In 2018, the number of people who died in the USA due to unnecessary drug use is more than the number of American soldiers who died in the Vietnam War. This is why the search for natural and harmless alternatives to routinely prescribed drugs is becoming more and more common. Medications prescribed for depression and anxiety, which have become widespread diseases, reveal a new problem, according to new research: the overuse of antidepressants. On the other hand, cannabis, which has a bad reputation for its use as a drug, has attracted more attention from scientists in recent years. The fact that cannabis, which is legal to be used for medical or arbitrary purposes in many parts of the world, is becoming more popular day by day, and considering its positive effects on physical and psychological health, it causes interesting developments.
A study conducted at the University of Washington revealed that cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) substances found in cannabis have antidepressant properties, and this is not the first research to show the medical effects of cannabis. In the UK, serious research is still being conducted on the effects of cannabis on mental health. The reason why it has been accepted as a ‘banned’ plant until today, and of course not enough scientific research has been done on it, is only because of the large-scale cannabis studies conducted, this gap seems to close soon. On the other hand, there is a possibility that inappropriate amounts of cannabis consumption may increase symptoms of depression and anxiety. Therefore, experts underline that it is also very important which variety of cannabis is used, how and in what quantities it is consumed.
A meta-analysis published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics reveals that those who use antidepressants have a 33% higher risk of death than those who do not. The figures revealed according to the data of thousands of patients studied in many different studies are really scary. Stating that antidepressants derived from serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can be effective not only on the brain but on the whole body, the researchers say that these drugs increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Still, SSRI-type antidepressants have become one of the most prescribed drugs around the world over the past 15 years. Between 1999 and 2014, SSRI use increased by 65% in the USA. About one in 6 Americans have been prescribed an antidepressant. This number is 86 per 1000 in Canada and 89 per 1000 in Australia. The deadly side effects of antidepressants are obvious, however, since untreated depression can result in suicide, these drugs are preferred as a treatment method.
Cannabis, Psychoactives and Antidepressants
Unlike natural psychoactive substances (Cannabis, Opium LSD, DMT, Ayahuasca, Psilocybin Cubensis, etc.), SSRI Antidepressants change the chemical balance of the brain in the long term by providing dopamine or serotonin pumping in the brain, and this is higher than the chemical levels required by the brain. Consequently, it is inevitable that this type of drug, which has such a heavy effect on brain chemistry, has many side effects. A single organ can affect the whole body system. The most important deficiency of pharmaceutical research is that it is limited to materialist and local contexts rather than a holistic and comprehensive view.
First of all, it is better to act with the awareness that depression is caused by emotional, mental, and spiritual reasons and to attempt treatment. Although LSD is synthesized in laboratories, it is obtained from Ergot mushrooms. This property of ergot mushroom was known by the Mystery Cults such as Orpheus, Dionysus, and Eleusis in the First Ages. In the rituals performed in these cults, cereal products from which Ergot mushrooms were used were especially used for awareness and alchemical purposes, and an experience similar to LSD was experienced. Since primitive tribes around the world, shamans and natural physicians have also used plants such as Amanita Muscaria and Psilocybin Cubensis mushroom, Opium, Datura, Salvia Divinorum, Peyote, and San Pedro (Mescalin) for shamanic healing studies in traditional medicine. These substances, which provide access to the depths of the mind, can help to unravel the mysteries of nature-soul-universe, to understand and heal karmic situations from past traumas or past lives. It should be observed here to use these substances in the right dose with the right intention.
Cannabis has medicinal effects that are superior to antidepressants and painkillers in many respects, and its dosage does not have side effects that will disturb the physical-psychological health and balance of the person, but it has undiscovered or undetected benefits. Consequently, the banning of cannabis and other psychoactive drugs prevents their healthy and conscious use in society and makes their use more for pleasure. If it is researched and legalized, it can be very beneficial for community psychology. To make cannabis edible it is necessary to activate cannabinoids in the oven. Cannabis activated by waiting for 45 minutes at 110 ° (125 ° – 30 minutes) in a container sealed with an oven bag in the oven after grinding can be used for any food (cooked food, olive oil, cake, chocolate, dessert) or drinks (herbal tea, coffee, fruit juice, milk) can be mixed into it and consumed daily as an antidepressant-pain reliever. Thus, it is good for depression, excessive appetite, chronic pain, ulcers, mood disorders, heaviness, and attention disorders.
However, when you consume cannabis for food, it is very important that the material you use is not a bonsai-derived synthetic substance. Bonzai-derived synthetics are poisonous when eaten and you may need to be hospitalized. You need to make sure you are using natural cannabis. Although bonsai derivative synthetics are toxins for the body, they can be used for special purposes to overcome issues such as fear of death with their death-like experience, but these substances are dangerous and it should be strictly observed not to develop an addiction. If used frequently, they accumulate in the body, especially in the brain and nervous system, and they put a load on the liver and kidneys. In order for the body systems to return to normal, the body can only process these toxins for weeks or months to remove them.
