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Marijuana and Depression – Leaf Science

Cannabis and depression:

It’s ironic, but “the holidays” are a time when depression is often more acute for many sufferers. Various causes are postulated for this: e.g., increased expectations that we’re “supposed” to be happy and celebrating with loved ones put pressure on all of us – and holidays are a time when many victims may feel extra isolated due to limited or non-supportive social networks or difficult economic circumstances.

Feeling shut in by cold weather and being affected by less sunlight are other factors, e.g., the latter may result in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

So not “the most wonderful time of the year” for all.

Could cannabis help?

Full scale studies are scant, but there are indications it may prove useful as another asset in the therapist’s depression treatment toolbox…..

Excerpts:

“Depression is typically treated with a combination of prescription antidepressants and psychotherapy such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).

The use of marijuana to treat depression dates back to ancient times…

‘[Today] a lot of people report using cannabis effectively to treat depression,’ says Dr. Zachary Walsh of the University of British Columbia who heads a research lab focused on marijuana and mental health.

Despite a lack of human studies, there is some evidence that marijuana can help treat depression.

A 2009 study found that activating the CB1 receptor [in the human endocannabinoid system as THC is known to do] can have antidepressant effects in animals.

Marijuana may also help to treat depression by increasing serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is naturally-occurring and controls mood, sleep and appetite. It’s the brain chemical that most antidepressant medications target. [One class of these are known as SSRI’s – ‘Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors’ – which don’t help all patients and can have paradoxical and other negative side effects in many cases.]

A 2007 study found that by activating serotonin, cannabis can act as an antidepressant in animals.

The body makes compounds known as endocannabinoids that work in a similar way to marijuana. A 2015 study found that increasing anandamide [also known as ‘the bliss molecule’], one of these natural cannabinoids, can result in antidepressant effects.”

As for “the power twins” of cannabinoid research, THC and CBD, there are separate animal studies that make the for the use of each in alleviating depressive states as discussed further in this recommended article. And other research suggesting that Rx anti-depressants and cannabis can be more effective together is noted as well.

We hope to see much more research in this area in coming years.

Note to the DEA, FDA and UMA: Let the sunshine of freely practiced science shine in and we’ll all feel better….

TRUCE: The more you know.

#MMJ #Depression #Research #UTpol #UtahNext #TRUCE

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See full article – Marijuana and Depression – Leaf Science


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