Marijuana as an antidepressant?

Posted: May 9, 2013 in A Step in the Journey
Tags: , , , , , ,

Marijuana-Bottle11With the legal leaps that Colorado is making in open marijuana sales, there has been a lot of consideration about what all the drug can do.  Many have endowed that pot has helped them with depression, anxiety, and many other chemical imbalances.  The question now becomes, is this true or do we want it to be true?

There are a plethora of doctors that will argue both sides of the debate, but what do you think?  Obviously I don’t want anyone to incriminate themselves, so I’m not asking if it works/worked for you personally, just as an idea.  Is it worth the legal debate to try this as an alternative to man made medications.  Medications who’s side affects are usually just this side shy of the depressive states themselves?

 

Clearly, I side with the pro-legalization of marijuana.  I am not advocating it for everyone, but neither do I advocate Cymbalta, Lexapro, Effexor, Zoloft…  I cannot say for you what you should be taking, but I do see the positives for myself.  As I see the negatives of many of the medications my doctors and I have tried out.  I do not like feeling like a zombie waiting for the apocalypse.  Should pot be legalized in Missouri,  I would definitely try it as an alternative medication for depression.  The side affects are doable; tiredness, hunger…  I deal with those anyway.  If I had a logical reason for them, I would be ok.  Knowing that I can sit back and relax for a few minutes, letting my overactive and anxious mind take a break, I think I could start to rebuild the way I think.  Which, as many depression sufferers know, is the major problem with our mood stability.  I’m sure there are of course down sides, but honestly, I am having a hard time thinking of one that is concrete enough for me to refuse to try marijuana as a deliberate depression medication.

Doctors D. Mark Anderson, PhD, Joseph J. Sabia, PhD, and Daniel I. Rees, PhD had this to say in their Discussion Paper Series for The Institute for the Study of Labor:

“Consistent with the hypothesis that marijuana can be an effective treatment for depression and other mood disorders, there appears to be a sharp decrease in the suicide rate of 15- through 19-year olds males in the treatment states as compared to the control states approximately two years after legalization…

Our results suggest that the legalization of medical marijuana is associated with a 5 percent decrease in the total suicide rate, an 11 percent decrease in the suicide rate of 20- through 29-year-old males, and a 9 percent decrease in the suicide rate of 30- through 39 year-old-males. Estimates for female suicide rates are generally measured with less precision and are sensitive to functional form…

The strong association between alcohol consumption and suicide related outcomes found by previous researchers… raises the possibility that medical marijuana laws reduce the risk of suicide by decreasing alcohol consumption.” (via ProCon.org.)

There are of course opposite opinions from doctors just as accredited as these three, but they didn’t seem to have their statistics down as well.  And maybe I just want to believe they don’t have a leg to stand on.  The point is, there are just as many disorders caused from pharmaceutical drugs, why do they get to decide what I should be treated with?  Why is this not an option for everyone yet?  Ultimately, the questions, answers, and decisions are left up to all of us…taxpayers, employees, and patients.  Do we want this option hard enough to fight for it?  Or do we think that this is even a viable solution?

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Comments
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