Cannabis Research Roundup: March 8, 2024


What is new in research on cannabis?

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science thodonal_AdobeStock

In this Research Roundup, we explore new studies on cannabis use and its connections to anxiety disorders, catatonia, and more psychiatric disorders.

Exploring the Association Between Cannabis Use and Anxiety Disorders
This systematic review investigated the relationship between cannabis use/cannabis use disorder (CUD) and anxiety disorders through various hypotheses. While some studies found no correlation, others reported significant relationships between cannabis use and anxiety. Meta-analysis supports anxiety correlating with cannabis use/CUD, with the self-medication hypothesis being the most plausible explanation for the association.

“The association between cannabis and anxiety is best explained by anxiety predisposing individuals toward CU as a method of self-medication,” the investigators concluded. “A causal relationship in which CU causes AD incidence is less likely despite multiple longitudinal studies suggesting so.”


Beletsky A, Liu C, Lochte B, et al. Cannabis and anxiety: a critical reviewMed Cannabis Cannabinoids. 2024;7(1):19-30.

Managing Psychiatric Disorders in Youth Who Use Cannabis
This systematic review aimed to assess evidence-based approaches for treating adolescents and young adults with common psychiatric disorders who use cannabis regularly. Out of 989 screened studies, only 5 randomized controlled trials met the inclusion criteria, focusing on depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. The review highlights a lack of research in this area, underscoring the need for more evidence to develop effective treatment recommendations for comorbid mental health disorders and cannabis use in youth.

The investigators concluded that, “Overall, there is a paucity of research on the treatment of comorbid adolescent mental health disorders and cannabis use, which limits the ability to draw evidence-based treatment recommendations.”


Vidal C, Simon KM, Brooks C, et al. A systematic review of evidence on integrated management of psychiatric disorders in youth who use cannabis. Drug Alcohol Depend Rep. 2024;10:100216.

A Look at a Case of Cannabis-Induced Catatonia
This case study focused on a 23-year-old man who was experiencing recurrent catatonia induced by cannabis use. Despite the absence of hallucinations, he exhibited catatonic symptoms, effectively managed with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and lorazepam.

“The connection between cannabis and catatonia is intricate and not entirely comprehended,” the investigators concluded. “Although cannabis possesses therapeutic advantages, it can paradoxically trigger catatonia in certain individuals. Multiple factors, such as genetics, cannabinoids, and neurotransmitter systems, contribute to this intricacy, underscoring the necessity for additional research.”


Moshfeghinia R, Hosseinzadeh M, Mostafavi S, et al. Recurrent cannabis-induced catatonia: a case report and comprehensive systematic literature reviewFront Psychiatry. 2024;15:1332310.

Note: This Research Roundup was prepared with the assistance of ChatGPT.

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