Can you Treat Depression with Cannabinoids? | cannabisMD

Can you Treat Depression with Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids to treat depression

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Cannabinoids are anti inflammatories that are found in the marijuana plant (cannabis sativa) and are said to be a treatment of nausea and vomiting. A cannabinoid is one of a great collection of complex chemical compounds that naturally occur in the body and operates on major cannabinoid receptors in cells that mediates neurotransmitter release in the brain. Cannabinoids for these receptors include the endocannabinoid system, that are produced in the body by animals, the phytocannabinoids in cannabis and some other plants, and synthetic cannabinoids. The main endogenous cannabinoid is the phytocannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive chemical in cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another main constituent of the plant and produces a non psychotic effect. This paper will take a look at how cannabinoids can treat mental illnesses such as depression and bipolar disorder.

Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.

Main Points

  • Dronabinol has an antidepressant potential
  • Cannabinoids have a therapeutic potential

Dronabinol has an antidepressant potential

Although a number of agents are here for the treatment of depression, therapy is not efficient in all subjects and looking for different options is desirable. Conclusions from animal studies, anecdotal experience reported by people using marijuana and observations from clinical studies where cannabinoids were applied in severe diseases indicate an antidepressant possibility of cannabinoids. From 2003 to 2006, 75 people dealing with symptoms of depression, stress and burnout syndrome were treated well in a practice for general medicine with the marijuana ingredient dronabinol, alone or in cahoots with other antidepressants. Here, a case study is described and observations will be suggested so that the conclusion can be made that dronabinol has an antidepressant potential that can be successfully used in medical practice.

Cannabinoids have a therapeutic potential

The author from the national institute of mental health uses a practice for general medicine in downtown Vienna, where a massive population of younger people thrive. Dronabinol was administered to distinct younger people, who were not happy with available antidepressants because of the adverse events or lack of efficiency. In Austria, the active ingredient of marijuana has been ready for medical therapy since 1998. The majority of these early people, who have had depression or burnout condition, was well aware of the therapeutic possibility of marijuana and considered a trial with dronabinol reasonable. Between 2003 and 2006 some 250 patients who dealt with a wide variety of illnesses had dronabinol induced into their bodies. Some 75, or 30%, of them dealt with depression, a feeling of being overwhelmed or from the burnout condition. The initial dose of 2.5 mg dronabinol in pills was brought up, over a duration of a number of days, to generally 5 or 7.5 mg per day. For almost 80% of the patients, application of the medication correlated with quick improvement of the depressed feeling or the sense of being suffocated by thoughts. Only 20% of people did not go through any massive mood uplifting. That therapy actually concluded in quick and successful developments of depression and the lack of drive. Adverse events were normally low. Efficient daily doses of dronabinol ranged generally from 7.5 to 12.5 mg per day. Only a few people needed a higher dosage, generally those also dealing with a sleeping disorder.


Overall, the experience presented here indicates that general doctors are able to cure a massive number of people dealing with depression and burnout syndrome without massive complications. Most people were not covered for dronabinol by their existing health insurance, unlike for people with physical disorders, like cancer or multiple sclerosis. These discoveries agree with the conclusions from patient interviews, findings from clinical studies on the effect of marijuana use on mood and the conclusions from animal experiments. To date no clinical experiments have looked at primarily the efficiency of cannabinoids for the therapeutics to treat clinical depression.

Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly
Jonathan Neilly is registered with the British Psychological Society, breaking the taboo on mental health issues is one of the driving forces in his life. His background in biomedicine gives him additional understanding of the factors that work together to influence the human condition.

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