Cannabis (marijuana) is not FDA-approved for treatment of mood or anxiety disorders, and there is currently limited research and regulation of cannabis products. Some very small studies have shown benefits of cannabis for specific types of anxiety (public speaking) and insomnia, but more research needs to be done to assess whether cannabis is an effective treatment for depression or generalized anxiety.

Since cannabis is not regulated by FDA, it is difficult to determine what chemicals and what concentrations you are actually using, which is problematic and could even be dangerous. While CBD (cannabidiol, a component of marijuana) is considered non-psychoactive, a large number of products advertised as “CBD only” have been shown to also contain some level of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive part of marijuana).

Both THC and CBD can interact with medications and these interactions can pose a danger as well. Marijuana can slow down your gastrointestinal system and may affect metabolism (breakdown) of some medications, both of which can result in people absorbing a greater dose of medications and having more side effects. The effects of marijuana can also counter the positive effects of medications.

If you do decide to use cannabis of any form, always inform your medical providers so that you can discuss risks and receive more specific recommendations and counseling on any potential interactions with your medications.

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