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Depression: What Cannabis Can and Can’t Do

Depression isn’t so dope when it gets in the way of your everyday life. For millions of people, though, that’s the cards they were dealt with. The only hope they’re given comes in the form of potentially harmful and addictive pharmaceuticals, but now there are a few other options coming to the surface. Thanks to diligent research on the pros and cons of using CBD and THC, we now know that cannabis can fight depression while eliminating stress, anxiety and about a thousand other health problems including epilepsy, cancer, anorexia, and PTSD. Gone are the days of seeing cannabis as nothing but dope for the hopeless. Our medical professionals are finally starting to appreciate the power of nature, but it’s up to the consumer to learn the facts.

What Cannabis Does for the Depressed

A 2015 study conducted by the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions discovered some pretty interesting tidbits. As it turns out, the brain possesses an endocannabinoid system that regulates various aspects of mood and perception. When properly activated with the right cannabis compound, those receptors can create feelings of improved well-being which significantly decreases bouts of depression and the severity thereof. Interestingly, lab rats exhibited the exact same reaction in controlled testing environments, meaning CBD and/or THC can (and probably should) be used as an alternative to many prescription medications that present potentially dangerous side effects.

The even better news is that cannabis dosing poses very few serious risks to a person’s overall health, with minimal long-term side effects and even fewer negative ones. It’s important to understand that most of the information we once thought was factual turned out to be false. We’ve realized that marijuana is not habit-forming, it’s not extremely dangerous and it’s not a gateway to much of anything but living your best life (as long as you use it responsibly). For some people, therein lies the problem, which is likely why depression and cannabis use is often compared to the “chicken and the egg” scenario.

Using Cannabis for Depression Responsibly

There may be lots of evidence to support marijuana’s antidepressant properties, but skeptics are quick to remind people of the drawbacks associated with irresponsible cannabis use. Depression already makes it hard to get motivated, so experts warn of administering the wrong cannabis strain. In general, it’s recommended that a patient speak with a doctor ahead of time or consult with a licensed budtender for more personalized information. Usually, depressed individuals will be directed towards Sativas because they’re better for mood elevation and creativity. However, individuals suffering from depression and anxiety might be better served using a Sativa/Indica hybrid to avoid subsequent jitters and nervousness.

Meanwhile, it’s important to carefully consider your dope dosage because it’s not the same for all people. Also, edibles tend to impact the user’s body more than their mind, so remember that when selecting your ideal method. Keep in mind as well that marijuana use may become a trigger for people with a predisposition to mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, psychosis and schizophrenia. Do not attempt to self-medicate with cannabis until you’ve got the all-clear from a medical professional and never self-diagnose because, let’s face it, confirmation bias can get us all in big trouble.



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