A new report published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review suggests that there is evidence that cannabis use can be beneficial to people suffering from anxiety, depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Of course, this is not news to the millions of people who find that their cannabis use does indeed benefit their mental health. How many of you use cannabis to relieve stress or calm yourself down or pull yourself up when you’re feeling sad? These people don’t need a study to tell them how much help cannabis is.
But many in positions of authority love studies and reports. Politicians, those in law enforcement, academics; they all love a good study and will cite it ad nauseam. Don’t get me wrong, studies are very useful when they are advancing knowledge and moving government policy, but most cannabis users don’t need a study to know marijuana makes them feel better.
“This is a substance that has potential use for mental health,” said Zach Walsh, an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia and author of the report. “We should be looking at it in the same way and be holding it up to the same standard.”
The report itself is a review of some 60 studies that looked at how effective cannabis is in treating various mental health problems. It also highlighted the potential of cannabis when it comes to treating opioid addiction.
“We are really excited about the potential substitution effect,” said Walsh. “If people use cannabis as a replacement for opioid medications, or to get off of opioids or cut back, we could see some pretty dramatic public health benefits. The level of opioid overdoses is so high right now.”