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.