In a new study from the Medical University of South Carolina, researchers found evidence that medicinal cannabis products relieve depression and improve the quality of life.
Previous 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.
Some studies have 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 cannabis products to help with their depression, anxiety, chronic pain or sleep disorder, regardless of the research track record—either independently, or with assistance from a doctor.
In this study, the researchers examined the opinions of people who use such products, rather than focusing on reports from the medical community 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 control group, 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 depression later on in those who continued to take cannabis products and also in those who began using them during the study.
Importantly, they also found that those who began taking the products during the study also reported improvements in anxiety and quality of life.
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The study is published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry. One author of the study is Erin L. Martin.
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