Cannabis may help treat adult patients who struggle with depression. In June 2020, a small study on the effects of cannabis on depression was published by Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. Participants self-reported through the RealLeafAp™ to share their experience in using the flowering plant during a depressive episode.
The study demonstrated that the cannabis flowering plant may be effective in alleviating depressive symptoms.
The study was conducted over a 30-day period with 1819 persons involved. The participants participated in 5,876 sessions where depression and the cannabis flower was administered, and reported its effectiveness.
Over 95 percent felt better, with minimal side effects within 2-hours or less. Side effects included feeling unmotivated, but the short term benefits were significant.
The type of cannabis used in the study included indica and sativa; however, the participants did not report any differences in outcomes when using indica or sativa.
CBD, when analyzed against the effects of THC use did not demonstrate the same effect in reducing depression. Cannabis users are less likely to commit suicide. However, other studies have shown long-term use of cannabis among individuals can come with behavioral risks such as addiction, poor judgment or risk-taking behavior.
Currently, cannabis is not used to treat depression, but this study demonstrates that more research should be considered to explore its long-term effectiveness in treating mild or chronic depression in patients. It may be essential to explore how to avoid dependency and the negative side-effects of long-term cannabis use.