Stressed and depressed? You could brighten up by lightin’ up, suggests a recent medical study, conducted by the Univ. of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addiction.
Endocannabinoids – natural brain chemicals that impact behavior and emotion – are remarkably similar to marijuana’s Cannabis sativa and THC, according to RIA researchers. Their study confirmed that emotional stress reduces the brain’s production of these endocannabinoids, however, which results in depression.
Says RIA senior researcher Dr. Samir Haj-Dahmane:
Chronic stress is one of the major causes of depression. Using compounds derived from cannabis – marijuana – to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression.
Until further testing is conducted, though, Haj-Dahmane suggests everyone keep their munchies in check.
Our research thus far has used animal models; there is still a long way to go before we know whether this can be effective in humans. However, we have seen that some people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder have reported relief using marijuana.
If future studies confirm this pretense, there’ll be many who can use the marijuana method. Approximately 18 percent of American adults suffer from depression and anxiety disorders, while at least half of the population is subject to PTSD at least once in their lives.
Cannabis can be prescribed legally in 21 states (see map below), and for treatment of medical problems such as muscle spasms, therapy-induced nausea, Crohn’s disease, severe headaches such as migraines, and epilepsy.
Recreational use of marijuana is legal in four other states and the Dist. of Columbia. Nebraska, Mississippi, Ohio, and North Carolina recently decriminalized minor possession of marijuana.