A large study now shows that while there is evidence for a link between the active ingredient THC and an increased risk of anxiety, psychosis and depression, there is insufficient evidence that preparations containing pharmaceutical THC can have a positive effect on mental disorders.

Image: by Margo Amala on Unsplash

This writes forskning.no. They write further:

Researchers have reviewed 83 studies involving over 3000 people and found that medical cannabis preparations can not be recommended for mental illness.

- This is a solid study, where the researchers have used good criteria to select studies and made a thorough review, says Jørgen G. Bramness, specialist in psychiatry and senior researcher at the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH), to the Norwegian health news outlet, Dagens Medisin.

He is also not surprised by the results of the Australian report published in The Lancet Psychiatry recently. 


Nothing to gain from using cannabis as a medicine when it comes to mental health

The review study summarized results from 42 studies on depression, 31 on anxiety, eight on Tourette's syndrome, three on ADHD, 12 on PTSD and 11 on psychosis. The conclusion is that there is insufficient evidence to claim that cannabinoids improve disease or symptoms.

Forskning.no writes:

Bramness in FHI says he is contacted every week by people who ask about medical cannabis use related to precisely the diseases included in the study.

- I am glad that it is established in a large study that there is nothing to be gained from using cannabis as a medicine when it comes to mental health, says Bramness.

- I welcome cannabis for medical indication, but we can not set lower requirements for cannabis than for other drugs, he adds.


Relationship between THC and mental health problems

On the other hand, the study emphasizes the opposite picture. Forskning.no writes:

(...) there is evidence that there is a link between the active ingredient THC from cannabis abuse and an increased risk of anxiety, psychosis and depression (...)



Cite this article


Feel free to use information from this article on your website, but remember to add a link.


Written by

ove heradstveit

Ove Heradstveit

Psychologist, specialist in clinical community psychology. PhD.
 Facebook -  Twitter -  Scholar
- Helpseeker.net 

Read more about substance use