It’s no secret that cannabis has long been used to alleviate depression. Nevertheless, with the plant’s recent legalisation in many areas of the globe, including medicinal usage in the UK, the question of whether it’s effective at treating the ailment has come to the forefront. What study has been done on cannabis and depression?
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Recognizing Clinical Depression
Let’s start with a definition of clinical depression. Depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, is “A frequent but dangerous mood illness. It creates significant symptoms that interfere with how you feel, think, and manage everyday tasks including sleeping, eating, and working “.
Fatigue, changes in eating or sleep habits, irritability, restlessness, and thoughts of despair are all indicators of depression. It may also cause bodily issues such as headaches , aches and pains.
For many individuals, depression is a short-term issue that may be treated with medicine, treatment, or self-care. For others, though, it may be a chronic illness that need continuing therapy. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for depression, but there are numerous successful therapies.
Depression and Cannabis
You won’t go too far without someone pointing out the powerful plant’s grins and chuckles. Nevertheless, depression is more than just a lousy mood. Depression is a severe mental condition that may have far-reaching consequences in many aspects of a person’s life.
A study of the cannabis and depression literature showed some evidence supporting the use of cannabinoids to treat depression, however the data is unclear. In certain trials, cannabis is useful in treating depression, but not in others. It is vital to highlight that bias in older studies might result in a bad outcome regardless of the study results. As a result, reading the whole report is required for a more complete understanding of the research.
The marijuana and depression research that have been conducted have been tiny and poorly conceived. This makes drawing clear conclusions regarding cannabis’s usefulness in treating depression problematic.
Having said that, there is some encouraging evidence that cannabis may be useful in the treatment of depression. A study released in 2021 discovered that persons with treatment-resistant depression who took marijuana saw substantial reductions in their symptoms.
What Cannabis Might Do For Those Suffering From Depression
The neurotransmitter serotonin is involved in mood and emotion. In certain tests, the powerful herb has also been proven to have antidepressant benefits. It is considered to function by boosting serotonin levels in the brain.
Cannabis may also aid with other depressive symptoms such as anxiety, discomfort, and sleeplessness. Cannabis compounds may have anti-anxiety and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties.
Many persons who suffer from depression also experience anxiety and may suffer from chronic pain. Both illnesses may benefit from the use of cannabis. Cannabis has been shown in studies to considerably lessen feelings of anxiety and sadness in persons who consume it.
Cannabis may also aid in the improvement of sleep. Depression is associated with difficulties falling and staying asleep.
How Can Cannabis Help With Depression?
Depression is a complicated disorder with several causes. Cannabis may act by influencing some of the brain’s depression-related processes.
The cannabinoid-rich plant impacts the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a number of processes such as mood, appetite, and pain. The ECS may potentially contribute to depression by influencing serotonin levels.
Marijuana also has an effect on serotonin levels in the brain. The important neurotransmitter influences mood and emotion. Serotonin deficiency has been related to depression.
Cannabinoids attach to brain receptors, which may increase serotonin levels. This activity may assist to improve a person’s mood and alleviate certain symptoms of depression.
Cannabis may have anti-inflammatory properties as well. Inflammation has been related to depression in studies. Cannabis has the potential to alleviate inflammation by influencing the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is known to help control inflammation in the brain.
Depression is hypothesised to be caused by neuroinflammation. Cannabis may aid in the reduction of neuroinflammation by influencing the endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoids may also aid in the protection of nerve cells.
Can Cannabis Strain Affect Depression?
THC and CBD, two cannabinoids found in cannabis, have differing effects on the brain. THC is the psychoactive chemical that causes individuals to get “high.” CBD has no psychotropic properties and does not provide a “high.”
Various cannabis strains have varied THC and CBD levels. Certain strains have a greater THC content, while others have a higher CBD content.
THC-rich cannabis strains may be more beneficial in treating depression. Those who used THC-rich strains had a decreased incidence of depressive symptoms than those who did not use cannabis, according to studies.
Higher THC levels, on the other hand, might cause anxiety and paranoia. As a result, it is critical to begin with a low dosage and gradually increase as required.
CBD-rich cannabis strains may potentially be useful in treating depression. A 2010 research indicated that CBD exhibited antidepressant-like effects in mice.
CBD may aid in the reduction of anxiety, which is a typical symptom of depression. CBD has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.
Around 500 chemicals are found in this famous and powerful plant. Terpenes are found alongside phytocannabinoids. Terpenes are fragrant chemicals that contribute to the characteristic scent of cannabis.
Terpenes may have antidepressant properties as well. Terpenes were discovered to have antidepressant-like effects in studies. Limonene and myrcene, two typical cannabis terpenes, were very helpful.
Customers’ Favorite Depressive Strains
Some common strains that may be beneficial for depression include:
- Blue Dream has a high THC concentration and is a sativa-dominant hybrid. It is well-known for its energising and uplifting properties.
- Granddaddy Purple has a high THC concentration and is an indica-dominant strain. It is said to offer calming and soothing properties.
- Harlequin: This sativa-dominant strain has a high CBD concentration. It is well-known for its energising and anxiety-reducing properties.
- Depression and Cannabis: The Bottom Line
- Depression is a complicated disorder with several causes. The evidence clearly shows that cannabis, especially THC and CBD, may alleviate certain symptoms of sadness.
- Cannabis has the potential to impact several of the brain systems implicated in depression.