Researchers Say One Puff of CBD Cannabis Can Reduce Depression

A unique study by Washington State University (WSU) scientists examined how different strains and quantities of cannabis at home affect people’s self-reported levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.

What these WSU scientists found is that one puff high in the soothing and calming Cannabis component known as CBD and low in THC, the psychoactive ingredient that tends to give people the high, was optimal for reducing symptoms of depression.

Published this month in the Journal of Affective Disorders, the scientists discovered that two puffs of any type of cannabis were sufficient to reduce symptoms of anxiety. Ten or more puffs of cannabis – high in CBD and high in THC – produced the largest reductions in stress.

During the research, users rated the symptoms they were experiencing from one to ten before using cannabis, then rate them again 20 minutes after smoking along with how many puffs they had.

There is also a difference in terms of how both sexes reacted. The researchers found women reported a significantly greater reduction in anxiety following cannabis use.

The study analyzed 12,000 anonymous Strainprint entries for depression, anxiety, and stress.  The trademarked app Strainprint provides medical cannabis users a means of tracking how different doses and types of cannabis affect a wide variety of symptoms of well-being.

The study is among several cannabis-related research projects currently being conducted at WSU.

First Attempt by U.S. Scientists?

On its page, WSU dubbed the research as the “first attempt by U.S. scientists” to evaluate how cannabis with varying degrees in THC and CBD affect medical marijuana patients’ feelings of well-being when smoked outside of a laboratory.

Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology at WSU and lead author of the study, said:

“Existing research on the effects of cannabis on depression, anxiety and stress are very rare and have almost exclusively been done with orally administered THC pills in a laboratory.”

She added:

“What is unique about our study is that we looked at actual inhaled cannabis by medical marijuana patients who were using it in the comfort of their own homes as opposed to a laboratory.”

The study is among several cannabis-related research projects currently being conducted at WSU, all of which are consistent with federal law and many of which are funded by Washington state cannabis taxes and liquor license fees.