The use of cannabis and its cannabinoids to treat disease or improve symptoms is referred as Medical Marijuana. Can marijuana could treat drug addiction and mental health issues?
Researchers at the University of British Columbia have observed that people may be using marijuana as an exit drug to reduce the use of substances that are potentially more harmful, such as opioid pain medication.
This comprehensive systematic review of research on the medical cannabis use and mental health also found some evidence that cannabis may help with symptoms of depression, PTSD and social anxiety. However, the review concluded that cannabis use might not be recommended for conditions such as bipolar disorder and psychosis.
“In reviewing the limited evidence on medical cannabis, it appears that patients and others who have advocated for cannabis as a tool for harm reduction and mental health have some valid points,” says Walsh.
A team of researchers led by Zach Walsh, associate professor of psychology at UBC’s Okanagan campus, systematically reviewed all studies of medical cannabis and mental health, as well as reviews on non-medical cannabis use–making the review one of the most comprehensive reports to date on the effects of medical cannabis on mental health.
With legalization of marijuana possible as early as next year in Canada, its important to identify ways to help mental health professional move beyond stigma to better understand the risk and benefits of cannabis is increasingly important.
The research was conducted with UBC’s Michelle Thiessen, Kim Crosby and Chris Carroll, Raul Gonzalez from Florida State University, and Marcel Bonn-Miller from the National Centre for PTSD and Center for Innovation and Implementation in California.