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Medical Marijuana for Depression: Know the Facts

herbalhalo medical cannabis in canada

Medical Marijuana for Depression: Know the Facts

If you’d like to buy medical marijuana online in Canada to treat depression, then here’s what you need to know about the potential of this miracle plant to modulate dopamine and serotonin and provide relief for one of the most prevalent conditions affecting society.


According to statistics, approximately 8 percent of all Canadian adults will experience a major episode of depression at some point in their lives. The condition can be debilitating for some, and the side effects of common antidepressants are sometimes too much to bear. Cannabis provides an alternative method of healing on many fronts, and there’s an increasing amount of science to support the idea of using it to successfully treat depression.


Can Cannabis Treat Depression?

The available research on cannabis and depression shows varying results. The medicinal benefits of cannabis extend far and wide, and this miracle plant can successfully treat a host of conditions with varying results across the population. When it comes to treating depression, the results vary widely. For some, it lifts them out of a depressive state instantly, while for others, it can take them down the path of anxiety and intolerable panic.


What Does Science Say About Cannabis and Depression?

Comprehensive science on the matter may be lacking, but there is sufficient evidence to suggest that cannabis can have a positive effect on depression.


Before attempting to understand how cannabis treats depressive symptoms, it’s important to delve a layer deeper and understand the role that the endocannabinoid system plays in modulating mood in the brain.


The endocannabinoid system consists of a host of receptor sites located throughout the body known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors. It also consists of specific endocannabinoids created within the body that bind to these receptor sites and modulate the system. 


The endocannabinoids produced by the body consist of anandamide and 2-AG. Both of these cannabinoids play a role in the regulation of mood and in modulating the dopamine system within the brain. When these cannabinoids bind to the CB1 receptors on specific neurons, they stimulate the release of dopamine that leads to increased mood, motivation, pleasure, and focus, each of which counteracts the effects of depression.


THC is the most prevalent cannabinoid found in cannabis. With a very similar structure to the endocannabinoid anandamide, THC binds to the receptors with great affinity and can help bring any existing endocannabinoid deficiencies back into relative balance.


THC tends to take the edge off depression among many patients, at least in the short term. It achieves this by increasing the firing of dopamine between cells, and it’s the abundance of dopamine that leads to improved mood and motivation among many of those afflicted with depression.


According to scientific research, the efficacy of cannabis as a treatment for depression varies widely across the population. The results of one study suggest that cannabis users perceive a 50% reduction in depression and a 58 percent reduction in anxiety and stress after consuming cannabis.


The Benefits of CBD For Depression

CBD is the other major cannabinoid found in cannabis, and it too can help in the treatment of depression. One study found that strains high in CBD but low in THC are associated with the most significant shifts in depression. The study also cited how the antidepressant of CBD may involve serotonin due to the fact that CBD binds to the 5-HT1A serotonin receptors in the brain.


CBD doesn’t bind to CB1 receptors like its cousin THC. Rather, it is an indirect agonist of the CB1 receptor. This means that it increases anandamide levels by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks it down. These increased levels of anandamide then bind with the CB1 receptors to elicit effects similar to those obtained from THC alone.


Terpenes For Depression

The cannabis plant contains hundreds of compounds. And while THC and CBD receive much of the attention, there’s a huge amount of medicinal benefit in the terpene content of the cannabis plant.


The consumption of THC or CBD in conjunction with terpenes gives rise to a series of potent synergies known as the entourage effect. This tends to accentuate the existing benefits of the plant, where the medicinal properties are enhanced yet further.


Limonene is the terpene most commonly associated with treating symptoms of depression. Studies show that the inhalation of limonene increases serotonin and dopamine levels in key brain regions associated with anxiety and depression. 


Few human studies have characterized limonene’s antidepressant effects, but one study carried out on 12 hospitalized patients with depression revealed that limonene vapour inhalation reduced the need for antidepressant medication in 9 of the 12 patients. It also normalized stress hormone levels among the patients and improved their immune function.


The good news for medical marijuana patients is that limonene is one of the most common terpenes found in the cannabis plant. Its sweet citrus odour is prevalent in many of our favourite strains, including Banana OG, Black Cherry Soda, Purple Hindu Kush, and Tahoe OG.


Depression: A Rising Epidemic 

Depression rates are increasing worldwide, and there is no one simple fix to counteract the trend. Modern western-medical treatments for the condition generally consist of prescribing a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These include drugs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro. They modulate serotonin levels in the brain, and while they do work well for many patients, they can leave others with undesirable side effects.


For many patients out there, cannabis provides welcome relief from the condition. It may not work for everyone, but for those who do respond to it, cannabis provides a natural treatment that’s relatively free from harmful side effects associated with traditional forms of medication.


Buy Medical Marijuana Online in Canada

If you’re one of those who experience depressive symptoms and would like to buy medical marijuana online in Canada to treat the condition, then at Herbal halo, we’ve got you covered. With our comprehensive line of flower, concentrates, edibles, tinctures, and CBD products, you’ll find just what you need to deliver that welcome boost in mood!