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Depression and Marijuana (Cannabis): What to know




Some anecdotal evidence and scientific research suggest that cannabis can help with depression symptoms. However, cannabis is also a depressant, so it may increase feelings of sleepiness.

Cannabis can cause a person to feel calm and relaxed. However, for some people, cannabis is also a stimulant and a hallucinogen. Some people experience unpleasant side effects from using it.

Cannabis is not suitable for everyone. It has an adverse effectTrusted Source on adolescent brain development, and smoking cannabis can damageTrusted Source the lungs.

This article explores the potential pros and cons of using cannabis to treat depression, how to use it safely, and when to seek medical attention.

Does cannabis help with depression?

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Design by MNT; Photography by Olena Ruban/Getty Images& Heath Korvola/Getty Images

Cannabis refers to the seeds, stems, leaves, and dried flowers of the cannabis plant. The plant contains more than 100 cannabinoid chemicalsTrusted Source, including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source has not approved cannabis for treating depression. Research into whether cannabis is effective at helping treat depression is still in the early stages. However, some evidence suggests cannabis may be beneficial for some people.

For example, in 2022, researchers conducted a retrospective study of 7,362 participants at a nationwide medical cannabis clinic in Canada. People sought treatment for anxiety and depression and completed health questionnaires at their initial evaluation and during at least one follow-up visit.

Researchers found a significant improvement between scores at the start and end of the study. Similarly, some people have indicated through self-reported studiesTrusted Source that cannabis helped with their postpartum depression.

More scientific research is necessary to understand the effects of cannabis, CBD, and THC.


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