Cannabis Can Help Treat Symptoms of Depression

In a new research, scientists have found that cannabis (marijuana) flower may be effective in providing immediate relief for the symptoms of depression. These findings were published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine.

The new finding shows that the vast majority of patients that use cannabis experience antidepressant effects, even though it lasts for a short duration.  The study also highlights that the extent of this effect may be dependent upon the chemotypic properties of the plant being consumed.

Depression or major depressive disorder is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.

Depression causes feelings of sadness and often a loss of interest in activities a person once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.

According to estimates depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults in any given year. One in six people experience depression at some time in their life.

Source: Blue Cross Blue ShieldDepression can strike at any time but commonly first appears during the late teens to late 20s. Women are more likely than men to experience depression. Some studies show that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime.

There are many treatments currently available, including oral medications and different therapies. But researchers are beginning to explore medicinal marijuana as an additional treatment due to its low degree of side effects.

Source: Statista

In that effort, this is the largest study to measure how different types of Cannabis flower affects depression-related symptoms in actual time, as consumed in the patients’ natural environments.

The scientists reviewed 5,876 outcomes reported anonymously by 1,819 individuals tracking their cannabis use for treating depression through the Releaf App.

When all this data was analyzed, the researchers found that patients reported an improvement in symptom of nearly 4 points on a scale of 0 to 10, just moments after consuming whole, dried, natural cannabis flower usually known as cannabis buds. No subject inhaled or smoked the marijuana.

After consuming the weed, 95.8% of users reported symptom relief, 2.1% reported symptom worsening, and 2.1% reported no change in symptom intensity level.

What is interesting is that this immediate elevation of symptoms when compared to effects of traditional pharmaceutical options, provided better results.

The conventional pharmaceuticals used for the treatment of the symptoms of depression like monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclics antidepressants, selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors, and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors normally take several weeks, or even months, to start causing significant relief.

Because these chemicals need time to build up in the body and produce an effect.

The team working on the project also found that up to one in five individuals who used cannabis flower containing high levels of THC experienced some negative side effects. The most commonly reported negative side effects were Dry Mouth (reported in 33% of the user sessions) and feeling Foggy (27%).

However, these side effects are far less severe than those reported with traditional therapies like sedation, agitation, anxiety, anorgasmia, demotivation, and suicidal ideation.

Source: Psychiatric Times

The study also showed that people were three times as likely to experience positive effects like happiness, optimism, peacefulness, and relaxation than any side effects.

Marijuana is currently legal, on the state level, in 29 states, and in Washington, DC. It is still illegal according to the federal government.

Source: Business Insider

Nearly 85% of Americans support legalizing medical marijuana, and it is estimated that at least several million Americans currently use it.

The Obama administration did not make prosecuting medical marijuana even a minor priority, but the President Donald Trump’s administration has now started threatening to go back on his promise to not interfere with people who use medical marijuana.

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