Depression is a mental health disorder that affects over 350 million people worldwide. The world battling with depression has created a multitude of medication and treatments. These include anti-depression medication, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and different methods of psychotherapy – all with their own side effects and success stories. In recent years, new studies have shown that medical marijuana may be a better alternative to traditional treatments.
Who is it for?
If you are one of the four Canadians that suffer from depression, medical marijuana might be for you. It has shown to be very beneficial to both the people who suffer from stress-related depression and those that suffer negative side effects of traditional treatments. Although, cannabis has also proved to have adverse effects with people that suffer from psychosis and schizophrenia and is not suggested to people that suffer from these conditions since it can worsen and accelerate their development.
How It Helps
A study by the University of Buffalo from their Research Institute on Addiction has shown that chronic stress may be a major risk factor for the development of depression. They have researched that medical marijuana helps with stress-related depression that can be caused by PTSD and other chronic stress as well. Chronic stress reduces our bodies’ endocannabinoid production, which is a system that the receptors activate when we consume the similar substance THC; it affects our cognition, emotion, and behavior. Finally, they found that cannabis could help regulate and improve moods by restoring normal levels of endocannabinoids.
Medical marijuana has been able to help people that suffer from depression by also working with their medication. Cannabis has been shown to help with many side effects brought on by antidepressants such as anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. In some cases, the benefits of medication would outweigh its side effects but marijuana helps patients get through the pains of said medication. Patients can also reach a more regenerative sleep since marijuana helps its user reach the ‘deep sleep’ part of our sleep cycle. Although, marijuana can increase anxiety based on the reaction to the THC or CBD as well as the on the strain and the environment.
Most research has shown that a good sativa is beneficial for the treatment of depression, with a high THC and CBD ratio. High THC levels help stimulate the endocannabinoid system in the brain, helping reduce stress levels and normalizing brain functions. At the same time, the CBD is helping reduce the anxiety that might be induced by the THC. The perfect example of that strain would be Harlequin with a 1:1 THC to CBD ratio it works perfectly for depression. Other strains would be:
- Jack Herer
- Cinderella 99
- Laughing Buddha
- Super Silver Haze
If you’re seeking to offset the side effects of the depression medication different types of strain are available. In these situations, strains that are indicas are suggested. Indicas with an even 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC will help with the side-effects of anxiety, lack of appetite, and insomnia. Heavy indicas tend to create the appetite, give a sense of calmness, and induce a deep sleep in the user. A perfect example of strain would be Sweet and Sour widow other examples would be:Stephen Hawking Kush, Pennywise, Death Bubba, etc.
- Stephen Hawking Kush
- Death Bubba
Symptoms of depression can often go unnoticed, which cause them to go untreated. With symptoms that affect mentally rather than physically and with the general stigma behind mental illness, a lot of people experience the following and do not seek help. If you are feeling any of the symptoms below, in a regular or constant manner, you could be suffering from depression:
- Feeling down and having negative thoughts
- Feeling anxious and hopeless
- Feelings guilty, alone, and helpless
- Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
- Low energy and fatigue
- Suicidal thought or suicide attempts
- Feeling restless and irritable
Stats on Depression
- Depression affects a lot more people than we know, with over 350 millions people worldwide.
- 1 of 4 Canadians reports being depressed in their lives and you wouldn’t even know because it is easy for the condition to go unnoticed at first.
- 15% of all people who suffer depression die of suicide, and 50% of all suicide is due to depression.
- Depression is linked to the death of over 800 000 people a year being the leading cause of death of 19-29 year old.
- 50% of all people with depression go untreated for the span of their lives.
- Depression affects a lot of people we know and often goes unnoticed, untreated, and with medication that does not necessarily help it could worsen.
If your case of depression is not severe medication could worsen the condition. Most antidepressants are known to actually worsen thoughts of suicide, with greater attempts of suicide. Many cases of suicide tend to be after a change of medication or dosage. Antidepressants also increase the chance of death due to cardiovascular difficulty by 14%.
Medical Marijuana is still in its infancy regarding the medical sector. With more research being completed and authorized by the government, breakthroughs are imminent regarding its physical and mental benefits. The social attitude at the current does not let the domain thrive but as time passes the next generation will make way for a greener tomorrow.