We understand that marijuana is a useful tool for addressing a variety of health issues. People utilize different cannabis strains to deal with pain, nausea, hunger, and even sleep deprivation. But is it possible to use cannabis for depression?
In this post, we’ll go through the somewhat complicated link between marijuana and depression. Is cannabis a good option for your depression? Continue reading to find out.
Marijuana and Depression: What Users Need to Know
According to recent data from the National Institutes of Mental Health, around 7% of Americans suffer at least one major depressive episode on average during a year. Minor and moderate depression are other types.
Depression is a highly complicated and difficult condition. The most common explanation for its origin is an imbalance of particular neurotransmitters (particularly norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine) in the brain.
Some people/insist that since marijuana (specifically the chemical THC) stimulates neurons that release dopamine, it can effectively treat a variety of depression. However, “cannabis and depression” isn’t quite as straightforward as it appears.
How Does Cannabis Affect Depression?
According to experts, there is a link between marijuana and depression based on the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of naturally occurring neurotransmitters and receptors that work together to support various human activities and emotions.
Endocannabinoids and their receptors (particularly 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 present in cannabis, known as phytocannabinoids, are structurally similar to anandamide, one of the body’s own (endo) endocannabinoids. Anandamide is often referred to as the “bliss molecule” because of its role in “heightening motivation and pleasure.”
Research on marijuana and depression
The study of medical marijuana as a treatment for depression is still in its infancy. Researchers now believe that possible advantages include the restoration of “normal” endocannabinoid function and mood stabilization.
Researchers at the University at Buffalo are investigating medicinal marijuana as a possible treatment for depression brought on by chronic stress. The Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) at the University of Buffalo has been studying endocannabinoids, which are brain chemicals.
Endocannabinoids are chemical compounds that are produced by the body. They have a chemical structure comparable to cannabis and regulate movement, thought, feeling, and behavior. They also have a chemical structure similar to cannabis.
The researchers have conducted their studies on animals instead of people. They discovered, however, that chronic stress may reduce the brain’s production of endocannabinoids. They found that this can lead to depression-like behavior.
Introducing cannabis into the system may help restore normal functioning and levels. This might reduce depression symptoms. More research is needed to determine whether or not marijuana can be used as a therapy for those suffering from depression.
Risks and warnings
- Depending on the way marijuana is consumed, side effects can occur. Some studies have found a link between cannabis and depression, but others have not.
- Marijuana use has the potential to induce schizophrenia or psychosis in persons who are vulnerability. However, there is no clear evidence yet.
In a poll of individuals who use marijuana for chronic pain, 71 percent said they had no significant side effects. Six percent reported a cough or throat irritation. There’s no evidence that marijuana causes depression. However, there may be a connection between the two. According to some studies , regular or heavy users of the drug are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than non-smokers
Marijuana’s negative effects on the brain have also been linked to mental health issues. If you’re at risk of psychosis, it’s vital to understand that marijuana has the potential to trigger schizophrenia or madness. Psychosis is a severe mental illness in which individuals lose touch with reality. Hallucinations and delusions are two possible indicators of psychosis.
The potential negative consequences of marijuana use are dependent on how you take it. Marijuana may be taken as a spray, pill, or patch. Traditional recreational methods such as smoking and vaporization are being researched further. The researchers at University at Buffalo are now attempting to see if a particular extract called cannabidiol provides mood-boosting effects without causing drug dependency.
Tools for coping with depression
You may also try these home treatments to cope with depression after you and your doctor create a treatment strategy:
- When you’re stressed out, relax your body and mind by cutting down on extra duties and worries. Allow yourself to unwind when you’re feeling down.
- Add more structure to your daily routine. You can set reminders on your phone for events or other cannot-miss responsibilities.
- Journaling is beneficial. This may be a healthy outlet for you to openly and honestly express feelings of sadness, anger, or fear.
- Look for organizations that can assist you with your mental health. Your employer or church might have a services program that can help. You may also want to look at the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
- Keep in mind that you’re not alone. Although this might be tough when you’re down, having a support system around you has a number of advantages.
- Discover new and interesting stress-relieving techniques. It might be as easy as going for a daily stroll, performing yoga postures, or attempting meditation.
Final Thoughts on Marijuana and Depression
The US National Cancer Institute claims there is a lack of scientific evidence supporting the use of cannabis to treat depression. There is a lot more work to be done in order to understand how (or if) chemicals such as THC and CBD impact biochemical pathways involved in clinical depression. Again, there is no evidence that cannabis has therapeutic benefits for melancholy. A complex physiological connection most likely exists between marijuana and the several symptoms of depression, and much further study is needed to comprehend how (or if) specific compounds including THC and CBD affect biochemical pathways concerned with clinical sadness.
However, numerous published research (as cited above) have shown that CBD has antidepressant effects in animal models. It’s conceivable that in the future, rather than THC, CBD will be used to alleviate common symptoms of depression. However, additional study is necessary before anyone can come to such a definitive medical conclusion.
If you’re thinking about using cannabis to treat depression, speak with a doctor who practices cannabis medicine (if one is accessible in your state). CBD-based medicines sold at medical marijuana shops are often abundant.