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Value of Medical Marijuana for Mental Health Questioned

A meta-analysis of quite 80 studies from the past four decades finds weak evidence to support the utilization of medicinal cannabis to treat anxiety, depression, and other psychological state disorders.

So far, research has did not provide convincing evidence of the efficacy of medicinal cannabis treatments to alleviate symptoms related to mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, or psychosis, consistent with a meta-analysis published within the Lancet Psychiatry yesterday (October 28).

The study, which examined 83 studies since 1980 involving a complete of quite 3,000 people, also found concerns with the utilization of medical marijuana treatments that include the most psychoactive ingredient of cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). One 2005 study of 24 patients, for instance, found that a treatment that included THC worsened the negative symptoms of psychosis and reduced cognitive functioning compared with placebo. And searching across nearly a dozen randomized controlled trials, other THC-based therapies led to more adverse side effects compared with placebo, and more patients withdrew from the study as a result.

“Cannabinoids are often advocated as a treatment for various psychological state conditions,” coauthor Louisa Degenhardt, a drug and alcohol expert at Australia’s University of latest South Wales, tells Reuters. “[But] clinicians and consumers got to remember of the inferiority and quantity of evidence . . . and therefore the potential risk of adverse events . . . and until evidence from randomized controlled trials is out there, clinical guidelines can’t be involved around their use in psychological state disorders.”

Deepak Cyril D’Souza of Yale University School of drugs agrees. During a commentary published alongside the meta-analysis, he writes: “[I]n light of the paucity of evidence, the absence of excellent quality evidence for efficacy, and therefore the known risk of cannabinoids, their use as treatments for psychiatric disorders can’t be justified at the present .”

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