Depression is a serious mental health disorder that can cause feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and irritability. It’s estimated that about 1 in 10 adults in the United States suffer from depression.
While there are many treatments available for depression (also known as major depressive disorder), such as prescribed medication and talk therapy, some patients have found medical marijuana to be an effective treatment option.
Medical marijuana is a plant-based medicine that contains chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids can interact with receptors in the brain to produce various medicinal effects. Some of the potential benefits of cannabis use for those suffering from depressive disorders include:
- Reduced Stress and Anxiety: Cannabis has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels in both animal and human studies.
- Improved Mood: Cannabis has been shown to improve mood and increase feelings of pleasure in people with depression.
- Increased Appetite: People with depression often have a reduced appetite that can lead to weight loss, while cannabis can increase appetite and potentially help people maintain a healthy weight.
- Pain Relief: Cannabis has been shown to relieve pain, which can be beneficial for people with depression who also suffer from chronic pain conditions.
- Better Sleep: Insufficient sleep is a common symptom of depression, but cannabis can improve sleep quality and help people get the rest they need
Medical marijuana is not a cure for depression, but it can help alleviate some of the condition’s symptoms. Read on to learn more about how medical marijuana might help you address your depression.
Can Medical Marijuana Help With Depression?
There is still some debate over whether or not medical marijuana can help with depression and other psychiatric disorders. Some people swear by its effects, while others claim that there is no scientific evidence that it can help.
There is evidence to suggest that medical marijuana can help with depression, though. Clinical trials and systematic reviews have evinced positive effects marijuana can have for people with depression and other affective disorders.
Marijuana has been shown to have certain beneficial effects on the brain. The positive effects of cannabis include increasing dopamine and serotonin levels and providing relief from anxiety and stress. For those with depression, these effects can be very beneficial. However, more research is needed to confirm whether or not medical marijuana can consistently help with depression.
Treating Depression With Medical Marijuana
A study published in the journal Neurology found that people with depression who used medical marijuana had fewer symptoms than those who didn’t. Another study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that people who used medical marijuana experienced a significant reduction in their depressive symptoms.
Medical marijuana has been used to treat a variety of conditions and their associated symptoms, including chronic pain and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
The use of marijuana is also being studied as a treatment for mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders. Anxiety is a common mental illness that can cause symptoms such as fear, racing thoughts, and sweating. While cannabis products can help people with anxiety, bipolar disorder and other mood disorders, the use of cannabis can also make one‘s symptoms worse and potentially induce cannabis use disorder/substance abuse, psychosis, or schizophrenia.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card for Depression in Virginia
Medical marijuana is being prescribed for the treatment of depression in many states. Currently, licensed physicians in Virginia can issue a written certification for patients whose qualifying conditions could be effectively managed through the use of medical marijuana.
To get a recommendation for medical cannabis, a licensed Virginia physician must first diagnose you with a condition that you can treat with medical cannabis. Once you’ve been diagnosed, you can get a medical marijuana recommendation from a marijuana doctor.
Technically any condition can qualify you for medical cannabis in Virginia, but listed below are some of the most common conditions VA residents treat with cannabis. Generally speaking, if you have a medical condition that affects daily functioning and overall quality of life, you’re probably eligible for a medical marijuana card.
Some of the conditions that doctors in Virginia commonly prescribe medical cannabis for include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The Best Medical Marijuana Oil for Depression
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of the best medical marijuana oil for depression. The best product can depend on your specific symptoms and needs.
However, when choosing a medical marijuana oil for depression, target products with higher levels of cannabidiol (CBD) and lower levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD has been shown to be helpful in treating various mental health conditions, including depression, while THC can sometimes make symptoms worse.
In addition, it is also important to choose an oil that is organically grown and free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
When it comes to medical marijuana and depression, it is also important to start with a low dose and increase your dosage gradually as needed. This will help you find the right dosage without putting yourself at risk of developing adverse side effects.
What are the Best Strains for Depression?
As with medical marijuana oils, the best strains of medical marijuana to use to treat the symptoms of depression will vary depending on your individual situation. Not all strains of marijuana will have the same effects on everyone.
Generally speaking, strains of cannabis containing the terpenes linalool or limonene are great for the treatment of symptoms for depression. Linalool, which is also found in lavender, and limonene, which provides the clean, clear zing in citrus fruit peels, are both known for their antidepressant qualities.
Tangerine Dream, for one, is a strain that has high limonene content. Bubba Kush, meanwhile, contains significant amounts of linalool. Zeta is another strain that is known to improve mood and stimulate motivational thinking. However, due to its potency, a recommended dose about the size of a matchstick head is recommended.
As with trying any new drug, you should consult a qualified medical professional before consuming any marijuana products. If they confirm that you’d benefit from medical marijuana treatment, then you can go ahead and begin the process of obtaining an official MMJ card.
Reach out to ReThink-Rx today for help navigating Virginia’s medical marijuana card application process.
ReThink-Rx™ Medical Marijuana Card Certification
4210 Electric Road # 1012 Roanoke, Va 24018 United States
Call or Text: 540-306-5100
Dr. Nicholas Marsh has been a respected board-certified anesthesiologist in Northern Virginia for over 35 years. Recognized as a top doctor by FindaTopDoc.com, his vision for providing top-quality medical services is driven by his passion for patient comfort and dignity.