Marijuana and Depression 

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“I think cannabis has a lot of potential in the treatment of mental illness,” says Lester Grinspoon, emeritus professor of psychiatry at the Harvard School of Medicine
There is evidence that marijuana works for some psychiatric disorders. Principally depression and bipolar disorder. Among some people, marijuana is jokingly referred to as “green Prozac”. He says that it can be an effective treatment for bipolar disorder and depression. Like any medicine, he cautions, ” it will not work for everyone. ”  

 Clinical depression is a very serious illness. People with this condition have long term, often debilitating feelings of sadness and low self esteem. There can be suicidal thoughts. Depression makes ordinary tasks such as going to work, cooking, cleaning, even personal hygiene, very difficult. Medical cannabis has been used for centuries to treat depression. An English clergyman named Robert Burton stated in 1621 that cannabis was helpful to treat depression. It was used for depression over 400 years ago in India. In the 17th century, physicians in England to treat depression prescribed it. In 1890, a British physician named J.R. Reynolds reviewed the previous 30 years of use of cannabis and determined that cannabis was helpful for depression and other illnesses (asthma, certain forms of epilepsy, nerve pain, painful menstrual cramps, migraines and tics).

Marijuana and depression have a sort of love hate relationship. Some experts believe that marijuana can lessen the effects of depression. Others say using it can cause depression. At low doses, marijuana is a powerful antidepressant. However, if an individual uses high doses, the symptoms of depression actually get markedly worse. When an individual smokes marijuana at low doses, the active ingredient in the plant, THC, increases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates the mood. The link between marijuana and reducing the symptoms of depression is in the intoxicating effects of the plant. Scientists believe this is because of the chemical similarity of marijuana and natural chemicals in the brain called endo cannabinoids. The human body releases these substances when it experiences pain or extreme stress. 

Excessive cannabis use in people with depression poses high risk of psychosis,” said Dr. Gobbi.