We’ll go through the slightly complicated relationship that exists between cannabis and depression in this post. Should you be thinking about using cannabis to treat your depression?
There are several therapies accessible, including tablets and alternative treatments. Medicinal marijuana is now being researched as a complementary treatment by researchers. Here’s all you need to know about medical marijuana for depression, its advantages, and the risks it entails.
Research on Marijuana and Depression
Medical cannabis for depression is still in its early stages, and there isn’t much research on the topic. Researchers think that the possibility of achieving these goals include restoring “normal” endocannabinoid function and mood stabilization currently.
Researchers at the University of Buffalo are investigating whether medicinal marijuana can help treat chronic stress-induced depression. The Institute for Research on Addictions (RIA) at the university has been concentrating its efforts on endocannabinoids, which are brain chemicals.
THC and CBD are two cannabinoids that occur in nature. They have an influence on motor function, cognition, emotions, and behavior. They also have a chemical structure similar to that of cannabis.
The scientists conducted their research on animals rather than humans. They did, however, discover that prolonged stress may lower the brain’s production of endocannabinoids. They discovered that this might result in depressive-like behavior.
Cannabis can help reset the body’s biological clock and restore proper functioning. This may aid in the alleviation of symptoms of depression.
There is still much study needed to determine the full advantages and drawbacks of marijuana as a potential therapy for people who suffer from depression.
Marijuana and Depression: What Users Need to Know
According to recent statistics from the National Institutes of Mental Health, 7% of Americans have at least one major depressive episode in a year. According to current data from the National Institutes of Mental Health, about 7% of individuals have at least one major depressive episode in a year.
Depression is a complex and intricate disease. The most widely accepted explanation for the cause of depression is an imbalance of certain neurotransmitters (particularly norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine) in the brain.
Some have concluded/proposed that medical cannabis may effectively treat a variety of depressive disorders because it activates neurons that release dopamine. However, the “cannabis and depression” link is not as straightforward as some people think.
How Does Cannabis Affect Depression?
There is a possibility that marijuana and depression are linked via the endocannabinoid system, which is a complex network of naturally occurring neurotransmitters and receptors that work together to assist people in performing numerous activities and emotions.
Cannabinoids, especially the CB-1 and CB-2 receptors, are present in everyone. This is true whether or not you’ve ever used marijuana. The chemically active cannabinoids in marijuana, known as phytocannabinoids, have a similar structure to anandamide, one of the body’s own (endo) endocannabinoids. Anandamide is frequently referred to as the “bliss molecule” since it promotes motivation and enjoyment.
Anandamide and FAAH
The enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is responsible for the breakdown of anandamide in the body. Inactivating FAAH has been shown to have pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and antidepressive effects in some studies.
CDB, which is yet another phytocannabinoid present in many cannabis and hemp strains, may play a role in preventing FAAH from breaking down anandamide. CBD has received a lot of attention recently as a result of its potential connection to sadness and other mental problems.
CBD’s Potentially Positive Interaction
Cannabis has not yet been proved to be beneficial in treating depression in clinical trials. That is all there is to it. To put it another way, there is no proof that cannabis can be used to treat depression. There are, however, contemporary papers discussing CBD’s antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects.
CBD may, for example, regulate serotonin receptors’ function in the brain, according to a 2014 study published in CNS & Neurological Disorders Drug Targets. This is especially significant given the fact that many depression medication – particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – work by regulating serotonin levels.
In 2018, scientists from the American Chemical Society and the University of São Paulo published a study in Frontiers in Immunology that comprehensively reviewed decades of CBD research. The paper addressed CBD’s “antidepressant action,” suggesting that it is mediated by physiological processes in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). At [high] doses, CBD’s antidepressant effect may be connected to the activation of TRPV1 receptors.”
In conclusion, it appears that any future clinical use of cannabis for depression will require strains high in CBD. Hemp-based CBD products, such as CBD oils, capsules, edibles, and vape items, are already on the market. These hemp-derived CBD products, unlike cannabis strains with a lot of THC, do not provide an intoxicating high.
The “Biphasic Effect” May Also Influence Marijuana and Depression
Another factor to consider while analyzing a cannabis-depression connection is the biphase effect. This refers to marijuana’s biphasic effect, which means it has two distinct physiological impacts depending on how much is consumed.
In contrast, while a little amount of cannabis may be beneficial for promoting calm and relaxation, a greater dosage of the same cannabis product (whether it be a joint, edible, tincture, etc.) might cause anxiety, stress, and even paranoia.
Users of recreational cannabis, and even medical cannabis users, commonly believe that higher dosages will lead to greater therapeutic effects.
Not always, however, due to the biphasic impact. In fact, those who consume cannabis in high doses may not be getting the most out of cannabis’s numerous medical advantages.
It’s possible that this is due to the negative effects of too much THC in the brain (CNS). When the brain is repeatedly exposed to THC, it actually disables CB1 receptors. For individuals who are attempting to utilize cannabis as a therapeutic tool, this may be detrimental.
Another issue to consider is microdosing, which is the act of taking small doses.
Microdosing Cannabis: Does it Have Any Effect on Depression?
As we go through the fundamentals of microdosing in other articles, we’ll keep things simple.
Simply put, microdosing is the practice of consuming tiny doses of cannabis on a regular basis. Because biochemistry and cannabis tolerance are so disparate, establishing a microdose might be tough.
According to recent study, microdosing cannabis relieves pain successfully. Test persons were given 0.5mg and 1mg doses of THC in the study. According to the Pain News Network, this is roughly 75 times lower than the usual dose taken by regular cannabis consumers.
There is no evidence that microdosing cannabis for depression, but it’s conceivable that the same principles are at play. When a person takes a large dose of THC, their central nervous system may become overloaded and downregulate endocannabinoid receptors. The brain thinks something is wrong with the excessive amount of THC in the body, and it responds by ordering the
To make the greatest use of cannabis’s potential therapeutic advantages, ECS receptors must be active and present in the greatest proportion feasible. Cannabis over-consumption, while resulting in more intoxicating/mind-altering effects, does not appear to aid in this regard.
Final Thoughts on Marijuana and Depression
There is yet no proof that marijuana can be used to treat depression in people. The link between cannabis and the various symptoms of depression is likely complicated, and much more study is needed to understand how (or if) components such as THC and CBD influence biochemical pathways involved in clinical depression.
We don’t yet know how (or if) cannabinoids like THC and CBD affect the biochemical pathways involved in clinical depression.
CBD, on the other hand, appears to have antidepressant effects in animal studies (as previously said). CBD may very well be used in place of THC in the future to treat common symptoms of depression. However, there is a long way ahead before any such clinical declaration can be made.
If you’re thinking about using cannabis for depression, see a medical cannabis doctor (if that’s an option in your state) about whether or not you may get a medical marijuana card. Medical marijuana dispensaries offer a variety of cannabis products, including CBD-specific items that do not produce an intoxicating high.