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Understanding the Benefits of Medical Marijuana for Depression

Major Depressive Disorder or simply Depression is a serious medical illness that affects your emotions and body negatively. It is not just about feeling sad for a couple of days; it causes lack of interest in things you used to enjoy and sadness. Almost 7% of the American population had at least one major depressive episode last year. People of all ages, races, socioeconomic background and other variables can experience depression, but women and young people from 18-25 are more likely to have depression than men or older people. Depression usually starts between the ages of 15 to 30 years old.

The symptoms of depression are:

  • Feeling sad
  • Weight loss or gain unrelated to the person’s diet
  • Loss of interest in activities that once were enjoyable
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Loss of energy or fatigue
  • Thoughts about suicide or death
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Difficulty thinking and concentrating

These symptoms must last more than 2 weeks to consider the person depressed. The causes of depression are variable and include biochemical, environmental, psychological and genetic factors. Depression plays a major part in bipolar disorder and women can get postpartum depression after giving birth. There is no direct cure for depression, and traditional treatment has been a combination of antidepressants and therapy.

The way you eat affects your depression. Having a good diet, not skipping meals, keeping your sugar levels stable are a good way to stabilize your mood. You can try an eliminatory diet, in which you take the most common reactive foods such as dairies, gluten, sugar, alcohol for 2 weeks to a month to have improvements on your mood. If you prefer, you can test your body to see which types of food you have problems with and avoid them.

If you have depression, nutrient deficiency is something that can increase this illness. Lack of vitamin D, usually acquired by taking sunbaths, iron, B-vitamins and other nutrients are responsible for the way you feel. These deficiencies can be identified through blood tests and you can start a diet or take supplements to end this deficiency problem.

Hormonal changes are also responsible for depression, pregnancy, menopause, puberty, PMS, are some of them. These can easily be diagnosed, but there aren’t lab tests for it. Thyroid deficiencies and adrenal hormones are common and they can be the cause of hormones symptoms, making it difficult to find out the cause. Lab tests can be done to discover the root of these issues. For treating hormone problems, you are not obliged to take hormones. You can treat it with minerals, vitamins, etc.

Neurotransmitters such as serotonin are responsible for making us feel good, and the antidepressants target these specific neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitter deficiencies are easy to discover with tests. It is possible to change these neurotransmitters levels using lifestyle, diet and nutrient therapies.

Recent scientific NCBI studies proved cannabis can be great for treating depression. The endocannabinoid system is a neuromodulatory system that regulates emotional, cognitive, neurovegetative, and motivational processes. With the potential to become a novel class of antidepressants, the endocannabinoid system actions are similar to the antidepressants, enhancing serotonergic and noradrenergic transmission, increase cellular plasticity and neurotrophic expression within the hippocampus and dampen activity within the neuroendocrine stress axis.

Other studies NCBI were made about the endocannabinoid system and the interaction with antidepressants. Different cannabinoids were tested in the mouse to determine doses that don’t induce hypothermia or catalepsy. The tests occurred with the forced swim (FST) and tail suspension (TST), and the substances Delta(8)-THC and Delta(9)-THC showed significant antidepressant effects on both FTS and TST. The test occurred with other substances and the cannabinoids tested showed that certain cannabinoids exert antidepressant-like actions and they may contribute to a mood-elevating property that cannabis has.

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Data Last Updated 03/16/2020