Cannabis is less harmful than tobacco and alcohol. The plant has been used since ancient times for hemp, oil, medicinal, spiritual and recreational purposes, and it is native to South and Central Asia. It is classified as a depressant, though many users report stimulant effects.

A 1999 study by the Institute of Medicine determined that less than 10% of marijuana users were dependent. The study also found:

  • Tobacco Dependence: 32%
  • Alcohol Dependence: 15%

Cannabis has been called a gateway drug by those who oppose its decriminalization, but many studies have proven that to be a false assumption. The majority of people who use cannabis do so only on an occasional basis and list it as the only illicit drug they actually use.

Psychoactive Substance In Cannabis

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the main psychoactive metabolite of the cannabis plant. It is located in the flowers, buds and leaves. Scientists think the plant produces THC to protect itself from herbivores.

THC interacts with the cannabinoid receptor, which is located in the central nervous system. THC acts as both a psychoactive drug and a mild analgesic. Its analgesic properties are caused by its ability to alter nerve cells on the spinal cord.

Federal law declares cannabis a schedule I drug and still outlaws it. However, that has not stopped certain states from decriminalizing marijuana and also allowing for its medical use.

Now the largest city in North America, Mexico City, is getting ready to decriminalize cannabis. The state of Colorado is the first state to allow for regulation of the cannabis market.

A 1999 study by the Institute of Medicine determined that less than 10% of marijuana users were dependent.

Depression Cannabis

Many people begin using cannabis for mood stabilization only after trying other treatments. Synthetic drugs, light therapy, acupuncture and psychotherapy have all been used to treat those suffering from depression and bipolar disorder.

Drugs that regulate serotonin in the brain have been shown to help certain people who suffer from depression. However, the same drugs can actually be dangerous for folks who have bipolar disorder. Too much serotonin can cause an episode of mania. In contrast, cannabis has been shown to decrease manic periods while at the same time leveling out the lows of depression.

Decreased Side Effects Of Cannabis

One of the most important reasons cited by those who use cannabis to regulate mood is its lack of side effects when compared to medication used to treat the same symptoms. Some of the side effects of medication include dry mouth, tiredness, weight gain, insomnia and a decreased sex drive.

Though cannabis sometimes causes dry mouth, its side effects are still significantly less than those of prescribed medication.


Depression is estimated to cost the American economy $47 billion in both health care costs and lost productivity. 18 million people suffer from depression. The disease often runs in families. It can also be caused by:

  • Job loss and financial stress
  • Death of a loved one
  • Chronic or debilitating illness

Cannabis has been shown to help people who suffer from mild to moderate depression, and it is sometimes used in combination with behavioral and light therapy. It has even helped people who have been unable to find relief otherwise.

As more doctors become familiar with studies involving cannabis, its use in treating depression and bipolar disorder will increase in coming years. That means millions of people are going to be helped by the medicinal use of marijuana.

Medical DisclaimerInformation listed, referenced or linked to on this website is for general educational purposes only and does not provide professional medical or legal advice.

Royal Queen Seeds does not condone, advocate or promote licit or illicit drug use. Royal Queen Seeds Cannot be held responsible for material from references on our pages or on pages to which we provide links, which condone, advocate or promote licit or illicit drug use or illegal activities. Please consult your Doctor/Health care Practitioner before using any products/methods listed, referenced or linked to on this website.

External Resources:
  1. Wired to run: exercise-induced endocannabinoid signaling in humans and cursorial mammals with implications for the ‘runner’s high’ | Journal of Experimental Biology
  2. The effects of Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol on the dopamine system | Nature
  3. A naturalistic examination of the perceived effects of cannabis on negative affect - ScienceDirect
  4. Antidepressant-like effect induced by Cannabidiol is dependent on brain serotonin levels. - PubMed - NCBI
  5. Agonistic Properties of Cannabidiol at 5-HT1a Receptors | SpringerLink
  6. The effects of Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol on the dopamine system | Nature
This article has been written for informational purposes only, and is based on research published by other externals resources.

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