The marijuana plant contains over 100 cannabinoids, the chemically active components of cannabis. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is thought to be the most psychoactive component and is responsible for the temporary feeling of euphoria associated with its use. The effect of THC on mental health is generally not positive, and associated with increased anxiety, depersonalization and dysphoria.
On the other hand, Cannabinidiols (CBDs) are non-psychotropic components of the cannabis sativa plant. It is thought that CBD mitigates some of the less desirable effects of THC. CBDs are currently being investigated for their mental health applications including treatment for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psychosis as well as addictions and insomnia. There is also some promising early research into pain management, multiple sclerosis and even the treatment of cancer. Check out this article on Medscape for details:
As a society, we are gaining more comfort utilizing the medicinal properties of cannabis as marijuana is becoming decriminalized and as more research is completed. As a nurse practitioner, I am unable to prescribe medical marijuana, but I am fascinated with the research coming out on CBDs and I expect to see this particular restriction go the way of the dinosaurs.