When natural psychoactive agents are used consciously, they have the power and functions that help to reach the source of the problem and solve it if there is an intention to heal. Psychedelic substances can be utilized to experience beyond the limits of the normal human mind and to develop interdimensional awareness through this temporary experience. It has also been a source of inspiration for the artists, philosophers, and scientists whom they lived and thought in the spiritual experiences that took place during the use of psychedelics and narcotic substances. Substances that appear in the drug class to uncover burdens that are subconsciously suppressed and hidden deeply, actually have drug value and have mechanisms of action and properties that help to resolve rather than relieve symptoms.
With healing studies, most depression can be resolved without the need for substance use. However, substance use can come in ways that help people in matters that they cannot confront. I recommend that every doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor and healer experience the effects of these substances with appropriate and conscious use. In order for these substances to be legalized in the future, it is important to know the health gain that comes with the correct and conscious use by healers, therapists, and doctors through experience. Without having experiential knowledge, one should not have enough prejudice to make a good substance illegal. Naturally, what you experience in these experiences is closely related to the content of your mind. You may have a negative experience in case of unconscious use.
Antidepressants change the chemical balance of the brain, covering up the problems, and when they are stopped, the problems can recur more severely. This is just to delay the need. In this respect, regular antidepressant use is no different from drug-chemical addiction, only there is legal permission for this, and drugs are produced with a license. Someone who forgets feelings such as happiness and enthusiasm as a result of long-term emotional deprivations in his life and wants to meet again can also use a chemical MDMA derivative instead of antidepressants. Unless this is used regularly, it does not develop an addiction and can solve many mental problems at once. While SSRI antidepressants take 2 weeks to activate, MDMA can increase a person’s mood every 30 minutes to persist after the experience by clearing emotional blockages. Its effectiveness in conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been researched and found.
It is true that even synthetic chemicals such as MDMA and Methamphetamine for both physical and psychological health in individual and social dimensions should be investigated together with Natural-Herbal-Organic Based Psychoactive drugs as well as drugs sold in pharmacies and required by our age. In particular, in addition to the harms of natural psychoactive substances, prohibiting the medical and psychological benefits without researching them, unfounded and logically incriminating an issue causes an increase in crime rates in society. This can cause many individuals to live at risk to meet social needs within alternative and traditional medicine.
Antidepressant users may not notice the changes when they are given healing exercises. However, the cause of depression can still be resolved and the drugs they use can be safely discontinued. People who use antidepressants or synthetic substances derived from Bonzai deteriorate their energetic and mental states due to brain and body chemistry. In this case, people are not suitable for healing others. Regular consumption of cannabis needs to be explored, but it may appear that it does not impair energetic balance and healing power and may even increase concentration and intuitive powers, but it is also advisable to avoid becoming a permanent habit for a therapist, healer, or shaman.
Use of Cannabis in Place of Antidepressants in Psychiatric Disorders
Experts from Brown University’s teaching hospital Rhode Island Hospital Substance Abuse Treatment Department said that cannabis, which is easily accessible on the streets in the USA, is used by patients with psychiatric disorders instead of antidepressants, especially for depression. Noting that the use of cannabis has become widespread with transferences such as “I use it, it is good. You also use it”, experts said that whether it is possible to use cannabis in psychiatric disorders or not should be discussed in scientific environments.
Tetra Hydro Cannabinol (THC), the active ingredient of cannabis naturally found in the cannabis plant, is also used in other medical diseases besides psychiatry. Based on the personal experiences of patients with multiple sclerosis, a nervous system disease, that contractions are reduced with the use of cannabis, publications about the use of THC in MS patients emerge, and it is known that THC increases appetite in AIDS patients with excessive weight loss. The experts stated that the anticancer drugs used in the treatment of cancer diseases cause nausea and vomiting, “Therefore, they cannot even take the drugs they should take. In these patients, drugs with THC substance can be used. Nausea stops and the patient continues to take other drugs,” they said. THC substance also reduces eye pressure in glaucoma patients.
In psychiatry, cannabis can be used by patients regardless of the doctor. Especially in the USA, almost every patient has a history of marijuana use. So why do these patients use it? There are only a few studies in the literature written by physicians based on patient experiences. But there is no scientific study, unfortunately. This job is a little dangerous. It’s dangerous because when you open the door everything comes in. Cannabis is an addictive and destructive substance. That’s why we have to be very careful. We are not advocating the legalization of marijuana. There are examples indicating that it can be used in clinical situations. We need to argue with an open mind. Otherwise, it is not the argument that ‘everybody should plant, cut and use the plants in their garden’.
