08 March 2021 – by Schalk van Zyl

A study by the University of New Mexico looked into how it compares to conventional antidepressants - and the results were significant

More than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression at this very moment, depression directly contributes to the deaths of more than 800 000 people each year due to suicide. That means depression contributes to more deaths each year than malaria and manages to kill twice as many people per year as homicide.

The Study

A recently published study, titled The Effectiveness of Cannabis Flower for Immediate Relief from Symptoms of Depression, from the University of New Mexico which looked into the effects of cannabis on depression has shed some light on the effectiveness of cannabis in treating depression.

“The findings suggest that, at least in the short term, the vast majority of patients that use cannabis experience antidepressant effects,” the paper reads. These findings support the masses of anecdotal evidence of cannabis use improving the mood of users, thus serving to strengthen the certainty of its beneficial effects when it comes to this kind of mood disorder.

Researchers looked at self-reported rates of mood in 1 819 patients and found that scores for mood almost doubled within minutes of patients using cannabis. What is especially significant is how quickly these benefits became apparent. Compare that to conventional depression medications such as tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors where it can take weeks before any beneficial effects are observed, and before these benefits manifest themselves there is a very real risk of dangerous side effects such as suicidality.

“One of the most clinically relevant findings from this study was the widely experienced relief from depression within 2 hours or less. Because traditional antidepressants have times-to-effect in weeks, short-term cannabis use might be a solution to these delays in treatment or could be used to treat acute episodes associated with suicidal behaviour and other forms of violence,” the study claims.

They have undertaken to keep looking into these potential therapeutic uses, and as such ever more information about the benefits of cannabis when it comes to treating such disorders will come to light.