The Role Cannabis Plays in Treating Depression

the-role-cannabis-plays-in-treating-depression

Depressive disorders are among the most common mental health conditions, with more than 16 million American adults suffering from major depressive disorder alone. Everyone’s circumstances and brain chemistries differ, making it impossible to find a one-size-fits-all treatment. With that said, medical marijuana has shown potential in improving the lives of many people struggling with a depressive disorder, so let’s look at the role cannabis plays in treating depression.

Symptoms and Causes of Depression

While feelings of sadness or hopelessness are the most discussed symptoms of depression, there are many more. Insomnia, sleeping too much, weight gain, weight loss, trouble concentrating, unexplained physical pain, guilt, shame—the list goes on and on, but why do people develop depression?

While not particularly helpful, the answer is that it depends. As with many medical conditions, there’s a genetic component at play. Past trauma, the loss of a loved one, stress, substance abuse and isolation can also contribute to depression.

Generally, anything that reduces the amount or effectiveness of the serotonin your brain has access to might be responsible.

How Cannabis Can Help

Many people tout medical marijuana as a treatment option for a range of conditions. While it does show significant promise in treating depression, it’s not a panacea.

It won’t immediately cure your depression, but neither will antidepressants or lifestyle changes. A combination of treatments including medical marijuana, sleeping between seven and nine hours, eating well, exercising, and eliminating stressors when possible will do a considerable amount to ease symptoms.

The use of cannabis to treat depression isn’t new; an English clergyman recommended it as a potential treatment in 1621. Today, we know that low doses of THC can cause your brain to increase the amount of serotonin it produces, just like antidepressants. It’s critical to talk to a doctor before trying medical marijuana for depression. While a low dose might be effective, a higher amount might increase depressive symptoms.

Unlike antidepressants, which are notorious for their adverse side effects, medical marijuana rarely produces a negative reaction and acts more quickly than traditional antidepressants.

If you can’t, don’t want to, or have tried antidepressants without seeing the results you’d like, medical marijuana could be the answer you’re looking for.

If you have a depressive disorder, you don’t have to face it alone. Support and treatment options are available, and medical marijuana might be able to help. Make an appointment with Medwell Health today to learn more about the role cannabis plays in treating depression and to start the process of applying for a medical marijuana card.

 

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