The Rise of Depression and the Cannabis Response

re you experiencing depression? If so, you are not alone and are among the millions of Americans plagued by this mood disorder. A recent article shared new statistical details about how depression in the U.S. is on the rise. nova scotia cannabis

Apparently the diagnosis of depression increased 33% between years 2011 and 2014. (1) Previously, The National Center for Health Statistics reported that antidepressant use jumped 65% in 15 years between 1999 and 2014: from 7.7% of Americans to 12.7% for those 12 and older, twice as high for women than men, and 19.1% for those 60 and older. (2)

The good news, they say, is that “universal depression screenings” are happening more routinely, and that this mood disorder is no longer in the closet: people are talking about it and treating it… with pharmaceutical drugs.

I am left to wonder¬†why¬†this depressive state has grown by leaps and bounds? For one thing, there’s a whole lot that has changed in the world since January 1, 2000. It’s enough to make anyone depressed. I probably missed something, below, but here are the examples I can recall:

 

  • September 11, 2001
  • The Patriot Act
  • Ongoing terrorist attacks both domestic and international
  • Mass murders at schools
  • Increasing opioid addiction and deaths
  • Multiple wars in the Middle East
  • Intense natural disasters: fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, flooding, blizzards and droughts
  • The Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011
  • The economic crisis of 2008
  • Overpriced real estate
  • Earnings that don’t match the cost-of-living
  • Increased homelessness
  • The divisive presidential election of 2016 and presidency of Donald Trump

Of course, this list does not include challenging personal situations most of us experience from time to time.

 

Pharmaceutical companies are the big winners.

Though most of the antidepressant-package inserts warn of one or another side-effect, pharmaceutical antidepressants are the ubiquitous ‘go to” solution and coping mechanism for depression. Additionally, besides the side effects, many people report difficulty in getting off antidepressants when they are ready to do so.

Depression has been linked to increased neuro-inflammation. It is common knowledge now that inflammation is a precursor to many different disease processes.

Enter therapeutic cannabis.

Cannabis is known to reduce inflammation and holds great promise in studies about depression. (3) Due to its chemical compounds, especially THC and CBD, actual healing, not just symptom masking, can occur to restore deficient parts of the brain and immune system. (4) It is non-toxic, cost-effective and has little to no side-effects whatsoever.