The Rise of Depression and the Cannabis Response

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Are you experiencing depression? If that’s the case, you are not alone and so are among the an incredible number of Americans suffering from this mood disorder. A recently available article shared new statistical details about how depression in the U.S. is increasing.

Apparently the diagnosis of depression increased 33% between years 2011 and 2014. (1) Previously, The National Center for Health Statistics reported that antidepressant use jumped 65% in 15 years between 1999 and 2014: from 7.7% of Americans to 12.7% for those 12 and older, doubly high for women than men, and 19.1% for those 60 and older. (2)

The good news, they state, is that “universal depression screenings” are happening more routinely, and that mood disorder is not any longer in the closet: people are discussing it and treating it… with pharmaceutical drugs.

I am left to wonder why this depressive state is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds? For one thing, there’s a whole lot which has changed in the world since January 1, 2000. It’s enough to make anyone depressed. I probably missed something, below, but listed below are the examples I could recall:

September 11, 2001
The Patriot Act
Ongoing terrorist attacks both domestic and international
Mass murders at schools
Increasing opioid addiction and deaths
Multiple wars in the centre East
Intense natural disasters: fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, flooding, blizzards and droughts
The Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011
The economic crisis of 2008
Overpriced real estate
Earnings that don’t match the cost-of-living
Increased homelessness
The divisive presidential election of 2016 and presidency of Donald Trump
Of course, this list will not include challenging personal situations many of us experience from time to time.
Pharmaceutical companies will be the big winners.

Dispensaryherbs.com Though the majority of the antidepressant-package inserts warn of one or another side-effect, pharmaceutical antidepressants will be the ubiquitous ‘go to” solution and coping mechanism for depression. Additionally, besides the side effects, lots of people report difficulty in getting off antidepressants when they are ready to do so.

Depression has been linked to increased neuro-inflammation. It’s quite common knowledge now that inflammation is really a precursor to many different disease processes.

Enter therapeutic cannabis.

Cannabis may reduce inflammation and holds great promise in studies about depression. (3) Because of its chemical substances, especially THC and CBD, actual healing, not just symptom masking, can occur to restore deficient parts of the brain and immune system. (4) It is non-toxic, cost-effective and contains little to no side-effects whatsoever.

“… the team analyzed data from Strainprint, a mobile application cannabis users may use to track changes in symptoms after using different doses and cannabis chemotypes. Overall, self-reported outward indications of depression decreased by 50 percent.” (5)

So why don’t more folks try cannabis medicinally before heading down the pharma trail? I suggest there are three main reasons:

The leftover stigma promoted by the Reefer Madness movie propaganda of 1936 and subsequent 1937 Marahuana Tax Act
The preference to trust doctors and what they prescribe
A general lack of knowledge about therapeutic, not recreational, cannabis use
A friend of mine used cannabis medicinally to greatly help her recover from depression after nothing else worked. She said that it gave her back her life, which inspired her to talk about her experience with others.
As far as I can tell the multiple devastating events of this 21st century have radically changed the planet from once we once knew it: disorienting at best and depressing at worst for individuals who know the difference. Having said that, I believe it really is still absolutely possible to take flight from depression and remain emotionally and mentally well through it all with the help of responsible, therapeutic cannabis use.

The world may not change with techniques we prefer but we can.

_____

(1) Olivia Goldhill, Depression diagnosis is up 33% in america, and that’s a good thing. May 14, 2018

(2) Laura A. Pratt, Ph.D., Debra J. Brody, M.P.H., and Qiuping Gu, M.D., Ph.D.. Antidepressant Use Among Persons Aged 12 and Over: USA, 2011-2014. August 15, 2017

(3) A. K. Walker, A. Kavelaars, C. J. Heijnen, and R. Dantzer, Neuroinflammation and Comorbidity of Pain and Depression. January 2014

(4) de Mello Schier AR, de Oliveira Ribeiro NP, Coutinho DS, Machado S, Arias-Carri�n O, Crippa JA, Zuardi AW, Nardi AE, Silva AC, Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like ramifications of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa. 2014

(5) Cuttler C, et al., Cannabis use temporarily eases symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress. April 24, 2018

Susan is a 2018 graduate of the Holistic Cannabis Academy with over 45 years of personal involvement in the spectrum of wellness modalities. Her mission today is to intervene in the noise of modern life and help people identify and remove stressors that trigger their dis-ease while providing strategies towards a living experience of inner calmness, contentment and inspiration.

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