Cannabis Products Associated With Reductions in Depression Severity at 1, 3, and 6 Months

Cannabis-based medicinal products are associated with a significant reduction in depression severity over the course of a six month examination period.

This is according to the findings of a study being published in the newest issue of the journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics. The study was conducted by researchers at Kings College London, Imperial College London, St. George’s Hospital NHS Trust and the South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. The full text of the study can be found by clicking here.

The study included 129 patients treated with medicinal cannabis for depression at Sapphire Medical Clinics. The results showed that “medicinal cannabis was associated with improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as health-related quality of life, and sleep quality after 1, 3, and 6 months of treatment.”

For the study an “uncontrolled case series of the UK Medical Cannabis Registry was analyzed.” Primary outcomes “were changes from baseline in the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Sleep Quality Scale (SQS), and EQ-5D-5L at 1, 3, and 6 months.” Secondary outcomes included adverse events incidence.

Researchers found reductions in PHQ-9 at 1-month, 3-months, and 6-months.

“Improvements were also observed in GAD-7, SQS, and EQ-5D-5L Index Value at 1, 3, and 6 months (p<0.050). 153 (118.6%) adverse events were recorded by 14.0% (n=18) of participants, 87% (n=133) of which were mild or moderate.”

The study concludes:

CBMP treatment was associated with reductions in depression severity at 1, 3, and 6 months. Limitations of the study design mean that a causal relationship cannot be proven. This analysis provides insights for further study within clinical trial settings.

Below is the study’s full abstract.

Abstract

Background: Although pre-clinical experiments associate cannabinoids with reduced depressive symptoms, there is a paucity of clinical evidence. This study aimed to analyze the health-related quality of life changes and safety outcomes in patients prescribed cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) for depression.

Methods: An uncontrolled case series of the UK Medical Cannabis Registry was analyzed. Primary outcomes were changes from baseline in the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Sleep Quality Scale (SQS), and EQ-5D-5L at 1, 3, and 6 months. Secondary outcomes included adverse events incidence.

Results: 129 patients were identified for inclusion. Median PHQ-9 at baseline was 16.0 (IQR: 9.0-21.0). There were reductions in PHQ-9 at 1-month (median: 8.0; IQR: 4.0-14.0; p<0.001), 3-months (7.0; 2.3-12.8; p<0.001), and 6-months (7.0; 2.0-9.5; p<0.001). Improvements were also observed in GAD-7, SQS, and EQ-5D-5L Index Value at 1, 3, and 6 months (p<0.050). 153 (118.6%) adverse events were recorded by 14.0% (n=18) of participants, 87% (n=133) of which were mild or moderate.

Conclusion: CBMP treatment was associated with reductions in depression severity at 1, 3, and 6 months. Limitations of the study design mean that a causal relationship cannot be proven. This analysis provides insights for further study within clinical trial settings.