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Photo by Mental Health America

Health | 06.03.2022

Medical Marijuana Could Treat Long-Term Anxiety & Depression

Patients' levels of anxiety and depression dropped months after starting medical marijuana treatment.

We all use cannabis for different reasons.

This is especially true for medical patients who use it for different physical or mental conditions.

A recent study published in Psychiatry Research notes that medical marijuana patients have less anxiety and depression after frequent and long-term cannabis use.

The Study

The Canadian retrospective study gathered 7000 adults that had been diagnosed with either anxiety or depression. They also had an average age of 49.8 years old.

The researchers wanted to examine how medical marijuana could treat mental illness, considering there are already loads of studies on how it can treat chronic pain.

All patients received their marijuana from Harvest Medicine clinic, a Canadian medical marijuana retailer and distributor. The group was a pretty even split between women (53.1%) and men (46.9%).

The participants were tested on their levels of anxiety and depression prior to the study. Researchers examined the patients for 12-24 months after recording their baseline levels of mental illness. 43.9% said they use cannabis for anxiety, and 25.9% said it was for depression.

The Findings

The researchers found that patients with anxiety showed decreased levels about 1-3 months after taking medical marijuana. There was another positive shift about two years after treatment.

Patients with depression reported decreased levels after the first three months of using medical marijuana.

It was even more surprising to see that males who had the highest scores of depression and anxiety were the demographic to show the most improvement over time.

The researchers concluded that this study “provides some evidence to support the effectiveness of medical cannabis as a treatment for anxiety and depression.”

Does this study suggest that cannabis could aid mental illness with long-term use? Yes, which is something we’ve been waiting to hear.

We can only hope more researchers continue to uncover the benefits of cannabis for mental illness, especially with frequent and long-term use.

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