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 targetCannabisDiazepam
Diseases of Energy MetabolismAppetite regulation
Pain and InflammationAcute pain (chemical, mechanical, thermal)
Chronic pain (inflammatory, neuropathic)
Central Nervous System DisordersAlzheimer’s Disease
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 spasmsMuscle spasms
Parkinson’s disease and levodopa-induced dyskinesia
Tardive dyskinesia
Mental DisordersAnxietyAnxiety
Delirium tremens
Cardiovascular and Respiratory DisordersAsthma
Circulatory Shock
Myocardial Reperfusion Injury
Eye DisordersGlaucoma
Gastrointestinal and Liver DisordersHepatitis
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Liver cirrhosis
Musculoskeletal DisordersArthritis

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 effectsCannabisDiazepam
  • 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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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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8 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!

  3. stacie says:

    This is a load of crap. The side effects listed are rare, which you forgot to mention. A shame you didn’t list the effects that diazepam usually has on people (such as a decrease in anxiety, treatment for insomnia, etc.). . Reading this list you would think that diazepam causes restlessness and anxiety in everyone( among other things), which is the complete opposite of what it actually does. I won’t deny that the potential for abuse is probably pretty high, but marijuana is actually abused much more frequently. I have a kid that uses it, and he has turned into a lazy slob since he started using it. He no longer has any motivation, which is a side effect that was left out.

    • Hi Stacie, thanks for sharing your views. Very important points you are making. I am sorry to hear you feel this article isn’t representing the reality you are experiencing. It is true that some people have the impression that cannabis impairs motivation in chronic users. For this reason scientists at USC have carried out a large study on 487 individuals who consume daily cannabis and from their results: “Robust statistical methods controlling for heteroscedasticity, non-normality and extreme values found no differences in motivation but a small difference in subjective wellbeing. Medical users of cannabis reporting health problems tended to account for a significant portion of subjective wellbeing differences, suggesting that illness decreased wellbeing.Thus, daily use of cannabis does not impair motivation.”
      So it seems that rather then being the trigger to a lack of motivation, cannabis might be used (or abused) when in lack of motivation, to hinder a stressed or simply bored state.
      I Hope this information will support an informed & loving conversation with your son.

  4. Zee says:

    I have asthma, fybromyalgia, polymiositis, cervical spondylosis, osteoarthritis. rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, carpel tunnel, an underactive thyroid (post surgery after graves disease), am bipolar as well as having anxiety and depression, I am a high function autistic … I take a number of meds to manage my illnesses which over time have been minimised as much as I can to the very basic pharma medications, which includes (recently) gastro meds for silent gastric reflux disease. I also take vitamins and mineral supplements (garlic, selenium, brewers yeast, vit c and vit c with zinc, ginge) in my efforts to minimise pharma meds which were making me more ill than my illnesses. I really want to try cbd oil but don’t know how to go about this and whether or not to try drops under the tongue or vaping. How would I go about trying the use of cbd alongside the above meds?

    • Hello,
      Thank you for entrusting in us. Medical cannabis has indeed greatly benefited patients suffering from many of the conditions that you mention; However, as for dosages, administration forms and possible interactions with current meds, you need to discuss this with your physician who will prescribe your tailored therapy. I hope this helps, best of luck!

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