What Is Depression?
According to Health Canada, there are several kinds of “depressive mood disorders”, including: bipolar disorder, perinatal depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and clinical depression, which is the most common form of depression and the one this article will focus on.
Depression is a debilitating mood disorder that results in feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in one’s favourite activities and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical symptoms that can interfere with an individual’s work and home life.
…many symptoms of depression, which become so when felt by an individual for two weeks or more.
Symptoms of Depression
There are many symptoms of depression, which become so when felt by an individual for two weeks or more. They include the following:
- Overwhelming feelings of sadness or a “depressed” mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities previously enjoyed
- Changes in appetite — weight loss or weight gain
- Sleep disturbances such as insomnia, or sleeping too much
- Increased fatigue and loss of energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness or hopelessness
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Recent data from Statistics Canada has determined that depression affects approximately 11% of Canadians between 15 and 24 years of age. This age group has perhaps the highest rate of depression across all groups. The American Psychiatric Association estimates that depression affects one in every 15 adults any given year.
In addition, as depression leads to feelings of hopelessness or thoughts of death, it is the one of the major causes for suicide. Suicide kills close to 800,000 people per year and is the second leading cause of death in individuals aged 15 to 29 years. Unfortunately, over 50% of individuals who have suffered from major depression experience a recurrence of symptoms at some point.
What Causes Depression?
There are a variety of causes for depression. In many cases, it is a hormonal or chemical imbalance in the brain (such as low serotonin levels). Additionally, it can brought on by other factors including: abuse, conflict, loss, major life events, serious illness, chronic stress and substance abuse.
Current Treatments for Depression
A large portion of patients (80-90%) respond well to treatment to depression treatments. The current methods of treatment include:
…80-90% of cases respond well to treatment.
- Healthy Lifestyle – One of the first and foremost methods of treatment is to ensure a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating balanced meals with proper nutrition, regular exercise, minimizing stress and finding healthy methods of coping and a proper sleep pattern.
- Antidepressants – Prescription medication is an effective form of treatment to help manage hormonal or brain chemistry issues that may result in moderate-severe depression. However, they are not the best for mild depression.
- Psychotherapy – This is another treatment option that is often used in conjunction with antidepressants or on its own. Also known as “talk therapy”, it is shown that significant improvement can be made in a few weeks or within 10 to 15 sessions.
- Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) – his treatment is reserved for severe depression or bipolar disorder in individuals who have not responded to other treatments. This method essentially uses brief electrical stimulation directly to the brain. Designed in the 1940, significant improvements over the years have developed it into successful therapy tool.
How Cannabis Can Help
For individuals with mild depression or those who haven’t found success with traditional routes. Cannabis is a more efficient alternative to antidepressants that can stimulate the endocannabinoid system faster and more naturally.
According to Dr. Samir Haj-Dahmane, lead researcher in a University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions study, found that “using compounds derived from cannabis — marijuana — to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression”. Another study in 2007 found that low doses of THC can help to increase serotonin levels; low serotonin and chronic stress are two of the major causes of depression.
Fortunately, with legalization the medical benefits of cannabis are becoming easier to access. Additionally, the growing industry has created a great market for mail-order marijuana service options, which make it easy to buy cannabis online, for individuals who don’t have access to transit or want to keep their condition private.
Best Strains To Fight Depression
Cannabis is world-renowned for it’s healing properties due to the potent CBD and THC components. When it comes to cases of depression, THC is best in a lower dose. This will optimize THC’s effect on the endocannabinoid system and serotonin production so as not to overwhelm it and create an opposite effect.
…when it comes to cases of depression, THC is best in a lower dose.
- Girl Scout Cookies is a famous hybrid strain loaded with THC and tests up to 28%! This results in a pleasant and powerful euphoria with moderate sedative effects. It is popular among individuals suffering from mental ailments, such as depression.
- Harlequin – This strain has a 1:1 THC:CBD ratio, which makes it a great solution for individuals who prefer a clear-head. Additionally, the CBD component reduces any anxiety-inducing effects from THC, making it great for more severe cases of depression or patients new to medical marijuana.
- Sour Tsunami – This is another popular 1:1 THC:CBD flower, which doesn’t cause a euphoric “high” but still results in a calming and uplifted feeling. Perfect for daytime use.
- Moby Dick – This strain was designed as for daytime use with its Sativa-dominant genetics. THC levels average around 18-20%, but it does have a highly psychoactive high. This results in a strong euphoria and is best for experienced users or those who do not suffer from cannabis-induced anxiety. Moby Dick is a strong medical strain to combat stress, depression and anxiety.
- Blue Dream – Blue Dream is a Sativa-dominant strain with THC levels between 17-24%. This is an ideal options for individuals who suffer from chronic stress or mild to moderate cases of depression, as well as insomnia.
Choose Cannabis Today
Fair Canna Care believes in providing affordable, easy access to every individual going through depression. If you are looking to turn to medical marijuana, check out our online cannabis dispensary shop and check out our frequently asked questions for more information. If you are new to cannabis, always be sure to start slow and see how it affects you. Even smaller doses of THC can provide relief for your symptoms, helping you get control over your depression.