According to the World Health Organization, more than 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression at one point or another. It’s a leading cause of disability. However, people who suffer from depression very often don’t receive the help they need.

There are numerous treatment options for depression. Some include medications, while others involve therapy and holistic approaches. Research on the use of marijuana to treat depression is still ongoing.

While cannabis does not cure depression, it can help to ease depression’s symptoms and effects. You will need to face the actual cause of cannabis to overcome it. The cause of depression could be family issues, stress, work, a medical condition, or other factors.

What Is Depression?

Depression is a mental disorder where individual experiences persistent low moods or a loss of interest in former hobbies. Its causes include psychological, biological, and social distress. The symptoms of depression can be behavioral, physical, psychological, or a combination of these. People with depression might experience changes in:

  • -Energy levels.
  • -Mood.
  • -Appetite.
  • -Daily behavior.
  • -Self-esteem.

When depression is left unattended, it could cause suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts. Medical and therapeutic professionals often use a mix of talk therapy and medication to address depression.

What Is Cannabis?

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a drug that has medicinal and recreational uses. It has many compounds that produce many effects.

Research suggests that some medicinal use of marijuana include the relief of pain, anxiety, and depression. Active components of cannabis include cannabidiol (CBD). This substance may produce therapeutic effects, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a substance that might alter the mind.

Cannabis and Depression

Cannabis and depression have a complicated relationship. Some research shows that medical cannabis can help with depression, while excessive cannabis use can cause depression symptoms, indicated by A 2003 study at the University of Buffalo. Researchers there found that marijuana may help with depression by boosting the production of endocannabinoids in the brain. An increase in the level of endocannabinoids could help reduce depression symptoms.

Best Tips for Consuming Cannabis to Help with Depression

The following tips can help you use cannabis more safely to help with depression:

  1. Try to Find Professional Help for Depression

Cannabis should be a secondary approach to deal with depression. It may help, but you need to address the root cause to overcome depression fully. A professional can help you explore methods such as antidepressant medications and therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or family therapy.

You can also benefit from a professional’s experience and ability to explore your case using different perspectives.

2. Use Cannabis with More CBD Than THC

Cannabis has numerous compounds that influence the effects of each strain. Two significant compounds include:

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): THC is the chemical responsible for the psychoactive (brain-altering) effects of cannabis. It makes you feel high, which is why people use it for recreational use. THC concentration is higher in illegal and unregulated cannabis. Medical cannabis contains regulated amounts of THC or no THC at all. Cannabis with high THC concentration may increase the risk of depressive symptoms rather than ease such symptoms.
  • Cannabidiol (CBD): CBD is the component that gives cannabis some medicinal properties and effects. CBD is not a psychoactive compound, so it does not affect the brain the same way THC does. Cannabis with higher CBD concentrations can help with various medical purposes, such as pain relief and depression.

3. Use Medical Cannabis Instead of Recreational Cannabis

Focus on purchasing cannabis through medical, regulated, and professional channels if you wish to help ease your depression. Research shows that the average THC potency in cannabis is increasing over the years. It had a 4% concentration in 1995, and in 2014, the average concentration was 12%.

It is unsafe to take unregulated or high amounts of THC because these higher amounts elevate the risk of depression symptoms and cause other adverse effects.

4. Use Minimal Doses

Use the minimal dose of cannabis to achieve the desired effects. This approach is known as minimal dosing. Minimal amounts of THC in marijuana usually range between 2 to 3 mg. Marijuana with little or no THC lets you benefit from cannabidiol with fewer mind-altering effects.

5. Method of Consumption

The method of cannabis use also matters if you’re using it to help with depression. It could determine how soon you will experience effects.

Vaping or smoking cannabis provides instant results, while taking edibles typically takes 45 minutes to experience effects. A tincture produces effects within 15 to 20 minutes.


How Does Cannabis Help with Depression?

Cannabis can help with depression because it contains CBD. CBD might be an effective treatment for depression because it might help:

  • - Alleviate anxiety. CBD helps to regenerate neurons if you have an atrophic or shrunken hippocampus associated with depression.
  • - Regulate your endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoids are molecules your body produces, and they’re also present in cannabinoids. Appropriate levels help with mood, sleep, stress, memory, and more. CBD helps to increase endocannabinoids and reduce depression symptoms.
  • - Modulate serotonin receptors. CBD interacts with serotonin receptors, which produce effects that can help ease pain and anxiety. These effects help with depression.
  • - Reduce stress levels. Stress is a significant cause of depression. CBD can help reduce stress levels and depression.
  • - Improve your sleep and stabilize your mood as irregular sleep patterns can affect your mental and physical health. Depression can cause insomnia and vice versa. CBD promotes healthy sleep by reducing levels of restlessness, stabilizing your mood, and reducing uneasiness.

Depression is a significant concern for many people worldwide. Treatment is available through talk therapy or medications. Cannabis is one of the medicines that people use to help with depression.

Cannabis is useful because it contains a component known as cannabidiol (CBD). Safe, regulated CBD products could help with depression.


Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoys writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. 

Sources

who.int - Depression

buffalo.edu - RIA Neuroscience Study Points to Possible Use of Medical Marijuana for Depression

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov - Can Marijuana Make It Better? Prospective Effects of Marijuana and Temperament on Risk for Anxiety and Depression

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov - Changes in Cannabis Potency over the Last Two Decades (1995-2014) - Analysis of Current Data in the United States

thebloombrands.com - Frequently Asked Questions