People often use marijuana for its ability to elevate mood and increase pleasurable feelings. These effects can help alleviate symptoms of depression. In addition, it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This plays an essential role in regulating our moods.
Choosing the correct type of marijuana to treat depression varies. Preliminary research indicates that products with a chemical profile that includes CBD and CBG are good. Also, beta-caryophyllene, linalool, and limonene terpenes are good starting points.
Taking a closer look at the research may give a better understanding. Cannabis treatments can impact those with depression, both short and long-term. Scientific research on the topic is still in its early stages. But there is no denying how popular marijuana for depression is.
What is Depression and Its Symptoms?
Depression is a very common illness that affects more than 300 million people worldwide. Data according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The probability is that one in five people will suffer from it during their lifetime. Affecting twice as many women as men. Depression, in the most severe cases, can lead to suicide.
Since it multiplies by 20, the risk of consummated suicide. In addition to being a very frequent and potentially lethal disease. It is the world’s leading cause of disability, ahead of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Depression is one of the most common diseases in humans, especially in women. Not only does it affect many people. It is also a chronic disease that tends to appear recurrently in the form of episodes. This makes it the first cause of disability in the world. In both women and men. Ahead of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Approximately 3,000 people commit suicide every day in the world. As a result of the depression, they suffer. This means not only the loss of life for the person who commits suicide. But also, a significant emotional burden for their families and loved ones.
Among its main symptoms are:
- Significant weight loss or weight gain
- Increased and decreased appetite
- Restlessness or daytime lethargy
- Lack of energy or exhaustion
- Excessive or unfitting guilt
- Feeling unworthy
- Nervous state or, conversely, slowing of thinking and movement
- Diminished concentration and capability to think
- Recurrent thoughts of death
Medical Marijuana for Depression
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) exists in all vertebrates. It helps regulate crucial functions such as sleep, pain, and appetite. The human body produces cannabinoids, which modulate and activate its various functions. But as the name implies, the endocannabinoid system can also be modulated. Thus, it is activated by the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
This system has only been discovered in the last 30 years. Scientists still have much to learn about the myriad ways in which cannabis affects the human body. The endocannabinoid system is involved in mood regulation. Scientists believe that cannabinoid receptors, called CB1 receptors, play a prominent role in the onset of depression.
There is a good chance that the use of cannabinoids can help temporarily alleviate symptoms of depression. High-CBD options may be beneficial for this. However, both THC and CBD appear to offer a short-term increase in positivity.
Also, to relieve depressive symptoms. Still, it is essential to note that research suggests that these effects are dose-dependent. Low doses of THC may improve depression. In contrast, high doses may exacerbate it. Still, if you have other medical conditions related to depression, marijuana may be a better choice. Chronic pain patients, for example, can expect to have better results in terms of depression using cannabis.
How Does Marijuana Affect the Brain?
Marijuana or cannabis is a green or gray mixture of dried, cracked flowers and leaves of the hemp plant. There are more than two hundred terms to designate it. Among them, we can find marijuana, grass, pot, etc. It is a species of Moraceae and has the appearance of a thin nettle. The properties of cannabis have made it a plant with many uses and a great tradition. It is used for recreational (drugs), medicinal and industrial purposes (as a raw material).
THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. It is one of more than 80 different cannabinoids contained in this plant. When marijuana is consumed, cannabinoids interact with various receptors in the brain and body. In this way, consumption generates different symptoms or signs in users. These THC-containing protein receptors are on some cell membranes. By interacting with these receptors, THC produces a variety of effects on the body.
The effects of marijuana on the brain involve a general change in perception, euphoria, and improved mood. Also, its use increases appetite and produces the feeling of being high. Immediate side effects include short-term memory loss or dry mouth. Also, red eyes reduced motor skills and feelings of anxiety. In the long term, marijuana can diminish mental capacity and lead to addiction.
What Research Find About Marijuana for Depression?
A 2002 UK survey of marijuana use found that 22% of patients with depression used cannabis. Another study of medical cannabis patients found that half of the individuals surveyed used marijuana for depression. Overall, such patients indicated that cannabis helped with their depressive symptoms.
A study published in 2019 surveyed 183 heterosexual couples who used cannabis. It found all were likely to use marijuana in the morning if they started the day in a worse mood. “Immediately after using cannabis, the mood was good. In addition, negative and anxious affect decreases relative to morning levels that day.”
That said, researchers have also found that cannabis use can cause depressive symptoms to worsen over time. It was determined something. Cannabis use, especially in excess, can lead to an increased risk of developing depressive disorders. In addition, a clinical study published in 2017 found that reducing cannabis use may result in fewer depressive symptoms. It is also recommended that physicians should treat this issue with more attention.
