Feeling blue? If so, medical marijuana could be the treatment for you.
The compounds found in cannabis (known as cannabinoids) have shown to work harmoniously with the endocannabinoids present in our minds that are responsible for our emotions and behavior. Long-term stress, that is often a major trigger for depression, reduces the production of endocannabinoids which are strikingly similar to the cannabinoids found in marijuana, particularly tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
A recent study conducted by neuroscientists at the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions found that the cannabinoids present in marijuana can activate the endocannabinoids found in our brain. Good news for those who produce fewer endocannabinoids due to chronic stress and experience bouts of depression because of it.
This study performed on rats found that endocannabinoid function was reduced when exposed to chronic stress. Marijuana cannabinoids were then given to these rats where it was found that they restored endocannabinoids to a healthy level. According to Dr. Samir Haj-Dahmane, lead researcher of the study “using compounds derived from cannabis to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially stabilize mood and ease depression.”
This study further highlights why the use of medical cannabis has shown to be a positive treatment from those who suffer from PTSD. One study published in 2014 revealed that patients who smoked marijuana had a 75% decrease in symptoms of PTSD. With depression being one of the major symptoms people experiencing PTSD suffer it seems the correlation is clear.
The relationship between marijuana and depression however, is one that is quite complex. Previous studies have shown that heavy cannabis smokers are actually more prone to depression than light or casual smokers. These are also the same studies that are putting out information that marijuana is highly addictive, that it causes severe mental disorders, and that it leads to harder drugs.
While new studies are beginning to emerge, it will more than likely take time before we see exactly how cannabis and its complex system of cannabinoids reacts with the endocannabinoids in our brains to help ease the often debilitating symptoms of depression.
With more than 350 million people worldwide suffering from depression, the ability to treat symptoms with marijuana would undoubtedly come as a blessing to many. The only “proven” medication thusly is the man-made pharmaceuticals that often come with a host of negative side-effects. And often when one drug isn’t working, people are offered another one on top of what they’re already taking. What’s more is these “happy pills” are often physically and psychologically addicting, simply masking symptoms and keeping you dependent on them to feel good.
Marijuana on the other hand, holds none of the negative side effects that are all too commonly found in pharmaceuticals. If you’re someone who suffers from depression you know just how devastating this condition can be. And if you’ve taken prescription meds to help, you’re well aware of the negative ways in which they can affect you.
Giving serious thought to medicating with cannabis can serve as a viable option that has the potential to offer the relief you inherently deserve. No one should be forced to suffer with depression with their only option for relief in the hands of the pharmaceutical industry. If cannabis can help with the symptoms of depression, by all means give it a chance and see if it doesn’t just bring your brain naturally back to balance.