PULLMAN, Wash. – A study conducted by researchers at Washington State University found that medical cannabis users found relief from symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress from as little as a single puff of cannabis. Sturdy results were published in peer review Journal of Affective Disorders.
The survey was conducted by data analysis of nearly 12,000 sessions with 1,399 users of Canadian medical cannabis tracking app StrainprintTM, which helps patients compile information on symptoms and cannabis used for treatment of symptoms. The data was split into 3,151 sessions for depression, 5,085 for anxiety, and 3,717 for stress.
“Users [could] subsequently track their medical cannabis sessions by: 1) selecting the symptom(s) they are experiencing at the time, 2) rating the severity of each symptom on a scale of 0 (none) to 10 (extreme), 3) selecting (or inputting) the product they will use, 4) indicating their method of administration (smoke, oil, vape, dab bubbler, dab portable, edible, pill, spray, transdermal, tincture), and 5) indicating the quantity of use (e.g., number of puffs ranging from 1 to 10 + ). Twenty minutes after use, individuals are prompted (via a push notification) to re-rate the severity of their symptom,” the survey said, describing methodology.
Researchers noted a 50 percent reduction in symptoms of depression, and 58 percent reduction in anxiety and stress after cannabis use. As little as two puffs was sufficient to alleviate depression and anxiety, while 10 or more puffs showed effectiveness for stress.
High CBD-low THC (9.5:5.5 percentage ratio) strains showed the largest effect on patients suffering from depression. Strains that were high CBD-high THC (11:26.5 percentage ratio) showed what patients perceived as the greatest effect on stress.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound in cannabis, while cannabidiol (CBD) has no psychoactive effect.
Data also indicated to researchers that prolonged cannabis use may also have exacerbated symptoms of depression. They also noted no significant differences that could be attributed to user’s gender, either male or female.
According to their conclusions, cannabis provided short-term alleviation of symptoms, but was ineffective in treating symptoms of long-term conditions.