German study reveals effectiveness of cannabis as treatment for chronic depression

Depressed lady feeling weary dizzy

Effectiveness of medical cannabis for the treatment of depression 

In an 18-week retrospective longitudinal study conducted by the Algea Care therapeutic network and the LVR University Hospital in Essen, German researchers explored the effects of medicinal cannabis on patients suffering from chronic depression. The results were promising, showing significant improvements among participants.

Study methodology

The study included 59 outpatients with major depressive disorder (MDD), who were treated with medicinal cannabis via a tele-medical platform. To be eligible, participants had to have received prior treatment with antidepressants. Data were collected at study entry and during monthly consultations, with an assessment of the severity of depression on a rating scale of 0 to 10.

Encouraging results

The average severity of depression decreased from 6,9 points at entry to 3,8 points at week 18. More than half of the patients experienced a reduction of more than 50% in their initial score at the end of the study. These results suggest a significant improvement in depressive symptoms in patients treated with medicinal cannabis.

Minimal side effects

Researchers noted that although some patients reported side effects such as dry eyes, dry mouth, and increased appetite, none of these effects were considered serious. The treatment discontinuation rate was comparable to those in clinical trials of antidepressant medications, indicating satisfactory tolerance to medicinal cannabis.

Future prospects

The findings of this study pave the way for additional research into the use of medicinal cannabis for the treatment of MDD. Researchers emphasize the importance of considering potential risks associated with this treatment, such as the development of cannabis use disorder or side effects such as decreased concentration.

In summary, this German study suggests that medicinal cannabis could play a significant role in the treatment of chronic depression, providing an optimistic outlook for the future of medical research in this area.

Tags : Medical ResearchMental Health
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