New findings say that people with depression use more cannabis or marijuana. Conducted by Columbia University and the City University of New York, the study was based on a survey of more than 700,000 people over the age of 12 who have a habit of using cannabis. Similarly, the same report found that the perception of risk with the substance has decreased in the last 12 years in that sector of the population.
The study found that “the prevalence of cannabis use among those with depression, who perceived no risk associated with regular cannabis use, was much higher than those who perceived significant risk associated with use. It also concluded that one-third of young adults aged 18-25 years with depression reported use in the past 30 days prior to the survey.
This may be related to another University of Washington study, which found that cannabis helps combat stress, anxiety and depression.
According to that study, cannabis that has high levels of CBD and low levels of THC is the most optimal for reducing symptoms of depression, and that smoking one that has high levels of CBD and TCH is effective in reducing anxiety. However, the researchers caution that the study was not positive for all patients.
While in 89.3% of the sessions performed, the subjects claimed to have lower levels of anxiety, in 3.2% the subjects claimed that their stress increased. On the other hand, 7.5% of the sessions showed no change.
However, although many of the studies claim that cannabis serves as an effective antidepressant, there are studies that speak of the “de-motivating syndrome” in which cannabis users become “apathetic, socially withdrawn and perform below their pre-marijuana abilities”. In other words, even if depression is reduced by the use of cannabis, the feeling of well-being that marijuana offers makes people look for other ways to feel good, or to be more productive.
Until a few years ago, long-term studies of this kind were started and the results can help us understand more about how cannabis works in the brain, because – although many times the benefits can be undeniable – we still need to know how it works in the mind over the years and how it influences the behaviour of people who use it.