Cannabis vs Diazepam: data & facts

medical cannabis Cannabis vs Diazepam
Cannabis vs Diazepam

Cannabis vs Diazepam (Valium)

As a scientist, I firmly believe in the power of data and facts.

That is why I wanted the facts I am presenting here to speak for themselves.

Diazepam (Valium) is a member of the Benzodiazepine family of drugs. It is prescribed for treating anxiety, pain, seizures and muscle spasms.

Paradoxically, amongst its frequent side effects, there are agitation and anxiety, muscle spasticity and tremor along with a long list of many other.

Yet, at contrary of Cannabis and its many therapeutical uses, Diazepam is one of the most prescribed medications, both in infants and elderly.

According to USA government estimates, doctors issue about 15 million Diazepam prescriptions annually in the United States only.

Abuse of benzodiazepines is very common, especially for the highly addictive properties of the drug.

The number of people admitted to treatment programs for abusing this drug increased nearly 570 percent from 2000 to 2010. (1)

Comparison of therapeutic properties: Cannabis vs Diazepam

Disease target Cannabis Diazepam
Diseases of Energy Metabolism Appetite regulation
Pain and Inflammation Acute pain (chemical, mechanical, thermal)
Chronic pain (inflammatory, neuropathic)
Central Nervous System Disorders Alzheimer’s Disease
Epilepsy Epilepsy
Insomnia Insomnia
Multiple Sclerosis
Nausea and emesis
Neurotoxicity and neurotrauma
Spinal Cord Injury
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Movement Disorders (Basal Ganglia Disorders) Dystonia
Gilles de la Tourette’s syndrome
Huntington’s disease
Muscle spasms Muscle spasms
Parkinson’s disease and levodopa-induced dyskinesia
Tardive dyskinesia
Mental Disorders Anxiety Anxiety
Delirium tremens
Cardiovascular and Respiratory Disorders Asthma
Circulatory Shock
Myocardial Reperfusion Injury
Cancer Antiprolific
Eye Disorders Glaucoma
Gastrointestinal and Liver Disorders Hepatitis
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Liver cirrhosis
Musculoskeletal Disorders Arthritis

Comparison of side effects: Cannabis vs Diazepam

As you scroll along the list, you will notice that in order to match the two colomns with corresponding “in target” effects, the effects on the left-side colomn (Cannabis) are often beneficial.

Side effects Cannabis Diazepam
  • increased heart rate
  • redness of the eyes
  • vasodilation/facial flush
  • blurred vision
  • diplopia
  • dysarthria
  • hypotension
  • phlebitis
  • venous thrombosis
  • vascular impairment
  • aids gastrointestinal functions (diarrhea is rare)
  • anti-emetic, can cause
    nausea when overdosed
  • eases cramps
  • abdominal pain can occurr (rare)
  • constipation
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • incontinence
  • nausea
  • stomachpain
  • urinary retention
  • increased libido
  • decreased libido
  • gynecomastia
  • sexual dysfunction


  • anti-inflammatory
  • granulomatous hepatitis
  • neutropenia
  • neutrophilic dermatosis
  • skin rash or rashes
  • swelling


  • muscle relaxant
  • unsteadiness
  • muscle spasticity
  • psychomotor impairment
  • tremor
  • dystonia
  • confusion
  • drowsiness
  • increased appetite
  • weakness
  • euphoria
  • sense of well-being
  • depersonalization
  • hallucination
  • paranoid reaction
  • aggressiveness
  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • ataxia
  • confusion
  • coma
  • cognitive impairments (also following use)
  • delusions
  • depersonalization
  • depression
  • derealization
  • drowsiness
  • fatigue
  • hallucinations
  • headaches
  • insomnia
  • nightmares
  • paradoxical reactions (increased agitation and hyperactivity)
  • psychoses
  • rage
  • restlessness
  • syncope
  • slurred speech
  • thinking problems
  • weakness
  • mood changes
  • physical dependence
  • psychological dependence
  • vertigo
  • withdrawal symptoms
  • bronchodilator (aids asthma)
  • bronchospasm
  • respiratory arrest
  • dry mouth
  • dry mouth
  • hypersalivation


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1) Chris Iliades, MD, and Mary Elizabeth Dallas. (2014). What Is Diazepam (Valium)?. Available: Last accessed 19/06/14.

Viola Brugnatelli

Viola Brugnatelli is a Neuroscientist specialised in Cannabinoid circuitry & GPCRs signalling. Her academy and research training let her gain extensive experience on medical cannabis and terpenes both from preclinical as well as clinical perspective. In her vision, collective human knowledge behold the power for overall improvement of life, thus, it should be accessible and shareable. Viola is Founder of the science online magazine Nature Going Smart, and works as a consultant for companies & individual patients, as a speaker at seminars and workshops and as a lecturer in a CME course on Medical Cannabis in Italy, at the University of Padua.

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4 Responses

  1. Victoria Robinson says:

    Very interested. I have epilepsy, depression, insomnia , muscle spasms , and PTSD .

  2. m says:

    I have COPD any help for that using Cannabis?

    • Viola Brugnatelli says:

      Cannabis is a great anti-inflammatory & bronchodilator, it would definitely aid the inflamed lining of airways to distend & decrease the overproduction of mucus, thus making it easier to breathe. It would help you if you have chronic bronchitis, however, make sure to never intake cannabis by smoking, as it may worsen your symptoms. You can check our guides on vaporizers & tea.
      All best!

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