Is Cannabis Good for Your Mental Health?

Is Cannabis Good for Your Mental Health?

The famous physicist Richard Feynman says that if you think you have a comprehensive understanding of quantum mechanics, you probably have no knowledge at all. Maybe it’s not a quantum leap to make similar claims about cannabis.

Like many plants, the cannabis plant is not just one substance. Rather, it is a plant containing more than 500 identified chemical ingredients. According to several studies, more than 100 of these constituents are cannabinoids. When administered to the body, they function by setting up a natural communication network in both the brain and the entire body system, known as the endocannabinoid system. As a result, different combinations and permutations of cannabinoid dosages can affect numerous psychological and physiological processes in different ways. Some of these include appetite, gastrointestinal functions, memory, pain, immunity, movement, inflammation, mental health, and so on.

There may be exciting news about the complexity of cannabis, as it offers a promising potential treatment potential for varying degrees of diseases and ailments. But there’s also something more disturbing. And that’s the existing gap between the much-vaunted hype and the fact-based research that supports this hype. In essence, this care seems to apply specifically to mental health. This is because many media platforms have touted cannabis as an effective treatment option for a wide variety of psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction and psychosis.

Interestingly, the effectiveness of cannabis on mental health cannot be pigeonholed as strictly harmful or useful. Instead, there have been fruitful discussions about the potential harm and benefits of cannabis, which require both careful and nuanced considerations in the scientific literature.

As indicated in a recent review document in the International Review of Psychiatry, the influence of cannabis on mental health is really complicated. For example, the influence of the endocannabinoid system, apart from depression, is clear, because science has shown that the endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in the regulation of mood.

Lately there have been many mixed messages on the issue of cannabis over the years. This is not surprising because of the complexity of the problems surrounding the cannabis plant and the conduct of research related to cannabis. The irony of the discussion, however, lies in the fact that people emotionally and politically think they are becoming polarized. When it comes to issues related to mental health and addiction, one must be careful not to be blinded by unfounded ideologies and lazy thinking.

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