Depression is a psychological condition that is affecting more than 16 million adults in the United States. While in some patients, it may be a come and go condition, for many it is more like a permanent companion, making their life just insufferable. For people suffering from depression, leading a normal life may seem like a very far-fetched dream. The condition can rob them of all their happiness and positivity.
Though there are various conventional methods to treat the condition, the success rate of these isn’t quite impressive. The traditional medications do work in some cases. But for others, it makes the problem even worse.
Interestingly, many who are suffering from depression are turning to marijuana slowly. Though there are many other conditions in which the worth of cannabis has been backed by science, is it really worth applying for medical marijuana evaluations if you are suffering from depression?
Let’s find out.
Marijuana Vs. Depression
If you already are a weed smoker, you probably know how good it can feel. There are strains that can instantly elevate your mood and leave you with a feeling of euphoria which can last for even some hours, sometimes. There are some other strains that are a bit relaxing and de-stressing. However, there, probably, have been times when you were all anxious and panicking after hitting a joint.
This is because cannabis reacts differently to different people. And so, the question “Will it works for your depression?” is quite a complex one.
Researchers have explored a few effects marijuana can have on depression. But before we talk any further, you should note that it’s not the plant actually that reacts with your system but the hundreds of chemicals it produces. And now, to make it even more complicated, the amount of these chemicals isn’t really the same in all the strains. Some may have a high level of THC, while others can be a bit CBD dominant. So, it’s not how cannabis impacts depression but how these chemicals work on it.
What does the Research Say?
Unfortunately, there’s not much conclusive research available on the subject. We don’t have much idea about how these chemicals work in synergy. However, experts have a good understanding of how the two components, CBD and THC, individually affect our mood.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the component that is responsible for producing the psychoactive high feeling associated with the cannabis plant. It may edge off the feeling of depression by increasing the level of dopamine in the brain. This, in turn, instantly improves the mood of the person and also induces a feeling of motivation in him. However, you should note that the effects are not very long-lived.
There are various studies pointing to the fact that cannabis can significantly reduce the level of depression, stress and anxiety in people. The data even suggests that cannabis users experience 50 percent less depression and 58 percent less stress after they consume cannabis.
However, THC isn’t the only component that can help with depression. The studies suggest that strains that are high in CBD (cannabidiol) are even more effective in fighting depression. This may be due to the effect of CBD on serotonin levels inside the brain. However, it is seen that the increased use of CBD may result in the breakdown of the whole endocannabinoid system, which may lead to some extreme negative effects.
Though the relationship between marijuana and cannabis is promising, it may be a double-edged sword. While an acute amount of usage can induce some amazing effects, chronic exposure may break down your whole system. Also, a long term usage of cannabis may lower the brain’s response to dopamine, which may cause a reduction in the feeling of motivation and reward.
So, now that you know about the relationship between cannabis and depression, you may apply for medical marijuana evaluations. However, make sure you talk to a professional marijuana doctor before you actually try it as a medicine.