A new study out of Australia suggests medical marijuana can improve the quality of life for those who suffer chronic health issues.
The research, published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One, found that medical cannabis not only improved quality of life in the first three months of use, but also helped ease anxiety, depression and pain levels over time.
“Within the first three months of medicinal cannabis therapy, participants reported improvements in their health-related quality of life, fatigue, and health conditions associated with anxiety, depression, and pain,” senior research officer Margaret-Ann Tait said in a statement to SWNS.
University of Sydney researchers surveyed more than 2,300 patients who were prescribed THC and CBD dissolved in a carrier oil between November 2020 and December 2021.
Those surveyed were 18 to 97 years old, with an average age of 51.
Nearly two-thirds were women.
At 69%, the most common condition being treated was chronic pain, with insomnia following at 23%, generalized anxiety at 22%, and a mix of anxiety and depression at 11%.
Half of the patients were being treated for more than one condition.
The researchers asked participants about their quality of life as it relates to their health, as well as their sleep habits, pain levels, anxiety and depression before they began the cannabis therapy.
They repeated these questions after two weeks of treatments, and then continued to do so once a month for three months.
Patients reported significant improvements in their health-related quality of life and fatigue levels, as well as with their pain.
Moderate to severe cases of anxiety and depression also were eased.
However, patients did not find cannabis to be helpful when it came to their insomnia, with researchers observing no overall improvements.
Researchers also noted they did not study adverse effects of the treatment — 30 patients did drop out of the study due to “unwanted side effects.”
They will continue to follow up with participants to monitor if the improvements continued.
The study comes on the heels of a Gallup survey that found half of US residents have tried smoking weed, and 17% currently indulge in it.
In 2013, only 7% of people admitted to using the drug to Gallup — meaning that the number of Americans who currently smoke marijuana has more than doubled in 10 years.
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