Depression is now one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders, which takes away the will to live and hinders daily functioning.
Treatment is mainly based on taking antidepressants and psychotherapy, but there is also a lot of talk about the positive effects of cannabis on the condition. Find out if the properties of cannabis can reduce the symptoms of depression and improve the quality of life of patients.
Read more about depression and medical cannabis and find the most important cannabis news of the day with the Hemp.im mobile app.
Causes of depression
Depression is a disease that has to do with an imbalance in the secretion and flow of neurotransmitters, which are responsible for emotions and mood. This condition is most often led to by experienced events, such as:
death of a loved one,
divorce or separation from a partner,
severe illness (such as cancer).
The likelihood of developing depression also increases in people exposed to chronic stress, young people entering adulthood, the elderly, and women in the perinatal period.
Symptoms of depression
Chemical imbalances in the brain lead to long-term deterioration of mood and the experience of various complaints from both the psyche and the body.
Among the main symptoms of depression are:
feelings of anxiety,
problems with sleep,
negative attitudes toward the world,
a sense of indifference,
loss of enjoyment of life,
Long-term persistence of several of the above symptoms may be indicative of depression, but in order to determine an accurate diagnosis, it is advisable to consult a doctor.
How does cannabis affect the body?
Cannabis affects the body through the endocannabinoid system, which is one of the basic systems of the human body. It is involved in many functions and processes, such as appetite, sleep, immunity, metabolism, and mood, for example, and is responsible for maintaining internal balance.
The endocannabinoid system consists of:
Cannabinoid receptors are distributed throughout the body. They are found in every system and organ of the human body, including the nervous system and brain. It is with the receptors that the cannabinoids THC and CBD contained in cannabis bind, affecting the body and showing health properties in the form of, among other things, restoring chemical balance in the brain – the main cause of depression.
Such effects of marijuana on the body improve mood and alleviate other ailments associated with depression, such as decreased appetite, sleep problems, and long-term lack of energy.
Medical cannabis in the treatment of depression
Medical cannabis is increasingly being used to treat depression due to its comprehensive therapeutic effects. However, the selection of the right strain of cannabis is important for symptoms. For depression, cannabis with a high content of cannabidiol CBD is best.
CBD exhibits similar effects on the body as antidepressants. It has the ability to capture serotonin and increase its concentration in the brain, which consequently has a beneficial effect on mood.
It is also worth knowing that medical marijuana shows beneficial effects in depression, but only during its short-term use.
Many studies conducted on patients with depression have shown that more than half of the patients who took medicinal marijuana experienced an improvement in mood. Medicinal cannabis also had a beneficial effect on other ailments associated with depression, including anxiety disorders, sleep problems, decreased appetite and stress.
Hemp terpenes and depression
There are many compounds in hemp that affect the body in greater or lesser ways. In addition to cannabinoids, which are found in the highest concentrations in cannabis, terpenes are also noteworthy.
Terpenes are volatile compounds that are responsible for the taste and smell of the plant. In addition, they exhibit numerous health properties and enhance the effects of cannabinoids, which is commonly referred to as the synergistic effect.
So far, more than 20,000 terpenes have been discovered, and each differs in its effects. In the case of depression, the key one is linalool in particular, which has antidepressant properties.
The effects of linalool are similar to the antidepressant effects of CBD. This terpene captures serotonin and increases its levels in the brain, resulting in an improved mood. It also activates noradrenergic receptors, whose properties are used in the mechanism of action of antidepressants.
The substances found in medical cannabis, such as cannabinoids and terpenes, have been successfully used to treat depression. However, in achieving the best possible therapeutic effects, it is important to select the right cannabis strains and administer them for a short period of time.
Medical cannabis improves the mood of patients and also has a beneficial effect on other ailments associated with depression. Its use effectively reduces anxiety, insomnia, and fatigue, and improves appetite, which has been confirmed in numerous clinical studies.
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First published in Fakty Konopne, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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