How Can Smoking Herbs Help Depression?

In the present-day scenario of fast-moving lives, mild to moderate depression and even anxiety can easily find a way into our lives. Our constant presence on social media seems to be making matters worse.

While not everyone can get treated for these seemingly harmless mental disorders, each one of us surely needs some trustworthy way to alleviate stress and take control of the mood disorder we suffer from.

Thankfully for us, natural herbs like the cannabis plant, natural supplements like essential oils, chamomile tea, lemon balm, valerian root, kava extract, st john's wort, etc, have proven to be fairly effective in treating mild symptoms of anxiety and depression.

These herbal products work by reducing inflammation, improving blood flow, and reducing mood swings in healthy adults. In fact, these products have been a part of both ancient Chinese medicine as well as ancient Indian medicine.

Before we move on to explore the effects of smoking herbs on mental health issues, let us first take a look at these conditions and their symptoms.

Depression

how smoking herbs for depression can help

Depression is a mood disorder that results in a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Some of the most prominent symptoms of depression are -

  • feelings of sadness or hopelessness

  • frustration and irritability

  • loss of interest in activities

  • changes in appetite and sleep patterns

  • fatigue

  • thoughts of self-harm/suicide

Anxiety

smoking herbs forb anxiety and depression

Anxiety is yet another mood disorder that results in a constant feeling of worry and nervousness. It can also be defined as a fear-inducing condition that leads to certain physical symptoms such as rapid breathing, increased heartbeat, excessive sweating and more.

When a person is constantly anxious about one thing or the other, they can be said to be suffering from anxiety disorders.

Smoking Herbs for Reduced Anxiety and Depression

smoking herbs for anxiety and depression

One of the most commonly used herbal medicines used to treat depression is Marijuana.

For the uninitiated, marijuana refers to the lefaves, flowers, stems, and seeds of the plant known as Cannabis Sativa. It can be either smoked with rolling paper or added to certain foods such as brownies. Some of the other ways in which this herb is used include -

  • Vaping

  • Drinking its tea

  • Eating it raw

  • Topical application on the skin

  • Capusles or supplements

Some of the colloquial names that are used for Marijuana include - Blunt, Bud, Dope, Ganja, Grass, Joint, Mary Jane, Pot, Reefer, Skunk, Herb, Hash, and Hemp.

Marijuana is known to act as a stimulant as well as a depressant - depending upon the individual using it, the quantity used as well as the way in which it is consumed. In some cases, it can also act as a hallucinogen.

Marijuana May Ease Symptoms of Moderate Depression

smoking herbs Ease Symptoms of Moderate Depression

Placebo-controlled randomized controlled trials have shown evidence that the use of marijuana can prove to be helpful in treating mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Some of the most prominent health benefits of using marijuana or cannabis plant products include -

  • Improved relaxation

  • Enhanced state of calm

  • Improved sleep

  • Better appetite

  • Improved digestive health

There are a slew of peer reviewed studies which point at the brilliance of marijuana. The Journal of Biology and Medicine, recently published a study (year 2020) which stated that a whopping 95% of the people agreed than marijuana offered them quick relief from symptoms of depression.

Similarly a recent study conducted on people suffering from clinical depression indicated that the use of marijuana lowered their depression and anxiety scores, as against users who did not use cannabis products.

The Journal of Affective Disorders published a 2018 study, which claimed that as few as two puffs of marijuana improved the symptoms of people suffering from depression by 50%!

The bottom line

Herbal remedies including herbal tea, essential oil and the likes can help one deal with mild to moderate depression. However, the calming effects of these products on the nervous system vary from person to person. It is in the best interest of any person suffering from depression to seek the help of a medical professional. The patients should inform their doctor of the herbal supplements they are taking. Depepnding upon the depressive symptoms and the overall mental health conditions of the patient, the doctor may recommended a more holistic treatment plan that can prove to be more effective in the long run.

Disclaimer - If you are feeling depressed and have persistent thoughts of self-harm, and consider yourself at a risk of suicide, smoking herbs may not be the right solution for you. Make sure to seek the support of your loved ones and contact a healthcare professional immediately. 

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Treat Anxiety and Depression

What should I do if I am suffering from depression?

In case you are feeling depressed, you should try one or more of the following measures -

  • Be around people who make you feel safe such as your parents, partner or friends

  • Make sure to spend quality time with people (and don't do this online, meet them IRL)

  • While you may not find them interesting, participate in as many social activities as you can

  • Try and support others. This will help clear your head as well.

  • Care for a pet or plant.

  • Visit wellness professionals or at least follow their social media pages for some much-needed advise.

Can Cannabis plant medicines be used for self-medication?

A vast majority of people use cannabis plant medicines as a way to self medicate in order to reduce anxiety, ease their nervous system and enjoy other health benefits. Some people also use other recreational drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines to alleviate anxiety and depression. That said, one must always seek the help of a healthcare professional to treat any major depressive disorder. This is because the use of herbal medicines can help relieve anxiety and depression in the short term, but their long term effects are not known.

What should I know about using Marijuana for depression treatment?

Cannabis plant products are known to help depression and anxiety related disorders. CBD, a primary component of cannabis, helps in reducing anxiety at all doses, while THC, another component of the plant is known to alleviate anxiety at lower doses, and increase it at higher doses. The role of marijuana in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder varies from individual to individual. It is highly recommended that herbal supplements made using marijuana should be used as a part of depression treatment in conjunction with prescription medication, dietary supplements, and therapy, as suggested by one's healthcare professional.

 


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