Do Patients Find Relief from Depression Using Marijuana?
When someone consumes cannabis, their body releases neurotransmitters in response to the chemicals they intake. Endocannabinoids are chemical substances that modulate neurotransmitters, which can be produced by the body or supplied by medical cannabis.
When neurotransmitter levels in the brain fluctuate, it can result in a variety of unpleasant symptoms. When neurotransmitter levels fall below normal, individuals become sad, irritable, and moody. These signs are among the most common indicators of depression and other mental illnesses.
The CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain play a role in cannabinoid-induced mood improvement. CBD and THC, cannabinoids that act via these receptors, have been shown to help with anxiety disorders by influencing the brain. This is significant because stress and anxiety disorders are frequently linked to depression, which can make depressive symptoms worse.
Check out our endocannabinoid guide for further information on how the endocannabinoid system functions.
Medical cannabis treatment for depression
Endocannabinoids, depression, and stress are all being studied by the Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) at the University at Buffalo. The chemical compounds in marijuana, such as THC and CBD, have been found to aid with stress reduction, which is a major cause of sadness in both humans and animals.
To date, no controlled trials have been conducted to determine the effects of marijuana or CBD on depression in humans. However, according to a 2016 poll, over 50% of Washington’s medical marijuana patients were treating depression as a condition they had.
Considerations to Keep in Mind
If you’re suffering from both anxiety and depression, keep in mind that high doses of THC frequently induce anxiety, paranoia, and panic. There are also relatively few long-term qualitative studies looking at how marijuana use can alleviate depression, so we don’t know the short- or long-term effects.
Marijuana usage may or may not be part of a specialized mental health therapy plan between you and your medical marijuana doctor. It might, however, make things worse. Keep in mind that depression is a serious illness that must be treated by a trained specialist; if you believe yourself to be experiencing an emotional crisis, seek immediate medical attention.
How Neurotransmitters Affect Mood Disorders
The following neurotransmitters are activated, which can lead to depression, stress, and anxiety disorders in the brain
- Acetylcholine- Improves memory and learning recall.
- Serotonin- It promotes rest, appetite, mood, and pain relief.
- Norepinephrine- It causes blood vessels to narrow and increase blood pressure. It also induces anxieties and certain types of depression.
- Dopamine- It’s the reward system in the brain, which influences motivation and how things appear. It’s the brain’s pleasure mechanism.
- Glutamate- It’s a neurotransmitter that has been linked to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
- Gamma-GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that has been studied for its ability to reduce anxiety.
Science: What Does It Say?
Preliminary studies on the impact of various plant-based terpenes and rodents in reducing depression and anxiety suggest encouraging outcomes. A terpene that is also present in lavender, linalool, was one of the Terpenes Tested. The mice were given varying doses of linalool in this study. When male Swiss mice were given a dose of 100 mg and 200 mg of linalool, it was discovered to have an antidepressant impact.
Linalool activates 5-HT1A neurotransmitter receptors, which is thought to impact serotonin levels in the brain. Linalool has also been shown to activate the noradrenergic pathway, which is involved in some prescription antidepressants.
The majority of this research is conducted on mice, indicating the necessity for randomized, controlled human trials to prove any advantages and show the long-term effects of cannabis use and terpenes on depression.