Over several decades of marijuana being illegal, there have been many controversies as to whether or not the use of cannabis helps alleviate symptoms of depression, or if it actually causes depression. “Unfortunately, cannabis use is often associated with depression in popular media and public opinion due to its potential to make some individuals feel down and anxious,” says Michael Cheng of Mass Roots.
However, research shows that marijuana is not exactly the cause for depression. In fact, there is scientific proof that cannabis actually benefits our bodies and our mental wellness. For those unfamiliar with the amazing benefits of medicinal cannabis, allow us to give you some eye opening information that will help your understanding of how this plant can help transform all parts of life.
Did you know that within the biological make up of our anatomy and DNA there is an “endocannabinoid” system? This system is a group of internal cannabinoid receptors located in the brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors. This system is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory, and in mediating the psychoactive effects of cannabis.
Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. Dustin Sulak, DO helps further explain that, “In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.”
Not only are cannabinoids found in our genetic makeup, but guess where else they are found?! Good ol’ cannabis! Coincidence? —We think not.
“Research has shown that small doses of cannabinoids from cannabis can signal the body to make more endocannabinoids and build more cannabinoid receptors,” says Dustin Sulak, DO. In order to live a healthy life, one must have a healthy endocannabinoid system, and cannabis helps support this!
“Cannabis has a profound influence on the human body. This one herb and its variety of therapeutic compounds seem to affect every aspect of our bodies and minds,” says Michael Cheng. Cannabis has an enormous amount of therapeutic potential, yet this plant is still shunned away by bigger pharmaceutical companies. Medicinal cannabis creates balance in the body, whether that be physiologically, emotional, or mentally.
Cannabinoids promote homeostasis at every level of biological life, from the sub-cellular, to the organism, and perhaps to the community and beyond. Instead of making cannabis use the scapegoat for depression, maybe we should reconsider other factors of life that are actually causing depression.
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