4 Benefits of Using Cannabis to Replace Your Depression Medication

Health Emma Sturgis 4/13/2019
girl with cannabis plant
Why are more people turning to cannabis for depression?

Antidepressant medications have become more popular than ever.

According to the American Psychology Association, the number of Americans treated with antidepressants has increased by 64% from 1999 to 2014.

While there may be a number of factors contributing to the increased use of this category of drugs, its use does have some big downsides.

The use of antidepressants is controversial because of their harsh side-effects, withdrawal difficulty, and even their overall effectiveness.

People are now searching for alternatives to antidepressants, and are finding them in surprising places.

One antidepressant alternative is gaining more popularity: cannabis.

As cannabis becomes legal in more and more parts of the United States, some people are turning towards this herb to treat their depression.

Depending on where you live, cannabis is available at both medicinal and adult-use dispensaries. Whichever type of dispensary you go to will have a wide variety of cannabis products to choose from.

Here are just a few of the reasons why more people are turning to cannabis to help manage their depression.

1) Cannabis can work faster

Most patients have to take antidepressants for a week or two before they start feeling better.

When using cannabis, on the other hand, patients can begin to feel relief from their depression almost immediately.

Some people prefer CBD-rich therapies, others like to throw some THC into the mix. It's worth experimenting with both in light doses to see what works best for you.

When switching to using cannabis to decrease depression symptoms, however, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor about possible issues with combining high levels of CBD and depression medication or any other pharmaceutical for that matter. 

What's the concern? High levels of CBD can affect how your body metabolizes other meds.

Your case may differ from someone else’s, so it will be important to take your current medication protocol into account if you want to experiment with high CBD.

2) Patients have an easier time stopping cannabis use

holding cannabis
Chemically and biologically, cannabis is less addictive than coffee.

Antidepressants are notorious for their withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, mood swings, dizziness, and more.

Cannabis has minimal symptoms because it is not physically addictive.

This means that when patients are able to effectively manage their depression, they may have an easier time stopping cannabis use or taking breaks.

People may still experience some irritability, appetite issues, and difficulty sleeping, but these will be mild in comparison to antidepressant withdrawal.

3) Fewer side effects

Antidepressants might help alleviate depression, but it comes at the cost of a slew of other potential side effects, including weight gain, gastrointestinal problems, shakiness, excessive sweating, headaches and more.

Cannabis comes with fewer side effects and can actually relieve the symptoms listed above.

Although cannabis has many benefits for those with depression, users will still need to be careful about how they use it.

For example, too much THC-rich cannabis use may actually result in exacerbating depression, so moderation is key.

4) Saves money

Depending on the brand of antidepressants, they can be expensive.

A 30-day supply can easily cost upwards of $100 (depending on insurance) or more.

Cannabis can also be expensive, and it can also cost much less, depending on the type of product and how much you consume.

Will cannabis work for you?

While not everyone will be able to use cannabis to treat their depression, it can still help millions of Americans dependent on antidepressants.

With benefits ranging from better sleep to killing pain, cannabis is quickly becoming a viable alternative to many conventional treatments.

Talk to your doctor, then pay a visit to your local medicinal or recreational dispensary to make sure you are getting the correct form of cannabis to experience the benefits of depression treatment.

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