According to CMHA stats… “One in five adult Canadians (21.3 percent) will suffer a mental health disorder in their lives This figure translates into 4.5 million people. 1 Anxiety disorders and depression are the most common. Approximately 2.5 million Canadian adults or over 10% of the population 18 and older will have a depressive disorder.”
However, when it comes to treating mental illness – especially depression, there are a very limited amount of medications (antidepressants) available, and many can take a few weeks or longer before the patient can notice an improvement. The other negative aspects of using antidepressants is that they can be addictive and come with a long list of negative side effects, and tend to only work for some people.
There is, however, some evidence that Medicinal Cannabis, especially Cannabidiol (CBD) a non -psychoactive compound from cannabis may actually relieve depression without the horrendous side effects of pharmaceuticals. Studies are now showing “CBD interacts significantly with the 5-HT1A neuro-receptor. This receptor typically binds to and reuptakes serotonin into the neurons in various parts of the brain reducing amounts of free serotonin in the extracellular space. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter known to be key in the treatment of depression.” According to other studies, CBD appears to be a very effective antidepressant.
Other positive effects of CBD that many patients report, besides relief from depression, is improved sleep and relief from aches and pains. Although the evidence for CBD as a treatment for depression is very promising, these results are anecdotal, and based on personal observation as opposed to scientific evaluation. Sadly, most of research comes from studies on mice and very few studies on CBD for treating depression have been carried out in human patients.What is needed now is an even greater amount of research using human test subjects to explore the amazing potential of medicinal cannabis for treating depression and other mental health disorders without the uncomfortable side effects of conventional medications.