“Does medical marijuana really help with depression?” This is a common medical question on the minds of many who may feel depressed. Depression is in no way a rare condition in today’s world.
In fact, it is estimated that over 300 million people are affected by depression in one form or another worldwide. This number may even be a gross underestimation, considering that many don’t admit they may suffer from the illness and seek help accordingly.
Western medicine science has been great in developing several classes of drugs to treat depression. The reason there are so many classes of drugs available on the market is because people respond differently to the drugs and each class has its own side effects.
Unfortunately, despite the ready availability of drugs to treat depression, some people still don’t improve enough to lead healthy and happy lives. This explains why people suffering from depression are starting to wonder if medical marijuana may be able to serve as an alternative means of alleviating the symptoms of depression.
So what are the symptoms of depression? Depression is a condition where there is a defect in neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly serotonin. This deficit of neurotransmitters leads to a number of symptoms that can leave a person unable to deal with day to day life, and even lead to suicide if not properly treated.
Symptoms of depression include:
- Depressed mood.
- Sleep disturbances (hypersomnia or insomnia).
- Excess eating or refusing to eat.
- Constant fatigue.
- Inability to concentrate.
- Unexplained feeling of guilt.
- Thinking about death and suicidal thoughts.
There are atypical symptoms that can also be associated with depression including hallucinations.
Depression can also be part of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder consists of periods of mania where a person is hyperactive, reckless, violent, sleepless, and hypersexual alternating with periods of depression that consist of the symptoms we described above.
Depression Western Treatment
1.The most popular, and probably most effective, drugs used to treat depression today are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
These drugs increase the availability of serotonin in the brain, thereby correcting the underlying pathology that causes depression. A closely related family of drugs is the serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These increase the availability of serotonin, as well as norepinephrine.
These drugs aren’t without their side effects. The most common side effects are weight gain and sexual dysfunction. This is why a lot of people have a hard time staying on these drugs, even if their depression is getting better.
2.Other classes of drugs include MAOI and TCA antidepressants. Medical professionals often save the use of these antidepressants for those severe cases of resistant depression that don’t respond to SSRIs and SNRIs.
These drugs are only used as the last line of treatment because they produce more severe side effects such as neurolept malignant syndrome. MAOI can also cause severe hypertension if a person eats a lot of cheese while taking this drug. The implications of these side effects are complex and outside the scope of our discussion here.
Holistic Treatments: Medical Marijuana and CBD Oil
The use of medical marijuana is becoming legal in more and more states. As a result, it is rapidly becoming a new treatment option for a multitude of conditions, one of which is depression.
Numerous studies are being conducted on the use of marijuana as a treatment for depression, some of which are showing quite promising results.
1.A recent study at the University of Buffalo has shown that marijuana helps reduce a person’s stress level.
2.Marijuana and CBD oil also lower the person’s anxiety level as well as alleviating physical pain. It’s a fact that anxiety and chronic pain are often complementary and co-exist with depression.
Eliminating these factors from a patient’s life is definitely a positive step forward that can not only help in the treatment of depression, but also prevent it before it happens.
Taking medical marijuana and CBD oil isn’t without risks though.
1.First of all, some people suffer from anxiety when using marijuana. The occurrence and severity of this anxiety is unpredictable and can worsen a person’s depression if already present.
2.Secondly, there aren’t yet enough studies on the use of marijuana in treating depression to guarantee 100% its safety. Actually, some studies suggest that the use of marijuana can be a direct cause of depression itself.
3.There are lots of factors that need to be taken into consideration when using marijuana as a treatment for depression.
For some people, marijuana has proven beneficial in the treatment of depression. While for others, who were previously healthy, it allegedly brought on depression. Until further studies have been conducted, it’s not recommended to rely solely on marijuana or CBD oil as a primary treatment for depression.
Best Marijuana Strain to Use for Depression Treatment
Sativa is preferred as an option for depression when compared to indica, hybrid, and ruderalis. Sativa is the most stimulatory marijuana strain. It can help those with depression get out of bed and have more energy for their day.
Indica, on the other hand, is more of a depressant and results in drowsiness. These inhibitory effects are likely to worsen a person’s depressive symptoms rather than treat them.
How to Use
1.The best way to use medical marijuana, as well as CBD oils, is by inhalation. When you inhale these substances, they’re absorbed more quickly and in a larger concentration leading to the maximum impact.
2.If you don’t want something that’ll affect your functioning or degree of awareness, then you should go for slowly absorbed forms like pills and oral drops.
We can’t really recommend a particular dose. The impact of marijuana and CBD on people with depression is variable as mentioned earlier. If you wish to try them then you should consult your doctor so he or she can figure out what works best for you.
3.Medical marijuana can be purchased at dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal.
If medical marijuana isn’t legal in your state then you can go for CBD oils which can be bought online.
Just make sure to buy from a trusted website that can also tell you the concentrations of THC and CBD in the oil. Those who live in Canada can buy medical marijuana through online dispensaries.
The debate on whether medical marijuana is safe and useful in depression is still ongoing. Lots of studies have shown promising results.
However, doctors and scientists still worry about the safety of medical marijuana in depression. Until we know for sure how safe and beneficial medical marijuana is, it is best to consult your physician if you wish to try it.
Thank you for reading our “Does Medical Marijuana Really Help with Depression?”
We would love to hear about your experiences using medical marijuana or CBD oils for depression – please give your comment below.
We believe others who are trying to find a natural treatment for their depression will definitely appreciate and benefit from it.
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