Medical Cannabis, Mental Health and Strainprint
Cannabis has been found useful in soothing a variety of ailments and symptoms. THC has been proven to provide the pain-relieving properties patients seek, while CBD aids in calming inflammation. But what role does cannabis play in mental health?
Due to the Schedule 1 label dictated by the Drug Enforcement Agency, there is limited research to definitively claim that cannabis can help with specific symptoms or ailments. That’s where cannabis journaling apps like Strainprint™ comes in.
What Strainprint Says
Strainprint is a mobile cannabis journal helping patients refine their medical cannabis routine. Patients indicate their ailment and symptoms upon signing up on the app, with tracked sessions recording their symptom on a scale of 1-10 prior to beginning a medication session and assessing the symptom 20 minutes after onset of effects. The Strainprint app boasts over 1.75 million unique tracked sessions.
This readily available and anonymized data is invaluable to researchers, like those at Washington State University (WSU). Instead of spending years jumping through hoops to conduct a DEA-approved study, WSU researchers used Strainprint’s medication tracking sessions to analyze the impact of cannabis on mental health in two separate studies and to support past research articles that found positive correlations in mental health symptom reduction.
In 2018, WSU researchers analyzed 11,953 tracked sessions from 561 users. They sought to analyze the “naturalistic account[s] of perceived changes in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress,” as published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. Of the 11,000 sessions:
- 3,151 were tracked for depression, with 89.3% of sessions reflecting an improvement in perceived levels of depression
- 5,085 sessions were tracked for anxiety, with 93.5% of sessions reflecting an improvement in perceived levels of anxiety
- 3,717 tracked sessions were for stress, with 93.3% of sessions reflecting an improvement in perceived levels of stress.
In 2020, WSU researchers analyzed 11,797 tracked sessions from 404 medical cannabis users utilizing the Strainprint app to mitigate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and the efficacy for specific symptoms. The symptoms tracked included intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, irritability and/or anxiety. The study, also published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, found cannabis dosing reflected a:
- 62% reduction in the severity of intrusive thoughts
- 51% reduction in the severity of flashbacks
- 67% reduction in the severity of irritability
- 57% reduction in the severity of anxiety
It is important to note with both of these studies that, while cannabis appeared to assist in short-term symptom reduction, it did not appear to reduce long-term occurrence of symptoms, though more focused longitudinal research is needed to support this.
These studies have been deemed quote-worthy and have been referenced in the news, blogs and cited in other research articles.
What MÜV and Strainprint Have Found
MÜV, like WSU, saw the value in the anonymous data available from Strainprint. Through our partnership and patients like you, MÜV has found:
- MÜV Püre Maui Wowie has an efficacy of 75% in relation to reducing perceived levels of depression and 63% efficacy in perceived levels of stress
- MÜV Strawberry Cough Flower has an efficacy of 64% in relation to perceived levels of irritability
- MÜV Slurricane Flower has an efficacy of 56% in relation to perceived levels of anxiety
- MÜV Black Mamba has an efficacy of 57% in relation to the occurrence of intrusive thoughts
These tracked sessions give MÜV insights as to the best products for specific symptoms, and aids in our educating of patients that enter our dispensaries. While cannabis may help with the symptom management for patients with mental health disorders, it should not be the only solution to them.
NAMI – Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health
Mental health care is not black and white, there is no one solution for it. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the “largest grassroots mental health organization” in the United States and is dedicating to not only supporting those living with mental illness, including finding recovery methods, but to destigmatizing mental health itself. According to NAMI, 20% of Americans experience mental illness a year, and 4% of Americans experience serious mental illness.
For the days that seem harder than others, NAMI is here to help. NAMI has chapters throughout the United States, including 24 in the state of Florida. Through local chapters, Floridians can find educational resources, educational events and support groups, now conducted in virtual format. Visit their website or Facebook page for more information.