Cannabis Depression and Pyschosis
According to Diodorus Siculus (the Sicilian Greek historian who lived from 90 to 21 BC) Egyptian (Khemitic) women used cannabis “as a medicine to relieve sorrow and bad humour.”
In the 20th century courtesy of US law enforcement propaganda, cannabis was unjustifiably associated around the world with the causes of psychosis. This baseless belief still surreptitiously finds its way into current social and scientific discourse.
A new study has just demonstrated that one of the chemical compounds in cannabis – cannabidiol (CBD) – has the potential to cure psychotic symptoms, and could form the basis of new treatments.
This Study, by the University of Cologne, compared the effect of CBD and a commonly used anti-psychotic medicine, Amisulpride, on 42 patients with a history of schizophrenia.
After four weeks both groups expressed a reduction in psychotic symptoms, but the CBD (cannabis) group was less prone to side effects, such as muscle stiffness and weight gain.
The research has been discussed and endorsed at a conference on the impact of cannabis held at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College.
Cannabis and Depression
Cannabis has been known for its anti-depressant and pain-relief effects for many years. THC, a chemical found in cannabis can act like an antidepressant. A team of scientists from Canada’s University of Saskatchewan suggests that this compound also causes nerve and brain cells to regenerate
Though most drugs inhibit the growth of new brain cells, injections of a synthetic cannabinoid had the opposite effect in mice in a study performed at the University of Saskatchewan. Ongoing research on how drugs affect the brain, particularly research on the hippocampus, has been critical to addiction treatment, .
The hippocampus is an area of the brain essential to memory formation. It is remarkable because it grows new neurons over a person’s lifetime. Researchers believe these new cells help to fight depression, mood disorders and improves the memory.
Many drugs – heroin, cocaine and the more common alcohol and nicotine – – inhibit the growth of these new cells. It was thought that marijuana did the same thing, but this new research suggests otherwise.
The study analyzed the effects of HU-210, a potent synthetic cannabinoid similar to a group of compounds found in marijuana. The synthetic version is about 100 times as powerful as Tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ), the euphoria-inducing compound loved by many-a-users.
The researchers found that rats treated with HU-210 on a regular basis showed neurogenesis – the sustained growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus.
A current hypothesis suggests depression may be triggered when the hippocampus grows insufficient numbers of new brain cells and conversely, could be arrested and revised when the brain cell growth is given a boost.
If true, HU-210 could offer a treatment for such mood disorders by stimulating this growth. If true, another implication is that daily use of THC is good for the long term health of the brain.
It thus appears that those goodly Khemitic women that Diodorous Siculus was writing about really understood what they were dealing with.The chalice must be kept blazing for the edification of humanity.