6 Ways Cannabis Can Help Treat Depression

November 24, 2020

We all experience feeling anxious and sad at some point in our lives, but feeling down permanently can be detrimental to your overall health. A persistent loss of interest or pleasure in daily life can lead to a severe medical condition - Depression. According to the World Health Organization, it is one of the leading causes of disability in the world, which affects both the young and old. 

Depression is a mood disorder caused by a wide range of life events such as deprivation. This serious condition, sometimes referred to as major depressive disorder or clinical depression can affect your thoughts and behavior, which can eventually lead to a range of debilitating physical and emotional problems.

Although there is a wide range of treatments for depression, an increasing number of individuals and doctors are now considering cannabis to treat depression. There is a lot of research being conducted on autoflowering feminized seeds. Here, we aim to help you better understand the link between cannabis and depression. 

Cannabis: A Valuable Treatment Option for Depression

Cannabis medicines can be a precious treatment option for depression. It works by acting upon and upregulating the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system plays a significant role in maintaining balance and homeostasis within the body. ECS is positioned to regulate the activity of the neurotransmitters known to be involved in emotional processing.

The compounds present in cannabis, known as cannabinoids (mainly CBD and THC), stimulate the ECS to help balance the mood in a person struggling with symptoms of depression. Cannabis should always be used in conjunction with a healthy diet, exercise, sleep hygiene, meditation, and psychological and mindfulness strategies.

Let us know more about the ways Cannabis helps in treating depression.

  • 1. Cannabis May Help Modulate Serotonin Receptors

  • Serotonin receptor (5-HT1A) plays a role in the implication of pain, depression, and anxiety. Cannabis helps to activate the serotonin receptors in the brain. Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound present in cannabis, has a potent antidepressant property. It can improve the symptoms of behavioral disorders associated with depression. Besides, cannabis interacts with the 5-HT1A and produces analgesic and anxiolytic effects to relieve those suffering from depression related to persistent inflammatory pain.

  • 2. Cannabis Can Support Neural Regeneration

  • People suffering from depression have an atrophic or shrunken hippocampus, a brain region that regulates activities like emotion, memory, and learning. Our brain naturally heals or regenerates any hampered brain activity by neural regeneration or neurogenesis - regeneration of neurons. The phytocannabinoids like CBD have neuroprotective properties. It can recover the hippocampus by supporting neural regeneration, treating conditions like depression. 

  • 3. Cannabis Can Help Regulate The Endocannabinoid System

  • As discussed earlier, cannabis can help in stimulating and regulating the endocannabinoid system. ECS is responsible for maintaining your body’s balance, including emotional stability, by releasing molecules, also known as endocannabinoids. The two principal endocannabinoids released by the ECS - anandamide (AEA), also known as  “joy hormone,” and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG) help to promote a feeling of bliss. In the case of depression, the activity of these molecules is depleted. Cannabis can help lower or even cure the symptoms of depression by regulating the activity of ECS

  • 4. Cannabis May Help Lower Anxiety

  • Anxiety is one of the significant causes of depression. A persistent feeling of restlessness, fear, panic often leads to depression if left untreated. Some people suffer from anxiety and depression simultaneously. In this case, cannabis is beneficial in providing relief from anxiety. CBD has the potential of producing anxiolytic-like effects. It also has demonstrated antistress, panicolytic-like, and anti compulsive effects to help treat anxiety-like behaviors.

  • 5. Cannabis Can Alleviate Stress

  • Heavy and persistent physical and mental stress can cause depression. Chronic stress can lead to elevated levels of stress hormones and reduced serotonin-like neurotransmitters in the brain. To get relief from depression, it is essential to lower the levels of stress, and cannabis can help you with its anti-stress effect. A study found that CBD can reduce stress disorders like post-traumatic stress (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 

  • 6. Cannabis May Promote Sleep

  • One of the significant adverse effects on physical and mental health when dealing with depression is disturbances in sleep patterns. Sleep and depression share a complicated relationship. Depression can cause loss of sleep, and a lack of sleep can cause depression. CBD can help lower restlessness and uneasiness to promote healthy sleep.  

    Conclusion

     

    Most people choose to take Cannabis (CBD) products orally, using various oils, capsules, tinctures, capsules. It is most effective when a person uses it regularly. Make sure to purchase your cannabis from the best-matched licensed cultivator for your specific needs. 

    Cannabis can help minimize the symptoms of depression. All you need to do is have a healthy and positive outlook towards life and yourself. Cannabis is not a first or second-line treatment for depression. Before you consume it, please consult a professional about the dosage to address any mental health issue.

     



    References:

     

    1. Depression, 30 January 2020. (https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression)
    2. TV Zanelati, C Biojone, et al. Antidepressant-like effects of cannabidiol in mice: possible involvement of 5-HT1A receptors, 2009 Dec 4. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2009.00521.x.
    3. Joseph Maroon and Jeff Bost. Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids, 2018 Apr 26. doi: 10.4103/sni.sni_45_18.
    4. Sachin Patel and Cecilia J. Hillard. Role of Endocannabinoid Signaling in Anxiety and Depression, 2013 Oct 25. doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-88955-7_14.
    5. Madison Wright, Patricia Di Ciano, and Bruna Brands. Use of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Anxiety: A Short Synthesis of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Evidence, September 2020. doi: 10.1089/can.2019.0052.
    6. Esther M. Blessing, Maria M. Steenkamp, et al. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders, 2015 Sep 4. doi: 10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1.
    7. Nirushi Kuhathasan, Alexander Dufort, et al. The use of cannabinoids for sleep: A critical review on clinical trials, 2019 Aug;27(4):383-401. doi: 10.1037/pha0000285.




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