Could Cannabis Help Depression? The Surprising Answers Revealed!

December 12, 2018

There are now many people who are diagnosed with different kinds of depression. And with cannabis being a possible treatment, it makes people a question: How effective is this compound in treating the mental disorder?

Because of the limited research on this topic, it can be quite confusing. Some people claim that cannabis has helped with their depression significantly, while others say that it’s had them feel a bit worse when using it. But what’s the real story?

I did the research to help you find out if cannabis is right for you. So read on as I answer the question, “Could cannabis help depression?”

Your Mood And The Endocannabinoid System 

Our moods are affected by many things. It can be from our environment, genetics, life situations, as well as our brain activity. Research done on our cannabinoid receptor genes can give us clues as to why this happens.

For starters, let us first look into our endocannabinoid system and how it affects our mood. The ECS’ activity in the brain can affect our feelings, causing anxiety and depression if we are low on cannabinoids). 

Studies show that there is a connection between both mood and cannabinoids because of the rimonabant, a medication to treat obesity. The rimonabant, known as a cannabinoid antagonist, was quickly withdrawn from markets because of its adverse side effects mental-wise, from depression, anxiety, to suicidal thoughts.

This shows that blocking the cannabinoid receptors in our brain has severe consequences, particularly on our moods.

What Is Depression? 

For this who is wondering what depression is, there are diagnostic criteria based on the occurrence of major depressive episodes? 

            •          The symptoms of a depressive episode would include following:

            •          An overall depressed mood

            •          Loss of interest or pleasure in activities

            •          Significant weight or appetite disturbance

            •          Lack or too much sleep

            •          Slow or fast muscle movement

            •          Loss of energy

            •          Low self-esteem and worthless feeling

            •          Decreased thinking abilities and concentration

            •          Suicidal thoughts

            •          Rejection ideation

Besides these, the episodes need to be at least two weeks long and cause significant distress. It should also not be related to a drug used or meet any criteria of other mental disorders. 

Can Cannabis Cause Depression?

A study done in Sweden shows that “after controlling confounding factors and markers of disturbed behavior during childhood, there is no increased risk of future depression among cannabis users from ages 18 to 20.”

They concluded that the use of cannabis does not increase the risk of depression and anxiety. Furthermore, other studies have been done to prove this conclusion.

Though there are also other studies which have contradicted this study, they are inconclusive, as they are not able to rule out various effects of depression, such as the family, lifestyle, and social variables. 

However, what all studies agree on, is that there is more need to research on this topic.

Can Cannabis Treat Depression? 

Using the right amount of cannabis (particularly CBD) can be helpful in the interaction with ECS in our brains. A study concludes that data has shown elevated endocannabinoid signaling can produce positive behavioral and biochemical effects. 

So while there’s a potential of cannabis being a good treatment, there needs to be more research. But regardless of the conclusion, many patients have claimed that cannabis is just as effective as antidepressants, helping them cope with stress and seeing the more positive things in life.

It’s also helped as a mood enhancement, avoiding major depressive episodes. But, there is a risk of self-treatment, as some may abuse the cannabis. But with proper education and maintenance, this can be avoided.

Medicine Is Personal 

Cannabis can affect us in different ways, as this depends on the way our body accepts it. We have personalized ECS, which is why we cannot predict the therapeutic effects of cannabis. Depression and cannabis is not just the simple cause and effect situation but a dynamic and relative relationship that needs more research in humans to have a sure conclusion.

So, while you may try cannabis (under the advice of a health professional), do not throw away your medicine and therapies just yet. Also, pair it with healthier lifestyle changes such as better diet and exercise routines to ensure a full recovery.

Conclusion

It’s a bit difficult to completely say that cannabis can cure or help with depression. But with the many benefits, it has been scientifically proven to offer, it can be an aid for some. However, this will require a bit more research and testing on your part. It is all relative and will depend on how your body takes the cannabis.

Hopefully, this article answered your question, “Could cannabis help depression?” If you are interested in getting a share of cannabis today to test it out, I searched and found these CBD coupons so check out this website here!

If you have any questions or want to share your experiences with cannabis and depression, then comment below. Your thoughts are much appreciated.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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