Can Medical Marijuana Treat Depression?

By Rolling Up

If you suffer from depression, you’re not alone. Depression affects 350 million people across the globe of all ages. Depression is a mood disorder that leaves sufferers unable to work, eat, sleep, or have fun due to the nature and complexity of the disorder. 


Some symptoms of the disorder include continuous lethargy and fatigue. It can leave one feeling hopeless and filled with shame that they’re unable to carry out normal everyday activities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent, depression can ultimately lead to suicidal thoughts. In 2018, there were 48,544 recorded suicides in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated mental health conditions. During late June of 2020, 40 percent of adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse.


Many people who suffer from depression do not know how to get the help they need. Since a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors can cause depression there isn’t currently a straightforward treatment or cure for depression. At the moment psychotherapy is a way to build up skills that are needed to cope with trauma, stress, grief, and loss. Antidepressants are prescribed, but don't always work for certain people. It can take weeks to show any signs of progression and have long term damaging effects on the body. 

Researchers are exploring medical marijuana as an antidote to help alleviate the pain of depression in patients. There are a wide variety of benefits associated with medical marijuana use and its tool for pain management amongst patients. 


In a 2014 study published by the Hawaii Journal of Medicine, participants in the study claimed a reduction of 64% in pain reduction while using marijuana. Medical marijuana offers a way for patients to seek relief fast and uplift mood without waiting weeks to see if an antidepressant works. Medical marijuana provides relief, sense of clarity, mood, alleviating insomnia, and inducing appetite. 


Negative findings have also been associated with marijuana use and bipolar disorder. In a review published in 2015, marijuana could intensify manic symptoms worse in a person that has bipolar disorder. There isn’t enough research to conclude if marijuana helps or hurts bipolar disorder. It’s best to yield caution and stick to the prescription prescribed by your doctor. 


In the end, there’s research noting the good and bad effects of marijuana when it comes to symptoms of depression. If you are considering using medical marijuana for depression or already using it, consult your doctor on the pros and cons and consult on how it affects you. 

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