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Reductions in Cannabis Use Are Associated with Improvements in Anxiety, Depression, and Sleep Quality, But Not Quality of Life

Cannabis, the most commonly used illicit substance globally, presents risks as approximately 3 out of 10 users in the U.S. develop cannabis use disorder (CUD). While initially sought for its euphoric and calming effects, chronic cannabis use can exacerbate mental health symptoms, including depression, anxiety, and psychosis. With an increasing number seeking treatment for CUD, many cite associated mental health issues and functional impairments as motivating factors. However, the impact of reducing cannabis use on mental health and overall functioning remains underexplored. Addressing this gap in research is crucial, as it could inform treatment strategies and improve outcomes for individuals with comorbid cannabis use and other disorders. Evaluating diverse outcomes beyond abstinence-based measures may offer insights into the broader impacts of reducing cannabis use on health and psychosocial well-being, thus shaping future interventions for substance use disorders.


  1. Reduction in cannabis use is associated with reduced anxiety and depression
  2. Reduction in cannabis use is associated with improvement in sleep quality
  3. Cannabis use reduction should be part of the treatment for co-morbid patients

Findings suggest that decreasing cannabis consumption is likely linked to a simultaneous decrease in symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as an enhancement in sleep quality. More investigation into clinically significant targets for treatment interventions in cannabis use disorder (CUD) is justified based on these results.



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