Marijuana is a drug that many people take at leisure, sometimes making reference to as weed. Others, however, sometimes use this medicinally to treat chronic condition symptoms. Some people may wonder why weed is a depressant.
Weed as a Depressant
The depressants affect the nervous system and the sluggish operation of the brain. Both acts together will help to calm the nerves and relax stressed muscles. Depressants may help relieve different disorders like sleeplessness, anxiety, or muscle spasms.
The weed refers to the dried cannabis plant flowers and leaves. Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the USA. Medicinal and recreational marijuana are also allowed in many jurisdictions. It is usually smoked or eaten in food.
Cannabis behaves similarly to liquor in that, according to a National Institutes of Health report, it has both stimulant and depressant properties. Its side-effects start just as fast but last longer than alcohol.
Some of the compounds found in marijuana — or cannabinoids — cause side effects close to those of depressants. Marijuana is listed as a psychoactive substance with hallucinogenic potential by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Drug Enforcement Administration. Marijuana is the most widely used hallucinogen according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What Is a Depressant?
The central nervous system is sluggish or weakened by depressants. The brain and spinal cord form the central nervous system. It is a complex nerve and cell network called neurons that sends signals or messages to different parts of the body.
Depressants reduce the pace in which normal activity in the spinal cord and brain occurs by slowing the rate at which the body’s nerves relay signals by raising the gamma-aminobutyric acid neurotransmitter.
Barbiturates, antidepressants, and sleep pills are the three primary types of depressant drugs. Prescription depressant medications like Xanax and Valium are meant to treat disorders like epilepsy, anxiety, or insomnia. Such herbal items are effective and usually healthy when used and taken as indicated for specific medical conditions.
Although marijuana can produce depressive effects, it is not a depressant. Rather than affecting GABA, the sedative effects of marijuana are due to the ability of the drug to increase the dopamine.
A 2016 report in the journal Nature suggested that while marijuana use initially raises the level of dopamine, the long-term use of the substance finally reduces the amount of neurotransmitter released into the brain. As dopamine levels fall, people feel the lethargy and low energy that is associated with depressant effects.
Where do you categorize the drugs?
- Psychoactive drugs can be divided into three major groups according to their effects
- Depressants: slow down the central nervous system, helping you feel calm, quiet, and less inhibited.
- Stimulants: Accelerate the central nervous system and improve your strength, mood, and concentration.
- Hallucinogens: disturb the central nervous system and change the senses and the view of reality.
So, where’s weed going down in these?
Surprisingly, marijuana suits all three — meaning that it can be categorized as depressive, stimulant, and hallucinogenic. And make it more complicated, due to its therapeutic properties, it’s sometimes called an analgesic, anti-nausea, and antiseptic.
Although this may sound counter-intuitive, it’s important to remember that marijuana is derived from a highly complex plant called Cannabis sativa. It includes more than 500 natural chemical matter, including terpenes, cannabinoids, and antioxidants, all affecting its impact.
For example, weed is a depressant and some marijuana varieties which Would act more like a stimulant, inducing a high euphoric, whereas others that promote more depressant-typical feelings such as relaxation and sleepiness. The results of every strain are largely dependent upon the cannabinoid profile of the plant.
Depressant risks include addiction and dependency. If depressants were abused, a certain risk is greater. Using these drugs to hit a high can result in extreme and harmful side effects.
If combined with other substances can depress or trigger sleepiness in the central nervous system, the result may be deadly. There may be an overdose in which a person’s heart rate and breathing may slow dramatically, leading to life-threatening effects requiring emergency medical treatment.
Cannabis and Depression
There is a lack of evidence of the role of marijuana in depression — specifically, whether it’s a cause or treatment. Studies have yet to establish a conclusive correlation between marijuana use and depression.
Schedule I classification of the drug has restricted research by scientists but some studies have shown that high doses of marijuana may worsen existing depression.
People who are suffering from depression may use cannabis to take away or ease their negative mood feelings. And people who consume cannabis may come out to be depressed because of the drug’s depressant-like effects.
Remember that the diagnosis of a drug as a depressant of the central nervous system is different from the actual impact of the medication on depression. A medication that depresses the central nervous system does not usually cause depressive symptoms, such as fatigue, anxiety, and lack of interest in hobbies unless it is taken regularly for a prolonged period of time.
Cannabis as a Treatment for Depression
Several studies suggest small marijuana doses can help relieve depression. This result suggests the association between marijuana and is weed a depressant if possibly dose-dependent.
Results of clinical studies released in the 2014 Journal of Psychoactive Drugs found that marijuana use has been associated with a reduction in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
Across all areas of PTSD symptoms, the study showed an overall reduction of as much as 75 percent. Scientists, therefore, concluded that there was a need for further work to account for variables.
Nevertheless, despite contradictory reports, the American Psychiatric Association points out that there is no medical evidence to support unequivocally the use of marijuana as a potential cure for depression or other psychiatric disorders.
But depressants may also have harmful effects in the short term, such as:
- reduced motor coordination
- low blood pressure
- slurred speech
- short-term memory loss
- slowed breathing
- blurred vision
Weed has similar positive and negative consequences including:
- muscle relaxation
- short-term memory loss
Although depressants are typically less addictive than other forms of drugs, some of them carry much greater risk, such as barbiturates. You will also grow resistance to depressants over time, like herbs, which means you need to consume more of it to avoid the impact you used to encounter.
For other things, you may become reliant on weed too. When you use marijuana to help you sleep, for example, you may eventually have issues falling asleep without it.
Smoking something, whether it’s tobacco or marijuana, often irritates your airways and can increase the risk of respiratory problems like bronchitis or persistent cough. Read more about the weed’s impacts on your body.
In this article, we discuss various forms of narcotics, including depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens, and describe the categories of marijuana and to know is weed a depressant. We’re also exploring the effects of marijuana on the body and mind. Marijuana can have a calming effect but it’s not just depressive. It may also act as a hallucinogen or a stimulant.