Recently the transgender community has been under the spotlight for the fight for bathroom regulations and transgender friendly bathrooms. However, its much more of a deeper problem than that. Aside from physical pain, the transgender community suffers from extreme anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Could cannabis provide transgender people a little bit of comfort?
The transgender community is part of the LGBT community but has an increasing amount of depression and chronic anxiety. In a 2011 study, it was found that in the US alone, 41 percent of transgender people and nonsexual conforming people have had attempted suicide. This is compared to the national average of suicide rates which is only 4.6 percent.
Cannabis could, in fact, lower these numbers significantly and help transgender people suffering from depression. The cannabinoids that activate the receptors in the brain that regulate moods are very similar to the THC components which are found in cannabis.
THC has also been found to stimulate the brain to release dopamine, which is the chemical in the brain that controls how we feel about “pleasure.” Transgender people smoking weed would find that increased levels of dopamine would significantly lower their risk of suicide or suicidal behaviors.
However, besides emotional pain, transgender people going through the transition or those who are physical changing could benefit greatly from smoking cannabis.
According to research, one of the principal side effects of cross-sex hormone treatment, (hormone therapy) are excessive weight gain and an increase in body fat. Cannabis can come to the rescue.
A San Diego study has recently stated that marijuana could be linked to a lack of appetite and weight loss. The study suggests that those who smoke more cannabis are more likely to be active and have an increase in mobility.
Cross-sex hormone treatment can also have effects on the amount of insulin in the body, which is needed for proper weight loss.
Added hormones or changes in hormones in the body, can make a transgender person more prone to having a huge decrease in insulin sensitivity. This drop in insulin sensitivity means that the body has difficulty metabolising glucose, have higher cholesterol, and have a problem keeping a stable weight. These are also the symptoms of diabetes.
However, cannabis has recently been said to have a higher insulin resistance, meaning it creates better levels of insulin in the body. According to a survey completed by National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2005- 2010, regular marijuana smokers has 16 percent lower insulin levels.
These lower levels meant that cannabis smokers don’t need as much insulin in their body to remain healthy, versus someone that doesn’t smoke marijuana regularly.
The facts are simple. Marijuana can help the transgender community by depleting depression, but can also help with the side effects of cross-sex hormone treatment. If you are a member of the community or are struggling with the transition, the best medicine might just be to toke up.