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Pot Over Prozac: Study Says Marijuana Can Treat Depression

By Oscar Pascual |

Don’t feel like taking pills to cure your blues? Smoke some weed instead.

The University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) released a new study this week, suggesting that marijuana may be helpful in reducing stress and depression.

While studying rats, researchers found that chronic stress reduced the production of endocannabinoids – a substance naturally produced by the body that has been linked to a reduction in pain and anxiety, while increasing the overall sense of well-being. Lower production of endocannabinoids could be one reason chronic stress could eventually develop into depression.

The study notes that endocannabinoids are similar to the chemicals found in marijuana and its active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. That means smoking a joint or eating an edible can actually replace all the good vibes lost on a crappy day.

“Chronic stress is one of the leading causes of depression,” said lead researcher Dr. Samir Haj-Dahmane in a university press release. “Using compounds derived from cannabis – marijuana – to restore normal endocannabinoid function may help stabilize moods and relieve depression.”

Remember, the endocannabinoid system is the network in every human’s body that helps regulate mood, appetite, and a host of other functions. Every human, stoned or straight, has endocannabinoid receptors, which are built to respond to cannabis.

The latest research supports previous studies that have also shown the effective properties of cannabis in depression and other mental illnesses.

A 2013 study by researchers at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands initially proved that THC activates the endocannabinoid system found naturally in the brain.

“THC administration reduces the negative bias in emotional processing,” says the Utrecht report.

The RIA report further suggests that marijuana could also treat symptoms of PTSD.

“We have seen that some people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder have reported relief from marijuana use,” Haj-Dahmane said.

He wouldn’t be alone. Clinical research from New Mexico concluded that smoking cannabis can reduce PTSD symptoms in patients, while Yale associate professor of psychiatry R. Andrew Sewell claims that cannabis can even help cure PTSD completely.

So next time you’re feeling down, put down that Xanax and get some Super Silver Haze from your nearest pharmacy.

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