Cannabis and Depression
By Janna Champagne, BSN, RN
The role of the Endocannabinoid System in our body, which is activated by cannabis intake, is to maintain balance within the systems of our body. Depression and bipolar disorders signify that underlying imbalances exist, specifically in neurotransmitters (i.e. dopamine and serotonin), and this imbalance is what causes debilitating mental health symptoms. Upon appropriate intake of medical cannabis, the body is activated to intelligently balance what is askew. Of course, it’s always best to work with a medical professional experienced in mental health disorders to individualize cannabis recommendations, since some formulations may actually exacerbate mental health symptoms. Unfortunately, some clients seek my services after failing to find relief using generalized cannabis supplier protocols, or after blindly following the recommendations of a dispensary employee lacking both a medical understanding of individual disease mechanisms and the potential for cannabis-medication interactions. I urge anyone who is seriously considering medical cannabis therapy to pursue expert medical oversight, for which cannabis nurse consultants represent a viable option for obtaining optimal client outcomes.