There is an increasing number of research in finding out the relationship between cannabis and depression. (NCBI is one such study).
Here is how some scientists believe cannabis, when consumed in plant-form, works for depression.
1) CBD Helps Balance Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is a network of cellular receptors. It is responsible for psychophysiological harmony, i.e., maintaining the harmony between your mind and body. It has two components, namely the receptors and activators.
The receptors are basically the cells that receive nerve signals. There are two types of receptors – CB1 receptors, found in the brain and the spinal cord, and CB2 receptors, which are found in the stomach, outer nervous system, white blood cells, etc.
The activators are basically chemicals that activate the receptors so that the neural impulses pass on.
Research has found that whenever a person is depressed, there is a disturbance in this balance of psychophysiological harmony. This can be caused due to long-term stress.
Research has also found that cannabinoids supplements the inbuilt endocannabinoid receptors and help in the speedier recovery of damaged tissues. This helps ease depression.
2) Cannabis reduces symptoms of depression
In addition to maintaining homeostasis in the endocannabinoid system, CBD also helps reduce the symptoms of depression like insomnia, lack of appetite, anxiety, etc.
The same study has shown that persons with depression show lower negative responses to emotions and situations by activating the endocannabinoid system.
While there is already so much research to positively declare the improvising effects of cannabis for depression, there also is much negative criticism regarding the use of cannabis for depression.
Does Cannabis cause Depression?
A simple Google search is enough to throw you into a dilemma on whether cannabis is good or bad for depression. Many people argue that while cannabis may ‘lift’ people from depression for the time being, it contributes to the worsening of depression in the long run.
There is always a silver-line. Scientists from McGill University have concluded in a study that higher doses of THC worsen the symptoms of depression.
So just like anything else, even cannabis is beneficial when used in moderation.
An Additional Fact
Apart from combating depression, CBD is also beneficial in easing anxiety. In fact, this incredible property goes beyond helping humans. It is also highly recommended to be administered to furry companions. Veterinarians have begun prescribing cannabis to dogs in the form of CBD dog treats, which have a calming and soothing effect on their behaviors.
In spite of all the negative criticisms, more and more research is coming forward with the positive effect of cannabis use for several physical and mental ailments. All that we can do is wait until more research unfolds and provides hope to people with depression and other such problems.