cannabis for depression study
cannabis for depression study

Does Weed Cause Depression or Help Treat It? - The Latest Medical Studies on Cannabis and Depression May Suprise You

What the latest medical studies are telling us about marijuana use and depression!

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Tuesday Mar 12, 2024

cannabis for depression studies

What The New Studies Say About Weed And Depression


Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions afflicting millions of people today.


No one is spared from the ill effects of depression, regardless of age or status or class. Some 280 million people around the world suffer from depression, according to the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, the National Institute of Mental Health states that around 21 million adults in the United States have had at least one type of depressive episode in the last 3 years.


Depending on the severity of one’s depression, the symptoms can vary greatly. Mild cases of depression are usually exhibited through insomnia, poor concentration, difficulty socializing or leaving home, or feeling hopeless. However, more extreme cases are characterized by serious symptoms including frequent thoughts of suicide and death, lack of appetite and weight loss, and lack of energy. Clearly, all these symptoms can have a tremendous impact on all aspects of life, including relationships, jobs, work, and school.

To make matters worse, depression has been notoriously hard to treat. Big Pharma has developed a wide range of pharmaceutical drugs for treating depression, but many of them have horrible side effects. Oftentimes, they just don’t work for many patients.

But over the last few years, patients with depression have found hope in marijuana. Medicating with many different forms of cannabis has been shown to effectively alleviate the symptoms of depression and help countless people regain control over their lives – instead of depression taking over.


Here’s what the new studies say about cannabis and depression:


Marijuana a Sustainable Treatment Alternative for Depression


A recent study conducted by investigators at the LVR University Hospital in Germany together with Algea Care, a leading telehealth service in Europe focusing on marijuana, sheds light into the efficacy of medical marijuana for treating chronic depression. The results of the groundbreaking study was published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Pharmacopsychiatry of the Association for Neuropsychopharmacology and Pharmacopsychiatry.


For the study, 59 patients suffering from chronic depression participated. They were already treated using conventional prescription medications in the past, with no success. They agreed to providing data through an anonymous evaluation during the course of the trial, when they were given medical marijuana in flower form for 18 weeks starting in 2021.

The study revealed that patients enrolled in the study experienced significant improvement in symptoms of depression. They also reported a great reduction in rate of depression, and no severe side effects were experienced. It’s also interesting to note that there was a low dropout rate among the participants.

For the evaluation, they were asked to rate their depression severity using a 0-10 scale. The average rating was 6.9 in the beginning, though after 6 weeks of consuming medical marijuana, this decreased to 5.1. And by the time they reached 18 weeks of treatment, severity dropped further to 3.8.


“These results are extremely promising and encouraging, as they expand the evidence for the continued use of medical cannabis in the treatment of psychiatric illnesses in Germany,” explains Dr. Julian Wichmann, CEO and founder of Algea Care and also the co-founder for the Bloomwell Group. “In addition, the study lays the foundation for future research projects on the effects of cannabis therapy in the treatment of mental health conditions and illnesses,” he adds.

Israeli Study Finds That Cannabis Is Effective In Treating Pain And Depression Among The Elderly


As mentioned earlier, no one is spared from depression – even the aging population. While there are fears that marijuana may be too strong or dangerous for the elderly to medicate with, there are several studies proving the opposite is true.


In fact, the findings of a 2023 study out of Israel shows the same. In a study out of Tel Aviv, Israeli researchers analyzed self-reported findings from 119 older patients with a mean age of 79, who were prescribed medical marijuana products legally. Most of them were using it to treat chronic pain.

The study’s participants reported a decrease in depressive symptoms as well as improvements in everday life, which was particularly notable in those over the age of 80.

“Cannabis contributes to the amelioration of depressive symptoms,” concluded the researchers. “Our findings also demonstrate the relatively favorable safety profile of cannabis therapy,” when it comes to the elderly population.


Large-Scale Study Finds Cannabis Associated With Sustained Improvements In Depression


A study from Canada in 2022 involved 7,000 patients with depression and/or anxiety, who were surveyed and allowed to consume medical marijuana products. The average age of participants was 50 years old, and all of them were enrolled with a licensed medical marijuana clinic in Canada.


According to the authors, they observed “statistically significant improvements” when analyzing the baseline then follow-up scores which measured anxiety and depression. These improvements were noted for at least a year.

“To our knowledge, this study is the largest completed to date examining the impact of medical cannabis use on anxiety and depression outcomes utilizing longitudinal data and validated questionnaires,” concluded the authors. “It provides evidence on the effectiveness of medical cannabis as a treatment for anxiety and depression that otherwise is not currently available, demonstrating that patients who seek treatment with medical cannabis for anxiety and depression can experience clinically significant improvements,” they said.




There are many ways that cannabis works in the human body, particularly the endocannabinoid system, in treating depression effectively and with no serious side effects. While there's no one single explanation, one thing that researchers agree on is cannabis’ ability to restore normal endocannabinoid function while stabilizing mood.


If you are suffering from depression and want to consider marijuana as treatment, reach out to a knowledgeable doctor or licensed medical dispensary in your area for recommendations on products and dosages. Keep in mind that if you are just starting out, a low dose is best – then you can gradually increase it. Join the thousands of other people who have found relief from depression through marijuana!





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