Cannabis is quickly losing its negative image as an abused party drug and gaining credibility as legitimate medicine for several health issues, particularly depression. The fact that cannabis is not physically addictive, whereas prescription medicine can be, sheds new light on this organic substance as a safer remedy than certain types of conventional pills. Here are some new findings that point to medical marijuana being effective treatment for depression.
Why Pot Helps Relieve Depression
A recent study at the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions has found that chemical compounds within the human brain that behave similar to THC help relieve depression caused by chronic stress. They also found that cannabis, which contains THC, can help treat post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain in rats.
The research team of neuroscientists observed that chronic stress lowered levels of endocannabinoids in the rats. Endocannabinoids affect emotions and feelings of well-being, which ultimately have impact on behavior, pain and anxiety. These compounds are naturally produced by the body, but when endocannabinoid production is reduced, it can lead to symptoms of depression. Cannabis, as it turns out, restores production of these compounds, which provides relief from symptoms of depression.
More Research Needed
As with the case of other medical marijuana studies, more research is needed to repeat these findings. For now lead university researcher Dr. Samir Haj-Dahmane has stated in a press release that marijuana can “potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression.” A few other recent studies published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs and Neuropsychopharmacology have shown similar results in behavioral changes in rats.
At the moment there is no evidence that proves the contrary, that marijuana causes depression in rats or humans. Yet there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from medical marijuana patients who confirm that cannabis does reduce depression.
Ray Boroumand is the Office Manager of 4th Street Medical, a leader in providing evaluations for medical marijuana in Santa Ana. An advocate for medical marijuana, Ray believes in making the process as simple and easy for patients as possible through quick and convenient verification. At 4th Street Medical, he stresses convenience, affordability and transparency 100% of the time.