In this brief article, we will discuss the topic “Marijuana and depression.” We will present the link between marijuana and depression, and you can find some information about the advantages and disadvantages of medical marijuana for depression.
There is also a little research about teenage use of marijuana that is linked to depression in adult life.
Can Marijuana Cause Depression?
Marijuana directly does not cause depression; at least there is no evidence about it yet.
However, according to some research, people who use marijuana regularly or who are heavy users, struggle with depression more often than non-smokers.
It means that marijuana and depression are linked somehow.
The cannabis plant contains more than 500 identified chemical components. More than 100 of these are cannabinoids, which interact with chemical compounds in the brain known as endocannabinoids.
Therefore, different combinations of cannabis can affect physiological and psychological processes differently (including mental health, appetite, immunity, movement, and memory).
To know more about the connection between marijuana and depression is essential to learn some necessary information about marijuana.
Cannabis plant contains -trans-Δ⁹-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
According to studies, THC (which is a very beneficial cannabinoid) has been shown to produce anxiety and psychotic features, especially at higher doses, while CBD produces anxiolytic and antipsychotic effects.
Many other elements affect whether a person will experience increased/decreased anxiety or psychotic symptoms when ingesting cannabis, such as potency levels; the presence of other cannabis-related chemicals; the amounts used; the person’s frequency of use, previous experience with the substance and ability to titrate the dose, and their likelihood to experience psychiatric symptoms.
Washington State University researchers claim that depressive symptoms reduce with a single puff of medical marijuana, which was high in CBD and low in THC.
They also reported that at least ten puffs of marijuana high in CBD and THC reduces stress, while two puffs of cannabis with any level of CBD or THC reduce anxiety.
The study also showed that if a person uses medical marijuana regularly for a long time, it can increase depression symptoms.
Some studies showed that some people with a predisposition to mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar depression, use of marijuana, could trig a disease’s expression.
However, more researches are needed to be done to find out detailed and precise information about the effects of marijuana on depression, anxiety, and stress disorder.
Research on Marijuana and Depression
The University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions had research on marijuana and depression and found that endocannabinoids of the brain activate the same receptors as THC in marijuana.
In the result of some experiments on rats, the researchers found out that the endocannabinoids were produced in chronic stress conditions less than in usual conditions.
Basing on the results, they have discovered that chronic stress may suppress the brain’s production of endocannabinoids.
They found that this can lead to depression-like behavior. Cannabis can reduce symptoms of depression.
However, more studies are needed to discover the advantages and disadvantages of marijuana for depression treatment.
Medical Marijuana and Depression
Depression is a mental disorder leading to various disabilities. Medications and different therapies can treat it. Professionals try to find out the medical marijuana’s use as an alternative treatment for depression. Marijuana for depression can have not only advantages but also disadvantages.
The Advantages of Medical Marijuana for Depression Treatment
Advantages of medical marijuana for depression treatment are:
- Marijuana can reduce pain,
- Medical marijuana can relieve anxiety symptoms,
- It is used in chemotherapy to treat nausea and vomiting,
- Medical marijuana treats sleep disorders,
- It is used to manage involuntary movements associated with movement disorders,
- Marijuana is used to relieve the spasticity of the muscles, that is sometimes connected to paralysis,
- It can relieve some types of chronic pain,
- Medical marijuana is also used to treat appetite loss due to human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV),
- After marijuana legalization, there are now other medically beneficial ways to use marijuana, such as CBD oil, edibles, topical analgesic procedures, and other non-smoking applications,
- Marijuana is safer than some other medications that are used to treat the same symptoms. It can be better than opioids to manage pain because the latter is highly addictive.
Disadvantages of Medical Marijuana for Depression Treatment
Besides the advantages, medical marijuana for depression treatment also has some disadvantages and risks. Below are some of them:
- Regular use of medical marijuana can affect a person’s short-term memory and cognitive ability in general,
- It can damage the lungs,
- Smoked marijuana can cause cancer,
- Marijuana has a risk of addiction.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Marijuana Use and Depression May Have the Same Root Cause
The majority of health researchers accept the theory, according to which environmental, genetic, or other factors are the leading cause of depression.
Some researchers claim that these same causes can lead to marijuana use, for example, to relieve symptoms of depression.
According to the participants in a pilot study, one of the reasons they continued to smoke marijuana was because they felt that it eased their symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Another study found that marijuana use does not seem to aggravate depression, but rather is another symptom of the condition.
Some studies suggest that the diagnosis of depression is higher than those who do not use drugs.
