Depression is a general state of loss, of sadness and when an individual experiences a loss of pleasure in day to day activities.
In some cases, the severity of the depression people experience can cause a significant impairment in someone’s life. The World Health Organization estimates that about 350 million people around the world are affected by depression at any one time.
As a result, depression has become one of the leading causes of disability. Numerous treatments have been created and tested to try and overcome depression and it’s effects. Unfortunately efforts have been met with limited success. This is partly because so little is understood about this mental condition.
Some people have found relief from depression through the use of cannabis, or cannabis derived products. Using cannabis, in any way has a number of effects, all of them positive from a depression standpoint.
- Activates CB1 receptors
- Increases serotonin levels
- Increases BDNF levels
- Treats anhedonia
Let’s take a look at each these four ways that cannabis fights depression.
Activates CB1 Receptors
Studies conducted in 2009 indicated that activating CB1 receptors would have an antidepressant effect on a human being. THC that is contained in cannabis has been known to open up the CB1 receptors. This will alter the brain activity of the individual which will result in a (positive) change in mood.
Increases Serotonin Levels
Physiologically, depression that have been closely linked with a drop in levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical that occurs naturally in the humans. Levels rise and fall, according to how someone is feeling, in the same way as many other neurotransmitters to.
Serotonin, however is primarily responsible for changes in mood, sleep and appetite. For this reason, pharmaceutical antidepressants are specifically designed to target levels of serotonin. The use of cannabis allows one to effectively increase the levels of serotonin which will provide relief from depression.
Increases BDNF Levels
BDNF stands for brain-derived neurotrophic factor. It represents a protein that naturally occurs in the human brain. Studies show that people that have lower levels of BDNF in their systems are more likely to be depressed as compared to the ones who don’t. THC has antidepressant elements that have been known to increase these levels which result in a happier mood. However, under/overdoses of THC, in this case, may have the opposite effect, therefore it is important to seek assistance from a medical practitioner.
Anhedonia is a condition in which a patient loses his/her ability to feel pleasure, a sensation that many depression sufferers have experienced. It is generally a symptom of depression.
Anhedonia can be quite discomforting, especially when it persists for extended periods of time. CBD, one of the compounds found in cannabis, has been used in clinical tests to cure anhedonia in the past. It is also regarded as one of the fastest acting antidepressants. This would make it ideal for a person suffering from depression.
Conclusion – Cannabis Fights Depression Wonderfully!
Depression is a serious condition that requires immediate and comprehensive treatment. There’s no magic bullet to beat the affliction but there are measures that one can take to manage the condition. One of these ways is through the use of medical cannabis. CBD and THC, the two most studied compounds in cannabis both have antidepressant elements, but CBD appears best in terms of effect on depression.
Further studies are still required to create the perfect natural antidepressant.