May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, and Consumers for Safe CBD is joining the effort to call attention to the importance of our mental well-being. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental illnesses affect tens of millions of people each year, and only half receive treatment. Medical doctors and providers know what’s best for their patients, unfortunately cannabis and CBD companies often attempt to take advantage of those who struggle with anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other mental illnesses.
Several cannabis and CBD manufacturers claim their products can alleviate medical disorders or mitigate symptoms of anxiety and depression, though these products have not been scientifically tested and proven to address serious medical issues and may cause adverse effects. The American Psychiatric Association has stated “there is no current scientific evidence that cannabis is in any way beneficial for the treatment of any psychiatric disorder. Current evidence supports, at minimum, a strong association of cannabis use with the onset of psychiatric disorders.”
One study found that the use of higher potency cannabis, for longer periods of time and with more frequency, was associated with increased risk of psychosis. A Yale University study concluded that no randomized clinical trials had demonstrated the efficacy of cannabis for Tourette's disorder, PTSD, or Alzheimer's disease, but the consequences of chronic cannabinoid exposure included tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal, as well as impairment to attention, memory, IQ, and driving ability.
Studies have also shown increased risks for adolescents as cannabis is associated with increased depression, higher incidence of anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts, use of other substances and risky behavior.
Watch NCL’s Jeanette Contreras share an important message on Mental Health and CBD products here:
Patients may unknowingly put themselves at risk when it comes to self-medicating, substituting prescribed treatments. Unfortunately, this is becoming increasingly popular. One study found that 60 percent of sleep disorder patients and 45 percent of patients with anxiety substituted cannabis for doctor-prescribed medications. Additionally, combining medications with cannabis or cannabis-derivatives can result in dangerous drug interactions and/or lessen the effectiveness of prescribed treatments. Inaccurate and mislabeling of cannabinoids in readily-available products that claim to address sleep disorders can also result in the opposite effect – often making consumers more sluggish or sleeping too much. A recent study examined 52 products and found that 60 percent of the labels listed the incorrect amount of CBD and other ingredients that claim to address sleep disorders.
When it comes to mental health and well-being there is no substitute for professional intervention, and prescribed medications. By listening to doctors – not cannabis companies – to properly treat mental health disorders, we can all ensure a safer path to better mental health.