Can Cannabis Help Women with Depression? | cannabisMD

Can Cannabis Help Women with Depression?

Women, can cannabis help your depression?

If you're suffering from postpartum depression or any other form of depression, it might be worth your while trying cannabis as a treatment. Image Credit: By jesadaphorn on Shuttestock

There is a strong relationship between cannabis and depression in women. This plant has been around since the beginnings of human civilization and remains the most popular of the illicit drugs on Earth today. Many countries of the world have banned the use of cannabis, but some allow people to use it only when recommended or prescribed by a doctor. The psychoactive effects of the product is the primary factor causing governments to restrict its use.

The psychoactive effect of cannabis can give you a “high”. It makes you feel on top of the world and gives some people a special kind of confidence. Consequently, this natural product is used for treating medical conditions like depression in women. Women are more susceptible to depression than men; this is not the case with boys and girls among whom there is no disparity in depression cases. However, the rate in females doubles to that of men when they reach puberty.

Hormonal change is an important factor in causing depression in women. Women experience hormonal changes at puberty, during pregnancy, after childbirth, during ovulation, menstruation and even after experiencing menopause. These conditions are marked by mood swings, anxiety, and depression. They usually occur in the week leading up to menstruation and can hinder normal functioning of the body, though they are resolved naturally after the period lapses.

Some of the other common forms of depression in women are:

  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Some other factors leading to depression in women are:

  • Certain medications
  • Sexual, emotional, or physical abuse
  • Persistent social and psychological stress, like divorce, separation, relationship stress and job loss
  • A threat to social support system or loss of same
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Eating disorders and the pressure coming from beauty standards
  • Unplanned pregnancy or even planned pregnancy
  • Difficulties in child rearing
  • Stress caused by everyday life; balancing career and family commitments
  • Mood disorder history in the early reproductive years
  • Hereditary mood disorders

As indicated above, depression can run in the family and affect mental health. In such an instance, the woman is very likely to start noticing the symptoms of depression between 15 and 30 years of age. This hereditary kind of depression occurs more in women than men. The clinical type of depression has no link with family background.

Depression in a woman typically lasts for longer and also occurs earlier than in men. Also, depression is more likely to reoccur in women than men. Furthermore, depression in women is more sensitive to seasonal changes and stressful life events than in men. No matter what may be responsible for mood disorder or depression in a woman, it could be adequately corrected by cannabis.

Symptoms of Depression
Some think depression is associated with a look of hopelessness and sadness, but it is more than this. The symptoms of depression in women are not just emotional, they are also physical. In fact, a woman suffering from depression may not even manifest sadness, which can make it difficult for friends and family as well as healthcare personnels to determine if the individual has depression or not.

Be that as it may, certain symptoms associated with depression in women will be highlighted below so that you can easily identify if you or people around you have depression. Bear in mind that one cannot treat the condition using cannabis or any other product if you do not detect or diagnose it first. Proper diagnosis ensures that you can stabilize moods and ease the associated pains. Check below for the most common ones among the symptoms of depression in women:

Studies have shown that up to 75% of individuals suffering from depression also have chronic or recurring pain. In fact, depression-associated chronic pain is four times more likely in women than men. The pain is often in the form of lower back and disabling neck pains.

Weight Gain
This is yet another symptom found in women with depression. Depression reduces the will to move, and the individual may lie down for hours or spend more time indoors. Binge eating is also a common issues which can lead to a full blown binge eating disorder and cause the person to accumulate excess fat.

A depressed person can get easily irritated. Some will fly into a rage at the slightest provocation. A study published by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine showed that 54% of depressed people become angry, foul-tempered, argumentative, grumpy and hostile compared to others. This is also supported by Samir haj Dahmane and the research institution on addiction.

A feeling of nothingness is yet another common symptom of depression, which can warrant the administration of cannabis as a solution to stabilize moods and ease depression. Affected people usually feel numb, neutral and detached. They lack the motivation to get them out of bed in the morning and will not be adequately motivated to make breakfast, socialize or exercise.

Depressed people often become glued to the social media because they have lost interest in the real world around them. Such individuals could benefit from cannabis to help stabilize moods and treat depression.

If you can’t seem to make up your mind, if you’ve stopped brushing your teeth, stopped combing your hair or you are suffering from sleep disorders, then you most probably have depression. However, there are many more symptoms of depression which you can read more about here.

The Effect of Cannabis on Depression in Women

Cannabis can be effective against the symptoms of depression, though it may not be able to remove the causes of depression. For example, cannabis cannot prevent the hormonal changes in women which are among the factors responsible for depression. However, it can help the woman to cope better with the depression and prevent the unhealthy consequences like binge eating, loss of interest in normally exciting activities, inactivity, and suicide attempts.

Consequently, we can say that the relationship between cannabis and depression in women is symptomatic; that is, cannabis-only treats and prevents the symptoms of depression and does not have any effect on the cause. That is not to say that it can’t make a hugely positive impact on women dealing with depression, because it can. Here’s how:

  1. Relieves Pain
  2. Cannabis is a potent pain reliever. Bear in mind that depression can cause chronic stress and pain. Therefore, using medical cannabis can alleviate the pain and help the affected person to cope with the depressing circumstances better than ever. As mentioned earlier, about 75% of individuals with depression experience pain as depression and pain share similar biological neurotransmitters and pathways. As a result, an individual with depression can benefit a great deal from the pain-relieving effects of cannabis.

  3. Increase Physical Activities
  4. Cannabis can increase activity and get the individual motivated. As a result, she would not lose interest in normal daily activities or lie down in bed all day long. Therefore, the chances of gaining weight will reduce. Bear in mind that depression can cause someone to lose interest in normal activities and cause them to engage in binge eating, which can lead to obesity.

  5. Help to Regulate Sleep
  6. Cannabis is known for helping to promote an easy and deep sleep. Insomnia is a very common symptom of depression and although it is a symptom, it can actually make the depression much worse and infinitely more difficult to recover from as the person has little or no energy. For this reason, regulating sleep could have a huge impact and minimise the difficulties that depression can cause.

  7. Manages Anger and Irritation
  8. The relationship between cannabis and depression in women is further stressed by the effect of the former on irritation, anger, and rage. When given cannabis, some individuals automatically switch from anger to laughter because cannabis has a stress-relieving impact and helps them relax.

  9. Combats Numbness
  10. An individual who is given cannabis and other compounds derived from cannabis can focus better on things that usually interest them. Consequently, cannabis can eliminate the feeling of nothingness associated with depression.This further seals the relationship between cannabis and depression in women. Cannabis administration to a woman with depression can help ameliorate the aloof, distant and cold dispositions accustomed to some people with depression.

  11. Reduces Alcohol Dependence and Effects
  12. Depression is one of the causes of alcoholism and interestingly, vice versa. Cannabis removes the woman’s need to seek solace in alcohol anymore because it stabilizes her mood.

The above information has given credence to the relationship between cannabis and depression in women. From the information above, it is clear that cannabis can be used in managing depression in women. So far, very few negative side effects of cannabis have been recorded. However, very little reliable research has been conducted into this area so conclusions and assumptions are only drawn from the hundreds of years worth of anecdotal evidence that has built up. As always, you should consult with your family doctor if you’re considering using Cannabis to treat your depression.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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