So we’ll begin with the usual disclaimer here that research into medical cannabis and its effect remains limited at best. Most studies are small, and funding for credible research remains hard to come by, yet another effect of the continuing federal prohibition.
So with that caveat, here’s some potentially interesting news: A new study shows promising results for medical marijuana in controlling depression and anxiety. Some 370 users (and 170 non-users as a control group) were asked to complete a detailed questionnaire regarding cannabis use, anxiety, depression, sleep, overall quality of life and chronic pain.
Researchers employed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) to objectify the users’ results. HADS results range from zero to 21, with anything above eight indicating a clinical concern.
Cannabis users reported lower levels of depression and also better sleep and a higher overall quality of life than non-users. The anti-depressive effects were strongest with those taking higher concentrations of CBD as opposed to THC, suggesting that the cannabis high may be less of a factor. And results were largely the same for those also taking traditional antidepressants.
As for anxiety, the results were mixed. The initial survey showed no difference in anxiety levels between users and non-users. Interestingly, though, a small number of non-users began using cannabis in a follow-up segment, after which they reported lower anxiety.
We’ll say it again: One small, self-reported study does not equate to anything like authoritative research, but if nothing else this seems to show promise in yet another area for medical cannabis. More research is needed … needed almost as much as the lifting of the federal prohibition that continues to shackle the industry.
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