Inflammation and depression are thought to be linked, with depression patients often experiencing increased levels of inflammation in the body. Considering the significant anti-inflammatory benefits of cannabis, many depression patients may benefit from medical marijuana use.

Inflammation and Depression

Although depression isn’t considered an inflammatory disorder, inflammation can contribute to depression. The inflammatory pathways in the brain affect all of the body’s systems. People with depression may be more sensitive to the effects of these inflammatory pathways. 

Patients with major depressive disorder, or MDD, have been shown to have higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are signaling molecules that produce an inflammatory response in the body. Cytokines contribute to disorders involving neurotransmitters and brain activity, which can relate to depression. 

Additionally, increased inflammation in the body may be linked to reduced depression treatment response. Studies have shown that chronic inflammation from an infection reduces patients’ responses to antidepressants and psychotherapy. 

How Cannabis Can Ease Inflammation and Support Depression Treatment

There are a few key ways in which marijuana is thought to reduce inflammation, including:

  • Interaction with cannabinoid receptors

The cannabinoids found in cannabis are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. The body contains cannabinoid receptors that help to regulate the body’s immune function. When the active cannabinoids in cannabis (CBD and THC) enter the body, they bind to cannabinoid receptors. This process fights inflammation.

  • Reduction of cytokine production

Cannabis can also help to ease inflammation by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which we mentioned above. By preventing cytokines from creating an immune response in the body, marijuana can lower inflammation in the body. 

Cannabis in the Treatment of Depression

Cannabis offers benefits for the treatment of depression beyond its inflammation-reducing abilities. Specifically, medical marijuana can relieve symptoms of anxiety and be used as a useful tool in pain management. Given that up to 85% of patients with chronic pain are impacted by severe depression, cannabis’s positive effect on pain can be a major asset in depression treatment. 

At Tetra Holistic Care, Dr. John McTaggart can help you obtain medical cannabis for various health concerns in Florida. To learn more, schedule an appointment today! 

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