Depression is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders affecting Canadians, along with anxiety. It’s estimated that 1 in 5 Canadians will have had a mental illness in their life, with that number rising to 50% by the age of 40. Approximately 8% of Canadians will experience a major depressive episode in their lives.
There has been a dialogue swirling around the issue of cannabis for depression that has many confused as to whether cannabis can help, or harm people suffering from this mental health condition. One side of the argument warns of cannabis’ potential for negative psychological consequences while the other sees a promise in cannabis for the management of depression symptoms.
So, is cannabis something that can help or harm people with depression? The answer is both. The following is an investigation of perspectives surrounding depression and the discourse that follows when cannabis is brought into the equation.
Perspective One: Cannabis Helps Those with Depression
Researchers and the medical community who believe that cannabis holds promise for the treatment of depression consistently draw on the role of the endocannabinoid system as a regulator of mood. The following perspectives are shared supporting cannabis’ beneficial uses for depression:
The evidence surrounding cannabis and its potential for the treatment of depression has come to somewhat of a swell as more Canadians experience depression in their lives. For some who may not be open to pharmaceutical intervention for their depression symptoms, cannabis may be the answer.
For others, cannabis may be the last thing they need to treat their depression.
Perspective Two: Cannabis Causes Depression
Some mental health advocates are fearful about what could happen to people who abuse cannabis, with the worry that using cannabis can exacerbate symptoms of depression. Within the psychological community, overuse and abuse is a focal point.
Here are the various perspectives surrounding cannabis and depression that has some in the medical and psychological communities instructing those with depression to lay off the weed:
When looked at critically, it can be understood why there are some concerns about cannabis use when looked at in the context of mental health and depression. The spectrum of opinions is vast, yet it’s up to the consumer to determine the best course of action for cannabis use for depression.
Balancing the Scales on Depression and Cannabis
These perspectives show that there does need to be an informed approach of cannabis use for those with depression, and this is where communities like Modern Leaf focused on cannabis education come in.
As the perspectives supporting cannabis use for depression show, there seems to be loads of potential for investigation into exactly how cannabis can help the human brain. The anti-cannabis perspectives show a need to be balanced in cannabis intake and understand the levels of THC present in a strain.
Cannabis should not be prohibited in anyone’s life, but everyone does have their own duty to use cannabis responsibly and in a way that is positive and beneficial to the user.