The science behind marijuana’s depression treatment
The question of whether marijuana can be used to help cope with depression has been posed time and again. Notably, using cannabis to lift one’s spirits is not a new concept in society. A variety of people have used this substance to relax both in the past and in today’s society. However, the scientific information to back up the claim that marijuana can be used to help depression is not deeply investigated. There have been few research studies conducted to confirm the claims that the substance is a possible cure for the disease. That, however, does not rule out the substance’s use to help people cope with depression.
All evidence pointing towards the use of marijuana as a cure for depression lie in endocannabinoids and cannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are naturally produced by the body while cannabinoids can be obtained from marijuana. However, these compounds have similar names because of their function in the human body. Both these substances activate neural pathways and receptors in our central nervous systems1.
A study conducted in 2015 showed that low levels of endocannabinoids in the human body result in depression-like behavior. The research was centered on depression occurring as a result of chronic stress. In their experiments on lab rats, scientists discovered that marijuana could effectively reintroduce cannabinoids in the body. This resulted in normal levels of these compounds in the rat’s systems. In the same way, depression-like behavior can be waylaid by the use of medical marijuana.
Additionally, a study conducted at McGill University found that the introduction of small amounts of THC (the most widely known cannabinoid) into the body caused the brain to develop higher levels of serotonin. Serotonin functions as our body’s natural anti-depressant. As such, stable doses of the drug could aid a person suffering from depression to efficiently cope with the condition.
Based on these studies, it is safe to say that medical marijuana can help a variety of patients cope with depression. However, you should note that there are many types of depression. When seeking treatment, feel free to contact us at Island Cannabis for more information.
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