There is a stigma surrounding self-harm that ensures those who commit the deed hide their true feelings from the world. It is a far more prevalent problem than most medical professionals would like to admit. According to Mental Health America, up to 4% of adults in the United States, and 15% of adolescents, self-harm. The idea of using marijuana to help people who self-harm is currently being investigated and the results are encouraging.
Continue reading to see what we found out…
What is Self Harm?
Self-harm is the process of deliberately injuring yourself, and it is typically a way of trying to cope with or express, an alarming level of emotional distress. In many cases, people who self-harm have a wish to die, and according to the UK’s NHS website, approximately 50% of people who commit suicide have a history of self-injury.
It is assumed that most people who commit self-harm do so by cutting themselves. While it is one of the most common forms of self-injury, other methods include:
- Banging the head against a wall or another hard object.
- Burning the skin.
- Reopening old wounds.
- Hitting one’s self with objects.
- Breaking bones or bruising the body.
- Misusing alcohol or drugs.
- Poisoning themselves with toxic substances.
Who Are The Most Likely People To Commit Self Harm?
Self-injury is one of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD), but it is also linked to other mental health disorders including:
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
It is typical for someone who self-harms to feel ‘hollow’ or ‘empty’ inside. They are unable to express their feelings; they feel lonely and misunderstood by others and have a fear of forming intimate relationships. While self-harm is usually a way to relieve hard to express feelings, and not a suicide attempt, it can go down a dark path without proper treatment. Here are some symptoms to look out for:
- Unexplained cuts, burns or bruises on thighs or arms.
- If a person keeps themselves fully covered all the time, even in very warm weather.
- Changes in eating habits, significant weight loss or gain.
- Signs of self-loathing.
- They suddenly become very isolated and withdrawn.
- Signs of alcohol or drug misuse.
- Signs of hair pulling.
What is Life Like in the Self Harm Mindset?
In most cases, people who self-harm do so as a means of coping with overwhelming emotional issues. For example, they could be getting bullied, have trouble at school or work, or else they are confused about their sexuality. Other causes include being the victim of sexual abuse, having a miscarriage or the death of a close friend or family member.
People who self-harm are extremely lonely and feel as if they have nowhere to turn. The aforementioned issues lead to intense feelings of guilt, anger, hopelessness, and hatred. Self-harming could be a way to deal with these emotions.
Conventional Remedies for Self Harm
Typical treatments for self-harm range from the mundane to the severe. It is common for people who self-harm to utilize psychotherapy sessions as a means of learning how to regulate emotions, developing relationship building skills, manage stress, and boost self-image. Therapy types include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy
- Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
- Mindfulness-based Therapy
While there are no medications specifically for self-harm, physicians recommend antidepressants or other common treatments for anxiety disorders. In extreme cases, the affected individual could be admitted for psychiatric evaluation in the hospital.
Medical Research on Using Marijuana for Self Harm
While there are few available studies relating to the use of marijuana specifically to prevent self-harm, its impact on autism could be extremely relevant. Parents of autistic children often have to sit idly by as their kids injure themselves in fits of rage.
Perhaps the most exciting critical study is the one that is currently ongoing at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, in Jerusalem. It began in January 2017 and involves 120 kids and adults with mild to severe autism aged 5-29. They are being given CBD rich cannabis oil which is mixed with food, and the study is set to conclude in 2018. Hopefully, we will see a positive answer.
5 Best Marijuana Strains for Self Harm
1 – Blue Dream ( Sativa Dominant Marijuana Strain)
This moderately sativa dominant blend (60%) contains up to 24% THC and is a cross between the Blueberry X Haze strains. Blue Dream quickly hits you with a cerebral head high that boosts your energy and motivation levels. Soon, however, you feel a relaxing body high that is mellow and extremely pleasant.
In some cases, users claim Blue Dream is effectively the cannabis form of aspirin which makes it the ideal daytime medication if you’re feeling depressed, anxious or stressed out. It unquestionably helps calm you down, and the gorgeous blueberry pie aroma is a welcome bonus.
2 – Green Crack (Sativa Dominant Marijuana Strain)
This is another sativa dominant blend (65%) bred via the inbreeding of Skunk #1. While it is also known as Green Cush, it got its existing nickname from Snoop Dogg which tells you everything you need to know about its quality and potency. With a THC of up to 25%, Green Crack lifts you with an epic head high.
Although it is a strain that gives you energy and boosts your powers of creativity, Green Crack also works its magic on your state of mind as it relaxes your muscles and brain in a way that few other marijuana strains are capable of. As well as making you more focused, it will keep you feeling happy and uplifted.
3 – Hindu Kush (Indica marijuana strain)
This is a purely indica strain that is a favorite on the west coast. It has a high THC level of 22%, and it does a terrific job of keeping you calm and happy. If you’re feeling the pinch of depression or anxiety and the urge to self-harm kicks in, perhaps it is worth taking a hit of Hindu Kush to give you a sense of restfulness.
When you consume this strain, you will benefit from a deep, mellow and euphoric high that is ideal medication at night time. Use it for a good night’s sleep and hopefully, you will feel better the following day.
4 – LA Confidential (Indica Marijuana strains)
This strain is actually very popular amongst rappers such as Cypress Hill and is an indica dominant strain (90%). It has a THC level of up to 25%, and it works incredibly quickly so be warned! After a couple of hits, you’ll feel relaxed and happy but take too much, and your next action will be a nap!
As it is extremely potent, we recommend LA Confidential to experienced smokers and if novices decide it is their strain of choice, keep the initial doses low. It is very much a night time strain as it sedates and calms users.
5 – Charlotte’s Web (The CBD Dominant Marijuana Strain)
This strain is one of the most famous in the world because of how it helped a girl named Charlotte Figi to overcome the seizures associated with Dravet’s Syndrome. Unlike the other entries on the list, this indica dominant (60%) strain won’t get you high because its THC level is less than 0.3%.
However, its CBD content of over 17% makes it one of the most powerful medical marijuana strains on the market. As it is currently classed as one of the most popular strains on the market, it is much easier to get than the others. Despite the low THC content, Charlotte’s Web is relaxing and makes users feel euphoric and upbeat.
Final Thoughts About Marijuana and Self-Harm
Self-harm is a serious problem, and while sufferers should take as many treatment routes as possible, it is imperative that they don’t overlook the power of marijuana strains. If the world around you seems overwhelming, perhaps marijuana could help focus your mind enough to take on the problems that threaten to consume you.