Research gives support for cannabis as an all-natural alternative to pharmaceuticals
Depression is a widespread mental illness that affects approximately 20 million adults in the US. Traditional treatments for the illness include a number of medications that work in some cases but carry side effects. Interestingly, many people suffering from depression turn to marijuana. Researchers are really interested in the plant’s potential to help with a wide variety of illnesses. Recent research shows that marijuana use is associated with improvements in depressive symptoms.
According to observational trials published in the journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, consistent consumption of marijuana-based products has a strong link to optimizing some of the symptoms presented in people suffering from depression. The research carried out in London, UK, evaluated the efficacy and safety of these products in almost 130 subjects with a primary diagnosis of depression.
The participants were part of the UK Medical Cannabis Register, and all had a medical marijuana card. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-predominant flowers, cannabis extracts, or both were consumed by the subjects over a six-month period.
“The results showed that medicinal cannabis was associated with improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as health-related quality of life, and sleep quality after 1, 3, and 6 months of treatment,” the British researchers stated. “While some subjects reported adverse events from cannabis products, almost all side effects were classified as either mild or moderate.”
Other states have noted that strains rich in cannabidiol (CBD) and low in THC showed a relationship with the greatest changes in mood outcomes. On the other hand, strains rich in THC and low in CBD appeared to promote relaxation. This could be due to CBD’s interaction with serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood. CBD is thought to bind to the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor.