Discontinuing cannabis improves depression in people with multiple sclerosis: A short report Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • To assess whether symptoms of depression change when people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) discontinue cannabis use, 40 cognitively impaired pwMS who smoked cannabis almost daily were randomly assigned to either a cannabis continuation (CC) or cannabis withdrawal (CW) group. Both groups were followed for 28 days. All participants completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. At day 28 the 11-nor-9-carboxy-Δ9-tetrahydro-cannabinol (THCCOOH)/creatinine ratio in the CW group declined to zero ( p = 0.0001), but remained unchanged in the CC group ( p = 0.709). Depression scores in those pwMS who were using cannabis to manage their depression remained statistically unchanged in the CC group, but declined in the CW group ( p = 0.006). Despite pwMS using cannabis to help their mood, depression improved significantly off the drug. Our finding provides a cautionary note in relation to cannabis use in pwMS, at least with respect to depression.

publication date

  • April 2021