There are almost 350 million people in the world that suffer from depression. That accounts for around 5% of the world’s population and it is only increasing.
For the same reason, doctors and medical officials worldwide have started devising and advocating new treatment methods and practices for depression and one of them is medical marijuana.
There are researched scientific reasons why marijuana or Cannabis is used to treat or help with depression. Before you head on to buy Cannabis online or in stores, it would be good to know how it works.
Usually depression is treated with a set of antidepressants and some psychotherapy. Nowadays, cannabis is being prescribed by doctors for various levels of depression. Now this is not something that is entirely new as the use of marijuana for depression has been in practice since ancient times.
How it works
Studies have proved that a certain CB1 receptor in the brains of animals including human beings can have antidepressant effects if activated effectively. The THC present in Cannabis is known to activate the CB1 receptor and thus it can relieve us from depression to a great extent.
Another compound called serotonin present in the brain, can also be induced to treat depression with marijuana. It is a naturally occurring chemical that is responsible for mood, sleep and appetite. In fact, it is the one compound that most antidepressants work on. Marijuana helps to activate and regulate serotonin as well, which helps to soothe depression.
Apart from that there are also certain compounds called endocannabinoids produced by our body that can be used to our advantage in treating depression. Marijuana can help restore their levels and increase the level of anandamide, which is one of the endocannabinoids, which in turn helps to ease depression.
CBD and THC
Being cannabinoids present in the Cannabis plant, both of these have certain effects on depression although, there are more studies pertaining to CBD.
There are some studies that have proved that THC can be an effective antidepressant in animals. In fact, long term treatment with THC can also increase BDNF – a certain brain protein that can also have antidepressant effects.
CBD on the other hand is known to be a fast-acting antidepressant. It helps to activate all the important receptors that help ease depression. It is also effective against anhedonia which is an important symptom of depression that makes people unable to feel pleasure.