As medical marijuana use continues to become more common, the science behind it is also bulking up, with more studies readily available for us to understand the true effects that marijuana use can have on our bodies.
Does Medical Marijuana Use Help to Treat Depression?
The short answer? Yes. But science tells us that the frequency of ingestion does have an impact on marijuana’s effect on depressive symptoms.
According to a February 2015 study conducted by researchers at the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions, chemical compounds in the brain known as endocannabinoids, which are linked to feelings of overall well-being, activate the same receptors as THC, the active compound in marijuana. It was concluded that the chemicals in cannabis may be a useful treatment in restoring normal endocannabinoid function, thereby alleviating symptoms of depression.
Although medical marijuana use does help to alleviate depressive symptoms, chronic users who use marijuana on a very consistent basis may experience the opposite effect. Chronic users frequently report apathy, lack of motivation, poor hygiene, and performing at a level of everyday functioning well below their normal baseline. Although someone coping with depression may report symptom relief with chronic medical marijuana usage, this may very well be a cognitive misconception if their daily functioning and productivity levels have been scaled down.
We’ve all heard the phrase “everything in moderation.” Like many concepts in life, medical marijuana also falls under this umbrella. Medical marijuana usage in moderation brightens mood, eases anxiety and depression, and provides short-term yet effective comfort to those experiencing pain. When used chronically, though, marijuana can exacerbate one’s depressive symptoms by putting their life ‘on hold’. The perceived crutch that medical marijuana can appear to be in chronic users can actually exacerbate these negative symptoms.
For more information, schedule an appointment with our office today. We can recommend the best strains, method of ingestion and other great tips to make sure you experience all the benefits that medical marijuana has to offer.