A new study out of Washington State University suggests that concentrated doses of medicinal marijuana may be helpful for short-term treatment of anxiety and depression. While there’s some doubt whether medical marijuana can totally treat these conditions, this study shows that marijuana can be used effectively for quick symptom relief.
Almost 1,400 medical marijuana patients participated in this study. Researchers asked all study participants to smoke weed with different tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) levels every day and then record their mood in the app Strainprint. After the study concluded, investigators poured through roughly 18,000 reports in the Strainprint app.
According to the data, study authors said cannabis that had higher concentrations of CBD worked best for eliminating depression symptoms. By contrast, marijuana with high THC and CBD was best for stress relief. Patients with generalized anxiety disorder showed improvement with both kinds of cannabis used in the study.
Study authors also noted that the medicinal marijuana had more pronounced healing benefits on women than men. As of today, researchers aren’t sure why this is the case.
On the negative side, professors said that extended use of medicinal marijuana could be detrimental to depressed patients. A few people with depression who used cannabis every day noticed an increase in their symptoms later in the study.
While concentrated doses of marijuana seem to have a positive effect on anxiety and depression sufferers, researchers remind patients that medical marijuana is only a temporary fix and no substitute for other treatments like daily meditation practice or cognitive behavioral therapy.
For those who don’t know, THC is the psychoactive ingredient in weed that makes people feel “high” when using it. CBD, however, is a non-psychoactive component in marijuana that’s usually sourced from industrial hemp. In recent years, doctors have become increasingly interested in the benefits of CBD oil because CBD is usually better tolerated by patients.
Carrie Cuttler, Alexander Spradlin, and Ryan J. McLaughlin were the head authors on this project. The Journal of Affective Disorders published this study under the title, “A Naturalistic Examination of the Perceived Effects of Cannabis on Negative Affect.”