Can you get medical marijuana for depression in Canada?

December 22, 2018
Writer: Alice Parker

At its core – depression is a difficult disorder to diagnose. It affects patients on a scale of severity with a wide range of symptoms. Traditional treatment methods include behavioral and psychotherapy, antidepressant medications, and even electroconvulsive therapy (also known as shock treatment). Natural treatment options are limited to lifestyle changes like exercise, sleeping, and diet but there is no known cure for depression. Patients who experience limited success with available therapies are exploring the benefits of medical marijuana for depression. While there are conflicting perspectives on the efficacy of treating depression with medical marijuana, we are seeing optimistic results from recent studies.


Indicators of Depression

The American Psychiatry Association defines depression as a “common major depressive disorder and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.” It causes feelings of sadness and can lead to a variety of debilitating physical and emotional problems. Ranging from mild to severe, symptoms of depression can include:

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  • Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Risk factors that may contribute to depression include genetics, personality, and environmental factors but it’s tied to biochemistry is the most significant factor to consider when exploring treatment with medical marijuana.  Put simply, biochemistry refers to differences in certain chemicals in the brain that can contribute to symptoms of depression. The most promising and impressive health benefits of medical weed rely on the uptake of various compounds in marijuana by the Endocannabinoid system (EC).

The two primary compounds are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and absorption of these compounds have been proven to result in a variety of health benefits. Postmortem studies on patients suffering from depression and other forms of mental illness have shown that the EC system is often abnormal. The suggestion is that the cannabinoids could offer therapeutic potential in depression and other mood-related disorders as it balances the EC system.

While more research is required to confirm measured benefits – naturalistic studies have been completed and show a noted improvement in symptoms of depression. A study published in The Journal of Affective Disorders August 2018 found a direct correlation between depression and medical marijuana use. Just under 12,000 sessions were included in the test group using a response tracking app and included the following highlights;

  • Cannabis significantly reduced ratings of depression, anxiety, and stress.
  • Women reported larger reductions in anxiety as a function of cannabis than did men.
  • Low THC/high CBD cannabis was best for reducing perceived symptoms of depression.

In some cases, there were marked improvements in mood and “depressive state” after one dose (or puff) of medical weed.  These are encouraging responses that will help drive more scientific research in this area. In any case if you are exploring the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana for depression you should stick to the golden rule – Start Slow and Dose Low.  Once you know how it can affect your symptoms and possible relief you can adjust your dosage for maximum desired results.

Happy Side Effect

Another way that we hear about results is by receiving firsthand accounts of patient experiences that demonstrate alterations in mood and depressive effects. If you suffer from a chronic illness then you know very well the impact your symptoms can have on your mental status. A patient suffering from lupus once described her illness as “a wrecking ball inside her system.” She never knew what it would destroy or when it would happen. Living with this type of fear slowly led her on a dark journey eventually resulting in a crippling depressive state. When she began taking CBD for muscle pain and spasm she also noticed an uplifting effect in her mood. While she’s unable to pinpoint if it was a direct effect of the CBD or because she felt less pain, she welcomed the change. Obviously, we cannot rely on stories alone but it’s an intriguing experience and we’re delighted with her results.

Can you get medical marijuana for Depression in Canada?

Yes. If your condition qualifies you for a prescription to pursue medical marijuana for depression, then you can get medical weed rather quickly to address your needs. Medscriptter doesn’t require that you have a doctor’s referral and you don’t need to visit online canna clinics for a consultation with the medical practitioner since it’s a deciding factor in your prescription approval. Regular follow-ups will be scheduled to measure your progress and help with questions. Furthermore, you will need some direction when choosing a strain, whether it’s high or low THC / CBD, oil or flower and dosing methods.

Medscriptter also works with the best-licensed marijuana producers in Canada who can help you discover which type of marijuana would offer optimal relief of your symptoms. These producers have refined growing procedures to optimize marijuana strains and maintain the highest standards throughout their facilities ensuring that the medicine you need is what you receive.


There are scientific studies that absolutely prove that CBD produces anti-depressant like effects and notably better interaction between CBD and receptors in the brain. While more research is underway, remember that medical marijuana was largely supported originally by user experience. When the demonstrated effects of the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana became clear – we were massively encouraged by not only the evidence but by years of patient success. This field was built on the pursuit of health, new treatment options, and community. Yes – if you look up medical weed in Canada for depression – be ready for an avalanche of conflicting articles, reports and studies. This is a controversial topic in the medical cannabis field and among critics.

Always be cautious whenever you’re exploring a new treatment option and remember that if your depression is overwhelming or you are contemplating life-threatening behavior, please contact the mental health and suicide prevention hotline. Crisis centers are available across Canada and can be found here: Suicide Prevention – Need Help