One of the most debated topics surrounding marijuana is whether or not it can help treat depression and anxiety.
Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States? According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of American, anxiety disorders affect over 40 million adults, equating to over 19% of the population.
People suffering from an anxiety disorder are also likely to suffer from depression, and vice versa. About half of the people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with one of the many anxiety disorders.
Depression is extremely common, unfortunately, as about 280 million adults suffer from depression in the United States. That's about 5% of the population.
Even if you don’t know it, you probably know someone who is suffering from depression. Because depression is so common, it is important that we educate ourselves on signs of depression and what depression really is, so we can better help those experiencing it.
What Is Depression?
Depression is an extremely common and very serious mental illness. It can affect everything about a person, including their relationships, career, aspirations, self-image, and so much more.
Many of those diagnosed with clinical depression have reported feelings of loneliness, helplessness, and a loss of interest in daily activities.
Here are some of the symptoms commonly associated with depression:
Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Loss of energy or increased fatigue
Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be observable by others)
Feeling worthless or guilty
Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
Thoughts of death or suicide
In order to be clinically diagnosed with depression, a person must have symptoms that last at least two weeks and must somehow interfere with their level of functioning.
Although everybody goes through hardships and deals with sadness, especially with the loss of a friend or loved one, this is not the same as having clinical depression. It is okay to feel sad sometimes; it just means you are human.
Depression and Marijuana
The best answer to the question of whether marijuana can help treat depression is that it depends.
It depends on who you ask, as each person’s personal experience varies. Everybody reacts to marijuana in different ways, so there is no answer set in stone as to whether or not cannabis can help with depressive symptoms.
Some studies have been conducted on marijuana for symptoms of depression, but not as many as one would like to see. This is because it is difficult to conduct research on a drug that is still illegal at the federal level.
However, a study conducted last year found that those who used marijuana had lower depression rates than those who did not. Another follow-up study was conducted, and those who started using marijuana showed a significant reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms.
Many people who experience depression may have trouble with eating or sleeping, which cannabis can also assist with. Marijuana can help you to establish a healthy sleep schedule and allow you to get better quality sleep too!
Cannabis can help people feel relaxed, peaceful, and happy, which can also be helpful for those with depression and anxiety.
On the flip side, some people say marijuana makes their depression worse and contributes to their already lacking motivation. There is really no right or wrong answer.
Try Medical Marijuana Today
Depression is not a qualifying condition in the State of Virginia. However, if you have a qualifying condition and depression, you can kill two birds with one stone and seek out the answer to this question yourself!
In Virginia, you need a medical marijuana card in order to gain access to any of the state’s medical dispensaries. If you don’t have yours already, we can help!
Schedule an evaluation online today and we’ll make an appointment for you with one of our knowledgeable, compassionate doctors.
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providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (888) 633-5808, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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