In addition, research suggests that patients who use marijuana have better outcomes. Better than opioid users when it comes to depression. For those treating both depression and chronic pain, it’s good. Cannabis appears to be the option with minor depressive side effects.
Can Marijuana Help Depression?
Marijuana is an alternative treatment. Even faster than regular antidepressants. Because it stimulates the endocannabinoid system and accelerates the growth and development of nerve tissue. With little or no problematic side effects. This natural remedy offers peace of mind to patients. It provides energy and concentration, relieves anxiety, provokes hunger, and combats insomnia. It also combats stress by improving mood.
According to a study, occasional cannabis users have lower levels of depressive symptoms than non-users. Researchers found that THC can serve as an antidepressant. But they also found that high doses of THC are counterproductive. The cannabinoids THC and CBD are known to have sedative, antidepressant, and antipsychotic effects.
The Benefits of Medical Marijuana
When it comes to depression, many people simply don’t feel like sitting down and enjoying a healthy meal. Lack of appetite is also one of the most common symptoms of depression. And this is another problem that marijuana use can help overcome.
Marijuana helps combat a lack of appetite. It contains ingredients that naturally increase appetite. Marijuana use also helps to improve mood. But this is not a secret. It is common knowledge that most marijuana users use it precisely because of this effect.
Stress is one of the most common causes of depression. Marijuana lowers stress levels. Of course, the ideal would be to eliminate all stress by practicing activities such as yoga and meditation. However, medical marijuana, although controversial, is also an effective technique for eliminating stress. Marijuana use can help reduce stress levels and relax both body and mind.
Suicidal thoughts, and worse, suicide attempts, are very common among patients with depression. One study, published in 2012, revealed a decrease in the suicide rate. The use of medical marijuana reduces the risk of suicide among patients with depression by decreasing their alcohol consumption.
The Risks of Medical Marijuana
Cannabis can be helpful. But it has some side effects that may be of particular concern to those dealing with depression. In particular, it has been known that THC can generate a lot of anxiety over the long term. This can cause depression to increase considerably.
Cannabis can also cause temporary cognitive impairment. So can respiratory problems such as chronic bronchitis. Or cardiovascular problems such as temporarily increased heart rate and blood pressure. Describing the acute effects of the consumption of cannabis or any other psychoactive drug is a simplification. Other possible side effects are fatigue, changes in appetite, mood, and sleep. In addition, cannabis can be addictive. Therefore, patients should be sure to use it responsibly.
Since the addictive experience in each subject depends on multiple factors. The dose consumed, the mode of administration, the previous experience with the substance, in addition to the concurrent consumption of other drugs, the expectations, and attitudes about the expected effects. The broader social context also influences it.
CBD And Its Potentially Beneficial Interaction
The CBD would have a double function. Apart from making the cannabis consumer sum in a state of peace and relaxation. An enjoyable state perfect for combating anxiety problems.
As some studies reflect through magnetic resonance imaging. There are other areas of the brain that are involved in this process. A process of search for happiness that instinctively seems to be unleashed in the brain and the body. When marijuana is consumed, in this case, the hormone responsible for these changes is serotonin.
Without the psychoactive effects of THC. Research has also shown that CBD products can be a perfect treatment for depression. A study published in 2018 examined the effects of CBD against depression in rodent subjects. It found that a single dose could induce rapid and sustained effects similar to antidepressants.
In 2014, CBD was found to function as an antidepressant. However, this could be related to serotonin levels in the central nervous system, according to a 2018 rodent study. CBD has also shown promise as a treatment for sleep problems and anxiety. Relief from such symptoms may help patients cope better with depression.
CBD dosage recommendations for depression are limit as there has not been enough research on this topic. The 2018 study cited above found that a single dose of CBD (between 10mg/kg and 30 mg/kg) had effects. Effects similar to antidepressants, which lasted up to 7 days. It should be noted that this study was conducted with rodents and not human subjects.
The limited clinical data available on CBD from the social anxiety study can be used. At a starting dose of 10 mg per kilogram per day. Of course, you should always consult your treating physician and cannabis, health professional. Always before making any treatment decisions, and they may even suggest higher doses.
Anxiety and depression are two of the many diseases that attack modern societies. As a consequence of new frustrations, the rhythm of life we lead, or a reality. A reality that seems to demand more and more from us as individuals without offering us the longed-for reward.
Among the multiple beneficial effects is its use to relieve stress, anxiety, or depression. These shadows that seem to haunt us in our daily lives seem to dissipate between puffs of smoke. But, apart from what we all know about cannabis as a recreational or therapeutic drug. What is true about its use in the treatment of depression and anxiety? You’ve already drawn your conclusions. The choice is yours.