There are more than 350 million people worldwide that suffer from depression. One of the saddest things to me about depression is the lack of effective medications that a person can take. Doctors almost always prescribe pharmaceuticals for depression, many of which have harmful side effects. Whenever you see a commercial on TV for a depression medication, the list of potential side effects is usually longer than the segment of the commercial dedicated to how well it works. I have seen many pharmaceutical commercials list ‘thoughts of suicide’ as one of the main potential side effects.
A study was recently released which found that marijuana can be an effective treatment for depression. Marijuana of course doesn’t cause the side effects that pharmaceuticals do. Per the Huffington Post:
Neuroscientists from the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions found that endocannabinoids — chemical compounds in the brain that activate the same receptors as THC, an active compound in marijuana — may be helpful in treating depression that results from chronic stress.
In studies on rats, the researchers found that chronic stress reduced the production of endocannabinoids, which affect our cognition, emotion and behavior, and have been linked to reduced feelings of pain and anxiety, increases in appetite and overall feelings of well-being. The body naturally produces these compounds, which are similar to the chemicals in cannabis. Reduction of endocannabinoid production may be one reason that chronic stress is a major risk factor in the development of depression.
If you suffer from depression, or know of someone that does, make sure to give a strong consideration to using marijuana. No one should have to battle depression with harmful pharmaceuticals if they don’t want to. Depression is bad enough, adding a long list of side effects to deal with obviously makes everything worse.