MEDICAL EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF USING MEDICAL MARIJUANA TO TREAT DEPRESSION
Researchers at the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) have presented findings showing evidence that medical marijuana can be used to effectively treat depression.
Their studies, aimed at studying chronic stress and depression, have shown that “compounds derived from cannabis — marijuana — to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression.”
University of buffalo
“Compounds derived from cannabis to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression.”Other research has shown that the active ingredient in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can also have a positive effect on the endocannabinoid system, and other naturally produced chemical compounds in the brain that affect emotions. Although the scientists caution that their research is preliminary, they mention that the animal models that were studied showcased positive results and go on to say that they have seen people who suffer from PTSD report benefits from using medical marijuana. The Buffalo researchers will be furthering their research to determine if cannabidiol (CBD), a marijuana extract, restores normal behaviors in animals without leading to dependence on the treatment. In another study produced by McGill University titled Cannabis: Potent Anti-depressant In Low Doses, Worsens Depression At High Doses, the researchers conclude the active ingredient in cannabis to be an effective antidepressant at low doses. However, when the animal test subjects were given increased cannabinoid doses, the benefits of the drug were undone.
MEDICAL EVIDENCE AGAINST USING MEDICAL MARIJUANA TO TREAT DEPRESSIONAs the McGill University study above mentions, controlling the dose of cannabis can be challenging and lead to the worsening of depression in situations where the dosage is increased. “Low doses had a potent anti-depressant effect, but when we increased the dose, the serotonin in the rats’ brains actually dropped below the level of those in the control group. So we actually demonstrated a double effect: At low doses it increases serotonin, but at higher doses the effect is devastating, completely reversed,” said Dr. Gabriella Gobbi of McGill University. This detail also highlights additional mention of marijuana usage as a contributor to depression, but there has been no clear evidence that marijuana directly causes depression.
DEPRESSION OVERVIEWDepression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Most people experience feelings of depression for short periods of time, including feeling unhappy, sad, or blue. Clinical depression, however, is a mood disorder classified by more prolonged feelings of sadness, loss, anger or frustration. These feelings tend to interfere with everyday life for weeks at a time or in some cases, longer. Depression can occur in people of all ages, including children, teens, adults, and the elderly. Children tend to have different symptoms than adults, which may include apathy, irritability and persistent sadness. Depression Symptoms:
- Lack of energy; tiredness
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Lack of pleasure in activities you’d normally enjoy
- Changes in appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Sleeping too much
- Low mood
- Difficulty concentrating
- Avoidance of usual activities
- Thoughts of suicide