A new study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders suggests high-CBD marijuana could provide relief from symptoms of depression.
The study from Washington State University is unique in that it focused on the effects of low-THC marijuana consumed in the home, whereas previous studies examined the results of THC pills taken in a clinical setting.
According to the study’s lead author, Carrie Cuttler, of the Department of Psychology at WSU, “Existing research on the effects of cannabis on depression, anxiety, and stress are very rare, and have almost exclusively been done with orally administered THC pills in a laboratory.” Cuttler and her colleagues obtained their data using a smartphone app which allowed patients to anonymously self-report symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress before and after medical marijuana use. Researchers found that the nearly 12,000 adults in the study reported a decrease in depression symptoms in 89.3% of the tracked sessions. A reduction in stress was reported in 93.3% of the sessions, and anxiety was reduced in 93.5% of sessions.
The research suggests that just one puff of high-CBD, low-THC cannabis helped decrease depression symptoms.
“Our study shows that CBD is also a very important ingredient in cannabis and may augment some of the positive effects of THC,”said Cuttler. “A lot of consumers seem to be under the false assumption that more THC is always better.”
CBD works with the endocannabinoid system to help the body maintain homeostasis, which is essential for normal brain health. The endocannabinoid system regulates a variety of processes, including immune response, appetite, mood, and memory. Cannabinoids facilitate communication between different cell types, which creates balance or homeostasis. While the body naturally creates cannabinoids, evidence suggests that complementing that with phytocannabinoids such as CBD may increase overall health and balance.