Cannabis could be effective to contrast anxiety and depressive states and generalized stress?

Cannabis reduces anxiety, stress and depression

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Cannabis could be effective to contrast anxiety and depressive states and generalized stress? Many scientific research studies are available, which have investigated on the relationship between Cannabinoids and similar conditions.


Cannabis, CBD and anxiety

The National Institute of Drug Abuse in collaboration with the Imperial College London has published in the month of June this year a study conducted on 48 individuals about the effects caused by the abuse of Cannabis. 

In the patients examined, the abuse of cannabis would provoke a state of anxiety and generalized depression, probably due to the psychotropic effects of THC, which alters in some manner the emotional state of the individual; an important role is also played by the subjectivity of the individual.

THC stimulates the brain to release dopamine which results in effects of euphoria and wellbeing, but in case we are focused on issues regarding, for example, problems at work or stress, the effects of THC could, however, not be positive. 

Why does the anxiety state occur?

The cause is said to be caused by the lack of dopamine, in fact, when one overuses cannabis, just like in the case of alcohol, the brain becomes less reactive and dopamine diminishes, creating as a consequence a decrease in the normal regulation of  mood and emotions.

The role of CBD

On the other hand when one only uses CBD, the effects are different. In fact, CBD contrary to THC, hasn’t got any psychotropic effect on our organism, but acts on the muscle and nervous systems, creating a state of relaxation and maintaining the mind perfectly clear.

Also in this case, subjectivity probably affects the choices of the individual users, but the feedback we gathered, lead us to underlining  how CBD, taken separately from THC has had very important results, for example on individuals with anxiety states.   

The Research Study of the University of Washington

A team of researchers of the University of Washington has conducted a study during which the effects of cannabis were analyzed in counteracting states of stress, anxiety and depression.

Published in the Journal of Affective Disorders the study has adopted a particular method: an app to keep trace of the medical uses and the entirety of symptoms in 280 different disorders.  

The app registered gender, quantity of cannabis used and the percentages of contents of the main active principles, THC e CBD. 

12.000 responses of about 1400 patients using cannabis for their individual health issues, were examined. 20 minutes after the use of cannabis, the patients had to quantify their existing symptoms on a scale of 0 to 10. 

After having used cannabis, 50% of the consumers noticed a reduction of the depressive state and in 58% a reduction of anxiety and stress.  
The Cannabis used for the cases of depression, had a high CBD content and low THC. 

In cases with anxiety and stress, on the other hand, the cannabis variety used had both high CBD and THC contents. 

According to Francesco Crestani, a cannabis prescribing physician who treated this specific argument in an article “Cannabis is showing its true colours more and more: a medicinal plant, extremely useful, but to be handled with care”.

Anxiety, what does it look like and which are the symptoms? 

An anxiety state is provoked when a sensation of danger is perceived and as a consequence the necessity to seek refuge. The symptoms present themselves in different ways, for example depressive states, paranoia, difficulty communicating or generalized anxiety states, triggered by situations of various kinds.

Anxiety related disorders should be addressed with the help of a professional and the intention of this article is to supply a different point of view regarding the possible fields of application of CBD.

In order to better understand how CBD would be able to contrast anxiety, we mention a study carried out in 2015 and published  in  “Neurotherapeutics”, conducted by a team of scientists composed of  Esther M. Blessing, Maria M. Steenkamp, Jorge Manzanares e Charles R. Marmar.

Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study were examining the effects of CBD on the symptoms of anxiety or the possible protective effects of CBD with regard to symptoms of anxiety caused by the use of cannabis, in this case the CBD contents have been administered in a higher CBD/THC ratio.


The preclinical evidence of the study demonstrate the effectiveness of CBD in reducing relevant anxiety behaviour related to several disorders, as they would collaborate in stimulating the serotonin receptors, which would lead to establishing a positive effect on the individual treated.   

With the premise that further research is necessary to come to a conclusion which is based on proven scientific evidence, the research team states that “Overall, this review underlines the potential value and the need of additional studies on CBD in the treatment of  anxiety disorders”.

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