Cannabis and mental health: How it affects anxiety, depression, and PTSD

Cannabis and Mental Health: How it Affects Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD

An Overview of Cannabis

Cannabis is a plant that contains psychoactive compounds such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). It is commonly used for recreational and medical purposes, with various strains and methods of consuming it.

Mental Health Conditions and Cannabis Use

Cannabis has been found to have effects on mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Cannabis use has been found to have both anxiogenic and anxiolytic effects. THC is the compound that is responsible for the former, since it can induce anxiety and paranoia in some individuals. However, CBD has been found to have anxiolytic effects, which means that it can reduce symptoms of anxiety. With that being said, the dosage and specific strains used may play a role in the effects of cannabis on anxiety.


The effects of cannabis on depression are still being studied. However, some studies have found that certain strains of cannabis may have antidepressant effects. THC has been found to have mood-altering effects and can increase dopamine levels, which may temporarily relieve symptoms of depression. However, the long-term effects of THC on depression are still unclear. CBD, on the other hand, has been found to have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects, which may be beneficial for individuals with depression.


PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop after exposure to a traumatic event. Cannabis use has been found to potentially alleviate some symptoms of PTSD, such as anxiety and insomnia. THC may help with symptom relief, but it can also impair memory and increase anxiety in some individuals. CBD may be more beneficial for individuals with PTSD, since it has been found to have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects.

The Importance of Consulting a Healthcare Professional

It is important to note that cannabis use may not be appropriate for everyone with anxiety, depression, or PTSD. Consulting with a healthcare professional is important to determine whether or not cannabis use is appropriate, and what dosage and strain may be most effective for an individual.


Overall, cannabis may have effects on mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of cannabis on mental health. It is important for individuals to consult with a healthcare professional before using cannabis for mental health conditions, in order to determine whether or not it is appropriate for their specific needs and circumstances. Sources: 1. Bonn-Miller, M. O., Babson, K. A., & Vandrey, R. (2014). Using Cannabis to Help You Sleep: Heightened Frequency of Medical Cannabis Use among Those with PTSD. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 136, 162–165. 2. Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. 3. Hill, M. N., Patel, S., & Campolongo, P. (2010). Functional Interactions between Stress and the Endocannabinoid System: From Synaptic Signaling to Behavioral Output. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30(45), 14980–14986. 4. Mechoulam, R., Peters, M., Murillo-Rodriguez, E., & Hanus, L. O. (2007). Cannabidiol—Recent Advances. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 4(8), 1678–1692. 5. Schoedel, K. A., Zuurman, L., Johnson, F., & Fricke, J. (2014). A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study in Three Streams of Nociceptive Pain Model Patients to Evaluate the Analgesic Efficacy of a Cannabis-Based Medicine (Sativex®). Neuropsychopharmacology, 39(12), 2948–2957.