Medical marijuana can help treat depression, anxiety, per new study

Medical marijuana can help treat depression, anxiety, per new study

By Shepard Price

A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry showed that those diagnosed with clinical depression or anxiety who were using medicinal marijuana had lower depression scores than non-users, and those who began taking cannabis during the follow-up period experienced a reduction in both anxiety and depression symptoms.

The study's authors noted that many people with anxiety and depression, two of the most common mental health conditions, are turning to medicinal cannabis as a way to manage their symptoms. Products can be made predominantly of THC, CBD or equal amounts of both.

"Anxiety and depressive disorders are highly prevalent. Traditional antidepressants may effectively treat these disorders in a lot of people, but they do not work for everyone and can have unpleasant side effects," Erin Martin, a Ph.D candidate at the Medical University of South Carolina and lead researcher, told PsyPost. "People are increasingly using medicinal cannabis products, especially products high in CBD, to try to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression, even though scientific research in this area is both limited and shows mixed results."

The team of researchers conducted a study among a sample of participants who reported having anxiety, depression, or both. Of those participants, 368 were medicinal cannabis users, and 170 were considering using medicinal cannabis but had not yet begun using it. The majority of respondents were female (79%) and Caucasian (83%).

Participants answered questions about their cannabis use and completed assessments of anxiety, depression, recent pain, quality of life, and sleep quality. Every three months over a period of roughly four years, the participants were invited to complete a follow-up assessment. On average, participants completed two assessments.

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