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  • Eli Hunt

Virginia Residents Can Treat Depression With Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Can Help Depression

Depression is a mental health issue that affects an estimated 350 million people around the world. In Virginia, many medical marijuana card holders have begun to discover the powerful effect medical marijuana can have on this condition. Research and the personal experience of countless medical marijuana users across the country can attest to that fact, demonstrating what a positive impact high-quality cannabis products can have on depression’s grip.

If you experience symptoms of depression and are looking for a natural way to treat the condition, legal medical marijuana from a Virginia dispensary may be your answer.

The Research – Medical Marijuana for Depression

The research into medical marijuana’s effect on depression is ongoing. What has been demonstrated so far is that medical marijuana works well to stabilize endocannabinoid function, and mood as well.

Medical Marijuana’s Effect on the Endocannabinoid System

Depression can be caused by any number of triggers, including chronic stress. Researchers at the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions have been looking into depression’s effects on the endocannabinoid system.

What are endocannabinoids? They are naturally occurring chemicals in the nervous system that play major roles in everything from emotions to motor control. Given their name, it might not surprise you to find out that they are similar in chemical structure to— you guessed it— cannabis.

In this research, the scientists observed the levels of chronic stress in animals. They found that chronic stress can significantly inhibit the brain’s ability to produce endocannabinoids which, in turn, can lead to symptoms of depression.

By introducing cannabis into the system, medical marijuana can help restore the brain’s endocannabinoid levels back to a healthy baseline, thereby easing many symptoms associated with this debilitating condition.

Reduced Depression and Anxiety through Medical Marijuana

A second study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry looked at over 500 individuals who experienced either depression, anxiety, or both. Of the participants, 368 of them were regular users of medical marijuana.

The results of the study showed several interesting things, including:

  • Those who used CBD-rich cannabis at baseline assessment reported less depression than non-users

  • These same individuals reported a better quality of life and better sleep

  • When they did experience depression, the medical marijuana users’ symptoms did not rise to the level of symptoms experienced by those with clinical depression

  • While anxiety presented in equal amounts amongst medical marijuana users and non-users, both anxiety and depression went down in non-users once they began using medical marijuana in the observational period that followed the study

  • These same patients also experienced improvements in their quality of life

Medical Marijuana's Effect on Deperession's Comorbid Conditions

As indicated in the study discussed above, medical marijuana had a positive effect on the anxiety many individuals with depression experience. This is just one of the many comorbid conditions medical marijuana can help with.

Medical marijuana can have a positive impact on a wide range of conditions that are comorbid with depression beyond anxiety, including chronic pain, PTSD and many common comorbid conditions that affect veterans. Those with chronic conditions often experience depression in tandem with their primary disorder, triggered by their symptoms.

A patient with chronic pain, for example, may experience depression as a result of this struggle. Medical marijuana in that scenario could not only ameliorate the symptoms associated with the primary condition, but also address the co-morbid depression.

Cannabis May be an Alternative to Traditional Antidepressants

Finally, medical marijuana provides a natural and, in some cases, safer alternative to traditional antidepressants prescribed by psychiatrists.

SSRI Risks

Serotonin Selective Reuptake Inhibitors have been a go-to medication for many years for those in the medical community treating depression. While these medications have shown many positive results, they can have some negative side effects in some patients. Side effects to SSRIs include:

  • feelings of anxiety or agitation

  • nausea

  • stomach pains and ailments, including diarrhea

  • loss of appetite

  • dizziness

  • headaches

  • insomnia

  • a significant reduction in sex drive

TCA Risks

TCAs, or tricyclic antidepressants, are another common medication used to treat depression, as well as co-morbid conditions such as insomnia. As with SSRIs, TCAs can cause some side effects, including but not limited to:

  • blurred vision

  • drowsiness

  • dizziness

  • dry mouth

  • constipation

  • difficulty urinating

  • weight gain

  • heart arrhythmia, palpitations, and tachycardia

In addition to these various side effects, some patients who use traditional pharmaceuticals to treat depression occasionally experience even more serious side effects, including increased depression and suicidal ideation. Those who take SSRIs can also develop a condition known as serotonin syndrome, which involves a serotonin imbalance in the brain.

Find Out How to Treat Depression With Legal Medical Marijuana in Virginia!

Because medical marijuana comes with fewer unwanted side effects than many traditional medications, in addition to the fact that cannabis may help treat both physical and emotional symptoms of depression, high-quality medical marijuana could be a much better choice for patients looking for natural relief. Medical marijuana also impacts health equity, making access to care fair for all Virginians.

With a Virginia Marijuana Card, Virginians can benefit from the guidance of a marijuana doctor who can help them safely and legally access cannabis to treat depression, in addition to a wide range of other conditions that can exacerbate their symptoms.

The cannabis doctors and patient support staff at Virginia Marijuana Card can provide a quality of care patients with depression need. We’ll take the time to answer all your questions, and follow-up appointments are free for the entire 12 months that your medical card is valid through us. Schedule an appointment with an online medical marijuana doctor today to start gaining access to safe, legal cannabis products, including tinctures, flower, concentrates and more.


Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.

At Virginia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness

safely and conveniently through increased access to MMJ. Our focus on

education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by

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!

Check out Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.

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Check out Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information.

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