Given its numerous health benefits, legal cannabis is gaining popularity in many states in the USA. While it was previously prohibited, medical marijuana doctors in California are prescribing cannabis for different medical conditions, including depression.
What Causes Depression?
Typically, depression is a mood disorder that arises from the inability to control stressing factors. Some of the common stressors include unemployment, chronic illness, divorce, poverty, among others. According to recent studies, there has been an alarming surge of depression amongst Americans since the awakening of the pandemic.
When depressed, most people are overwhelmed with sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness and often exhibit social withdrawal. It is worth knowing that untreated depression paves way for other serious health problems.
How Will Medical Marijuana Help with My Depression?
This is a question you might ask, especially since cannabis was considered an illegal narcotic drug a few decades ago. While there are several treatment options for depression, medical marijuana has currently been added to the list of legal depression medications.
Typically, depression impairs the release of vital chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, responsible for your mental welfare. When you start experiencing overwhelming depression symptoms, your primary physician will most likely give you some antidepressants.
Even so, many people are currently using medical marijuana as a natural drug in combatting their depression. Where depression is caused by pain resulting from an underlying condition, medical marijuana will resolve the pain and restore your mood. According to the medical marijuana doctors in California, legal cannabis relieves depression symptoms by acting on your endocannabinoid system.
How THC relates with Endocannabinoid System
Typically, the ECS functions by utilizing 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA) neuromodulators, CB1 and CB2 receptors, and enzymes. The neuromodulators bind on the cannabinoid receptors to relieve pain and release euphoric chemicals such as dopamine.
Additionally, the endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating sleep, cognitive, motor, and reproduction functions.
It is important to note that this system exists naturally in your body whether or not you use marijuana. Nevertheless, a study by Buffalo Institute laboratory established that natural endocannabinoids decrease when anxiety or depression is present.
This discovery has nudged the medical marijuana doctors in California to administer therapeutic cannabis to patients with depression symptoms. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are the major compounds of legal cannabis and help stabilize your endocannabinoid system.
THC acts by mimicking the natural anandamide and binds onto your CB receptors to stimulate dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters’ release. Normal levels of both chemicals help keep your mood in check, resolve pain sensations, and enhance your appetite and sleep.
Does Medical Marijuana Surpass Conventional Methods of Managing Depression?
Earlier on, before the unearthing of marijuana’s health benefits, medical professionals were and are still managing depression with alternative methods. Some of these methods include the use of medications such as antidepressants and psychotherapeutic sessions.
However, most antidepressants have some uncomfortable side effects that may make a patient discontinue the medication. As a result, the patient might not get the desired therapeutic effect, thus continue suffering from depression. On the other hand, psychotherapy might take longer to resolve the patient’s depressive condition.
Unlike the other methods, medical marijuana has a faster mechanism of action. Upon taking the prescribed dose, cannabis will promptly act on your brain, and you’ll start to experience therapeutic outcomes. For instance, you will start to develop a happy mood, less pain, increased appetite, among others, within a short time.
How Can I Get Medical Marijuana to Treat My Depression?
Despite being legalized by the authorities, acquiring medical marijuana requires an endorsement card from a professional marijuana doctor. Therefore, you will need to consult one of the accredited medical marijuana doctors in California to establish your diagnosis.
After visiting a reliable medical cannabis physician, they will conduct a comprehensive medical history and assess your depression symptoms. If the doctor determines that using medical cannabis will positively impact your depression, they’ll provide you with a medical marijuana certificate.
The certificate will help you apply for a medical marijuana card in California. With the card, you can always get medical cannabis at any marijuana store. However, you must be at least 21 years to be eligible for a medical marijuana card.
California is famous for being the first US state to approve the use of marijuana for medical advantages. Even so, medical marijuana doctors in California recommend using marijuana in the correct dose and purposes to avoid undesired effects, including aggravated depression.