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Medical Marijuana for Depression: What You Need To Know

Although medical marijuana (or cannabis) has been legal in some states since 1998, researchers and medical professionals are still learning about all the plant’s potential benefits. Although many people have heard about using cannabis to reduce nausea, researchers have begun to explore the efficacy of prescribing medical marijuana for depression. 

Depression is a mental illness that affects people worldwide. In fact, the World Health Organization names depression as a primary cause of disability around the globe. In this article, our MedLeaf team explains what you need to know about using medical marijuana for depression, including the science, benefits, and risks. 

What Studies Show About Marijuana for Depression

Research on using cannabis to help with depression is still in early stages, but research provides promising resultsA study conducted at the Research Institute on Addictions at the University of Buffalo recorded the following observations in animals:

  • Chronic stress decreases natural endocannabinoid production in the body. 
  • This endocannabinoid reduction leads to behaviors associated with depression. 
  • The cannabinoids found in marijuana may improve endocannabinoid function and reduce depression symptoms. 

Other studies have recognized a link between depression and marijuana use. People with depression are twice as likely to use cannabis, and researchers believe they do so to get relief from depression symptoms. 

Potential Benefits of Medical Marijuana 

A recent study on the short-term benefits of marijuana flower for depression found that more than 95% of participants experienced a significant reduction in depression symptoms and feelings of relaxation while using marijuana. This study illustrates cannabis’s potential for providing fast relief from depression symptoms, at least in the short term.

Besides the help with depression, cannabis has also been used to help with the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Movement disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Nausea
  • Sleep disorders

Medical marijuana programs allow people suffering from a wide variety of ailments to buy cannabis legally. Visit our blog to find the answer to the common question, “What can medical cannabis be prescribed for?”

Potential Risks of Using Marijuana

Using medical marijuana for depression may provide relief for some while worsening symptoms for others. Keep the following potential risks in mind when considering whether medical cannabis suits your situation:

  • Increased depression symptoms: Marijuana may make depression symptoms worse, particularly for those who started using it as teens or who use it heavily. 
  • Schizophrenia and psychosis: People at a high risk of schizophrenia or psychosis may be “triggered” by marijuana use. Possible symptoms include delusions and hallucinations.
  • Side effects: Side effects of cannabis use vary depending on the product. Always take care using a new medical approach until you know how it affects you. 

If you’re unsure whether medical marijuana will provide a safe option, consult your doctor. 

Coping Tips for Those Battling Depression

Finding the best option for your depression may take time. As you work with your doctor on an appropriate plan, you can do a few things at home to help reduce your symptoms. Keep the following tips in mind if you suffer from depression:

  • Eliminate unnecessary stressors: Chronic stress and depression go hand in hand, so be sure to cut yourself some slack. Say no to requests when your plate is full, and take breaks often. 
  • Be active: We understand that depression can make it seem impossible to get out of bed, but a little bit of daily activity goes a long way. Go for walks, dig out your old bike, or take up yoga or tai chi to get some regular exercise.
  • Let it out: A daily journal makes a great sounding board for releasing what you’re feeling, as does a therapist. 

Visit LeafMed Dispensaries in Mississippi

If you have a prescription for medical marijuana for depression, visit a LeafMed dispensary in Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, or Vicksburg, MS. Our knowledgeable staff is on hand to help you find your ideal cannabis product.  
If you want to know more about medical cannabis, read our short guide. We’ll teach you all about cannabis, including its history in the United States, how it works, and more.