People often use marijuana to feel relaxed and achieve a mellow high. There are also some medically-valid uses for marijuana concerning pain management or chronic ailments. As a result, it may be tempting to think that marijuana use could benefit someone with depression. Beyond whether or not it could be helpful, marijuana is commonly used by self-medicating people. The reality is that the relationship between marijuana and depression is likely negative. If someone with depression uses marijuana, it may make the depression worse and can even lead to more serious psychological issues later on.
What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana is a drug derived from the cannabis plant. It is smoked or ingested to produce a sense of relaxation and a high feeling. Behind alcohol, marijuana is the most commonly used recreational drug. It has been legalized in many states for recreational and medical use though not all states have yet to legalize marijuana.
When smoked or ingested, marijuana works its way into a person’s bloodstream and binds to receptors in the brain. The main active ingredient in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The higher the concentration level of THC, the more powerful marijuana will be, and the more intense the interaction will be. High THC levels can cause hallucinations and paranoia alongside the other typical effects people get from using marijuana.
How Marijuana and Depression Interact
First, to reiterate, marijuana does not have any use in treating depression. Those who struggle with depression may be tempted to use marijuana as a means of symptom relief. But marijuana use does not improve depression. It is unknown whether using marijuana regularly will end up causing depression, though repeated use may increase a person’s risk of developing depression. More research is needed on the link between depression and marijuana.
Up to this point, more research has been dedicated to exploring the possible link between heavy marijuana use and psychosis. Some evidence points to a causal link between using marijuana and developing psychosis or similar mental issues. However, marijuana use is likely not the sole factor in whether someone ends up with psychosis or not. For starters, not everyone who uses marijuana will develop psychosis.
Other factors to consider regarding marijuana and depression include the following:
- Long-term marijuana use can decrease cognitive function and concentration
- Regular marijuana use increases the risk of mental health disorders, especially among youth
- Marijuana use lowers motivation
- Marijuana tends to interrupt proper sleep
None of those factors will make depression worse. However, none of them are liable to improve someone’s depression. Symptoms related to depression are more likely to deepen when someone is unable to sleep, has lower motivation, and is not cognitively functioning at their best.
Marijuana Treatment and Depression Treatment in Murrieta, California
Solution Based Treatment & Detox provides marijuana and depression treatment in Murrieta, California. Marijuana abuse and depression are two disorders that overlap quite often. People who deal with both issues are said to have a dual diagnosis. This, in turn, calls for dual diagnosis treatment that can address both disorders simultaneously.
Dual diagnosis treatment helps people stop using drugs and better manage their mental health disorders to produce transformative outcomes. Some of the significant goals of treatment for marijuana and depression are to reduce and ultimately stop marijuana use, reduce the impact of marijuana on a client’s life, help clients avoid relapse, and support the ongoing management of a client’s mental health through medication and therapy.
Contact 833.999.1941 to learn more about how depression and marijuana interact and how you can overcome their worst impacts through treatment.