Based on patient reports and doctor’s experiences, experts stated that cannabis has a calming effect in anxiety disorders, it is good for depression diseases and that patients can continue their daily lives with cannabis, and that in attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, cannabis overcomes the focus of patients with cannabis. We can carry it to medicine. I want to underline it over and over again, it has nothing to do with the legalization of marijuana.
Experts stated that it is known how the active ingredient of cannabis, THC, has an effect on the brain, “Antidepressant drugs increase the chemical substance called serotonin in the brain. We have trouble with antidepressant drugs. One-third of them is working while the other part does not affect. Does THC create an antidepressant effect by affecting this range?” “This is the key point of the debate, but there are no studies on this subject. Experts stated that there are still animal experiments on whether THC will produce an antidepressant effect and that THC is a human experiment that started in 2006 on veterans returning from the war in America and said, “But this experiment last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found experimental errors. They suggested correcting them and then starting work,” they said.
In the United States, experts stated that 16 states have made decisions to legalize cannabis, most of them for political reasons, and noted that cannabis use with doctor-approved cards is free in the United States. Noting that the use and sale of cannabis is a crime according to Federal laws, but there is no legal action against the person caught thanks to this card, experts said, “It is ridiculous, but there is such a practice. Something like an escape card. It is mostly given to non-psychiatric medical patients, but how much will it take. “It is not clear how many milligrams they will use. We need to direct this situation by discussing in scientific environments,” they said.
Real-World ‘Mystical Effects’ of Psychedelic Drugs and Cannabis
The researchers noted that those who took psychedelic drugs were more likely to feel the transformative experience, positive mood, and socially connected. In 2006, a psychedelic agent, psilocybin, was administered to 36 research subjects under carefully controlled laboratory conditions. The majority of them reported having a mystical experience, with 21 out of 36 people rated it as one of the five personal most important experiences of their lives. Laboratory-controlled experiments of the effects of psychedelics have repeatedly shown that agents can “create transformative experiences” (powerful, almost religious experiences that can even lead to a reassessment of central values).
Laboratory studies have also suggested that these drugs can lead to the dissolution of the ego, leading to ‘universal’ unity ‘and lasting positive effects. The vast majority of people who use psychedelic drugs do not use them in laboratories. According to the study results contained in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers attended the six-day collective meeting in the US and the UK and set up a stand to interview participants about their experiences with various items.
The researchers maintained anonymity by creating a unique identifier for each individual. To make sure people were not effectively influenced, they included a few control questions in the survey. ‘ They also mixed legal drugs into questionnaire samples to ensure participants were honest about their exposure. Therefore, instead of asking if the participant smoked cannabis, they asked if he was using cannabis products (eg Weed, THC, CBD, hemp oil). Eighty percent of respondents said they used alcohol, 51% cannabis products, and just over a quarter used psychedelic drugs. About 1 out of 8 people reported that they did not use any substance. The real question was whether the mystical effects seen in the lab could be adapted to the real world, and indeed it seemed to be.
Those who used psychedelic drugs were more likely to report a transformative experience, have a positive mood, and feel socially connected. This was independent of the action of other agents. Now, it can be thought that people who tend to take psychedelic substances are also more likely to demand transformative experiences. Researchers tried to find the answer to this question by asking participants about their wishes and expectations to have a transformative experience. The effect of psychedelic exposure was robust even after taking this desire into account. Transformative experiences were different when psychedelic drugs were included, compared to other drugs. They were more positive and more likely to cause shifts in moral values.
The researchers also highlighted that this survey was not designed to collect the negative effects of the drug. But still, overall, the drugs seem to do what they do in the real-life lab, and overall, the effects were positive. Depression is an epidemic in the USA. Current treatments are good but can fail in too many patients. Some previously banned drugs like ‘ketamine’ are potentially reborn as “game-changing antidepressants.” We must proceed slowly and carefully when considering any substance that could very profoundly alter our sensory (and even change our moral values), but we would be happy to dispose of these drugs.
A Counterview: Using Cannabis While Young Increases the Risk of Depression
According to a study by scientists from the UK and Canada, using cannabis during adolescence increases the risk of depression in adulthood by 37 percent. According to a study by a team from Oxford University in the UK and McGill University in Canada, it is of great importance that families do not consider cannabis use as a part of the puberty process and take precautions. In the study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, 11 studies were examined, which examined 23 thousand 317 people, and it was seen that cannabis use during adolescence increased depression and suicidal tendencies in the remaining stages of life.
In the article, which stated that the increase in the use of cannabis by young people is dangerous, it was emphasized that public health officials and governments should take precautions in this regard. According to the study, smoking marijuana at least once a week before the age of 18 increases the risk of depression by the age of 32 by 37 percent. Young people who already had symptoms of depression or had depression in their families were excluded from the cases. It is stated that approximately 400 thousand cases of depression in the USA may be related to cannabis use when young.
