Is Cannabis Good for Your Mental Health?
According to Richard Feynman, a famous physicist, if you think you have a comprehensive understanding of quantum mechanics, then you probably do not have any knowledge at all. Perhaps, it isn’t a quantum leap to make similar claims as cannabis.
Like many other plants, the cannabis plant isn’t only a single substance. Rather, it is a plant that houses more than 500 identified chemical constituents. According to various research, more than 100 of these constituents are cannabinoids. Whenever they are administered into the body, they function by establishing a natural communication network in both the brain and the entire body system known as the endocannabinoid system. As a result of this, varying degrees of combinations and permutations of dosages of cannabis that can influence numerous psychological and physiological processes in a number of ways. Some of these include appetite, gastrointestinal functions, memory, pains, immunity, movement, inflammation, mental health, and so forth.
Perhaps there exists a piece of exciting news centered on the complexity of cannabis as it holds a promising potential treatment option for varying degrees of diseases and ailments. However, there is also something more worrisome. But there’s also something more disturbing. And that’s the existing gap between the much-granted hype and the evidence-based research supporting this hype. Essentially, this worry appears to be true specifically to mental health. This is because many media platforms have touted cannabis as an effective treatment option for a wide variety of psychiatric conditions, which includes anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorders, addiction, and psychosis.
Interestingly, the effectiveness of cannabis on mental health cannot be pigeonholed as strictly harmful or helpful. Instead, fruitful discussions centered on its potential harm and benefits requires both careful and nuanced considerations of the scientific literature.
As delineated in a recent review paper published in the International Review of Psychiatry, the influence of cannabis and mental health is really a complicated one. For instance, apart from depression, the coast is clear as science elucidated that the endocannabinoid system is the critical role player in mood regulation.
In recent times, there are numerous mixed messages as regards the issue of cannabis over the years. This isn’t surprising owing to the complexity of the problems surrounding the cannabis plant and conducting researches relating to cannabis. However, the irony of the discussion lies in that they are emotionally and politically believed to become polarized. When it comes to issues relating to mental health and addiction, one needs to be careful in order not to be blinded by baseless ideologies and lazy thinking.
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