People Don’t Want You to Know How Marijuana and Depression Are Really Linked

The discussion of marijuana’s positive and negative effects has been gaining speed ever since states started legalizing the drug. Now, the discussions have started about whether the drug is as safe as some want to believe it is.

While marijuana can have positive medicinal effects, it can also affect the body negatively. Specifically, marijuana can have negative effects on those with depression, contrary to what you might believe.

Marijuana can actually make your depression worse

A sad and depressed young man

It might have adverse effects on anxiety and depression. |

According to some experts, those who use weed have a higher rate of depression and depressive symptoms compared to those who do not. Cannabis Information & Support reported because marijuana can have adverse effects on anxiety (the drug can cause anxiety in some people rather than suppress it), it’s important not to use it to treat depression until more is known about how it affects those with mental health disorders.

Next: This can become a problem if you use marijuana too often. 

Dependence on marijuana can become a problem

marijuana bud

Watch out how reliant you become. | Israel_Patterson/iStock/Getty Images

The same way people can depend on ibuprofen to help with pain, those with depression can depend on marijuana to help ease pain. With that said, people might resist seeking proper treatment for their depression because they feel marijuana takes care of it.

While weed’s negative effects are still largely being studied, daily marijuana use has been shown to lead to long-term effects on the brain. Relying on the drug every day to treat your depression and other issues could bring about other health problems in the future.

Next: It’s important to remember this when considering marijuana use for depression. 

Drugs affect everyone differently

Hand Holding Small Marijuana Leaf with Cannabis Plants in Background

You might have a different reaction than someone else. | OpenRangeStock/iStock/Getty Images

While marijuana might help one person cope with depression, that doesn’t mean it will help everyone. Drugs affect different people in different ways. Although marijuana can have medicinal benefits, you should always consult a doctor or professional for treatment about something as serious as depression.

Plus, when proper tactics are implemented, beneficial treatment, such as therapy, can help control depression. Marijuana would only mask the depressive feelings, which wouldn’t lead to an ultimate cure.

Next: Here’s why it’s hard to understand marijuana’s effects. 

It’s very difficult to write a ‘prescription’ for marijuana

marijuana Research

This is something doctors struggle with. | krisanapong detraphiphat/iStock/Getty Images

One big problem with marijuana is it’s difficult to measure. Because marijuana comes from all different places, your friend who claims he or she uses marijuana for depression might be smoking marijuana with a higher THC content or cannabinoid than yours, or vice versa. This makes it hard to know what amount you’re using and how much would benefit you. Doctors can write prescriptions because they know exactly how much of an ingredient is in one dose. With marijuana, that’s not so easy.

Next: Doctors don’t agree with using marijuana for depression. 

Practitioners don’t see the sense in using marijuana for depression

doctor hand offering to patient medical marijuana

Most doctors are hesitant to promote the product. | megaflopp/iStock/Getty Images

Although most practitioners agree marijuana might not be bad in small doses, they also agree they don’t see the point of using it to treat depression. Dr. Andrew Saxon of the American Psychiatric Association said that marijuana’s sedative properties can have adverse effects on one’s social interaction.

Experts agree marijuana can promote social isolation and a lack of social interaction. And neither is good for someone trying to manage their depression.

Next: The lack of proof has been the biggest hang-up. 

There is no proof that the drug aids in managing depression

Young man smoking a cigarette.

It might not have effect you’re hoping for. | Rasmussen

Many people are back and forth about whether marijuana is dangerous. With that point aside, the real problem is there isn’t enough proof that marijuana is beneficial, either. People see it as a miracle drug. And though it might work for them, that doesn’t mean it should be used as a universal cure for something like depression.

According to a statement by the American Psychiatric Association, “There is currently no scientific evidence to support the use of marijuana as an effective treatment for any psychiatric illness.”

Next: Marijuana is directly related to an increase in other mental illnesses.  

Marijuana has been proven to increase the risk of certain mental illnesses

Pay attention to your feelings and mental state when smoking marijuana. | Tommaso79/iStock/Getty Images

Not only is there no link between marijuana use and cured depression, there is also a negative link between marijuana and other mental illnesses. Specifically, marijuana use has been shown to cause an increased risk of developing schizophrenia. Marijuana can have adverse effects on certain mental illnesses like anxiety and schizophrenia. So it’s important to consult a professional before using marijuana for depression symptoms.

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