As the medicinal benefits of marijuana continue to be brought to light, people with an array of ailments are being given the opportunity to treat their symptoms in a way that seems unconventional but was actually common throughout history.
For centuries, the cannabis plant has been used for various purposes including medicine, and our society is finally learning what many ancient civilizations already knew. They put their knowledge to use, and it’s time for us to do the same.
Unfortunately, the plant’s medical use is only allowed in states where it’s legal, and patients who require this medicine are forced to go without it or risk legal consequences. These are law abiding citizens who have no interest in breaking society’s rules, but they have to break the law just to get what they need.
Marijuana’s medicinal benefits aren’t limited to the body, and evidence is beginning to show that it helps the mind too. This is indicated by the endocannabinoids in our brain, and everything’s usually okay if our endocannabinoid levels are where they’re meant to be.
Stress, which contributes to depression for many people, drops the brain’s endocannabinoid levels.
Since cannabis can restore these levels, it could very well treat the symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Steven Maxwell at Waking Times explains.
“Recent scientific studies regarding the use of cannabis (marijuana) and its healing powers are further disproving the government’s biased and inaccurate stance against its medical use.
“The government refers to marijuana as a ‘gateway’ drug to harder substances and schedules it along side them even though it has proven to be safer than alcohol.
“Taking these claims into consideration, scientists across the country have taken it upon themselves to research the chemical makeup of marijuana and prove to the public the benefits that it holds.
“Through the research of endocannabinoids, a stress-regulating chemical found in the brain that is also found in marijuana, scientists are producing evidence to prove that marijuana usage could benefit those who suffer from depression.” (1)
Steven also shares an unsettling statistic about depression.
“Chronic depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in America with about 6.7% (14 Million) of the country’s population suffering from the disease.
“With depression being such a common disease in America, scientists from the University at Buffalo have conducted research which claims that endocannabinoids, a chemical makeup found in the brain, are similar to the chemical makeup of marijuana.” (2)
Depression can make a person feel fatigued, unconfident, hopeless and utterly sad for seemingly endless amounts of time, and for some people, it goes on to the point that they become numb. They don’t necessarily feel pain, but they don’t feel joy or happiness either.
They feel empty, and this could have to do with depleted endocannabinoid levels in their brain.
It might not be the only cause, but it could be one of the biggest contributing factors.
Steven tells us that a study was performed by introducing animals to a stressful environment and recording their brain’s endocannabinoid levels. The levels depleted when the animals were stressed, but they were restored and the animals’ stress reduced when marijuana was administered.
“Using animals as test subjects, scientists Samir Haj-Dahmane, PhD and Roh-Yu Shen, PhD studied the effects that stress held on the animals.
“When introduced to a stressful environment, the animals’ level of endocannabinoids dropped significantly, leading the animals to feel stress. When introduced to marijuana, the levels of endocannabinoids increased and the animals began to show signs of relieved stress.
“While Haj-Dahmane cautions that this research is still in its early stages, it is an idea to consider. If the cause of stress is a reduction in endocannabinoids, and marijuana usage increases endocannabinoids in the bodies of animals, does it not make sense that marijuana could potentially be used medicinally to reduce stress in humans as well?” (3)
It does make sense, and in my opinion, this is one of many of this plant’s uses that are finally being talked about.
Like Steven mentioned, we shouldn’t be quick to claim marijuana treats depression since the research has just started. As more research is done, however, I think scientists will discover that the countless anecdotal claims of cannabis helping depression and other illnesses are legitimate.
- “Recent Studies Find Cannabis Highly Effective Against Depression, PTSD” by Steven Maxwell, Waking Times, January 4, 2016 – http://www.wakingtimes.com/2016/01/04/recent-studies-find-cannabis-to-be-effective-against-depression-ptsd/
- Loc. Cit.
- Loc. Cit.
Continued in Part 2.