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Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental disorders that humans can suffer from. Many people around the world (about 350 million according to the WHO) suffer from depression, many of whom get no treatment.
What treatments are available are often ineffective or have such severe side effects that they are intolerable. Many people use a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor like fluoxetine (Prozac) but their effects long term are often horrible and their effectiveness is in doubt for many patients. Overall, they are effective, but coming off them is very difficult for many people (the withdrawal symptoms are often severe) and they can have permanent effects on the brain.
Depression is not just when you feel sad. That is life. Depression is a recognized disorder that comes in many forms with many different causes and contributing factors. Because it is so complex and varied, depression is not a condition that can be talked about in specific terms without excluding a lot of people with the condition.
Irrational feelings of anxiety, deep sadness, despair, fatigue, lack of interest and motivation, fear, irritability, anger, frustration, substance abuse, and pain are all common symptoms and warning signs of a major depressive disorder, but in order to know if you actually have depression, you should talk to a doctor and get a diagnosis. There are many forms of mood disorder and the treatment can depend on exactly what condition you have, so getting help to understand what is happening in your brain is essential.
Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. There are certain receptors in the brain that appear to be activated differently when a person is suffering from both of these conditions. The reason medical marijuana is being investigated for its effects on anxiety and depression is that the endocannabinoid system, the largest array of receptors and agonists in the human body, is intimately related to these conditions. Using cannabis floods the body with over 100 different cannabinoids, chemicals that interact with the endocannabinoid system and change how it communicates and interacts with itself and the rest of the body. So far, most of the effects seem to be positive.
Can CBD Cure Anxiety and Depression?
No. So far nobody has been able to cure anxiety and depression with anything. Current therapies only involve trying to help someone find other ways of thinking that avoid triggering the symptoms of anxiety and depression. In order to know you have cured something, you need to know how it works first. Nobody really knows what causes anxiety and depression, so even if CBD did cure them, we would have no way of knowing.
What medical marijuana can do is relieve some depressive symptoms and help a person get into the right mindset for finding ways of thinking that do not lead them down the same paths again. People with depression can often lack the mental space to be able to think about anything but their own despair. cannabis seems to help some people smooth down the swings in mood and give people the headspace to get themselves out.
Doesn’t Cannabis Cause Depression?
That is a claim that has some value to it, but most people do not develop depression because of cannabis, but some people just find that their symptoms are made worse by the drug. Any drug that alters the mindset of a person can be potentially damaging to mental health.
Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug for people with obsessive-compulsive disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder to relieve their symptoms. While the scientific evidence is often scant, there are mounts of anecdotal testimonies that attest to the effectiveness of these drugs for some people.
Because so many people develop a persistent depressive disorder and the drugs commonly prescribed are so dangerous, it is natural that many people would turn to an alternative like cannabis.
Cannabis is not a cure for anxiety and depression, the best it can do is relieve some symptoms temporarily. This could be a lifesaver, but a user should not expect miracles.
Whether it is natural or not is in question. Modern cannabis has been extensively engineered through years of breeding to be quite dissimilar to its natural cousins. Cannabis grown indoors in hydroponic conditions is not as natural as a lot of people would like. However, taking a full-spectrum cannabis treatment is probably higher on the “natural” scale than taking a pill made from petroleum in a factory.
The Jury is Out
Exactly why cannabis works for some people and not for others is still a long way from being understood. It is advised that the reader exercise caution with cannabis. There are risks, especially with high levels of use. They should be discussed thoroughly with a doctor before you take it. A doctor can provide a diagnosis and help you get the most effective treatment for you. This could include cannabis, it might not though. How cannabinoids interact with other drugs is still not well understood, so there could be complications.
Taking cannabis for anxiety and depression is a common solution but it is basically a gamble. Most people respond well but some people have genetic predispositions to psychosis or schizophrenia that cannabis can trigger. Generally, it is well tolerated.
There is one thing worse than being depressed. That is being depressed in prison. Buying and possessing an illegal drug like cannabis can make a person very anxious indeed, so it is not recommended that the reader buy, possess, use, or distribute cannabis unless it is legal.
If cannabis is legal, you should only take cannabis that has been grown for a medical marijuana dispensary and under prescription. Ensuring high quality and consistency is essential to getting adequate treatment.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America is one of the largest organizations offering to help to people with these conditions. They can help you find a support group. Talking to the Samaritans is free and confidential.
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