We understand that marijuana has the ability to provide physical alleviation for a range of health problems. People utilize various cannabis strains to alleviate pain, nausea, appetite, and even sleep issues. But what if you use marijuana for depression?
The somewhat complex connection between cannabis and depression is discussed in this post. Is cannabis a viable treatment for your sadness? Continue reading to learn more.
Marijuana and Depression: What Users Need to Know
According to recent statistics from the National Institutes of Mental Health, around 7% of American adults have at least one major depressive episode in a year. One in every four persons suffers from some type of mental illness.
Depression is a highly complicated and difficult illness. The most prevalent theory is that it stems from an imbalance of particular neurotransmitters (particularly norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine) in the brain.
Some have assumed/proposed that medical cannabis (specifically the chemical THC) can cure various kinds of depression because it acts on neurons that produce dopamine. However, the “cannabis and depression” connection isn’t as straightforward as it appears.
How Does Cannabis Affect Depression?
There is a chance that marijuana and depression are linked through the endocannabinoid system, which is a complex network of naturally occurring neurotransmitters and receptors that work together to aid in a variety of human functions and emotions.
Endocannabinoids and their receptors (particularly the CB-1 and CB-2 receptors) are found in everyone. This is true whether you’ve ever used marijuana or not. The chemically active cannabinoids in marijuana, known as phytocannabinoids, have a similar chemical structure to anandamide, one of the body’s endocannabinoids. Because of its function of “heightening motivation and pleasure,” anandamide is frequently referred to as the “bliss molecule.”
Research on marijuana and depression
The study of medical marijuana for depression is still in its infancy. Researchers believe that potential advantages include the restoration of “normal” endocannabinoid function and mood stabilization at this time.
Researchers at the University at Buffalo are examining medicinal marijuana as a possible treatment for chronic stress-induced depression. The university’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) has focused its attention on endocannabinoids, chemical messengers in the brain that influence mood and memory.
These are naturally occurring chemicals. They’re involved in motor control, cognition, emotions, and behavior. They also have a chemical structure that is comparable to that of cannabis.
The researchers have studied animals rather than people. However, they discovered that continual stress can reduce the brain’s production of endocannabinoids. They discovered that this might result in depressive behavior comparable to that seen in humans.
Cannabis might help restore typical levels and function by introducing it into the system. This may assist with depression symptoms. Additional research is needed to determine whether or not marijuana has any true advantages as a treatment for people who are depressed.
Risks and warnings
- Depending on the manner of ingestion, some adverse effects are possible.
- There is a lot of debate about whether marijuana use can lead to depression or whether it may be used to treat it.
- Marijuana use has the potential to induce schizophrenia or psychosis in people who are predisposed to them. However, further study is needed.
71 percent of those polled in a group said that using marijuana for chronic pain had no major negative effects. A cough or throat irritation was reported by six percent of respondents.
There’s no evidence that marijuana causes depression. There may, however, be a link between the two. According to some research , regular or heavy users of cannabis are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than non-users.
Marijuana has been connected to a variety of mental health issues. It’s vital to understand that marijuana might induce schizophrenia or psychosis if you have a high risk of developing it. Psychosis is a severe mental illness characterized by a loss of contact with reality. Hallucinations and delusions are two common symptoms.
Marijuana’s side effects may be dependent on how you consume it. Medical marijuana can be taken in the form of a spray, pill, or patches. Traditional recreational procedures, such as smoking or vaporizing, are being studied using traditional therapeutic methods.
University at Buffalo experts are now attempting to figure out if a certain component, called cannabidiol, can provide mood-boosting advantages without causing dependency.
Tools for coping with depression
After you and your doctor have created a treatment plan, you may implement additional strategies at home to fight depression:
- Reduce responsibilities and stress in your life to help you relax. Allow yourself space to breathe when you’re feeling blue.
- Add more structure to your day. You can use reminders on your phone to remind you about events or other things that must not be missed.
- Consider journaling. This can be a healthy outlet for you to openly and honestly divulge feelings of sadness, anger, or fear.
- Look for organizations that can assist you with your mental health. Your job or church may have a support system that could assist you. You may also learn more about the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
- Instead of withdrawing from the world, avoid being isolated. Although this might be tough when you’re sad, having a support network around you has several advantages.
- New and entertaining methods to relax and relieve tension and negative feelings are on their way. It might be as easy as going for a stroll every day, performing yoga postures, or attempting meditation.
Final Thoughts on Marijuana and Depression
There’s also no proof that cannabis use helps people who don’t have depression. There is evidence that a complicated physiological link exists between marijuana and various symptoms of depression, and more research is needed to understand how (or if) components such as THC and CBD affect the biochemical pathways involved in clinical depression.
However, various published research (as stated above) have shown that CBD has antidepressant effects in animal models. It’s conceivable that CBD – rather than THC – may be used to treat depression-related symptoms in the future. However, before anyone can arrive at such a definitive clinical conclusion, further study is required.
If you’re considering utilizing cannabis to treat depression, see a medical cannabis doctor (if that’s an option in your state) about the prospect of obtaining a medical marijuana card. Cannabis products from dispensaries such as these are available: