New Study Finds Cannabis May be Effective in Treating Depression
Jan Smithers, Guest
A new study from the Research Institute on Addictions links cannabis to lowering the symptoms of depression. The study proved positive when treating chronic stress in rats, although due to the complex nature of treating depression, further research is necessary.
It’s becoming common knowledge that cannabis may help people find relief from the symptoms of depression, but until recently, there was no scientific evidence to back this claim. Other research has found that cannabis can be effective in treating a variety of mental and physical conditions, including PTSD and chronic pain. Now, we can add depression to this list.
Scientists at the Research Institute on Addictions (part of the University of Buffalo in New York) found that the chemical compounds endocannabinoids may help treat depression caused by chronic stress. Endocannabinoids are the same compounds in the brain that are activated by THC receptors.
To reach their conclusion, researchers studied the effects of chronic stress on rats. They found that when exposed to constant stress, the production of endocannabinoids in rats was reduced. These are the same chemicals that are responsible for emotion, behavior and cognition. They’re also linked to feelings of relaxation, well-being and increased appetite.
The endocannabinoids that are produced naturally by the body are similar to the ones found in cannabis.
The results of the study also shed some light on why chronic stress, which leads to reduced endocannabinoid production, often leads to depression.
During the study, researches administered cannabis-derived cannabinoids to rats. They found that the cannabinoids found in cannabis were an effective way to restore the endocannabinoid levels in the brains of the animals.
The researchers say that the cannabinoid compounds derived from cannabis may help restore endocannabinoid function in humans, and possibly ease depression and stabilize mood.
Of course, there are several variables to consider when discussing cannabis’ effects on depression. For example, certain strains have been known to reduce depression (read more about cannabis strains here: http://weedy.com/strains), while others can lead to feelings of paranoia and anxiety.
The results of this new study reinforce the possible link between cannabis and depression relief. But experts warn that the relationship between cannabis and treating depression is still a complex one. Some research has found that heavy cannabis users are actually at a higher risk of developing depression, although the link between casual use and depression has yet to be established. The effects of certain strains of cannabis on depression also need to be studied.
The study is a step towards understanding how cannabis can be used to improve overall health. Additional research will hopefully help scientists determine if the cannabinoids found in cannabis will be effective at treating human patients suffering from depression.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.
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