Depression and Marijuana

Are marijuana users any more likely than non-users to develop anxiety or mood disorders like depression? Can frequent marijuana use alleviate the symptoms of depression, and other mood disorders?

A recent study performed by the JAMA Psychiatry suggests that, contrary to popular belief, frequently using cannabis will not cause you to develop mood or anxiety disorders. These results were compiled from a sample of approximately 35,000 adults, at a 3-year interval. First, the researchers analyzed the groups’ drug habits, and then 3 years later they compared the groups’ mental health status.

Even though studies have shown that frequently using cannabis will not cause you to develop an anxiety disorder, some patients may experience an acute anxiety attack when using cannabis for the first time in a long time, or when using too high a dose of cannabis in edible form. Some dispensaries and doctors will suggest that you avoid sativa strains of cannabis if you have a preexisting anxiety disorder. Many patients that have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder exclusively use landrace indica strains, as they are generally stronger, calmer, and more serene than sativa strains with comparable THC content.

Chronic stress is one of the major causes of depression. A recent animal study performed by the Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions found that, chronic stress reduced the production of endocannabinoids, leading to depression-like behavior. This suggests that some components of marijuana may be useful in treating the symptoms of depression caused by chronic stress. Endocannabinoids are naturally produced chemical compounds in the brain that affect motor control, cognition, emotions and behavior. As the name suggests, they are similar to the chemicals found in marijuana (Cannabis sativa) and its active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

For more information on cannabis, and for answers to FAQ about Colorado medical marijuana, please visit our website at www.MMDClinic.com – if you qualify, you can schedule your exam online by clicking here

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