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The Medical Minute: Study Finds No Causal Relationship Between Cannabis and Depression

January 1, 2015

When it comes to cannabis and depression, there seems to be mixed opinions about how these two things interact — does cannabis help with mood disorders, or does it worsen them? Thanks to a recent review of longitudinal data, we are a little closer to an answer.

Researchers in Israel reviewed data over three years that measured depression progression in subjects who had never used cannabis until the start of the study. At the end of the trial, researchers noted no significant increases in depression in those that took to the pipe for this study. Conversely, data also showed that subjects with depression were more likely to use cannabis, suggesting that people are likely using cannabis to self-medicate depression symptoms.

While these results give us reason to be optimistic about cannabis and depression disorders, this study still has a few gaps to fill. Limited documentation of cannabis use frequency leaves us with a few questions that got rounded out in the generalized results. Having just been initiated into the world of cannabis, were these subjects consuming enough to cause long-term harm?

The review also covered the incidence of bipolar disorder in conjunction with cannabis, but no conclusion could be drawn due to conflicting results.

While we’re standing by for more research, you can browse strains that thousands of users have rated as effective for depression management in the Leafly Explorer. These accounts may be anecdotal, but of course, there is always something to be said about one’s valid personal experience.

Photo Credit: Alex Ballido via Photopin CC

Bailey Rahn's Bio Image
Bailey Rahn

Bailey is a senior content manager at Leafly, specializing in strains and health. She's spent 7+ years researching cannabis products, spreading patients’ stories, and exploring healthy ways of integrating cannabis into daily life.

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