THURSDAY, Sept. 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Folks experiencing depression are greatly predisposed to gradually turn to marijuana to help relieve their symptoms today, and that’s certainly not the best thing, researchers report.
Depressed people tend to be more than twice as more likely to have employed pot in the last month and 3 x more likely to put it to use nearly each day in 2015-2016, an increased number than a decade before far, the brand new study found.
Experts express this boom used among the depressed is most likely linked to the propagate of marijuana legalization over the United States, for medical purposes particularly.
“Its accessibility provides increased on the specific time time that this study actions,” noted Michael Wetter, director of adolescent and small adult medicine with the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.
The problem is that previous studies have proven pot can worsen mood disorders like anxiety or depression actually, said Dr. Elie Aoun, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry with the Columbia University College of Surgeons and Physicians.
The new study relied on data drawn from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a federal poll regularly conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The researchers, led by Deborah Hasin, from Columbia University Medical Center, analyzed responses from two periods — 2005-2006 and 2015-2016 — to identify people with symptoms of depression and track their self-reported marijuana use.
A depressed person had 2.3 times greater odds of reporting any cannabis use during the previous month in 2015-2016, a nearly threefold increase in risk from the decade before, researchers found.
The odds of daily use were nearly 3.2 times higher, an sixfold increase from 2005-2006 almost.
Because the scholarly analysis is observational, it can’t say where direction this association works — if depressed many people will turn to pot, or if marijuana use fuels depression.
“I believe it’s probably both of these things at the same time,” Aoun said. “Marijuana could be causing depressive symptoms. Also, people who are depressed who are looking for treatment are seeking out options to help reduce the impact or burden of their depressive symptoms. When traditional treatment options are insufficient, they are turning to marijuana.”
THC, the chemical in pot that causes intoxication, has been shown to increase levels of dopamine in the brain, Wetter said. Dopamine is a “feel good” neurotransmitter that directly stimulates the pleasure centers in the brain.
That might make a depressed person feel better temporarily, but it’s really masking feelings that will return, Aoun said.
“Drugs don’t introduce new feelings that you don’t have in you,” Aoun said. “They just allow for disinhibition. If you are depressed and you also smoke marijuana, it will not cure your depression.”
Also, these dopamine rushes alter the human brain chemistry in approaches that may exacerbate your depression.
Eleven states have used laws permitting recreational marijuana work with, but Aoun said he’s extra worried about the 34 states which may have exceeded laws allowing medical marijuana.
“When states happen to be pushing for the legalization of medical marijuana without credible evidence, you’re sending so various wrong messages,” Aoun says.
Insufficient medical research has been done to firmly establish marijuana’s health advantages, but legalization has nevertheless made pot into a legitimate alternative for folks struggling with a mood disorder seemingly, Aoun said.
He compared pot to insulin, cure for diabetes tested during large-scale clinical tests before it became open to patients.
“With marijuana, it has been a completely different account where these decisions are really driven primarily by companies with a good significant financial interest in promoting marijuana use,” Aoun stated.
People with depression or anxiety would be better off talking to their doctor about taking an approved prescription medication, Wetter said.