Many people (including doctors) have accepted the fact that marijuana is capable of treating a wide variety of symptoms and illnesses. Unfortunately, there are still some disorders that are overlooked, even with the mounting evidence that marijuana can help. In this article, we’re going to look at the viability of using cannabis for depression.
What is Depression?
Depression is an intricate mood disorder that can negatively impact every aspect of life. It can interfere with completion of the most basic tasks. Depression can make it difficult to sleep, eat, work, or even maintain a love or social life. Severity of depression can differ from person to person, ranging from mild to extreme.
There are many things that can cause a person to be depressed, the most common cases being a traumatic life event, death of a loved one, abuse or illness.
The World Health Organization says that approximately 350 million people suffer from depression, making it the leading cause of disability in the world.
Common Symptoms of Depression
Depending on the severity and cause of depression, each and every person will exhibit different symptoms, which may include:
- Loss of Appetite
- Weight Loss
- Excessive Hunger
- Weight Gain
- Loss of Interest in Activities
- Mood Swings
- Excessive Crying
- Trouble Sleeping
- Excessive Drowsiness
- Social Isolation
- Lack of Concentration
- Racing thoughts
- Suicidal Thoughts
How is it Commonly Treated?
Most health care professionals will recommend eating a healthy diet, trying to get plenty of exercise, seeking cognitive therapy, and taking a prescribed medication.
Again, depending on the severity and cause for depression, medical professionals may prescribe one of several different medications including SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs, Dopamine Reuptake Blockers, MAOIs, and more.
Side Effects of Commonly Prescribed Medications
While many of these medications can improve symptoms, they also come with some pretty nasty side effects, which may include:
- Increased Appetite and Weight Gain
- Decreased Libido
- Dry Mouth
- Blurred Vision
- Suicidal Thoughts
Why Choose Marijuana Instead?
Depending on the strain, marijuana will enhance your mood and provide you with more energy and focus (CBD.) It will also combat loss of appetite by inducing hunger and ward off insomnia by inducing sleep! (THC)
Aside from common mild side effects like dry mouth and drowsiness, using cannabis for depression instead of prescription medication seems to be much safer. It also appears to take effect much more quickly. Better yet, many people that suffer from depression claim that it has helped their symptoms more than prescription medications ever did.
It’s important to note, that while rare, THC can cause increased paranoia in some people. The only way to know how it will affect you is to give it a shot. Chances are high that it will effectively treat your symptoms.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, there is ALWAYS another way. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
If you suffer from mood disorders, like anxiety or depression, call us at (844) 442-0362 or schedule your free consultation online with one of our licensed physicians, today! Don’t live in pain another second. We’re here to help.
If you’ve been diagnosed with depression, your doctor has probably written you a prescription for an antidepressant. The problem is, many of these drugs can produce some seriously negative side effects. While you never want to stop using a prescribed medication without the green light from a medical professional, you may want to consider treating your depression with medical marijuana, instead.
Don’t get us wrong, antidepressants can be helpful and extremely beneficial to some. For others, however, the side effects can make symptoms (and depression) worse. In this article, we’re going to go over the benefits and side effects of commonly prescribed antidepressants and medical marijuana.
Commonly Prescribed Antidepressants
Some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants include Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil. When you suffer from depression, you have an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters, and are responsible for mood and emotions. Antidepressants will get these chemicals back into a healthy balance.
Potential Side Effects
The common side effects often associated with antidepressants can include:
Increase in Appetite
Loss of Libido
Severe side effects of prescription antidepressants include:
Serotonin Syndrome (dangerously high levels of Serotonin in the brain.) This can result in side effects including but not limited to high fever, seizures, irregular heart beat, unconsciousness, and death.
Hyponatremia (dangerously low levels of sodium in the blood.) This can result in fatigue, psychosis, seizures, disorientation, agitation, coma, and death.
Mania including racing thoughts, extreme moods, impulsive behavior, sleeping disorders, grandiose thinking, and irritability.
Treating Your Depression with Medical Marijuana, Instead
How does marijuana treat depression? It’s actually extremely similar to how antidepressant medication works. Medical marijuana restores the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, which improves mood and levels out emotions.
Potential Side Effects of Marijuana
Common side effects of Marijuana (with THC**) include:
Nausea & vomiting
Loss of libido
Dry or red eyes
Impaired mental functioning
**CBD, the non-psychoactive medical component of marijuana, has no known side effects.
While most people will not experience the following side effects of medical marijuana as they are extremely rare, it is important to note them as a possibility. AGAIN, all of these rare side effects are associated with THC, not CBD:
High/Low Blood pressure
Lung Issues (if smoked AND you suffer from a respiratory disorder)
While it may seem as though both of these options carry quite a few potential side effects, marijuana definitely has a leg up on the competition. First, developing serious side effects from antidepressants is way more likely than developing those associated with medical marijuana. Second, because marijuana is all-natural, you cannot overdose on it. Marijuana has never killed anyone. Antidepressants, on the other hand, can be overdosed as well as cause death.