Depression does not seem to be directly related to marijuana use. In some patients with a predisposition to other mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and psychosis, using marijuana can serve as a trigger for the manifestation of the disease.
There is also some evidence that teens who are trying to commit suicide are more likely to use marijuana.
Adolescent Marijuana use Linked to Depression in Later Life
According to a review, adolescents who used marijuana were 37% more likely to suffer from depression in later life than the ones who did not use it.
Cannabis use among teenagers was connected to mental health problems based on research, which found a secure link between marijuana use and schizophrenia.
About 4% of 11-15 years old teenagers in England are thought to use cannabis monthly.
That means many adults may have a high risk of mental health problems.
Research shows that marijuana use can increase the risk of depression and suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
However, it does not mean that weed causes depression or other health problems; the research had limitations.
Confessions about Marijuana for Depression
Maybe it will help you for a little while. I would say it could be beneficial if it provides relief from depression, and you need to take a “day off” to collect yourself.
Otherwise, smoking weed will not help your depression at all, regardless of what anybody tells you.
You may think it does, but in the long term, it will not. If you want to resolve your depression, look for the cause, and make a change in your life.
The way we live these days makes us very miserable. I do not want this for you or anybody.
Find something real and tangible that brings you true happiness. Do not be afraid to remove or add significant aspects to your life.
I was very depressed and smoking weed all day every day, and it was terrible for me.
Now I have other mental issues that play a role as well, and it depends on the type of person you are and the type of depression you have.
From my experience, though, if you already have no motivation and are hopeless, which is what my depression was Major Depressive Disorder, you should not be doing it.
It made it so that I could not function without weed because I was extremely bored and could not focus, and I could not eat or sleep without it.
To use it in moderation is the best, but to help with depression, you need to be doing other stuff other than smoking like going to the gym, hanging out with people sober, and reading.
You need to have your shit together before you are using weed for depression, and you should not be using it because you are feeling depressed but because you enjoy it.
Moderation is key, but complete abstinence is best.
Each person is different, but if you live in a state that has legalized medical marijuana, speak with a medical marijuana doctor to see if you qualify and, if so, speak with a medical pharmacist on staff.
The medical field has finally recognized the benefits of marijuana. Pharmacists, I have spoken with have admitted that they feel a sense of guilt when filling some medications, which brings them to what they genuinely believe helps, and that is marijuana.
However, with any psychiatric condition, one must be careful. High amounts of THC or Sativa strains of marijuana can cause anxiety or paranoia, making depression worse.
Strains that contain a high amount of CBD have been shown to decrease depression and anxiety.
Speaking with a medical professional can lead you in the right direction.
As a Chinese citizen, I have never tried weed or any drugs. However, I think the answer to this question lies in the fact that we are depressed because of frustration.
In the sincere heart, we know that weed is wrong or at least not a bad thing to boast.
Usually, when we are under stress or faced with something undesirable, we turn to weed for a moment of relief and fake pleasure.
After the effect of weed fades out, the problems haunting us are still there, and because we waste some on weed, the situation might be worse.
This will cause frustration and make us soak into self-blame. I think this is the real reason why we feel depressed after weed.
The same situation is observed when one fails to resist the temptation of a hamburger during a diet, or one wastes several hours on games before an important exam which he has not prepared well enough to pass.
This self-blame and frustration are because we realize that we are not strong-willed enough to resist outside temptation, that we are not as good as we think we are.
The deeper the gap between real me and imagined me is, the more depressed we are after we realized the gap.
The above is only based on my personal experiences.
Although I personally never tried weed, some of my American friends told me their feeling about using weed and the after-effects.
However, since weed does have some influence on the neural system, so it might also be that your body does not react well to weed.
Recommended books and sources
- Depression & CBD OIL; Cannabis & Medical Marijuana: Understanding the Benefits of Cannabis and Medical Marijuana
- HFNE “Dating Someone With Depression”
- HFNE “Depression After Breakup”
- I Want to Change My Life: How to Overcome Anxiety, Depression, and Addiction
- No Need for Weed: Understanding and Breaking Cannabis Dependency
In this article, titled “Marijuana and depression,” we discussed the link between marijuana and depression, and we understood that they are linked, mainly because marijuana is used to relieve some mental disorders’ symptoms, involving depression.
If you are not a regular user, it may be helpful, but if you abuse cannabis, it can cause other and sometimes more severe problems, also sharpening the symptoms of depression.
Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below.
What we recommend for Depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling could be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.
- Marijuana and Depression: Can Medical Marijuana Treat Depression?
- Is Cannabis Good or Bad for Mental Health?
- Marijuana and Depression: Pros and Cons of Medical Marijuana
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