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Depression

While most individuals experience sadness and even depression from time to time given life events and circumstances, Clinical or Major Depression is a form of developed mental illness that severely affects individuals. The symptoms of the ailment include significant loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness and guilt on a daily basis, difficulties in making decisions, lack of interest in personal responsibilities, chronic restlessness, insomnia and/or excessive sleep, persistent feelings of sorrow or loss, significant gain or loss of weight, and chronic thoughts of suicide and death.

Major/Clinical Depression can last for years, even the lifespan of the sufferer; Dysthymia, a type of chronic long lasting depression often accompanies Major Depression. The illness makes living a normal life for the individual very difficult and unfortunately there is no set cure or therapy that will remedy the ailment. There are, however, a wide variety of psychological therapies and medications that may help the sufferer cope with and ultimately get past the ailment and it’s debilitating symptoms.

Using Cannabis to Treat Depression

Cannabis is a complex medicinal plant that may actually be used to treat a variety of debilitating symptoms caused by a surprisingly large number of ailments. It’s usefulness as a non-lethal medicine (you cannot die from an overdose of cannabis) cannot be overstated and it’s versatility in terms of how it can be consumed and as to how it can be useful for so many illnesses is something to be excited about. However, it is important to remember that consulting with your primary care physician should be your first priority when considering incorporating cannabis into one’s medical regiment and that cannabis is to be used as an adjunct therapy and not a replacement. It is also your responsibility to communicate with your doctor as to how your use of cannabis has affected your health and of your progress with utilizing medical cannabis.

With that said, exciting studies have shown that cannabis and the non-psychoactive compound Cannabidiol (CBD) may be quite useful for treating individuals suffering from Depression for the following reasons: elevating mood levels to combat depression; reducing anxiety; and aiding with sleep to battle insomnia.

Beneficial Cannabinoids and Terpenoids Useful for Treating Depression

The cannabis plant offers a plethora of therapeutic benefits and contains cannabinoids and terpenoid compounds that are useful for tackling the symptoms of Clinical Depression.

The following chart denotes which cannabinoids and terpenoids work synergistically with each other for possible therapeutic benefit. It may be beneficial to seek out strains that contain these cannabinoids and terpenoids.

References

Understanding medical cannabis.Elemental Wellness Center, 2014 Jul.

Central side-effects of therapies based on CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists: focus on anxiety and depression.Moreira, Fabricio A., et al.
Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2009 Feb, 23(1): 133-144.

Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1) gene: impact on antidepressant treatment response and emotion processing in Major Depression.Domschke, Katarina, et al.
European Neuropsychopharmacology, 2008 Oct, 18(10): 751-759.

Enhancement of endocannabinoid signaling and the pharmacotherapy of depression.Mangieri, Regina A., et al.
Pharmacological Research, 2007 Nov, 56(5): 360-366.

A possible role for the endocannabinoid system in the neurobiology of depression.Serra, Gino, et al.
Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, 2007, 3(25).

Role of the endocannabinoid system in depression and suicide.Vinod, K. Yaragudri, et al.
Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 2006 Oct, 27(10): 539-545.

A therapeutic role for cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonists in major depressive disorders.Witkin, Jeffrey M, et al.
Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 2005 Dec, 26(12): 609-617.

Pharmacological enhancement of cannabinoid CB1 receptor activity elicits an antidepressant-like response in the rat forced swim test.Hill, Matthew N., et al.
European Neuropsychopharmacology, 2005 Dec, 15(6): 593-599.

Is there a role for the endocannabinoid system in the etiology and treatment of melancholic depression?Hill, M. N., et al.
Behavioral Pharmacology, 2005 Sep, 16(5-6): 333-352.

Cannabinoids in bipolar affective disorder: a review and discussion of their therapeutic potential.Ashton, CH., et al.
Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2005, 19(3): 293-300.

Endogenous cannabinoids mediate long-term synaptic depression in the nucleus accumbens.Robbe, David, et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2002 Jun 11, 99(12): 8384-8388.

Mechanism of cannabinoid effects on long-term potentiation and depression in hippocampal CA1 neurons.Misner, Dina L., et al.
The Journal of Neuroscience, 1999 Aug 15, 19(16): 6795-6805.

Cannabinoids decrease excitatory synaptic transmission and impair long-term depression in rat cerebellar Purkinje cells.Levenes, Carole, et al.
The Journal of Physiology, 1998 Aug 1, 510: 867-879.

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