antidepressants, cannabinoids, psychedelics, depression treatment, resistance, psychopharmacology




Glenn Valdez


Depression is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses within society today, with overarching effects in the social, personal, and professional lives of millions of individuals who are suffering. The typical treatment for major depression is often a prescription of an antidepressant, either exclusively or combined with another form of treatment, such as psychotherapy. The intended effect is to increase levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine within the brain to regulate mood and emotion. While this treatment is effective for some patients, not all find relief. Exploring and extending research into other substances that effect the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and dopamine systems, such as psychedelics and cannabinoids, may reveal new ways to alleviate patient’s depressive symptoms. In a regulated, controlled, and supervised setting, the use of substances such as LSD, psilocybin, and marijuana could expand the efficacy and impact of depression treatment for patients who have found limited relief or developed treatment resistance to traditional antidepressants.

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