Does Weed Help With Depression?
Cannabis has been used to treat depression throughout history. In 1621, an English clergyman by the name of Robert Burton first recommended its use in a book called The Anatomy of Melancholy. Doctors in India were also using Cannabis to treat patients at around the same time.
Depression is defined as a feeling of sadness or hopelessness for a prolonged period of time. According to a 2015 study by scientists at the University of Buffalo, depression that is caused by stress can be effectively treated with marijuana. The findings demonstrated that stress caused a decrease in cannabis-like molecules naturally found in the brain, and their depletion lead to subsequent feelings of depression.
In studies on rats, chronic stress was found to reduce the production of endocannabinoids, which effect cognition, behavior, emotion, and have been shown to lower feelings of pain and anxiety. When cannabis was administered to the rats, however, their symptoms of depression were alleviated.
A 2007 study at McGill University proved that low doses of THC could function like an anti-depressant by causing serotonin levels to surge. High doses, conversely seemed to decrease serotonin and intensify feelings of depression. Indeed, speculation on the ability of Cannabis to treat depression is a multi-faceted issue. Both the dose amount and which specific type of cannabinoid has positive effects on mood must all be considered. With studies still ongoing and over one hundred different cannabinoids to test, research is by no means conclusive. There are certain strains of cannabis that are proven to boost mood. These include:
Jack Herer (Sativa)
This strain contains high levels of limonene and pinene, which are both terpenes that boost mood and focus respectively. Increase energy and euphoria.
Pineapple Express (Hybrid)
High limonene content awakens energy and bliss.
1:1 ratio of THC and CBD gives one a clear head and depression relief. CBD helps counteract some of the anxiety-inducing effects of THC. For those prone to nerves, Harlequin is just the ticket.
Other medical research indicates that while cannabis can help improve mood, users seem to suffer a higher rate of depression by and large. It should also be noted that teenage Marijuana users are far more susceptible to depression and anxiety than their adult counterparts. Furthermore, using cannabis as a teen can make one prone to anxiety and depression into adulthood long even after they’ve stopped using.
Even still, some doctors maintain that the side effects of pharmaceutical antidepressants can be far more harmful to depression sufferers than those of marijuana.
Despite a wide range of divergent opinions and inconclusive research, depression remains one of the medical conditions that medicinal marijuana can be prescribed for in Canada. Users should educate themselves on the potential risks and side effects of using the drug for this purpose and run them by their physician before prolonged use.Back To FAQ