Are you looking for answers to the question “is marijuana a depressant?” If you’ve ever felt drowsy or sedated after using cannabis, you may have wondered, “Is weed a depressant?”
This article answers the questions “what is a depressant?” », « Is grass a depressant? and “Is cannabis a CNS depressant?” We’ll also discuss whether weed is a plus or a minus, and why it’s such a common question.
What is a depressant?
Depressants are drugs that slow down brain activity. The Alcohol and Drugs Foundation defines a depressant as a class of drugs that decrease stimulation and arousal. AT base level, depressants “do not directly reduce arousal in the brain; they enhance the activity of a neurotransmitter that reduces arousal in the brain. This neurotransmitter is GABA. In mammals, GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter and glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter, and their balance controls “the overall level of arousal in the brain”.
Depressants work by to improve GABA activity, which has a “calming influence on anxiety and acute stress reactions”. Depressants can cause a range of effects from calming you down to making you drowsy and “gradually extending to sleep, unconsciousness, coma, surgical anesthesia and… life-threatening respiratory and cardiovascular depression. “.
Fortunately, cannabis does not cause fatal respiratory and cardiovascular depression. If you want to know why you can’t fatally overdose on weed, read it. Some common depressants include alcohol, prescription benzodiazepines like Xanax, prescription sleeping pills like Ambien, and cannabis.
Is marijuana a depressant or an antidepressant?
Many people wonder if marijuana is a depressant or an antidepressant. This makes sense considering that in some states doctors may recommend medical marijuana to patients with depression. Additionally, animal studies indicate that cannabinoids like THC may have antidepressant effects. However, cannabis can help you relax or fall asleep. The sedative effects of cannabis suggest that it also acts as a depressant. So, is cannabis a depressant or an antidepressant?
If you recall, the definition of a depressant is a drug that slows down brain activity, which is why depressants are also called central nervous system depressants or CNS depressants. The opposite of a depressant is not an antidepressant, but a stimulant or drug that increases CNS activity.
At the basic level, an antidepressant is defined as “anything, especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression”. For example, SSRIs and MAOIs are two classes of antidepressants with different mechanisms of action. SSRIs affect serotonin levels by inhibiting serotonin reuptake in the synapse, while MAOI block the breakdown of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.
In the United States, cannabis is federally illegal and classified as a Schedule I drug with no medical benefit. As a result, the FDA does not consider cannabis a treatment for depression. Please note that we do not advise anyone to replace prescription drugs with cannabis. Anyone who thinks they may be suffering from depression should consult their healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment.
The question “is marijuana a depressant or an antidepressant” is based on the misconception that depressants and antidepressants are opposites. Depressants refer to a drug’s effect on the CNS, not its effect on mood. In fact, many depressants induce euphoria. So, is weed a depressant? Let’s find out if marijuana is a plus or a minus.
Is weed a depressant?
The answer to the question “Is weed a depressant?” is “yes, cannabis is a CNS depressant at certain doses”. Cannabis is a biphasic drug. For an in-depth discussion of this idea, see Does weed help with stress? Remember how GABA and glutamate levels determine overall brain arousal? Cannabis is known to significantly to augment GABA levels. However, cannabis also increases glutamate and dopamine, which means weed is also a stimulant.
Is weed an advantage or a disadvantage?
Obviously, the answer to “is weed an advantage or a disadvantage” is a bit complicated. Cannabis is both a plus and a minus. There is no simple answer, which is why this question persists over the years. Beyond the effects of THC, there are other cannabis compounds that can calm you down. For example, if you consume a variety with a moderate to high myrcene, linaloolWhere terpineol terpene content, you may experience calming and sedating effects. As we discussed in Is cannabis good for sleeping?, cannabis was historically classified in medical textbooks as hypnotic and sedative, two types of drugs that are depressants. In short, cannabis is a depressant.
Start your wellness journey with cannabis
Did you start your wellness journey with cannabis? Conjointly is a new cannabis wellness app that helps you discover targeted cannabis use so you can achieve your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. On the Jointly app, you can find new cannabis products, rate products based on how they’ve helped you reach your goals, and track and optimize 15 Factors That Can Impact Your Cannabis Experience. These 15 factors include your dosethe environment in which you use cannabis, who you are with when you eat, how hydrated you are, the quality of your diet, how long did you sleep last night, and more. Download the Jointly app from the App store or the Google Play Store to start your wellness journey with cannabis.
Sam is an award-winning screenwriter of “Are You Glad I’m Here” on Amazon Prime. Her passions include helping people understand deliberate cannabis use. He is content director at Jointly, a cannabis-related wellness company powered by a proprietary data platform to help people reach their full potential. The company was created on the premise that deliberate cannabis use is the key to unlocking a better you.
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