How does cannabis affect mental illness?
There has been a growing body of research in recent years as to whether cannabis use can help people with depression and mental illness. Researchers have now found that even small amounts of cannabis can significantly reduce depression and anxiety.
In their current research, Washington State University (WSU) scientists found that a single stroke of a cannabis cigarette can significantly reduce depression and anxiety. The experts published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Journal of Affective Disorders".
Prolonged use of cannabis can have a negative impact
Even small amounts of cannabis can help with depression and anxiety. But prolonged use could worsen feelings of depression over time, doctors say. The current study examined how differently different substances in marijuana influence people's mood and well-being.
What was the impact of consumption?
The team found that just one puff of cannabis inhalation, rich in cannabidiol (CBD) and poor in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), was enough to reduce symptoms of depression. After two moves, the patients felt less anxious and after ten moves, those affected were less stressed. However, prolonged use of cannabis can exacerbate depressive symptoms, the researchers warn.
Inhaled cannabis was examined
Existing studies on the effects of cannabis on depression, anxiety and stress are very rare and are carried out almost exclusively with oral THC pills in a laboratory, explains study author Professor Carrie Cuttler from Washington State University. What is unique about the current study is the fact that cannabis that was actually inhaled was examined by medical marijuana patients. The participants used it at home, not in a laboratory, the scientists explain.
CBD increases positive effects
The study also found that CBD is a very important part of cannabis and can enhance some of the positive effects of THC. The researchers used the data from a special app to test how the active ingredients in marijuana can contribute to mental health problems. In this way it was possible to track how different dosages affect well-being.
Cannabidiol for epilepsy and sleep problems?
One of the main ingredients in medical marijuana is cannabidiol. Cannabidiol has also been shown to be effective in treating epilepsy and sleep problems. Users rated symptoms before using cannabis on a scale of one to ten. After that, they re-evaluate symptoms that occur - 20 minutes after smoking cannabis. They also reported how many trains they had taken. This is one of the first scientific studies to provide guidance on the amounts of cannabis people should use to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, says Professor Cuttler.
Other positive effects of cannabis
One of the main ingredients in medical marijuana, cannabidiol (CBD), is also used in cannabis oil to treat a number of problems. These problems include mental health, sleep problems, low appetite, epilepsy, Alzheimer's, and palliative care. Cannabis is also said to help prevent the signs of aging and protect against eczema and psoriasis. Last year, the World Health Organization already declared CBD safe. (as)