Most of us will be affected by depression at some point in our lifetime. Some of us are predisposed genetically while others become depressed due to suffering hard knocks in life which can result in the onset of low moods.Studies have found though that one of the major biological causes of depression is an imbalance in the endocannabinoid system. Cannabis has been proven to stimulate the endocannabinoid system and so it’s important to recognise how this knowledge may be useful in the future.
Many sufferers of depression are scared and sick of dealing with the side effects of using prescription pills to manage their symptoms and so some are now opting for something ‘green’ to treat their blues usually in the form of smoking cannabis. Although cannabis is considered an illicit drug, it actually boosts the growth of neurogenic brain cells so that they occur with less negative impact during emotional processing, resulting in the alleviation of anxiety.
Although this is a positive effect, the problem with cannabis is that it’s biphasic, which means higher doses of the drug can actually contribute to anxiety while appropriate or lower doses work to alleviate it.
What causes depression?
Experts say that stress is the main contributor to depression as it suppresses the production of new nerve cells, mainly in the hippocampus area of the brain. Research has also shown that women with more bouts of depression have smaller hippocampus compared to women who rarely suffer from it. The hippocampus area of the brain is in charge of converting all short-term life experiences into long term memories. Therefore, stress related damage to this section of the brain can be linked with frustration and pain when it comes to moving on from different traumatic memories and creating new memories from fresh experiences and this is why some people with depression turn to smoking cannabis to deal with their symptoms.
Why do people use cannabis to treat depression?
People often wonder if people who use cannabis have a higher chance of depression. People also often ask whether marijuana comes with any negative side effects on the brain. No one wants to have to deal with a prospective psychological addiction to marijuana any more than they would like to become addicted to prescription pills!
Basically, the endocannabinoid system relaxes control over higher functions in the midsections and periaqueductal grey areas of the brain, which are responsible for reproductive pleasure, pain modulation, hearing, vision, motor control, body temperature regulation, alertness and respiration. Although this is a good thing as it helps to exert more control over stress in the limbic system, the problem is that cannabis with high levels of THC can actually exacerbate anxiety problems. High levels of THC results in overactivation of the CB1 receptor which stimulates the midbrain and PAG areas whilst removing emotional inhibitions. It can also open gates in the brain allowing it to receive more fear, stress and anxiety but with a little education, this can be completely avoidable and this is where CBD comes in.
How to avoid triggering anxiety using cannabis
If you suffer from depression and don’t want to trigger any unwanted anxiety through smoking cannabis, then you must stick to strains which have more CBD than THC. In fact, it is advisable to stick to the sativa dominant hybrids with low amounts of THC. This staple strain is quite well known for treating depression.
It is not a good idea to be fooled by any misleading or old studies on depression and using cannabis. The truth is that cannabis is actually helpful in helping take care of depression effectively. As mentioned in the latest research, stress actually decreases the level of endocannabinoids in one’s system which coincides with a reduction in the size of the hippocampus. As the hippocampus is vital for processing positive experiences into long-term memories, with the right amount of THC, it is possible to alleviate the level of depression. But too much THC can trigger anxiety and in this case strains that are rich in CBD help to mitigate or alleviate the symptoms.
How can the Endocannabinoid System be stimulated?
Hemp and cannabis are known to stimulate the Endocannabinoid system. The Endocannabinoid system is present in all humans and many animals as well. This system consists of a series of receptors that are configured only to accept cannabinoids yet it is very important as the ECS regulates all sorts of bodily processes, including mood, metabolism, pain, reproduction, and immune functions. Furthermore cannabinoid receptors and the biochemical machinery necessary to synthesise and generate cannabinoids are present in areas of the brain known to control emotional behaviour.
CBD Ultra products are all derived from Cannabis Sativa L also known as industrial hemp. The hemp is produced organically in the mountains of Colorado, US. As the hemp is specifically bred, it contains zero THC but has high CBD levels making its profile ideal for people looking for the benefits of CBD without the “high” of the THC.