If you’re reading this, chances are you know someone battling with depression
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States, and unfortunately, many people suffering from it have yet to find a solution. Cannabis, on the other hand, has shown to be a successful and safe method to fight depression.
Some of those who are struggling with depression turn to prescription medication and over-the-counter drugs in hopes of finding a solution or a cure. Prescription medication and over-the-counter drugs pose many serious risks, however, and often don’t even provide the relief the patient is searching for.
A recent study found that certain chemical components in the brain called endocannabinoids activate the same receptors as an active compound found in cannabis, THC. Endocannabinoids are naturally produced chemical compounds in the brain that affect several functions, including mood, emotions, and behavior. THC is the chemical in marijuana responsible for its psychological effects.
When THC is released in the body, it acts very similarly to the endocannabinoid chemicals which are made naturally by the brain.
Studies have also found that THC stimulates cells in the brain that release dopamine, which is a chemical in the brain that affects emotions and behavior.
In many cases, reported side effects of THC include elation, relaxation, and pain relief. All of these side effects help fight against depression.
Cannabis is a much safer alternative to prescription pills because it is a natural substance. Nearly all medications, both over -the-counter and prescription, have some undesirable and often dangerous side effect. Cannabis, however, does not have these same side effects.
The severity of the side effects of prescription pills and over-the-counter drugs vary from person to person, depending on dosage, the patient’s age, weight, and overall health. But many times doctors don’t weigh in these factors when writing prescriptions, or they won’t know how the medication will affect the patient until the patient has already taken the medication and suffered the consequences.
Cannabis is a much safer route because the dangerous side effects associated with prescription pills and drugs are not related to marijuana.
Research has shown those who use marijuana once or more weekly have reported fewer episodes of depression than those who are not using marijuana. Cannabis has been demonstrated to elevate overall mood, relieve stress and decrease anxiety.
Chronic stress and anxiety can often lead to long-term depression, but cannabis can reduce stress and relieve anxiety, thus preventing the risk of depression.
Those suffering from depression often deal with unproductive and negative thought cycles; that can often spiral out of control until the patient feels as though they’ve hit “rock bottom.” The THC contained in marijuana stimulates cells in the brain to release dopamine and combat these negative thoughts, thus breaking the cycle.