What if a scientific report was released that showed that marijuana helped to significantly reduce depression, anxiety and stress? Could that be enough to convince those who would oppose the herb? We will see because that is exactly what has been published by a Canadian data and analytics company based on a large population of patients.
Strainprint is a mobile app intended to change the way that medical marijuana patients track and select their cannabis strains. Acting as an amped up dosing journal, the Strainprint app encourages patients to select up to three medical conditions they seek to remedy with cannabis. The users then enter the strain they are using, when, in what amounts and, most importantly, perceived effectiveness. This creates a data point for both user and anonymously to physicians to determine how to maximize outcomes.
Data is king and the folks at Strainprint know this. They intend to do more than provide purchasing guidance for patients as is evidenced by this latest study of over 11,000 user sessions and their outcomes.
Users reported a “50 percent reduction in depression and a 58 percent reduction in anxiety and stress following cannabis use.” Dosing can be a challenging and somewhat subjective measurement when it comes to smoking. Researchers asked users how many “puffs” they took. Two puffs were sufficient to reduce ratings of depression and anxiety, while 10+ puffs produced the greatest perceived reductions in stress.”
Since the company is interested not simply in the efficacy of cannabis but which strains or chemovars had particular effects, there was more detail to be had. They reported that cannabis strains that were low THC/high CBD were the best choice for reducing symptoms of depression. High THC/high CBD was best for stress reduction.
It was not all good news for cannabis enthusiasts, however. Over time, the patients using cannabis for depression experienced a gradual exacerbation of symptoms. They got worse. But data like this does not exist in a bubble. Researchers at the University of Buffalo have already shown in animal models that chronic stress is a major contributor to depression-like symptoms. So, for some forms of depression, it could be just what the doctor ordered, so to speak. It’s too early to know for certain.
One thing we can bank on is more collective data research like this one. The gathering of data from customers is just beginning to integrate itself into loyalty and customer reward programs at retail marijuana stores throughout. The increasing number of brands showing up at trade shows reflects the value of the information that will be collected about all of us.
In the case of this study from Strainprint, the consumer is able to benefit from the information exchanged, as can professional healthcare providers seeking data-based guidance in this brave new world of legal weed.