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Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia, with one in three adults using it at some point in their life. But what does smoking pot do to your mental health? Using cannabis during key stages of brain development can impact on synaptic pruning when old neural connections are deleted and the development of white matter which transmits als in the brain. The bigger or more potent the dose, the more tetrahydrocannabinol THC you are ingesting. THC is the main psychoactive component of cannabis and appears to act on areas of our brain involved in the regulation of our emotional experiences.
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Marijuana and depression
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Overall, infrequent marijuana smokers appear to have little to no risk of depression directly related to use of the drug. Heavy smokers may be at some risk. Researchers have searched for ways that marijuana could cause depression in the brain.
Marijuana and depression: how cannabis affects depression
Marijuana may indirectly influence risk of depression. For example, pot is linked to thinking problems, lower academic success and increased risk of other drug use. These factors may increase the chance of developing depression. No evidence exists indicating that marijuana is an effective treatment for depression. Dozens of studies have explored a possible link between depression and marijuana use. These studies have produced inconclusive or varying. They examined different age groups, methods of use, rates of use and lengths of use. These diverse variables make comparing difficult. To try to make sense of the research, three meta-analyses on marijuana and depression have been conducted since A meta-analysis is a review of all research on a topic.
A large-scale study surveyed a national sample of adults between and The researchers found no association between marijuana use and depression. The largest study ever conducted on the health effects of cannabis was released in by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. It concluded that there was a small likelihood that marijuana use increased the risk of depression.
Marijuana can cause a short-term sense of euphoria, but current research does not indicate it is an effective treatment for depression.
The National Academies study analyzed the use of cannabis for treating numerous health conditions, including depression. The finding that people with depression may be at risk for future marijuana problems should caution people from using the drug to treat depressive symptoms. A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that marijuana use was common among people seeking outpatient treatment for depression. It concluded that marijuana use was associated with poor recovery outcomes for people seeking outpatient treatment for the mood disorder. Little research has been conducted on the interactions between marijuana and antidepressants.
Some side effects of antidepressants are similar to side effects of marijuana.
For example, marijuana and certain types of antidepressants can each affect heartrate, blood pressure, cognition and mood. Combining the drugs may make these side effects worse. A review found only one study on youth marijuana and antidepressant use.
That study included case reports of four teens. The teens, who were taking tricyclic antidepressants, experienced cognitive changes, delirium and rapid heartrate after smoking marijuana. No studies have attempted to verify these effects. Tricyclics are older antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, imipramine and trimipramine.
The impact of marijuana on depression
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also known as SSRIs, are more commonly prescribed today. The woman experienced severe mania and psychosis.
No other similar cases have been reported. Researchers have studied whether Wellbutrin can help people stop smoking marijuana. During these studies, people who smoked marijuana while taking Wellbutrin did not exhibit major changes to behavior. The authors concluded the antidepressant did not show promise as a treatment for marijuana dependence. People with depression should speak to their health care provider about effective treatments. No studies have shown that marijuana effectively treats the mood disorder. Some research shows that those with depression are more likely to experience problems with the drug.
Marijuana can cause long-term health problemsincluding difficulty learning, paranoia and a condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.
Does cannabis cause mental illness?
Additionally, smoking marijuana can harm the lungs. Last modified: February 27, Contact [ protected]. Who am I calling? We look forward to helping you!
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Cannabis and mental health
The Naloxone Guide Learn how to administer this life-saving opioid antidote. Our Community Our community offers unique perspectives on lifelong recovery and substance use prevention, empowering others through stories of strength and courage. About Us. Medicinal Marijuana for Depression Marijuana and Antidepressants.
Does Marijuana Cause Depression? The three analyses on marijuana and depression reached similar conclusions:. In general, marijuana was associated with mental health problems. Rates of depression were higher for people who frequently smoked marijuana than for the general population. People who frequently used marijuana had a higher risk of depression than people who used it occasionally.
Some evidence suggested early marijuana use led to depression later in life. Other studies found no association. Moderate evidence suggested depression may increase the risk of marijuana use problems. Limited evidence suggested marijuana was ineffective for reducing depression symptoms in people with chronic pain or multiple sclerosis.
Limited evidence suggested childhood depression was a risk factor for future marijuana problems. No evidence suggested marijuana will improve or worsen pre-existing depression. Chris Elkins, MA. Chris Elkins worked as a journalist for three years and was published by multiple newspapers and online publications.