Study shows medicinal cannabis products can help with depression and improve quality of life

Study shows medicinal cannabis products can help with depression and improve quality of life
Figure 1. Cannabis Users (n = 368) had reduced depression, but not anxiety, relative to Controls (n = 170) on the HADS at baseline. A greater proportion of Cannabis Users also scored below the HADS cutoff for clinical concern (scores ≥ 8) relative to Controls. Scores ranging from 8 to 10, 11 to 14, and 15 to 21 represent approximate cutoffs for mild, moderate, and severe cases, respectively (83). ***p < 0.001. Credit: DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.729800

A team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in the U.S. has found evidence that medicinal cannabis products relieve depression and improve the quality of life. In their paper published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, the group describes their study involving online surveys about the benefits of cannabis products.

Prior research findings regarding the use of cannabis-based products to treat depression and anxiety have been mixed. Some patients have shown improvements while others have not. Prior research has also found that other drugs developed to treat depression and anxiety also have mixed results—some have seen improvements while others have not, and some patients have found that they cannot tolerate the side effects of the drugs. Also, some people have begun using medicinally approved to help with their depression, anxiety, or sleep disorder, regardless of the research track record—either independently, or with assistance from a doctor. In this new effort, the researchers conducted a to gauge the opinions of people who use such products, rather than focusing on reports from the regarding how well they thought they worked.

The study was carried out over four years. At the onset, the researchers received responses from 368 people who reported using cannabis products to reduce their depression and/or anxiety, or to help them sleep. As a , they also received responses from 170 people who were not using cannabis products but who were considering doing so due to their problems with depression or anxiety.

The researchers found that those people taking cannabis products (mostly those containing CBD rather than THC) reported lower levels of depression than the control group, although they saw no difference in anxiety. They also found those taking cannabis products reported a higher quality of life and better sleep than the control group. The researchers also found reduced levels of later on in those who continued to take cannabis products and also in those who began using them during the study. And interestingly, they also found that those who began taking the products during the study also reported improvements in anxiety and quality of life.

More information: Erin L. Martin et al, Antidepressant and Anxiolytic Effects of Medicinal Cannabis Use in an Observational Trial, Frontiers in Psychiatry (2021). DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.729800

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Citation: Study shows medicinal cannabis products can help with depression and improve quality of life (2021, October 26) retrieved 18 May 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-10-medicinal-cannabis-products-depression-quality.html
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