Depression makes it difficult to live your daily life. It saps your motivation and can feel like it drains the joy out of your everyday experiences. It can also leave you trapped with dark thoughts and moods that feel impossible to escape. Finding the right treatment method can take time, trial, and error, and plenty of people find traditional treatment isn’t sufficient.
Because of that, many people turn to alternative treatments for depression. Cannabis is gaining ground as a potential method for reducing symptoms of depression. While cannabis is still being studied for its effects on mental health, the current research and anecdotal evidence are positive.
How Cannabis Affects the Body
Cannabis is a complicated plant, full of compounds known as cannabinoids and terpenes. These are the chemicals that affect your body when you use cannabis. In general, terpenes give cannabis its taste and smell, while cannabinoids cause the mental and physical effects.
However, cannabinoids and terpenes may work together as well through something known as the Entourage Effect. The combined effects of all the compounds in cannabis working together may be greater than the sum of their parts.
Cannabinoids like THC and CBD help reduce anxiety and relieve muscle tension by connecting with specific brain and body receptors. THC can also induce feelings of euphoria by binding to those same receptors. Meanwhile, terpenes like linalool, which is commonly found in lavender, are connected to relaxation and stress-relief. It’s the combination of these effects that help cannabis take on the symptoms and causes of depression.
Cannabis and Depression
Treating depression can quickly become complicated. In part, depression appears to be genetic, with some families being genetically prone to the condition. However, depression can also be caused by life events, such as losses or failures. Depression isn’t just a chemical problem, but it’s also more than simply feeling sad for a while. That’s what makes depression challenging to treat for some patients.
Cannabis isn’t a miracle cure for depression, but plenty of users find it helps relieve many symptoms. For example, the euphoric feeling that certain strains of cannabis cause can help reduce negativity and break the emotional cycles of depression.
For people who suffer from both depression and anxiety, cannabis can help as well. The relaxing and stress-reducing effects of cannabis help distract users from their worries. When anxious people stop worrying as often or as deeply, they often find that their mood improves. That can help reduce their depressive symptoms on its own. Of course, always consult your doctor before you do anything to change how you treat your depression.
Depression is a disease that steals your will to fight it. Finding the right balance and getting out of the cycle of negativity is a lot of work, but it’s worth it. If you’ve struggled to find methods to navigate your depression, using cannabis might be the best next step. With your doctor’s guidance, you can use cannabis to treat depression symptoms and return to a happier, more active life.