Owning to some anecdotal evidence and curiosity, scientists investigate the reasons behind cannabis use and whether or not it actually aids in symptom management. The results of these studies made it simple for people to accept cannabis. As perceptions of cannabis use changed, more people began using it to address current mental health problems. 

Medical practitioners are helping patients use cannabis by assisting in choosing the right products and helping regulate dosage. GrassLife – Cannabis delivery services are also helping people with their journey to cannabis use.

If you’re considering cannabis use, let’s delve into its impact on mental conditions by examining relevant studies. Exploring this topic can offer insights to aid in making informed decisions about whether cannabis may benefit your well-being.

Key Takeaways:

  • In the past, Chinese physicians used medical marijuana to address memory problems and surgical procedures.
  • When treating anxiety, patients must select a specific strain of cannabis flower because they vary in their chemical makeup.
  • Smoking cannabis has a short-term benefit in managing stress and anxiety.

Cannabis Use Before The Emergence of Studies

Cannabis’s role as a medicinal agent dates back millennia, with early evidence suggesting its use as far back as 2737 BC. Emperor Shen Neng reportedly prescribed marijuana tea to address various ailments, such as gout, rheumatism, and memory issues. 

Another significant contributor to its medicinal legacy is Hua Tao, a renowned Chinese physician from around 110 to 207 AD. Tao was one of the earliest practitioners to employ cannabis as an anesthetic. His method involved blending dried cannabis powder with alcohol to create a numbing agent administered before surgical procedures. The Chinese term for ‘anesthesia,’ mázui, directly translates to ‘cannabis intoxication.’

Cannabis (Marijuana) Plant for Patients with Mental Illnesses

Your emotional and psychological wellness status is known as your mental health. It is a key component of general health and a resource required for leading a healthy life. It is not synonymous with mental illness. But both physical and mental illnesses can result from poor mental health.

Mental illnesses can result from imbalances or situations in life that negatively impact one’s mental well-being. There are several types, and there are various approaches to treating them. Cannabis is one of the innovative methods that researchers are searching for, even though there are several treatment processes.

Overview of Conditions:

AddictionHealthcare practitioners use the DSM-5 as a diagnostic reference for mental diseases. It has criteria for drug use disorders that differentiate between drug misuse and dependence on drugs (addiction). 
DepressionA persistent state of sadness and a lack of interest in activities. This condition not only impacts one’s emotions but also influences thoughts and behaviours. 
It can disrupt daily routines, and at times, it may even cast doubt on the value of life itself.
AnxietyIndividuals suffering from anxiety disorders could react with terror and dread to specific objects and circumstances. They can exhibit bodily symptoms of anxiousness, including perspiration and a racing heart.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)A mental illness triggered by going through or witnessing traumatic experiences.


Research assistant professor Kevin F. Boehnke of the University of Michigan’s Department of Anesthesiology and his colleagues discovered that patients who take cannabis and opiates combined cut back on their usage of opioids (40–60%)(1). These patients also mentioned that they preferred cannabis over opioids, had fewer adverse effects, improved cognitive function, and a higher quality of life. 

Yasmin Hurd, Ph.D., of the Ward-Coleman Chair of Translational Neuroscience, showed that large dosages of CBD assisted patients going through withdrawal from heroin (2). It reduced cravings and anxiety that arise in response to drug-related stimuli by more than 75%. The effects of CBD occur as soon as an hour after consumption and could last for seven days. 

According to a study published in the Journal of Addictive Behaviours, smokers trying to kick the habit found that ingesting CBD cut their cigarette consumption by 40% (3).


A recent study in the Affective Disorders Journal found that smoking cannabis reduces stress, anxiety, and depression in the short term (4). Instead of ingesting THC tablets in a lab, study participants used cannabis in the comfort of their own homes.

In a study from the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, most of the study’s participants reported that cannabis consumption had at least a temporary antidepressant effect (5). The study’s authors also mentioned that theirs was the biggest research to date, which assesses in real-time the effects of cannabis flower varieties on symptoms associated with depression.


Researchers at Whistler Therapeutics in Canada conducted a study in 2018 to determine which strains were best and worst for reducing anxiety (6). Even though the study had limitations, it did show that the chemical makeup of the cannabis product utilized can affect anxiety in different ways.

There is a substantial link between enhanced anxiolytic activity and THC and decreased anxiolytic activity with CBD. Only trans-nerolidol, among the main terpenes, showed a statistically significant association with elevated anxiolytic action. Apart from trans-nerolidol, caryophyllene shows a positive correlation. Researchers also observed higher anxiolytic action between α-pinene and D-limonene.


Endocannabinoids affect the brain areas implicated in stress-induced behavioural repercussions. These areas are are also potential therapeutic targets for cannabinoid substances. 

Stressful stimuli can alter neuroplastic patterns and cause an imbalance in the inhibitory and excitatory networks, but cannabinoids play a role in adult neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity processes. 

Research conducted in 2014 in New Mexico by ​​George R. Greer, President and Co-Founder of the Heffter Research Institute, and associates revealed that cannabis can lead to a reduction in PTSD symptoms in some patients (7). The CAPS (Clinician Administered Posttraumatic Scale) symptom scores decreased by more than 75% in patients who used cannabis.

Why do Cannabis Studies Matter?

Cannabis research only really got going in earnest two decades ago. It gained traction in the late 1990s and early 2000s when research revealed that marijuana may lessen nausea in chemotherapy patients and HIV-positive.

Understanding of cannabis and its possible advantages is severely lacking. The public is unaware of the appropriate technique for people to consume cannabis. This research can help physicians and users understand the effects and how to manage intake.

It also helps de-stigmatize cannabis and permits judgment-free usage of it for individuals who require it. Another motivation to research cannabis is that it offers patients an alternative that might be more effective or long-lasting.


Mental illnesses are a significant concern that demands nuanced discussion to address individual patients effectively. What sets these conditions apart is their lack of a one-size-fits-all solution that necessitates tailored approaches. This has spurred exploration into alternative methods, such as cannabis use.

Understanding these studies is necessary to grasp their impact on the human body and open doors to potentially effective and affordable treatments. Despite cannabis being readily available to many, there remains much to uncover about its therapeutic potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cannabis treat other health problems?

Yes. Studies demonstrate that cannabis can treat ailments, including pain. One of its common benefits is treating patients’ nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy.

How to use cannabis for treating mental illnesses?

The method you choose to utilize cannabis is up to you. You can purchase cannabis flower to roll into a joint from a dispensary if you’re used to smoking. For people who don’t smoke, edibles offer an alternative.

Regarding dosage, as a novice, you will need to begin with a smaller dose. The concentration of the active compounds varies in cannabis products, therefore you may need to modify the dosage according to the specific ingredient. Think about whether you want to feel the effects of CBD alone or THC.

Are there specific strains from a cannabis dispensary that can aid in mental problems?

Which strain you select will depend on the symptom you’re trying to address. For instance, if anxiety is a problem for you, look for a strain with minimal THC and pay attention to the terpenes. Indica strains may be a fantastic option if you want to aid with your depression-related sleep issues.

Do I need to use cannabis to help me with my depression constantly?

Using cannabis every day or nearly daily can raise your risk of acquiring anxiety and depression-related disorders. Since most studies have shown that cannabis benefits depressive symptoms for weeks, you’ll need to schedule your intake according to your needs. If you are unsure, you might inquire with your doctor about the frequency.