Medical Marijuana & Depression
Clinically diagnosed depression goes well beyond the occasional mood swing experienced by everyone; the lack of appetite, lack of interest in daily activities, feelings of worthlessness, poor sleep quality, and other symptoms massively reduce the patient's quality of life. Anecdotal evidence has shown for hundreds of years that cannabis can be used to combat the symptoms of depressive disorders. More recent studies show a mixture of results, but almost of all of these examined recreational marijuana use with respect to depression. In a University of Colorado study, researchers found that under more controlled conditions and with consideration of personality factors, marijuana use negatively predicted depression symptoms. Additional research has led the scientific community to believe that depression is caused by de-regulation of serotonin in the brain, an important neurotransmitter. All of the serotonin regulators typically prescribed for depression have major side effects and a significant risk of withdrawal symptoms - a risk almost never found with prescription cannabis. Medical marijuana similarly regulates the production of serotonin, and research suggests that it works best at low dosages. The possibility of reducing the symptoms of depression with doses too low to have induce the euphoric sensation of being "high" makes medical marijuana a strong candidate to treat this disorder.