Is Cannabis an Effective Treatment for Anxiety?


Recent research has been exploring the potential of cannabis in treating anxiety, a condition that is now a qualifying cause for medical marijuana in states like Pennsylvania. According to a University of Washington report, there are general conclusions suggesting the effectiveness of cannabis for relief in symptoms of anxiety. However, the picture is complex. While medical marijuana evaluation clinics in California report a significant number of patients using marijuana for anxiety relief, concerns persist regarding its long-term effects, especially in adolescents.

Marijuana is often associated with a dysregulated stress response, which could exacerbate anxiety over time. Notably, a study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and led by A. Eden Evins of HMS, indicates that obtaining a medical marijuana card for symptoms of pain, anxiety, or depression can lead to cannabis use disorder, without necessarily improving symptoms.

Moreover, beyond the scope of anxiety, medical marijuana has been noted to provide relief for various other conditions, including HIV-related syndromes and Crohn’s disease. Yet, as more states legalize medical and recreational cannabis, the market expansion brings with it a wave of new products and claims that are not always scientifically substantiated.

Intriguingly, research from the University of Illinois at Chicago has found that low levels of THC may reduce stress, indicating a dose-dependent effect where higher doses might increase anxiety. This adds a layer of complexity to the debate, suggesting that if cannabis is to be used for treating anxiety, the dosing needs careful consideration.

Is Cannabis an Effective Treatment for Anxiety?

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