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Study: Cannabis Improves Anxiety and Depression Symptoms, Replacing Prescription Medications

Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

The Journal of Psychiatric Research has released promising data for cannabis users struggling with anxiety and depressive symptoms: more than half of the respondents replaced prescription medications with cannabis.

Over 2,000 medicinal marijuana users in Canada provided self-reported answers to questions pertaining to their psychiatric symptoms and cannabis use behaviors. Those answers yielded a high rate of probable disorders among study participants, with 63 percent meeting the screening criteria for more than one disorder.

In total, 45 percent of study participants met the screening criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder, 42 percent for Social Anxiety Disorder, and 25 percent for both Major Depressive Disorder and Panic Disorder/Agoraphobia.

But 92 percent of the study participants also reported that cannabis improved their overall symptoms. And nearly half responded that cannabis had been able to replace the non-psychiatric and psychiatric medications they had been prescribed for the treatment of their symptoms.

With cannabis, these study participants were able to find relief without the side effects common to many of the medications they had been prescribed.  

All of this lines up with what we already know about how marijuana can impact GABA (a neurotransmitter that balances anxiety) and cortisol levels. Choosing the right marijuana consumption method for your symptoms and diagnosis can help to enhance these effects.

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