Can Marijuana Worsen Depression?

Can Marijuana Worsen Depression?

Marijuana use has become commonplace in today’s culture. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that it is the most common illicit drug in the U.S. Several states have approved the usage of it for medicinal purposes, and two states have legalized recreational use of it in small amounts. Public opinion has changed in recent years, and many people mistakenly think that it is as harmless as alcohol or cigarettes. However, the U.S. government has classified marijuana (or cannabis) as a Schedule 1 substance, which implies that it has a high potential for abuse.

Marijuana creates a chemical reaction in the brain that makes the user feel a sense of euphoria and relaxation, which is one reason why it is so popular. However, marijuana causes some negative effects as well. Side effects of marijuana use include:

  • Slowed reaction time
  • Distorted sensory perception
  • Impaired balance
  • Poor coordination
  • Increased heart rate
  • Impaired learning
  • Impaired memory

These side effects can worsen based on the amount of marijuana you use. In fact, you can actually temporarily overdose on marijuana. This is called “greening out.” It will not result in permanent disability or death, but it can cause vomiting, paranoia, fear and even hallucination. In this state, you could make poor decisions that could lead to serious consequences.

Marijuana and Depression

While it might seem that marijuana would help ease the symptoms of depression, using marijuana can actually worsen the symptoms of depression. This is because marijuana also alters perception and mood and can trigger anxiety and panic, both of which can complicate treatment for depression. Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Difficulty concentrating and remembering things
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies
  • Sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Reckless behavior

Because these symptoms can be worsened with marijuana use, it is important to avoid using marijuana—or any other illicit drug—while in a depressed state. The risks of injury to yourself are just too great to take a chance.

Getting Help For Your Marijuana Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to marijuana, we can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can talk to one of our admissions coordinators who understands the nature of marijuana. Together, you can determine the best treatment options. We can even help you find a treatment center that specializes in both depression and marijuana addiction recovery. Don’t allow your depression or your addiction to rob you of life’s joy any longer. Call us today and start on the road to a healthy body and a healthy mind.