Green prozac: why cannabis is the best treatment for depression
Depression is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. Patients who suffer from depression are believed to have shorter life expectancies than those who don’t and up to 15% of depressed individuals will ultimately commit suicide.
Yes… Clinical depression is a very serious illness. It makes ordinary tasks such as going to work, cooking, cleaning, even personal hygiene, very difficult.
Many recent studies suggest a link between depression and the body’s endocannabinoid system, which would help explain why so many favor cannabis over legal pharmaceutical alternatives.
Whether or not you agree with it, a lot of patients choose to self-medicate depression symptoms with cannabis. Among some people, marijuana is jokingly referred to as “green Prozac”.
Marijuana has, actually, a long history of providing relief from pain, nausea, and depression.
As early as 1621, English clergyman Robert Burton stated that cannabis was helpful in the treatment of depression. Around the same time, doctors in India were also using cannabis to treat the ailment.
American physician and professor Hobart Amory Hare, in 1887, celebrated the ability of cannabis to subdue restlessness and anxiety and calm a terminally ill patient’s mind.
What do studies say?
Neuroscientists from the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions found that endocannabinoids — chemical compounds in the brain that activate the same receptors as THC, an active compound in marijuana — may be helpful in treating depression that results from chronic stress.
In studies on rats, the researchers found that chronic stress reduced the production of endocannabinoids, which affect our cognition, emotion and behavior, and have been linked to reduced feelings of pain and anxiety, increases in appetite and overall feelings of well-being. The body naturally produces these compounds, which are similar to the chemicals in cannabis. Reduction of endocannabinoid production may be one reason that chronic stress is a major risk factor in the development of depression.
“Chronic stress is one of the major causes of depression. Using compounds derived from cannabis — marijuana — to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression”
Interestingly, THC has also been shown to increase neurogenesis – the growth of new brain cells – much like traditional anti-depressant medications do. Stress and depression are known to decrease neurogenesis, which can also be a side-effect of using alcohol, nicotine, opiates and cocaine.
Besides that, the two biggest things currently understood regarding the treatment of depression with cannabis are:
1) sativa strains work better than indica
2) low quantities are believed to be more effective than chronic use of large amounts throughout the day
What do patients say
I started using cannabis on a daily basis, ONCE a day before I went to bed, and within a short period of time I felt like my old self again, for the first time in over a decade. After about 6 months of nightly cannabis use I decided that I would stop taking my pharmaceutical anti-depressant. I tapered myself off that drug—and was finally free of the associated hand tremors, headaches, and insomnia—and then continued to use cannabis once a day. I had no problems with depression, whatsoever.
I do know that I have had to live with depression my entire adult life and there is this “pit” just in front of me waiting to swallow me up. It is always there but at differnet times in my life i feel it more acutely than at others. I run the risk of losing everything by being caught with cannabis. Why? Because i know that when i stop i start to fall into that pit. Im not “addicted”.
It hurts, so very much. It’s pure misery, and when I smoke cannabis, I have relief for a couple days. I actually feel leveled out. I no longer feel the burning in my skull, and the tightening in my throat. I can actually tell that people love me. I don’t get angry for no reason. I don’t think of being impaled, having my throat sliced open, taking a nuke to the face, jumping off a bridge,etc. I actually feel happy. I actually feel peace.
If I don’t stimulate my brain with cannabis for a month the demotivation slowly sinking in to my life, making it difficult do do my job, maintain my friendships, workout, can’t even relax and take a break because I’m angry to myself for not being productive. Cannabis is working for me to fix these issues, and I’m not talking about the high effect, the motivation boost it gives is enough for days-weeks.
I have been in such a great mood, since smoking. There is no other explanation other than the pot. Today I feel myself slipping closer to the “pit”. Therefore, I am planning on smoking with a friend tonight. Hopefully, I have the same results. I am so incredibly relieved and grateful I found something that eases the darkness. The past few days, I’ve not only been actually happy, but motivated as well. It’s been a long time since I have felt this good.
Best cannabis strains for depression:
- Ultra White Amnesia: An 80% sativa that is very energetic.
- Hay-Z: A sativa, this one is our favorite.
- Zensation: An indica-dom strain that is noted for high THC content.
- Auto Blueberry Domina: Fruity and sweet in odor and flavor. If you like the autoflowerings, this is the strain for you.
- Carnival: Sativa dom developed in Spain that combines different kinds of Haze.