What You Need to Know about Cannabis and Psychiatric Illness
Cannabis and psychiatric illness is a confusing topic, namely because there is so much misinformation out there – which translates to a lot of conflicting information.
On the one side we still see mainstream media reports, claiming that cannabis triggers or exacerbates psychiatric illness. And yet we’ve got these scientific studies – as pointed out by Bryan Krumm, CNP, in the video above – that suggest how a lot of psychiatric illness is caused by a dysfunction in the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
If you’ve never heard of the ECS (unfortunately mainstream media rarely mentions it), you should definitely check it out because this is one of the most important systems in your body.
The ECS regulates the health and balance of nearly all metabolic processes. Everything from bone growth to fertility to eye pressure and digestion, you name it. It is the most prevalent of all neuro-transmission systems in the body and even helps regulate other neurotransmitters.
For psychiatric illness specifically, whether you’re talking about conditions like PTSD, depression, schizophrenia, or anxiety – it all traces back to neurobiology, which is highly integrated with the ECS.
The ECS and Mind-Body Health
When something goes wrong with your health, it’s quite possible that it could be correlated with some sort of dysfunction in endocannabinoid signaling. This makes a lot of sense when you understand how important this system is for establishing and maintaining health on almost all fronts.
One of the best ways to target and restore balance in the endocannabinoid system, whether you’re treating a mental or physical condition, is with cannabis. This is because the compounds in cannabis act directly and indirectly on the system’s receptors, mimicking the very compounds our bodies are supposed to produce naturally (endocannabinoids). Basically, the cannabinoids in cannabis act as a supplement to enhance or restore endocannabinoid signaling.
To use a metaphor, cannabis can help better orchestrate the physiological symphony of your body whenever one or more of the players is out of tune. This definitely includes mental health as there are more cannabinoid receptors in the brain than any other type of protein receptor.
It’s also helpful to understand that consuming cannabis is not the only way you can take good care of your ECS. You can also bolster endocannabinoid signaling through regular exercise and nutrition.
Taking Too Much Cannabis Can Exacerbate Symptoms
When treating any condition with cannabis, you want to remember that it is classified as a biphasic drug.
Essentially, this means that if you use too much cannabis, it could very likely create the opposite effect of what you desire, intensifying whatever symptoms you’re trying to treat.
For example, if a person attempts to treat insomnia with cannabis, taking too much could make the insomnia worse.
I’ve had the same biphasic experience when using cannabis for my depression and ADHD. Keeping that minimum viable dose dialed in is the key to getting the absolute most benefit.
And because we all metabolize medication differently, that optimal dosage amount looks different for everybody (same thing for pharmaceuticals).
Big Pharma Knows about the ECS but Doctors Don’t
One of the greatest questions you can ask about the ECS is this: if it’s so important, why don’t they teach it in medical schools?
Pharmaceutical companies know about the ECS, and they develop chemical concoctions in an effort to target its cannabinoid receptors. Sometimes they are successful, and other times the chemicals involved make our lives miserable or even kill us.
We could go on about how the pharmaceutical industry has tampered with clinical trials to get the results they want so they can push their drugs onto the market faster. Or how they are one of the biggest contributors to political campaigns and are constantly lobbying against cannabis reform because they know they’ll lose tons of money once this plant is legitimized and people understand how it works.
All of this is quickly becoming common knowledge, and it’s a very disturbing notion whenever you have an industry that makes money off of human suffering and illness. And it just another tragic example of how the war on drugs has literally warped every major institution in the U.S.
Congress Must Repeal Cannabis’s Schedule I Classification
If we really want cannabis to be legitimized, to lift restrictions on research and safe access, and to finally introduce the endocannabinoid system into medical school curricula – we’ve got to lobby Congress to lift the Schedule I categorization of cannabis.
That includes educating ourselves on the facts, and spreading that education to others, engaging each other in curiosity conversations, asking the difficult questions, and challenging the status quo.
This is one of the things that I love about Green Flower in that it unites cannabis experts, advocates, patients, and enthusiasts – people from all backgrounds coming together to learn everything they can about this beneficial plant, to share that knowledge with others, and to engage our local representatives in this crucial dialogue of righting the wrongs of history.
As long as cannabis is classified as a Schedule I, it’s as if Nixon is still ruling the country from the grave. Even one of Nixon’s top advisers John Ehrlichman admitted cannabis was classified as a Schedule I as a means to control the president’s enemies within the antiwar movement and minority populations.
And then just a few years later, Nixon himself would be forced to shamefully resign from the White House amidst criminal allegations. But his legacy lives on in the Controlled Substances Act, and the only way we’ll ever be able to change that is through Congress.
It all comes back to spreading cannabis education. And we at Green Flower are so thankful to join forces with cannabis experts like Bryan Krumm, CNP, from the video above.
Bryan Krumm actually has two online courses with Green Flower you can check out:
If you agree that cannabis education is important and that we all have a right to this herbal plant, share this article with your friends and let’s keep the momentum going.
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