Treatment-resistant depression is a serious issue affecting large numbers of people within our society. Tireless work has been done to find an answer for those suffering from the condition, but solutions and breakthroughs have been slow coming.
Leading up to the coronavirus pandemic, approximately 20% of adults in the United Sates experienced depression to some degree. Symptoms related to depression are often rated as mild, moderate, and severe. Since the onset of the pandemic, those numbers have skyrocketed. Today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of people suffering from either anxiety or depression has risen to an alarming 41%.
Nearly 30% of those suffering from depression are resistant to treatments traditionally given to patients with depression-related symptoms. Recent studies point to the possibility of marijuana providing much needed relief for those struggling with this hard to treat condition.
Treatment for depression takes many forms and has gone through numerous changes over the years.
Some of the first treatments were monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), but both methods were soon replaced by newer forms of treatment – each promising better results and fewer negative side effects. Although current treatments like selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are considered more effective than their predecessors, the number of people who are resistant to treatment is still quite high.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines treatment-resistant depression as a state of depression that is not relieved by at least two different treatment methods.
Once it has been determined that a person is, in fact, suffering from treatment-resistant depression, there are limited options available to them. Left untreated, depression can lead to serious problems, including substance abuse, self-destructive behavior, and even suicide.
Fortunately, medical cannabis may offer hope.
What Is Oceanic Boundlessness?
In a recent study carried out by the Department of Psychology at the University of Albany, researchers claim that oceanic boundlessness is linked to therapeutic breakthroughs for people suffering from treatment-resistant depression.
Oceanic boundlessness is a state or feeling that is produced by large quantities of marijuana, psilocybin, ketamine, and other mind-altering substances. The research team at the University of Albany wanted to learn if the feeling of oceanic boundlessness created by large quantities of marijuana could create the same level of positive effects found by triggering the state through other methods.
The study defines oceanic boundlessness, as well as the breakthroughs that occur as a result of that state, as “mystical experiences.” Experiences powerful enough to shift the outlook of those affected by treatment-resistant depression in ways that spur growth and a more optimistic perspective. This shift is also reported to create greater levels healing and promote feelings of self-worth.
To collect the data necessary to reach their conclusions, researchers employed a self-report system in which respondents competed a series of questions and problems.
Marijuana & Depression Study Results
The results of the study establish that cannabis-induced oceanic boundlessness does show promise in providing relief for people suffering from depression and anxiety. As with other successful studies in the past that focused on psilocybin and ketamine, breakthroughs and positive change were common among respondents.
In the case of marijuana, as many as 20% of respondents suffering from treatment-resistant depression reported relief from depression, anxiety, and/or substance abuse. While the results were not quite as impressive as those for psilocybin (59%), the research presents a strong argument for the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of depression and anxiety.