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Jan-08-2010 12:27printcomments

Depression: The Safest Therapy is Cannabis
Antidepressant Drugs Sadly Overrated

I was surprised to see The Oregonian headline Wednesday January 6, 2010.

Marijuana vs anti-depressants
Courtesy: and

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - ”FOR MOST, DEPRESSION DRUGS OFFER LITTLE RELIEF.” I have written about this many times on[1]. I had in my patients... a unique bunch.

There were about 400 PTSD battle Veterans who had the VA diagnosis of DEPRESSION. I almost completely disagree with this “Waste Basket” diagnosis. My dictionary describes this as: dejected, dispirited, lowered in vitality or function or inactivity, and sad.

As a victim of battle PTSD and as a physician who took care of about 1,000 PTSD victims, I consider it more like ANGUISH.

From the same dictionary I get distress, difficulty, extreme pain, agony, torture, and torment. As a frontline Infantryman, I confess to all of these but depression — NO, except that we were dead tired most of the time.

The Oregonian quotes The New York Times which quotes the Journal of the American Medical Association. The first paragraph states the drugs are good for extreme cases, but no better than “Sugar Pills” for mild cases.

They go on to state that drug company studies show how “good” they are but that any of their studies showing otherwise are not published.

As an aside to this, I was once a vice president for research in a small drug company. My observation was that the less effective a drug, the more advertising dollars were spent on it.


The team reviewing those drugs analyzed four types or classes of depression drugs. Paxil, Imipramine, Lexapro and Prozac. Their review and results with 728 patients are opposite to mine with about 1,000 patients.

They found these drugs were best on the most severe patients. My results indicated some help in minimal PTSD (depression) while the side effects of the drugs made the patients quit taking them. (The article glosses over this).

I’m going to borrow from an article by Tod Mikuriya, my friend, the foremost physician in the world on these matters.

Here is a partial list of side effects of these drugs: insomnia, restlessness, nausea, low appetite, sedation, nervousness, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, low libido, suicide, priapism, increased blood pressure, seizures, hypertension, liver toxicity, dry mouth, rapid pulse, blurred vision, constipation, bradycardia, depression, bronchiospasms, motor slowing ataxia, drowsiness, blood changes, G.I. problems, tremors, speech problems, mutagenesis, fatigue, glaucoma, et al.

I haven’t included all of them.

In contrast to the standard antidepressant drugs, the worst side-effects of Cannabis are falling asleep in front of the refrigerator (sedation and the munchies, or hunger).


[1] Articles written by Dr. Phil Leveque

Dr. Phillip Leveque has degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and minors in physiology and biochemistry. He was a Professor of Pharmacology, employed by the University of London for 2 years, during which time he trained the first doctors in Tanzania. After training doctors, he became an Osteopathic Physician, as well as a Forensic Toxicologist.

Before any of that, Phil Leveque was a Combat Infantryman in the U.S. Army in WWII. He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 60 years after the war, and specialized in treating Veterans with PTSD during his years as a doctor in Molalla, Oregon. Do you have a question, comment or story to share with Dr. Leveque?
Email him:
More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole". Order the book by mail by following this link: DOGFACE SOLDIER OF WWII If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.

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Eve Lentz January 10, 2010 5:49 am (Pacific time)

So happy to "stumble" onto this article! I think I will post it on my facebook page, I like it so much! Much love to you!

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