach that can trigger nausea or diarrhea, for example.
If you are experiencing anxiety, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. They can make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment. They will also look for other mental health conditions that might be causing your symptoms.
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and use a detailed questionnaire to find out more about them. They will also check your health history and perform a physical exam, and order tests to rule out other conditions. If they suspect that you have an anxiety disorder, they will refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Anxiety disorders are common and usually involve feelings of fear or worry that can’t be controlled. They include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and phobias. These conditions can affect your day-to-day life and cause problems with concentration, memory and sleep.
You can learn more about anxiety and other mental health disorders by visiting the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). This organization provides support and resources for those who are struggling with these issues. It also offers free crisis support, online discussion groups, podcasts and videos.
Some people use cannabis to deal with their anxiety. Smoking marijuana can reduce your symptoms of anxiety by increasing your blood flow to the brain and decreasing your stress hormones.
It can also relax your muscles and calm your mind. However, smoking can cause lung damage if you smoke too much. This is why it’s important to talk to your doctor about how much cannabis you should consume.
Many people who struggle with depression have been told that it’s “all in your head,” but new research suggests that the gut may play a critical role. The brain and the gut communicate through a complex network of nerves, neurotransmitters, hormones and metabolites that are shared between both systems.
The vagus nerve is one of the most important cranial nerves that connects the gastrointestinal tract (the stomach, small intestine and large intestine) to the brain. It transmits signals from the digestive system to the hypothalamus and limbic system of the brain, which are responsible for controlling emotions, appetite and the body’s fight-or-flight response to stress.
When the vagus nerve is damaged or inflamed, it can cause physical changes to the gastrointestinal tract and the brain. This can cause a variety of symptoms, including bloating, irritability, and constipation.
In addition, chronic stress, a major cause of depression, can also damage the vagus nerve. This can make it more difficult for the brain to send the messages it needs to feel well, leading to anxiety and a range of mental health problems.
Depression can also affect your mood, motivation and ability to focus. It can lead to feelings of worthlessness and a loss of interest in activities that used to bring pleasure. It can also impact your ability to sleep and eat.
Fortunately, there are effective treatments for depression. These can include medication, talk therapy and lifestyle changes.
If you’re suffering from depression, getting treatment early is key. This will help prevent symptoms from worsening or causing further harm. It can also reduce the risk of developing other mental health issues and help you get better faster.
Some types of cannabis can be helpful for people with depression, according to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology. CBD, a non-psychoactive compound in marijuana, can have therapeutic effects for conditions like depression and anxiety.
Another promising effect of CBD is its ability to regulate the brain-gut axis, a bidirectional communication link between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain. It can improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders.
The gastrointestinal tract, also known as the second brain, is an essential part of the human body and has its own nervous system. It regulates actions such as motor function, secretions and localized blood flow while modulating immune and endocrine functions. It is a complex organism with its own neurotransmitter, serotonin, which is produced by chromaffin cells in the gut and plays a significant role in mental health.
Sleep is a reversible, recurrent state of reduced responsiveness to external stimulation that occurs at irregular intervals. It is an important factor in a variety of physiological processes and can have significant effects on physiology, mood and cognition (Skosnik and Cortes-Briones, 2016).
While there are several criteria for the definition of sleep, there is general acceptance that this state can be achieved only by animals that demonstrate recurring, spontaneous, and reversible periods of inactivity or decreased critical reactivity. For example, mammals and many birds are considered sleepers (Carbia et al., 2021).
There is also evidence that sleep deprivation has a negative effect on the brain-gut axis. The increase in permeability of the epithelial barrier that occurs during a lack of sleep increases inflammatory cytokines and lipopolysaccharide in the gut and causes metabolic dysfunction. It may also disrupt the bacterial balance in the gut and contribute to obesity-related dysfunction.
Moreover, chronic sleep fragmentation or obstructive sleep apnea can change the composition of the gut microbiome. For instance, mice subjected to periods of intermittent hypoxia or sleep fragmentation have shown preferential growth of Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae, with decreased levels of Lactobacillaceae.
In addition, a number of studies have shown that sleep-related changes in the microbial composition of the gut can alter the activity of neurons in the central nervous system and affect the production of metabolites that affect sleep such as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and dopamine. This has been interpreted as a mechanism that could help explain comorbidity between sleep disorders and depression.
To test the hypothesis that microbial metabolism influences sleep physiology, we analyzed the relationship between microbiome richness, diversity, and sleep efficiency using actigraphy. We observed that the richness of the Bacteroidetes phylum correlated with sleep efficiency (r = 0.49, P