Neuroscientist explains how much more likely cannabis users are to develop chronic major depression

Stewart Perrie

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Neuroscientist explains how much more likely cannabis users are to develop chronic major depression

Featured Image Credit: Andrew Huberman / YouTube. Aleksey Tugolukov / Alamy Stock Phot

A neuroscientist has revealed how damaging cannabis can be for chronic smokers.

Andrew Huberman is a Professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at the Stanford School of Medicine and he has published a lengthy discussion about marijuana and its effect on the human body to his YouTube channel.

The more than two-hour chat dives deep into the plant itself, the psychoactive substance found on it, the different strains of the drug and how it can impact your body.

Professor Huberman says weed can negatively affect you if you're deemed a 'chronic smoker', which means you puff on the green stuff more than twice a week.

While cannabis is usually looked at as a drug that's meant to chill you out, smoking it regularly can have the opposite effect.

The Professor explained that there is data showing a chronic smoker's anxiety can increase over time if they continue with their smoking habit.

He said this also applies to cannabis strains that are meant to reduce your anxiety and peaks in anxiety can also happen when you're not high.

Andrew Huberman then went on to say that the initial anxiety relief that cannabis can bring will become less potent about a year after becoming a chronic smoker.

He explained how that means smokers will have to puff down on more weed to get the same anxiety reducing effect than they previously did when they first started.

Prof Huberman says this is due to the human body's CB1 receptor, which THC (the active ingredient in weed that makes you 'high') binds to when it comes into the body.

Medical cannabis is legal in Florida. Credit: Alamy / Joe Bird
Medical cannabis is legal in Florida. Credit: Alamy / Joe Bird

Over time, he says there are fewer receptors available and the 'signalling that's downstream of those receptors becomes less and less robust'.

He revealed to his YouTube followers that this can also happen for depression.

What was interesting to Prof. Huberman was that weed can increase instances of depression in individuals who didn't have depression before they started smoking.

"Cannabis use makes people four times likelier to develop a chronic major depression," he said.

He explained how the typical age of young people (16 to 24-year-olds) taking up smoking cannabis is around 19 years old and 20 per cent of people in this age bracket end up puffing on weed daily. Daily.

Professor Huberman warned this can have a profound effect on a person's anxiety and depression and cautioned young people from picking up a habit this young.

Topics: News, Drugs, Science

Stewart Perrie
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