Using the right strain and dose of marijuana will help your depression symptoms, using “too much” marijuana will result in experiencing one or more of the common side effects. When it comes down to it, medical marijuana is a much safer (and potentially more beneficial) option.
Can you overdose on CBD? This is a question that many new medical marijuana users ask, and it’s a great one. Before we answer the question, we’re going to look at what CBD is and how it affects you.
There are over 100 different compounds in the cannabis plant, one of the most popular being Cannabidiol (CBD). The main difference between CBD and the other main compound, THC, is that THC produces the classic “high” that is associated with marijuana. Both of these compounds exhibit many symptom relieving characteristics, however.
CBD and THC produce their effects by interacting with the body’s built-in endocannabinoid receptors. These receptors are found in practically every major organ of the body. CBD can bind to these receptors, but it can’t activate them. THC binds to them and activates them (which is how it produces a high.)
No Lethal Overdose
Studies have shown that daily consumption of high doses (1500 mg) of CBD, have been proven to be well-tolerated by humans. There have been no reports of lethal overdose on this natural, non-toxic substance.
Prescription drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin, and opioids such as heroin, are some of the most abused drugs out there. Prescription drugs can produce side effects that are worse than the symptoms they’re treating. Illegal drugs are abused by people who can’t find relief anywhere else.
CBD (and THC, for that matter) can treat your symptoms without the risk associated with narcotics and opioids.
People suffering from depression can experience suicidal thoughts. Prescription drugs with a lethal limit can become a dangerous temptation for these people. Having access to CBD can not only treat symptoms but also keep these patients from making life-altering decisions.
Those suffering from chronic pain, may find themselves taking more medication than they should. For this reason, overdose and death may occur. CBD is non-addictive and can relieve your chronic pain.
Patients diagnosed with panic disorder or anxiety are usually prescribed a benzodiazepine. These drugs will calm or sedate a person. Sometimes people suffering from severe anxiety disorder will combine benzodiazepines with opioids. As a result, this can produce fatal consequences. CBD will reduce anxious feelings and help you to relax, safely!
So, can you overdose on CBD? No! Unlike most prescription drugs, you cannot overdose on this natural substance. This means that you can get the relief you need, without worrying about any gnarly side effects.
Cannabis has the ability to treat a myriad of symptoms of different illnesses, including PTSD. In fact, one study showed that patients using cannabis had a 75% reduction in symptoms. Since this is the case, we’re going to look at what PTSD is, the symptoms one may show and the multiple ways medical marijuana is capable of treating PTSD.
What is PTSD?
PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is a severe anxiety disorder that occurs after exposure to an event that results in psychological trauma. There are many different events that can cause PTSD (accidents, assaults, etc…) but the most common is PTSD from combat.
What are the common symptoms of PTSD
- Reliving the traumatic event that induced PTSD
- Avoiding situations, places and people that may cause one to relive the event
- Feeling keyed-up or hyper
- Sleep problems
- Poor Concentration
Multiple Ways Medical Marijuana Treats PTSD
Cannabis has the ability to promote sleep hormones, so that you can fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. This natural drug can also reduce and eliminate nightmares. Additionally, marijuana lacks the negative side effects that many prescription sleep aids can produce.
Slows Down and Soothes Intrusive Thoughts
Intrusive thoughts are a common contributor to PTSD. These are uncontrollable, threatening thoughts that occur in the patient’s mind, over and over again like a recurring nightmare while you’re wide awake. They can lead to overwhelming amounts of stress, anxiety, fear, anger, aggressiveness and depression. Luckily, Marijuana interacts with Cannabinoid receptors in the brain to slow your thought process and soothe these negative thoughts.
Hyperarousal causes a person to be on “high-alert” or feel extremely anxious. Often times, this is physically exhibited by increased heart rate and respiration. Typically this occurs from thinking about the traumatic event. Marijuana decreases these negative feelings that produce panic attacks.
Improves Impulse Control
Additionally, cannabis can slow the cognitive “thinking” process, perhaps providing more time to think a decision through.
Helps Ease Aggression and Anger
It has been suggested that unlike alcohol, marijuana actually reduces aggressiveness and makes the patient much slower to anger. Scientists believe this has something to do with the way cannabinoids (CBD and THC, specifically) interact with cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
Lifts Anxiety and Depression
Marijuana is particularly good at reducing anxiety and depression by boosting positivity. Certain strains provide different effects so it’s extremely important that you get a recommendation from your doctor as some strains can actually make anxiety and paranoia worse.
Consolidates Fear Memories
Furthermore, marijuana is able to assist in processing traumatic memories by consolidating fear memories. This means that it takes memories of negative experiences that may have gotten out of control and stabilizes them so that less flashbacks and panic attacks occur.
May Promote Neurogenesis
Neurogenesis is the growth and development of new nervous tissue. Research suggests that neurogenesis can treat anxiety disorders, like PTSD. Studies have shown that marijuana promotes neurogenesis, thus allowing it to treat this disorder.
All things considered, there’s no reason to suffer in silence, when medical marijuana is capable of treating PTSD.
If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD, contact Marijuana Doctor, today.