Clinical depression affects at least 40 million adults every year. In order to be diagnosed, symptoms must persist for two weeks or more. This condition can cause sadness, fatigue, changes in sleep patterns, and more. And though it can be treated, only 40% of adults suffering with depression seek help. Once diagnosed, patients are often prescribed antidepressants with a whole slew of side effects that can bring their own negativity into our lives.
The euphoric effects of cannabis have been found to help patients dealing with negative emotions like those persistent with clinical depression. In fact, a study conducted in Canada in 2007 showed that in low doses cannabis can be helpful for those diagnosed with depression. However in high doses, the drug can aggravate symptoms, so it is important to be mindful of dosage. The neurobiological study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience and used synthetic THC.
Head of the research team Dr. Gabriella Gobbi of McGill University and the Centre de Recherche Fernand Seguin of Hôpital Louis-H. Lafontaine said, “Low doses had a potent antidepressant effect, but when we increased the dose, the serotonin in the rats’ brains actually dropped below the level of those in the control group. So we actually demonstrated a double effect: At low doses, it increases serotonin, but at higher doses, the effect is devastating, completely reversed.”
The study showed that for the purpose of treating clinical depression, THC should be used in small, or even ‘micro’, doses. This is anywhere from 2-10 mg depending on a person’s individual endocannabinoid system. Controlling this dose with a joint or cannabis flowers can be hard, instead, it is suggested that medical cannabis patients work with tinctures, capsules, and other ingestible products to find their perfect dose.