marijuana for mental health studies
marijuana for mental health studies

A Deep Dive into the Benefits of Medical Marijuana for Mental Health - Swiss Medical Study Gives Fuel for US Research

Moving cannabis to a schedule 3 drug will allow for more studies about the effects of cannabis on mental health in America.

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Monday May 6, 2024

marijuana for mental health benefits

New Study Dives Deep Into The Benefits Of Medical Marijuana For Patients’ Mental Health

Cannabis Is A Healing Tool In More Ways Than One


As of today, 38 states plus the District of Columbia and three territories have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.


There’s a reason why the movement to legalize weed for therapeutic use only continues to grow: that’s because it simply works. Depending on the state, the most common conditions that cannabis has accepted medical uses for includes seizures, nausea, chronic pain, glaucoma, cancer, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, and others to name a few. But even without a medical marijuana card, thousands of people are already enjoying the powerful therapeutic properties that cannabis has for a number of ailments.


That said, using cannabis for a physical ailment also has other positive effects – particularly on patients’ mental health.


There is a strong link, after all, between chronic illnesses and poor mental health. The diagnosis of a physical disease will directly impact and challenge your emotions or state of mind, which is why it’s so common to suffer from severe depression, anxiety, and bouts of anger or sadness. It’s only natural: it seems like you’re going into a downward spiral of emotions, having to figure out treatment, prognosis, and how to live the rest of your life.


But medicating with cannabis may not only help your physical ailment; it can greatly help you regain sanity, too.


According to a recent study out of Cambridge in the United Kingdom conducted by researchers from Switzerland’s University of Basel, patients with chronic health problems most especially chronic pain experience significant improvements in their mental health after medical marijuana has been legalized. The researchers assessed feedback from 7.9 million participants of an online survey conducted from 1993 through 2018.

The participants were grouped into various categories based on their cannabis consumption, including individuals who were “highly likely to abstain from using marijuana, to use marijuana as a recreational drug, or to use it for medical reasons” to identify the impact of medical marijuana legalization on mental health. The investigators also considered the use of marijuana for chronic pain. They measured the participants’ mental health by polling participants to grade their state based on the number of days they experienced mental health issues.

The findings, which were published in Health Economics, Policy, and Law, revealed: “Eased access to marijuana through medical marijuana laws reduce the reported number of days with poor mental health for individuals who consume marijuana for medical purposes and for those individuals who likely suffer from frequent pain.”


They also found that medical marijuana legalization didn’t impact the youth and recreational consumers. “Overall, our results show that medical cannabis legalization in the USA benefits the people it is intended for without harming other groups,” according to Professor Alois Stutzer. He also summarized that there a clear association between mental wellness and liberalization.


The findings of a similar study was released in 2023; it was conducted by researchers at the University of Sydney. They polled over 2,300 patients who were prescribed cannabis in the form of CBD and THC in a carrier oil from November 2020 through December 2021. The participants’ ages ranged from 18 to 97, and almost 2/3 of them were female.

The participants were asked to measure their quality of life relating to their overall health, pain, sleep, depression and anxiety before they began therapy with marijuana. They were polled again after 2 weeks of therapy, a routine that continued monthly for 3 months.

“Within the first three months of medicinal cannabis therapy, participants reported improvements in their health-related quality of life, fatigue, and health conditions associated with anxiety, depression, and pain,” explained Margaret-Ann Tait, a senior research officer to SWNS.


Additionally, the researchers reported that the patients experienced significant benefits when it came to their fatigue, pain, and quality of life.


The struggles with mental health are even more intense for cancer patients. However, medical marijuana use has been shown to help reduce depression, anxiety, and fatigue in patients diagnosed with cancer. A single-center, case-matched study conducted on 74 patients who were recently diagnosed with head and neck cancers found that cannabis users, compared to non users, reported less pain, better well-being, less fatigue, depression, and anxiety.

Head and neck cancers, in particular, can significantly impact one’s mental health given that it affects one’s swallowing mechanisms, facial structures, and speech. “These very much impact people’s social interactions and sense of self-worth,” said Dr. Zhang.



Medical marijuana has numerous therapeutic applications for patients suffering from a wide array of disease. Its anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic, anxiolytic, and anti-epileptic effects have been studied, and found to be extremely beneficial for those who are healing from disease. Cannabis makes life more bearable while helping to treat pain at its source, which is a major help for patients who simply want to make it, day by day.


At this day and age, we unfortunately still don’t have the standardized formulations of THC or CBD to help with conditions. However, doctors who are knowledgeable with medical marijuana can help. If you or a loved one are struggling with chronic disease and want to explore using marijuana as adjunct treatment, reach out to a medical professional who can help. There is hope on the other end of the line when cannabis is involved!





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