After yesterday’s news about how pain can be suppressed or enhanced by pot use, depending on the strength of the dose comes another study indicating that differences in dosage can produce opposite effects. What a weird drug. Glad I’ve never tried it.
A new neurobiological study has found that a synthetic form of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, is an effective anti-depressant at low doses. However, at higher doses, the effect reverses itself and can actually worsen depression and other psychiatric conditions like psychosis.
Because controlling the dosage of natural cannabis is difficult -- particularly when it is smoked in the form of marijuana joints -- there are perils associated with using it directly as an anti-depressant.
"Excessive cannabis use in people with depression poses high risk of psychosis," said Dr. Gobbi. Instead, she and her colleagues are focusing their research on a new class of drugs which enhance the effects of the brain's natural endo-cannabinoids.
"We know that it's entirely possible to produce drugs which will enhance endo-cannabinoids for the treatment of pain, depression and anxiety," she said.