Medical marijuana is legal in 14 states of the union. In all but one of them you can grow the plants for your own uses if you have a prescription. There is some controversy as to the medical benefits of marijuana for chronic pain and other ailments such as bipolar disorder. The only thing that is sure when it comes to talking about legalizing marijuana is the controversy surrounding it. The Los Angeles Times reports that California will be voting on the measure to legalize all forms of marijuana use and adding that the state can tax it to reap financial benefits from the drug.
Using marijuana to treat depression has been a back and forth issue. Depression can have many symptoms according to WebMD. Difficulty doing daily tasks, fatigue, feelings of helplessness, insomnia, irritability, changes in appetite, persistence of a feeling of sadness, and thoughts of suicide can all be signs that you are depressed. But can marijuana actually help with depression symptoms? The jury is still out on that one as studies have shown that it can help and hinder depression.
Marijuana has been shown to reduce the effects of depression in some studies. In a 2005 study there were mixed results as some people were helped by medical doses of marijuana and others exhibited even worse depression according to The Chicago Flame.
Other doctors, such as those quoted on ProCon.org have stated that certain amounts of medical marijuana can be used to effective lessen symptoms of clinical depression. Not only can THC and cannabis reduce the need for anti-depressants, but pot can elevate the mood of someone who is depressed and make them feel better.
Another study reported on by FOX News in 2007 has stated that low doses can help with the psychological disorder but higher doses of pot can make the situation worse for depressed patients. Low doses increase serotonin levels much like Prozac.
In May of 2008 the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy sent out a statement that pot use is bad and shouldn’t be used to treat any kind of medical malady. U.S. News and World Report stated that the White House staff examined many studies and said that teens in particular who used marijuana who weren’t depressed actually became depressed due to marijuana abuse.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that marijuana can cause the same detrimental effects as depression such as anxiety, sadness, swings in appetite, and suicidal thoughts. The earlier subjects used the drug the worse the symptoms got.
The case for marijuana use to treat depression is far from over and the debate will probably never end. Consult with your mental health professional about what kind of treatment may be right for you if you are diagnosed with depression. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as actual medical advice.