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Depression and Medicinal Cannabis

Depression is a condition characterised by feelings of sadness, emptiness and a loss of interest in hobbies and/or socialising - all of which can interfere with productivity, social life and daily tasks.

Depression effects everyone in different ways and at different intensities, with symptoms ranging from minor to severe. There is no singular cause for depression, but experts generally agree that it occurs as a result of several events and factors.

Depression is considered a serious medical condition that can get worse without proper treatment.

What are the symptoms of Depression?

Depression can physically manifest in a range of ways, including:

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Sleep changes
  • Anger or irritability
  • Loss of energy
  • Self-loathing
  • Reckless behaviour
  • Concentration problems
  • Unexplained aches and pains

Factors that may increase your risk of developing Depression:

  • Certain personality traits (low self-esteem, self-critical)
  • Traumatic or stressful events (physical or sexual abuse, the loss of a loved one)
  • Blood relatives with a history of depression, bipolar disorder, alcoholism or suicide
  • History of other mental health disorders
  • Abuse of alcohol or recreational drugs
  • Serious or chronic illness
  • Certain medications

How can medicinal cannabis help with Depression?

Recently, studies have been investigating whether or not cannabidiol (CBD) is an effective treatment for psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar and substance abuse. CBD a non-psychoactive component found in the cannabis plant, which means it doesn't produce the high typically associated with cannabis use. 

Cannabis may be an effective treatment for depression as the active components present in the plant interact with the endocannabinoid system - a system responsible for regulating mood and appetite. As a result, cannabis products may help regulate the endocannabinoid system which would make it a viable treatment option.

Some of the cannabis products that have shown to be beneficial treatments to Depression sufferers include:

  • Nabiximols
  • Dronbinol
  • THC extracts
  • THC:CBD extracts
  • CBD extracts
  • Cannabis indica

They can be consumed as an oil, vape liquid, sprays and wafers.

If you or a loved one are suffering from Depression and are considering medicinal cannabis as a potential treatment, please speak to your GP or to one of our SAS accredited doctors here.