Cannabis & Mental Health
By: Sabrina Charon – Creator of Cannabis Infused Motherhood
We’ve been seeing many campaigns about cannabis use increasing the risk of developing mental illnesses such as psychosis and schizophrenia, especially in those who start using cannabis at a young age, in those who use cannabis frequently (daily or almost every day), and also in those who have a family history of psychosis and/or schizophrenia. There have also been messages about an increased risk of suicide, depression and anxiety disorders because of cannabis use.
So I have done a little digging and according to a study titled Cannabis and Psychosis/Schizophrenia: Human Studies – “individuals with an established psychotic disorder cannabis can exacerbate symptoms, trigger relapse, and have negative consequences on the course of the illness”.
They also state that it is likely that cannabis exposure is a “component cause” that interacts with other factors to “cause” schizophrenia or a psychotic disorder, but it is neither necessary or sufficient to do so alone. According to this study; it could be possible that genetic factors and use of cannabinoids can amplify the risks for these disorders but how cannabinoids increases this risk are unknown and need further study.
As a side note I would like to mention that when I was in the process of acquiring my ACMPR license for medical cannabis they asked if I had psychosis and/or schizophrenia, which I fortunately do not. In my opinion and based on the evidence that is available at this point if you are someone who suffers from these two problems, or are genetically likely to develop these mental illnesses it might be a good idea not to consume cannabis as it may amplify the symptoms, but I do not believe it is the sole cause.
When it comes to Health Canada’s claims that cannabis can increase depression, suicide and anxiety disorders I have mixed feelings about that.
According to Stephen Grey and his book Cannabis and Spirituality cannabis is an amplifier. If you go into your smoking session with feelings of depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts cannabis may amplify that and could cause you to become consumed by your depression, heighten your anxiety, and may increase suicidal thoughts.
The trick is to have a clear head and set the intention that you want your cannabis to have as you sit down to consume it. If you want it to relax you, ease your anxiety, or to help put you in a higher vibrational state it can also amplify those intentions. So awareness of your state of mind when you meet this powerful herb is super important to the impact it will have on your health and mental state.
Using cannabis as an escape from your mental health will inevitably cause more issues. So as I already mentioned, you must meet the plant with a clear mind and intentions to feel better, not to escape or unconsciously amplify the underlying mental issues.
I highly recommend Stephen Grey’s book for anyone wanting to dive deeper into the amplifying powers of cannabis, it is a wonderful book.
Facebook Group: Cannabis Infused Community