Understand Link Between Medical Marijuana and Depression
Sometimes we may experience negative emotions, feel down or upset. However, developing apathy, and starting to lose pleasure on the activities you once enjoyed may indicate something more serious. Around the globe, approximately 360 million people suffer from depression. Because of the symptoms attached to it, patients often isolate themselves and stop living their lives, decreasing a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
Besides isolation and apathy, people who suffer depression turn to mood-altering substances seeking relief for their condition. Marijuana is one of those commonly chosen substances individuals tend to lean towards. However, could this substance be the reason people start feeling depressed?
Can Marijuana Cause Depression?
Some research suggests that marijuana users, especially those who consume it on a regular or daily basis, represent a high likelihood to be diagnosed with depression more often in contrast to nonsmokers. However, research is still not clear in the relationship between depression and marijuana, taking into consideration that research shows potential confounding factors which complicate the deliberation of a clear conclusion.
In the US, The National Institute on Drug Abuse has led several studies regarding the relationship between marijuana use is indeed linked to high risk factors for psychiatric disorders, including depression. The institution stated that there’s potential evidence to link them “but whether and to what extent it actually causes these conditions is not always easy to determine.” Prior to exhaustive long-term data research in order to find associations between marijuana use and depression, the institution concluded that: “After adjusting for various confounding factors, no association between marijuana use and mood and anxiety disorders was found.”
On the other hand, other studies have shown that marijuana neither helps nor harms people with this condition. The American Psychological Association published a study which evaluated the repercussions of chronic marijuana use by teenagers; the results were surprising since they found there was no link between marijuana to later physical or mental health issues such as depression. The lead researcher Jordan Bech told from the University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center said: “There were no differences in any of the mental or physical health outcomes that we measured regardless of the amount or frequency of marijuana used during adolescence”.
A Positive Link
Besides the several studies where this relationship comes unclear, there’s also evidence of marijuana helping with some symptoms that depression sufferers may experience. Back to 2015, The University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions studied the role that endocannabinoids played in the relationship between marijuana and chronic depression. Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring brain chemicals extremely similar to chemicals in marijuana.
Researchers concluded that using compounds derived from cannabis to restore and balance your endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression. However this study was conducted on animals, therefore the head of the research Samir Haj-Dahmane stated “There is still a long way to go before we know whether this can be effective in humans”.
Even though this could represent a big leap on marijuana use for mental health, we still need to take our precautions and deal with these conditions reaching out for professional help. Recreational marijuana is not the answer to depression, since strains are more concentrated on THC and the results could worsen your condition. Experts advise the youth, whose brains are still developing, to stay away from marijuana until more data regarding its safety is available.
Medical Marijuana can be the positive link, by managing the strains in order to treat your symptoms you could successfully calm your anxiety and stress. If you are looking to start a medical marijuana treatment for any condition, we recommend that you do not self-medicate and approach the experts for the treatment to be successful.
Get in touch today and we’ll connect you with the right qualified physician covered by Alberta Health, and Health Canada Approved Licensed Producers. Book an appointment today to start receiving treatment by choosing one of the options below.