Cannabis is a plant that is widely known for its medicinal use and in which compounds like CBD and THC are derived. Numerous studies conducted have found that these compounds, including CBD oil, can offer relief for various health conditions like anxiety, chronic pain, and depression.
Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects about 350 million individuals across the globe. It is undoubtedly a growing health concern that comes with various symptoms which can be difficult to identify.
It is important to note that there are different types of depression one can be diagnosed with. This includes bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, psychotic depression, persistent depressive depression (dysthymia), anxious distress, catatonia and seasonal effective disorder. Individuals who are victims of sexual abuse are likely to suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Medical marijuana has been found effective in helping victims of sexual abuse.
There is no known cure for depression. However, there are many treatments available like therapies and oral medication. Over the past years, antidepressants have been the most common prescription for managing depression symptoms. However, recently, researchers have begun to explore the benefits of medical marijuana in treating depression.
Studies show that marijuana plays a major role in the restoration of the endocannabinoid system and mood stabilization. This has left many people curious on which remedy is the best for managing depression symptoms.
Medical Marijuana Vs Antidepressants
In order to determine which between the two has maximum benefits on people suffering from depression symptoms, we must consider the factors below.
There are different medications that can treat depression, and each medication yields different results. Hence, doctors usually prescribe antidepressants depending on the unique needs of the patient. Also, the effectiveness varies as some antidepressants can take less than one week to lessen the symptoms while others take up to eight weeks. Medical researchers have also found out that antidepressants are more effective in reducing depression than placebos. They are also found to be more effective for those suffering from chronic, moderate or severe depression.
Medical marijuana has been found to treat symptoms of depression since it influences the endocannabinoid system. Findings show that strains with high potencies of CBD and THC were able to reduce depression symptoms in almost 90% of users. However, research is still ongoing.
Antidepressants come with side effects such as pain, insomnia, gastrointestinal discomfort, diminished sex drive, blood clotting, and delayed orgasms. When it comes to addiction, conflicting research suggests that some depressants lead to abuse and dependency while others do not.
Although there is little research about medical marijuana and its effectiveness on depression, taking antidepressants could potentially cause some side effects. The side effects include dizziness, impaired cognitive functioning, heart and blood pressure problems and dry mouth. Research states that at least 17% of users are likely to become dependent on marijuana which could lead to marijuana disorder.
Availability and Legality
Antidepressants are easily available, and they have become a common treatment option for depression. In fact, it has been reported that most individuals receive antidepressants for their mental health without proper evaluation by a mental health professional. Despite this, antidepressants are still not on the drug schedule of the Drug Enforcement Agency.
On the other hand, medical marijuana is considered a legal prescription in states where marijuana is legal. All forms of marijuana are on the DEA’s Schedule 1 drugs. Therefore, if the doctors think that the patient would benefit from medical marijuana, it can be prescribed as a treatment option.
Antidepressants are the most widely prescribed treatment option for depression. However, medical marijuana is growing prevalence and more individuals are now integrating it into their treatment plans. Both treatment options can be effective in treating depression and reducing its symptoms. You just need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment and seek the advice of your health physician.