Although it cannot be proved very strongly statistically, it is also reported that those who used cannabis when they were young were three times more prone to suicide. No link was found between marijuana use and anxiety. However, it was emphasized that it is not possible to say for sure that cannabis use causes depression, but there is a strong bond between the two. With the legalization of recreational cannabis use, production, and sale in Canada last October, stocks were depleted within a week.
Australian scientists have also scientifically determined that cannabis-derived from cannabis can cause depression and schizophrenia. Stating that cannabis users at a young age are at high risk of psychological disorders and schizophrenia, the researchers said that cannabis poses a risk by affecting the dopamine system in the brain. The research, the result of which was published in the journal British Medical Journal, gave similar results to the results obtained from previous studies on the subject. In a study conducted on 1037 subjects in New Zealand, it was determined that subjects who used cannabis at a young age were 4 times more at risk of schizophrenia than subjects who never used cannabis.
In a study conducted at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia, it was found that girls who started using cannabis at an age that could be considered children face depression and anxiety at a young age. In another study conducted on 50 thousand subjects in Switzerland, it was determined that the risk of schizophrenia in cannabis users increased by 30 percent compared to those who did not use cannabis. Experts noted that the mental disorders seen among those who use drugs derived from poppy and known as cannabis are caused by drugs and that the rate of crime among those who use these drugs is also high.
Mechanism of Action of Cannabis
Cannabis is the most common drug in the world today. Apart from tobacco, the substance that is most frequently used in the form of a cigarette is cannabis. Cannabis is known as Marijuana (herbal cannabis) and consists of the dried leaves and flowers of the Cannabis sativa plant. It has been found that 50% of Americans have used marijuana at least once in their lives. It has been stated that the rate of cannabis use among young people in Australia is 7% in the 13 age group and 40% in the 17 age group.
People who start using cannabis initially use it to get the euphoria (joy, vitality, happiness) the substance gives off. It can be said that approximately 4% of the users meet the addiction criteria within the first two years. The low average income level, the fact that different substances have been tried before cannabis, and the use of cannabis in the early stages of adolescence are important risk factors for addiction. Showing someone older than their age, smoking, looseness in contact and relationship with parents at home, school absenteeism, low self-esteem, and underestimating school success also put the person in the risk group in terms of cannabis addiction.
Marijuana can also be taken orally by sucking and chewing, but the most common way of use is ingestion as a cigarette. Its main psychoactive substance is delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In addition to delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main psychoactive component in cannabis smoke, 400 more chemicals have been reported. Central nervous system effects are directly related to the rate at which the substance reaches the brain, smoking is one of the fastest ways to achieve this, with cannabis reaching the brain a few seconds after being drawn into the lungs.
It has been claimed that cannabis affects the reward and stress system of the brain just like opiate (heroin), cocaine, and nicotine, and like nicotine and cocaine, cannabis increases dopamine in the mesolimbic region. THC accumulates in the brain and adipose tissue, its ability to dissolve in fat gives THC (cannabis) a kind of storage feature, therefore the rate of excretion from the body is low, and withdrawal symptoms are psychological rather than physiological, but addiction is a deep and severe addiction. Sometimes, the body’s clearance period from cannabis can take between 3 weeks and a month.
Psychological and physiological changes begin to be observed within half an hour following the use of cannabis. The first to appear is a feeling of euphoria and relaxation. Motor coordination (balance) gradually deteriorates, a perception of slowing arises in time. Although it varies according to the amount of the substance taken, the route of use (for example, the effects of oral intake are delayed), the individual tolerance and the rate of absorbing the substance, the onset of the effects is between a few minutes and half an hour and may take 3-4 hours. The occurrence of at least two of the symptoms of flushing, increased appetite, dry mouth, and tachycardia within two hours after use leads to the diagnosis. Acute cannabis intoxication (cannabis poisoning) sometimes requires immediate intervention. Often, intense psychological stress, anxiety, and fear can be applied to the emergency room. Cannabis can trigger panic attacks, paranoia, anxiety, and even schizophrenia.
Young people in whom cannabis is tolerated in some Western European countries are often perceived as evidence that the substance is less harmful and less addictive. However, the truth is not so, the reason for this tolerance is the idea that substance tracking and addiction can be controlled more easily in this way. Some scientific studies recently conducted in the Netherlands have revealed that cannabis use is responsible for almost the world’s schizophrenia cases. Because of this evidence, cannabis will become an increasingly controlled substance. It has also been observed that there are school and learning difficulties due to memory and concentration impairment and these increase with the length of the use. Depression and suicide attempts are also seen eight times more in the group with cannabis addiction than in the non-cannabis addicted group.
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