Can Cannabis Help Depression?

In recent years, mental health has become a greater focus for people and societies worldwide. Taking care of one’s physical well-being is essential as well. Still, it is typically easier to diagnose and recuperate physical ailments. Have a broken arm? Wear a splint. Have a cold? Drink lots of water and get some rest. Have an infection? Take the appropriate drugs. However, for mental ailments, finding the appropriate cure for the issue is considerably more challenging. Today, scientists and doctors constantly search for new drugs and methods to improve the lives of those who have a mental illness. One of the most debilitating and widespread mental issues is depression, and significant research goes into a cure for the disease every year. The cutting-edge research led scientists to a fascinating question: can cannabis help depression?

In 2020, reports indicated that 1-in-5 Americans suffer from clinical depression. Therefore, it’s a near certainty that everyone reading this blog suffers from depression or knows someone who struggles with it. Depression is an insidious disease and can result in struggles at work, in personal relationships, and with everyday tasks. Finding a cure for depression would lift millions of people every year out of their personal darkness, improving their quality of life tremendously. So, if doctors and scientists are wondering – can cannabis help depression – it’s paramount to learn precisely how cannabis affects one’s mental health. In our search to discover if cannabis can help depression, we will first look at how medical experts currently treat depression before looking into the possibilities of cannabis curing depression. Let’s dive into this critical problem and see if cannabis can help depression.

How Is Depression Treated?

Currently, doctors treat depression like most conventional illnesses, through the use of drugs. Doctors commonly prescribe drugs like Lexapro, Zoloft, and Prozac to treat depression, which affect the brain in a multitude of ways. These drugs are a combination of SSRIs and antidepressants.

SSRIs affect serotonin levels in the brain, a chemical compound associated with various bodily functions, with emotional regulation chief among them. They will block receptors from accessing Serotonin, a process known as reuptake, making Serotonin more widely available throughout the brain.SSRIs and Anti-Depressants

Antidepressants work differently, affecting neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters receive chemical signals from compounds such as Serotonin and Dopamine. Those suffering from depression commonly have low Dopamine and Serotonin levels, so antidepressants boost the power of neurotransmitters in the brain in an attempt to return to normal chemical balance.

These drugs have changed the lives of countless people dealing with depression, lifting them out of their dark mental state. However, they do not work for everybody and have some troublesome side effects. These drugs can cause chronic fatigue, leaving one feeling tired and making it a challenge to accomplish simple tasks. Furthermore, they drastically affect sex drive, which might cause serious problems in an intimate relationship. They can also cause one to feel emotionless, forgoing the dark feelings of depression for a total lack of feeling whatsoever.

For those suffering from depression, talking to a therapist or doctor about medication is the first step. However, if it proves ineffective or the debilitating side effects are too much, one will likely turn to an alternative methodology. Now, many people are curious if cannabis might be the answer.

Can Cannabis Cure Depression?

Much like traditional drugs, cannabis can prove both effective and ineffective on a case-by-case basis. Cannabis is not a miracle cure that can instantly rip one out of a depressive state. However, many have found relief from depression with cannabis.

In 2022, researchers conducted a study at a Canadian hospital about the effects of marijuana on patients with depression and anxiety. They gave the patients a questionnaire before and after several weeks of treatment. The researchers saw a notable increase in quality of life in the follow-up questionnaire, showing that cannabis improved depression in these patients.Can cannabis help depression?

On the other hand, a 2017 study by the University of Washington showed that cannabis may have some adverse effects. They discovered that people who consume cannabis in large quantities on a daily basis might see an improvement in their depression with a reduction in cannabis usage. However, they did find that controlled doses of cannabis in animals had anti-depressive effects – more proof of the efficacy of cannabis.

So, can cannabis cure depression? The answer is that cannabis is not a comprehensive cure that will work for everyone. Some might find that cannabis has little effect on their depression, but many see incredible results. Moreover, the reason why cannabis is so fascinating to researchers and those suffering from depression isn’t just its ability to help the disease; it’s also the lack of side effects from cannabis.

What Are Cannabis’ Side Effects?

The primary advantage of using cannabis over traditional drugs is the wildly different side effects. As we already learned, traditional drugs can have awful side effects that are nearly as bad as struggling with depression in the first place. With cannabis, these side effects are well-known and are not unpleasant.

The main side effect of cannabis is the psychoactive high. Anyone who has used cannabis before knows the warm and bubbly feeling of the cannabis high. Additionally, cannabis causes an increase in appetite and restful sleep, which are both helpful for many who suffer from depression. In contrast to the side effects of traditional drugs, cannabis is in a whole different world.Can CBD help depression?

Some do not like the psychoactive high from cannabis, so they stay away from it. However, some types of cannabis do not cause a high. Cannabis extracts like CBD do not cause a high and are still effective against depression. CBD in one’s daily routine keeps one sharp between the ears while receiving the incredible anti-depressive effects of cannabis.

For those searching for a cure for their depression, cannabis might offer the relief they need. However, one should always consult a medical professional before using cannabis, as it can interfere with medications you already use. Once one determines that cannabis is right for them, it might become the answer to the struggle against depression.