How Cannabis Affects Mental Health

December 16, 2022

Does weed make you depressed? People have used medical cannabis for centuries as a natural treatment for various conditions.

Every day, new health issues qualify for this remedy, thanks to a growing knowledge base backed by scientific research.

The push for legalization opens up the herb to innovation around medicinal purposes. CBD and THC are central to these advances, as they contribute to several potential therapeutic effects. 

Many users find cannabis beneficial for chronic pain, social anxiety, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy, among other conditions. Some even grow indica seeds at home or buy it (for example here

Regardless of your motivation, does weed make you happy or depressed?

Keep reading to discover how the herb interacts with mental health and emotional responses. 

Cannabis and Depression

If you lose interest in things you once enjoyed or experience prolonged sadness, you might have depression.

This condition affects about 280 million people worldwide in varying degrees: mild, moderate, or severe.

There are several treatments presently available such as therapy and oral medications.

Researchers are actively exploring marijuana as an additional remedy, so don’t judge cannabis before understanding how it may benefit your mental health. 

Does weed make you depressed? On the contrary, many users report relief from symptoms after using the herb.

While research on medical marijuana’s potential to benefit depression is anecdotal, early evidence is encouraging.

The existing scientific proof suggests mood stabilization and normal endocannabinoid function restoration as possible milestones. 

University at Buffalo researchers observe that medicinal marijuana could potentially treat depression arising from chronic stress. 

The Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) established the relationship between endocannabinoid reduction and depression-like behavior.

The human brain naturally produces these chemical compounds to help cognition, motor control, behavior, and emotions.

Since the endocannabinoid system shares a similar elemental makeup with weed, scientists are optimistic about exploring this intricate connection.

This study concludes that chronic stress may interfere with the brain’s release of endocannabinoids and cause depression-like tendencies.

Using cannabis to bridge the deficit may help stabilize your mood and ease the condition. 

Another recent study reveals that medical cannabis users report lower depression, less pain, a better quality of life, and sleep after intake. 

More research is underway to establish the potential of marijuana as a depression therapy. 

Weed and Anxiety

Can weed make you sad or anxious? Many people report using cannabis to cope with social anxiety disorder, so the answer is far from it. 

Scientists observe that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana’s main psychoactive substance, may ease anxiety at lower doses.

The opposite is true if you consume the herb excessively, so a bit of caution goes a long way.

Cannabidiol (CBD) may help lower anxiety regardless of the amount taken. Regular use helps improve tolerance in both instances over a short time. 

In separate surveys conducted in California and Washington, many physicians agree anxiety is a condition that warrants medical marijuana use. 

Among the studied patients, 38–58% confess to using the herb to relieve this condition’s symptoms alongside other health issues. 

Marijuana and PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) sometimes results in chronic issues like panic attacks, nightmares, detachment from people, hypervigilance, or self-destructive tendencies. What if those with the condition could turn to cannabis for relief?

Many PTSD patients do, reporting calming effects from the life-stressing symptoms. One study analyzes the impact of cannabis on the amygdala (fight or flight) response of those with the condition.

Patients exposed to THC registered a lower threat-induced amygdala response and experienced less fear.

Cannabis and Bipolar Disorder

Some research reveals the herb’s potential benefits for people with bipolar disorder. 

A 2016 pilot study observed that marijuana patients with bipolar disorder could experience reduced symptoms compared to those who don’t use the herb.

The former group also displayed better moods, translating to a positive outlook. 

It’s worth noting this research is only anecdotal, and cannabis may affect each patient differently.

Studies are ongoing to determine the long-term effects of weed consumption on bipolar disorder. 

Does Marijuana Affect Human Emotions?

How does weed affect you emotionally? 

Smoking, vaping, or ingesting marijuana produces psychoactive effects known as a “high.” The aftermath might be feelings of happiness, relaxation, talkativeness, creativity, and giggling.

Some users report experiencing music and colors through a brighter and sharper perspective.

How does this happen? THC is the main cannabinoid in marijuana, inducing laughter and happiness, especially if you consume a strain with high levels of the compound.

The compound interacts with the endocannabinoid system’s receptors, some of which sit in brain sections regulating mood.

THC binds to these cells and triggers a biological response, boosting your feelings and causing happiness. 

Other weed cannabinoids like CBD may also elevate your happiness depending on how you react to their relaxing and calming effects. These sensations can make you more comfortable and social by repulsing negative feelings. 

Marijuana and Mental Health: A Potent Alternative

Weed and mental health is a broad discussion backed by constantly evolving research. Already published scientific studies look promising, but further investigation is imperative to assess the full impact. 

So far, only 37 states, four territories, and the District of Columbia have authorized medical marijuana use.

Such latitude gives the herb more accessibility for patients seeking alternative treatments for different conditions. 

Some find marijuana beneficial for depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. Others turn to particular weed strains to induce happiness and relaxation.

Regardless of your reasons, it’s best to consult your doctor to determine if it’s the right remedy.

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