Depression: How Medical Marijuana Could Help | cannabisMD

The Causes of Depression: How Medical Marijuana Could Help

The Causes of Depression: How Medical Marijuana Could Help

No matter your background, you can experience sadness. However, sadness is not depression. Sadness comes and goes and is a normal part of the human experience. Whereas depression is a mental illness that can become debilitating and even cause premature death. Clinical depression can also affect anyone no matter background, but is not experienced by everyone. According to the World Health Organization, there are 300 million people in the world that suffer from depression.

What is depression? According to the National Institute for Mental Health, depression is characterized by a significantly negative mood for more than two weeks. Depression is a mood disorder. It can make you sad, but also angry or empty. Your depressed mood is a result of your depressed brain chemicals. Brain chemistry is what separates sadness and depression. Sadness is an emotion and depression is an illness that requires medical treatment.

Depression can come with a feeling of gloom. Though it is natural to feel down or sad at times, people who have depression find their mood and thoughts extremely distressing. Depressed people, in severe cases, may be in danger of suicide.

  1. Major Depressive Disorder is the most common form of depression. The latest statistics show, in the United States,16.2 million adults have experienced this type of depression. Major Depressive Disorder is severe and lasts for at minimum two weeks. It is classified by a “down” feeling and general loss of interest in daily activities. Other symptoms of depression include:
    • Insomnia (too little sleep) or hypersomnia (excess sleep)
    • Lack of or increase in appetite
    • Inner restlessness or tension
    • Persistent fatigue
    • Feeling of worthlessness and guilt
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Suicidal thoughts

Those who experience depressive symptoms usually struggle with work, education, social and individual functioning, etc. Unless treated, major depressive disorder is often chronic. Bipolar disorder is not the same as unipolar depression. Major depressive disorder is sometimes referred to as unipolar depression. It is not uncommon for people with bipolar to be wrongly diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

  1. Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) has been experienced by 1.3% of the U.S. population. It is a low feeling that is not as severe or long-lasting as major depressive disorder. It can usually last for two years or more. For a person to be diagnosed with dysthymia, a person must have at least two of these symptoms:
    • Increase or lack of appetite
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Lack of energy and fatigue
    • Low self-esteem
    • Difficulty concentration
    • Feeling of hopelessness

These symptoms may occur in other subtypes of depression, however, symptoms may return anytime. There a other specific types of depression for set circumstances. These types are:

  1. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression. SAD usually occurs according to weather and season, for example, it starts in the winter and usually goes away in the summer and happens more often in some countries because of a general lack of sunlight.
  2. Premenstrual Depression (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) is a type of depression that only occurs in a woman before or during their menstrual period. These women experience physical and emotional symptoms like mood changes, feeling of sadness, may also experience anxiety, and irritability or anger. While with perinatal depression this usually happens during pregnancy and after pregnancy (postpartum depression), and they may have the same symptoms as PMS. PMS is normal but if your mood is extreme regularly, you may have premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
  3. Depressive disorder due to another medical condition includes any type of depression that is is due to an illness. It usually occurs if there is a medical illness like hypothyroidism, HIV, diabetes, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, and any other disease.

What Causes Depression?
Even now the cause of depression is unknown. Researchers believe it may run in families. They also believe environment and psychology may be linked to depression. Some say that medication may show side effects that can lead to depression. As we have talked about depression, we can now explore the health benefits of medical marijuana. Medical marijuana may be able to treat depressive symptoms.

What Is Medical Marijuana?
Medical Marijuana, also known as medical cannabis, is a phytocannabinoid (cannabinoid from plants) based treatment that comes from cannabis indica or cannabis sativa . Cannabis is the genus of the plant. The cannabis plant is known for its compounds (cannabinoids) CBN, CBD AND THC. These compounds are believed to treat a range of illnesses and ailments.

  • THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is known for its mind-altering effect that gives you the”high” feeling associated with marijuana. THC also affects the body with an increase in appetite and decrease in pain or inflammation and muscle spasms.
  • CBN, or cannabinol is another compound, that can be found in cannabis plant that causes mild sedation and has no intoxication. According to studies, it offers pain relief, an appetite stimulant, pain reduction, and antibacterial effects. CBN is released as a metabolite of THC. It makes the user sluggish and groggy, unlike CBD. CBN is a known anxiolytic. It is used to reduce muscle spasms and relieve symptoms of glaucoma.
  • CBD, or cannabidiol, unlike THC, is not a psychoactive compound. CBD is non-addictive and does not have psychoactive effects. In other words, you cannot get “high” on CBD. New studies suggest this compound can reduce inflammation. control, epileptic seizures, and even treat schizophrenia. It has calming and relaxing properties.

How Does Medical Marijuana Work?
Medical marijuana has gained a lot of popularity recently due to its health benefits. Medical marijuana has active compounds called cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are similar to our endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are natural chemicals found in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS plays a vital role in the body managing:

  • Appetite
  • Sleep
  • Mood
  • Motor control,
  • Immune function
  • Pain
  • Memory
  • and more

The endocannabinoid system is able to communicate with much of the body and affects essential functions in the body. There are two primary receptors in the endocannabinoid system: CB1 and CB2. CB1 is located in the central nervous system. CB2 receptors are found in the immune system and peripheral nervous system. If your body’s ECS is unbalanced, it may lead to the development of depression or a range of other inflictions.

After ingesting THC and CBD, the compounds will act on your endocannabinoid system. In the ECS, THC will bind to CB1 to regulate the body. CBD will not directly bind to CB1 or CB2, but will attach to immune cells and stabilize chemicals in our body.

This activity will provide effects in the system, including:

  • Anxiolytic
  • Antipsychotic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiepileptic and
  • Neuroprotective effects.

Medical Care
Depression is quite alarming and the public needs to pay more attention to it. If you feel like you are depressed, you should speak to a medical or mental health professional immediately.

Although research shows many the health benefits of marijuana, clinical studies are still behind. We need more studies to determine how effective medical marijuana is. This is why the FDA has not approved the medicine. Before trying a new treatment plan, it is always best to first consult with your physician. THC is not legal in many states and countries. CBD is largely legal but only when derived from the hemp plant. Be sure to the do your research so you are not partaking in illegal activities.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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