Study: Cannabis Inhalation Associated with Reduction in Distress-Related Symptoms

Albuquerque, NM: Subjects report significant reductions in distress-related symptoms following the inhalation of herbal cannabis, according to data published in the Journal of Cannabis Research.

A team of researchers affiliated with the University of New Mexico assessed the effects of cannabis inhalation on feelings of irritability, anxiety, and stress in 670 subjects over a nine-month period. Study participants self-administered cannabis at home and reported symptom changes in real time on a mobile software application.

A decrease in distress-related symptoms was reported by subjects over 95 percent of the time following their use of herbal cannabis. Researchers reported, “On average, respondents recorded a maximum symptom intensity reduction of 4.33 points for agitation/irritability, 3.47 points for anxiety, and 3.98 for stress on an 11-point visual analog scale.” 

Authors reported that higher THC levels were most closely associated with reductions in distress-related symptoms. By contrast, “CBD levels were generally not associated with changes in symptom intensity levels.”

They concluded: “The findings suggest the majority of patients in our sample experienced relief from distress-related symptoms following consumption of Cannabis flower, and that among product characteristics, higher THC levels were the strongest predictors of relief.”

Using similar methods, UNM researchers have previously reported that cannabis exposure is associated with real-time reductions in migraine symptoms, pain intensity, depressive symptoms, as well as improvements in sleep.

Full text of the study, “The effectiveness of inhaled cannabis flower for the treatment of agitation/irritability, anxiety, and common stress,” appears in the Journal of Cannabis Research.