A whole take a look at hashish and melancholy
Millions of people around the world suffer from depression with little relief from conventional medicine and large pharmaceuticals. Many turn to cannabis to treat their condition and regain a sense of normalcy in their lives.
In the United States alone, depression affects almost 16 million people. Although the emotional reasons are different for each person, the main cause of depression from a chemical point of view is an endocannabinoid deficiency, which affects the 5-HT1A receptors and causes low serotonin levels. Low serotonin levels also cause the limbic system to shrink.
The limbic system controls various emotions, including fear, pleasure, hunger, anger, and sex drive. This is why people suffering from depression often describe the feeling as “flat” or simply “blah” because it is just sadness that they feel but a general disinterest in things that once made them happy have, and loss of zest for life.
Pharmaceutical drugs have a reputation for not always being effective, and in some cases causing more harm than good. What role does cannabis play in treating depression? Is it the silver lining therapy that many people crave?
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What is Depression
Depression is an incredibly complex mood disorder that varies in severity and type. There are different forms of depression such as major depression, dysthymia, bipolar disorder, and seasonal. Regardless of the type, depression can have a huge impact on a person’s quality of life and ability to do everyday tasks. Some depressed people lose the ability to experience any joy or pleasure at all – and all of these feelings linger over time.
The World Health Organization estimates that around 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It affects people of all ages and races, and people of different socio-economic status. Although symptoms vary widely from person to person, symptoms generally include hopelessness, lethargy, low self-esteem, guild, shame, and fear.
Again, these symptoms manifest themselves differently for each person, but it is common for people to feel tired and unable to concentrate. They can have negative / intrusive thoughts, sleeping and eating disorders, memory problems, difficulty making decisions, and many become irritable and quick-tempered.
Depression can lead to dangerous and reckless behavior, such as substance abuse and life-changing decisions, that cause additional stress and feelings of depression. Depression can also lead to self-harm, as well as thoughts and attempts at suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. On average, the CDC records more than 48,000 suicides each year – that’s one life every 12 minutes. And the numbers keep increasing with no solution in sight.
How cannabis can help
Cannabis has been a natural cure for depression for centuries. It was not until the 1900s that it was widely politicized and banned. In the early 1600s, English clergyman Robert Burton discussed the use of medicinal cannabis in his book The Anatomy of Melancholy, published in 1621. During the same period, doctors in India regularly used cannabis to treat depression and anxiety in their patients. Cannabis is a well-known ancient therapy around the world.
The reason for this is that cannabinoids stimulate our endocannabinoid systems (ECS). The ECS is a network of receptors found in the body of all animals (except insects) and the naturally produced endocannabinoids that bind to them. This is why cannabinoids have such a far-reaching impact on human health and can treat everything from depression to physical pain to epilepsy and much more.
Cannabis is a natural, much safer alternative to pharmaceutical antidepressants that are known to have worrisome side effects such as nausea, blurred vision, pain and discomfort. Oddly enough, under certain rare circumstances, they can increase the risk of suicidal tendencies. Talk about counterintuitive.
Cannabis works faster and there are some natural compounds in the plant that work synergistically against depression. Both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) have their place in the treatment of mental disorders; and terpenes, which are found in all plants not just cannabis, can also be useful for this purpose.
Researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, who conducted a 2006 study on the subject: “This natural remedy offers patients peace of mind and relieves stress by improving mood, providing energy and focus, relieving anxiety, inducing hunger and fighting insomnia. Occasional or daily cannabis users have fewer depressive symptoms than non-users. “
Utrecht University Hospital in the Netherlands has also touted cannabis as a promising treatment option for depression and other mental illnesses. Numerous studies have linked moderate but regular cannabis use to mood stabilization and stress relief.
Samir Haj-Dahmane, a senior scientist at the University of Buffalo Addiction Research Institute who studies chronic stress and depression, mentions this: “Chronic stress is a major cause of depression. Using cannabis-derived compounds – marijuana – to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilize mood and relieve depression. “
When should you give up cannabis use?
It’s important to remember that cannabis doesn’t work for everyone, and while there is scientific literature showing that low to moderate doses can help, too much THC can actually do the opposite in some people. High doses of THC can trigger anxiety and panic attacks. Studies have shown that CBD can counteract the effects of THC. So if you’re feeling anxious or paranoid after smoking, it may be time to switch to a different strain, possibly a 1: 1 ratio of CBD: THC.
There is also the problem of human error, and there is evidence that many patients abuse their cannabis, consuming either too much or too little depending on their current mood. In reality, a consistent regime might be better. Patients are also more likely to abandon conventional treatments instead of medicinal cannabis, although they may not be ready to make the full transition just yet.
“Sometimes I have been able to get patients to agree to stop using marijuana for a few weeks only to see if their mood has improved or not,” says Allan Schwartz, LCSW, PhD, psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker in Colorado and New York. “These people were surprised, but were willing to admit they saw a real improvement in mood and functioning.
“I witnessed firsthand the tragedy of patients stopping their bipolar disorder medication, consuming marijuana, and being hospitalized in worse shape than ever before the relapse,” added Schwartz. “Indeed, my experience is that many of these unfortunate patients have suffered multiple relapses and entered an endless cycle of hospitalizations marked by intervening periods of instability.”
Possible interactions with pharmaceuticals
Researchers from the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Connecticut Health Center conducted a comprehensive review of the available, albeit limited, research to determine whether there are any interactions between cannabis and pharmaceutical antidepressants. In their report, titled Psychotropic Drugs and Substances of Abuse Interactions in Adolescence, they stated how small the risk is.
“It is possible that adverse events are ‘relatively rare’ or ‘do not occur’. In addition, “newer psychotropic drugs have a relatively high therapeutic index” – as a drug class, they are less likely to cause undesirable interactions. “Patients using cannabis with antidepressants are advised to” be careful “and” talk to them ” [their] Healthcare Providers ”before making changes to their treatment plans.
Cannabis is not for everyone, but it seems to work well for the vast majority of people struggling with symptoms of depression. There is no standardization when it comes to medical cannabis. So how it’s used depends on many factors including current health, weight, cannabinoid tolerance, and more. Talk to your doctor or a healthcare provider you trust before stopping any of your medications.
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