cannabis on mental health

The Effects of Cannabis on Mental Health: Impact on Anxiety, Depression

Understanding the varied effects of cannabis on mental health is crucial, especially when considering its use for therapeutic purposes. This article delves deep into the relationship between cannabis and anxiety, and depression.

Cannabis and Anxiety: A Double-edged Sword

How cannabis, particularly CBD, can potentially alleviate or aggravate anxiety symptoms.

There’s mounting evidence that cannabis, particularly CBD (Cannabidiol), can help reduce anxiety symptoms. However, this is not a universal experience. For some, especially when consuming cannabis strains with high THC content, the drug may induce anxiety symptoms or exacerbate existing ones.

If your anxiety symptoms seem more pronounced after cannabis use, it’s advisable to:

  • Reduce Consumption: Consider cutting back or reducing the dosage.
  • Recognize Symptoms: These might include constant worrying, irritability, feeling “on edge”, restlessness, sleep disturbances, or concentration difficulties.
  • Physical Symptoms to Monitor: Watch out for dizziness, shortness of breath, and a heightened heart rate.


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Crippa, J.A.S., Derenusson, G.N., Ferrari, T.B., Wichert-Ana, L., Duran, F.L., Martin-Santos, R., Simoes, M.V., Bhattacharyya, S., Fusar-Poli, P., Atakan, Z., et al. (2011). Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report. J. Psychopharmacol. 25, 121–130.

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Masataka, N. (2019). Anxiolytic effects of repeated cannabidiol treatment in teenagers with social anxiety disorders. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 2466.

Stoner SA. Effects of Marijuana on Mental Health: Anxiety Disorders. Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington, June 2017.

Cannabis and Depression: A Complex Relationship

Discussing the intriguing link between heavy cannabis use and the onset of depression.

Research has spotlighted the intriguing association between cannabis dependence and depression. Heavy cannabis users frequently get diagnosed with depression. The causality is not fully understood: does cannabis induce depression, or do individuals with depression use cannabis as a coping mechanism?

On a brighter note, cannabinoids demonstrate therapeutic properties akin to anti-depressant medication:

  • Potential Relief: Preliminary studies point to cannabis’s potential in mitigating depressive symptoms.
  • Self-medication: Anecdotal evidence suggests that some depressed individuals benefit from cannabis use. However, it’s essential to remain wary about self-medication due to potential side effects and risks associated with unsupervised consumption.


Cuttler, C., Spradlin, A., & McLaughlin, R. J. (2018). A naturalistic examination of the perceived effects of cannabis on negative affect. Journal of affective disorders, 235, 198-205.

Ferland, J. M. N., & Hurd, Y. L. (2020). Deconstructing the neurobiology of cannabis use disorder. Nature Neuroscience, 23(5), 600-610.

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