Medical Marijuana to Reduce Depression

Scientists are studying chronic stress and depression, with a focus on ‘endocannabinoids’, which are brain chemicals similar to substances in marijuana.  The findings raise the possibility that components of marijuana may be useful in reducing depression that results from chronic stress.

“In the animal models we studied, we saw that chronic stress reduced the production of endocannabinoids, leading to depression-like behavior,” says RIA senior research scientist Samir Haj-Dahmane, PhD.

Endocannabinoids are naturally produced chemical compounds in the brain that affect motor control, cognition, emotions and behavior. As the name suggests, they are similar to the chemicals found in marijuana (Cannabis sativa) and its active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

“Chronic stress is one of the major causes of depression,” Haj-Dahmane says. “Using compounds derived from cannabis — marijuana — to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression.”

He cautions this is preliminary research. “Our research thus far has used animal models; there is still a long way to go before we know whether this can be effective in humans,” he says. “However, we have seen that some people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder have reported relief using marijuana.”

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9 thoughts on “Medical Marijuana to Reduce Depression

  1. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    Time to stop making marijuana a “political statement” and realize that there are medical (as well as economic) benefits for legalizing this product.


    • cherished79 says:

      I so agree with that. So often prescription meds are so high in price, only the rich or people with insurance can afford these. Other people have to turn to online purchases, which is rumored to some meds not even authentic. Imagine taking a med for heart disease and it’s fake? Wow, scary, and you may not even know the difference and trust the place you are purchasing from. It’s your life here.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Leslie says:

    It’s interesting work. I’d like to see a lot more research done, but because of the classification of weed in the United States, there isn’t nearly enough research being done here. Israel is apparently where a lot of research is being done. There was a very interesting series called “Weed” (1, 2 and 3) by Dr Sanjay Gupta on CNN. I was able to find links to the trailers online, but not the videos themselves. Cultivating plants with lower THC seems to be very promising for a lot of different disorders including stress.


    • cherished79 says:

      I would be interested also, however I have never tried or used an illegal drug so skeptical. Also smoking it? not so keen on that. Marijuauna has been proven for other chronic pain though, and people depend on this since giving up on prescription meds that are costly, often aren’t even successful and with doctors receiving kickbacks. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 1jannyw says:

        This “old hippie” remembers that pot used to take away all my physical & emotional pain … it’s been a long time tho. I would definitely be thrilled if SC decided to approve it for medical use. It would probably help a lot “of what ails me” and allow me to be a person again, instead of a stigma.


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