Cannabis could replace Wellbutrin for depression

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The lab-based drug has side effects that make its use worse than the disease

Wellbutrin has been prescribed for years to help combat depression. As is the case with virtually all lab-created solutions, though, the side effects the drug carries make its use potentially more detrimental than the disease it’s trying to relieve. Given that cannabis has already been shown to help relieve depression and anxiety, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder, the natural plant is proving to be a much better, and safer, alternative.

Some of the side effects associated with Wellbutrin, as well as most anti-depressants, include agitation, aggression, insomnia, constipation, headaches, nausea and drowsiness. In addition, albeit on a lesser scale, seizures, an irregular heartbeat and allergic reactions have been reported, as well. Designed to help fight depression – not aid it – some patients taking Wellbutrin have also reported an increase in suicidal thoughts.

One individual diagnosed with depression was prescribed Wellbutrin, but has decided that marijuana is a better option. He explains, “I think, in the right amounts, marijuana can help. It shifts my outlook, makes me feel lighter and more appreciative for what I have. A little [marijuana] while doing something cool can give you a breakthrough. But if you’re clinically depressed, you probably shouldn’t be smoking a ton.”

Dr. Bill Code is an integrative medicine specialist and anesthesiologist who has treated over 2,000 people that suffer from chronic pain, which can lead to depression. He acknowledges that cannabis can relieve depression and states, “The secret is to start small and work your way up over a period of days or weeks. Many recreational strains will have 10:1 or 20:1 or even 30:1 THC to CBD. That’s not going to be therapeutic [for most people with psychiatric diagnoses].” He recommends a ratio of 1:1 of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to cannabidiol (CBD).

As with any solution that is designed to treat a medical condition, it’s important to discuss options with a physician prior to beginning any treatment. Each body is different and cannabis could affect certain pharmaceutical drugs. Make sure you have all the details and facts before including marijuana in any health regimen.