According to a recent study, medical marijuana fails to improve symptoms of pain, anxiety and depression and actually effectively doubles the risk of developing addictive symptoms and cannabis use disorder, otherwise known as CUD.

The study was published by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital on March 18 and said that up to one in five users of cannabis may develop CUD.

“There have been many claims about the benefits of medical marijuana for treating pain, insomnia, anxiety and depression, without sound scientific evidence to support them,” said Professor Jodi Gilman in a news release.

Lead author Gilman, PhD, with the Center for Addiction Medicine at MGH added, “In this first study of patients randomized to obtain medical marijuana cards, we learned there can be negative consequences to using cannabis for medical purposes. People with pain, anxiety or depression symptoms failed to report any improvements, though those with insomnia experienced improved sleep.”

Particularly disturbing to Gilman was the fact individuals with symptoms of anxiety or depression — the most common conditions for which medical cannabis is sought — were most vulnerable to developing cannabis use disorder. CUD symptoms include the need for more cannabis to overcome drug tolerance, and continued use despite physical or psychological problems caused by the cannabis.”

The researchers alarmingly found that those who consume cannabis with anxiety and depression had the highest risk of developing CUD.

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