Marijuana Can Be Good Medicine For Depression
Depression is considered a variety of disorders which affect more than 18 million Americans. Women are double in the amount as possibly the experience of depression, mainly due to postpartum depression.
Traditionally, various societies have used cannabis to treat symptoms of depression for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. More recently, scientists have been examining “cannabinoids” for their beneficial budding in the treatment of depression. Cannabinoids are the molecules in the cannabis plant that is named for its higher medicinal qualities.
A study on addictive behaviors published by USC and SUNY Albany in 2005, whose 4,400 participants made it the largest investigation of marijuana and depression to date, found that "those who consume marijuana occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana." The study added that "weekly users had less depressed mood, more positive affect, and fewer somatic complaints than non-users."
Thomas F. Denson, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the California State University at Long Beach, and Mitch Earleywine, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York at Albany, wrote the following in their Apr. 2006 study titled "Decreased Depression in Marijuana Users," published in Addictive Behaviors: "Those who consume marijuana occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana. Specifically, weekly users had less depressed mood, more positive affect, and fewer somatic complaints than non-users. Daily users reported less depressed mood and more positive affect than non-users... Our results add to the growing body of literature on depression and marijuana and are generally consistent with a number of studies that have failed to confirm a relationship between the two after controlling for relevant variables... The potential for medical conditions to contribute to spurious links between marijuana and greater depression requires further investigation."
Frank Lucido, MD, a private practice physician, stated in his article "Implementation of the Compassionate Use Act in a Family Medical Practice: Seven Years Clinical Experience," available on his website (accessed June 11, 2012): "With appropriate use of medical cannabis, many of these [cannabis-using] patients have been able to reduce or eliminate the use of opiates and other pain pills, ritalin, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, anti-depressants and other psychiatric medicines, as well as to substitute the use of medical cannabis as a harm reduction measure for specific problematic or abused substances with a much more serious risk profile (including alcohol, heroin/opiates, and cocaine)."
Jay Cavanaugh, PhD, National Director for the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis, wrote in his 2003 article "Cannabis and Depression," published on the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis website: "Those who experience extended depressive episodes are more likely to be helped with cannabis. Patients who use cannabis to 'relax' may be treating the anxiousness sometimes associated with depression. Cannabis aids the insomnia sometimes present in depression and can improve appetite. Better pain control with cannabis can reduce chronic pain related depression. While cannabis cannot yet be considered a primary treatment of major depression it may improve mood when used under a physician’s supervision and in combination with therapy and/or SSRI's."
In summary, when properly regulated and the right dosage, marijuana can be of great assistance in the treatment of depression.