“Mental illness affects people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures” (CMHA, 2018)
Mental Health Week is hosted by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to shed light on what mental health really is and supports CMHA’s vision of “mentally healthy people in a mentally healthy society”. CMHA says about MHW, “It’s more than being happy all the time. It’s about feeling good about who you are, having balance in your life, and managing life’s highs and lows. Everyone deserves to feel well, whatever their mental health experience. And we all need a support system to lean on.”
Mental health conditions can range from anxiety and depression to PTSD and bipolar disorder, all existing on a broad spectrum, making symptoms vary. In recent years, the stigma surrounding mental health has been a prominent topic of discussion and we are beginning to see that mental health conditions affect the vast portion of the population. Treatments can vary, though traditionally prescription medications are the norm. Typical side effects are normally quite undesirable and include nausea, insomnia, dry mouth, fatigue and drowsiness, (to name a few) and can induce dependency.
How can medical cannabis help?
An emerging treatment for anxiety and depression is cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, better known as CBD, and medicinal cannabis products containing THC. CBD is the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant that produces no side effects. While research is still in its early stages, there have been several positive medical reviews that champion the use of medicinal cannabinoids in treating common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, affect anxiety and depression through their effect on the body’s endocannabinoid system (aptly titled after cannabinoids themselves). Cannabinoids interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body to produce anti-depressant effects and elevate mood. Studies have suggested that use of CBD can alleviate stressors associated with public speaking and reducing thoughts of negative self-evaluation, while THC has shown positive results on reduced feelings of depression.
This treatment is legal in Canada by means of prescription. Studies have also shown that CBD elicits no dependency with the use or increased tolerance to the drug. Please be sure to consult with a medical professional before consuming any cannabinoids and inform yourself of your workplace policies regarding medicinal cannabis use.
In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadian’s is affected by mental health illnesses or conditions. CMHA encourages you to share your stories regarding mental health and MHW using the hashtag #GETLOUD. You can follow them on Twitter at @CMHA_NTL to stay up to date on all the national and local events for MHW.
As always, feel free to drop us a line and share your positive experiences with medicinal cannabis!