HOW-DEPRESSION-AFFECT-ENDOCANNABINOID-SYSTEM

Researchers have linked cannabis use disorder to depression and bipolar disorder, according to a new study. However, this observational study which used data from Danish individuals, hasn’t established cause and effect.

The researchers (and its media parrots) say they have found a nearly two-fold increased risk of depression and a three-fold increased risk of bipolar disorder. They blame “cannabis use disorder.”

The researcher wrote, “evidence suggests that use of cannabis may be associated with increased risk of developing psychiatric disorders.”

But buried under the lede is the truth. 

The researchers write: “the association could also be reversed or attributable to confounding (ie, common genetic liability for cannabis use and psychiatric disorders).”

In other words, it could be that people already prone to bipolar and depressive symptoms seek relief from cannabis.

Details of the Study

cannabis use disorder linked to depression

They may be long-term negative effects of long-term cannabis use. Of course, the 20th century is the outlier. People have been cultivating and consuming cannabis for centuries without harm.

Suppose there is such a thing as “cannabis use disorder,” which seems synonymous with daily cannabis use. In that case, it’s not evident that depression or bipolar disorder is the result.

This study is observational and thus cannot establish causation. Regardless, it suggests that chronic cannabis use causes a two-fold increase in unipolar depression, psychotic unipolar depression, and non-psychotic unipolar depression.

They also associate cannabis use with an “increased risk of bipolar disorder,” which affects men more than women. (But how could that be if male and female brains are identical?)

Could it be “cannabis use disorder” is a social phenomenon? That, culturally, men find more mental health relief from cannabis consumption than women?

That brains, biology, and neuro-explanations have nothing to do with it? That the pharmacology of drugs can’t compel people to act against their preferences?

Of course, this study doesn’t root out its detection bias. It doesn’t highlight its limitations, including the private doctor-patient diagnoses that resulted in a “cannabis use disorder” label.

Nevertheless, because of the large sample size, the researchers wrote: “The results of this cohort study suggest that cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of psychotic and non-psychotic bipolar disorder and unipolar depression.”

But what does that tell us? Accidental swimming pool drownings are associated with Nicolas Cage movies.

Correlation tells us nothing other than the biases of the researchers.

Cannabis Use Disorder Linked to Depression: Study

Researchers have linked cannabis use disorder to depression and bipolar disorder. But they haven’t demonstrated cause and effect. They merely made assertions based on selected data. 

They even admit that cannabis use disorder is “independently associated” with these mental health issues.

If this were just the opinions of some researchers, then whatever. For every lousy study out there on cannabis, there’s a good one too.

But the researchers suggest their “findings” influence public debate around cannabis legalization and regulation. They write, “These findings have implications regarding the legalization and control of cannabis use.”

No, they don’t. The only implication of this study is that we’re right to call for common-law regulations. Having “public health” advise governments in writing policy is as bad as priests and bishops influencing the state apparatus.

Religious groups may try to limit cannabis due to cultural and religious beliefs surrounding the plant. Modern prohibitionists use Science™ as their justification.

But whether it was the “scientific” dictatorship of the USSR, or the “scientific” racism of Nazi Germany, hiding behind the veil of “Science” is a fool’s game.

Cannabis Use Disorder is Science™

Ideology captures good scientists and exalts bad ones into powerful positions.

Western society hasn’t moved into some post-religious order where pragmatic solutions and scientific facts determine our values.

The West has merely adopted scientific terms and definitions into the realm of a state religion. Instead of bishops warning of the devil and eternal hell-fire, politicians warn of crackpot dictators as the next Hitler and downplay nuclear war.

Instead of referring to authoritative holy texts, the masses are encouraged to “follow the science” and treat these observational studies as indisputable knowledge. 

Narratives that harm the establishment are “hate speech” and “misinformation.” And like the ole’ Soviet Union, authorities can label political and cultural dissidents as having mental health problems.

No need to engage with ideas you disagree with if the speaker is a stoner suffering from cannabis use disorder! 

Cannabis Use Disorder Debunked

cannabis use disorder linked to depression

People with bipolar disorder or other type of depression may find relief in cannabis. So much relief, they consume cannabis every day.

But according to our wise overlords, daily cannabis use is a cannabis use disorder. Any chronic cannabis use is considered heavy and signs of a problem.

But what is considered heavy cannabis use? High-THC strains every day? What if you consume that much but manage to stay productive and happy? Is that still “cannabis use disorder?”

Perhaps Dr. Grinspoon’s definition is more apt: “continued use, despite negative consequences.”

Dr. Grinspoon makes the case for “Cali sober.” Where if you’re struggling with harder drugs like alcohol or opioids, then using cannabis or psychedelics is a legitimate road to recovery.

This belief flies in the face of “public health” and ideological recovery programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. They’ll say you’re not really “sober” or “in recovery,” if you consume cannabis or microdose psychedelics.

Despite AA meetings welcoming coffee and cigarette consumption.

The concepts of “addiction,” “sobriety,” and “recovery” are all social phenomena. Suppose you consume cannabis every day for years. In that case, your brain and body will experience a “withdrawal” of phytocannabinoids from your system.

This can be uncomfortable for many, just as forgoing any habit is. 

Ever move houses or change jobs but accidentally drive to the old spot anyway? Habits are hard to break, especially when it’s been hitting pleasure centres in the brain.

What to Do if You Feel Addicted

cannabis use disorder linked to depression

“Cannabis use disorder” only exists in the mind. If you value cannabis and receive benefits from it, then obviously, consuming cannabis preferable to not consuming cannabis.

But suppose you change your preferences. For example, maybe smoking all day, every day, is getting expensive. So you cut back to three or four times a week.

Will you experience “cannabis us disorder?” Or does the pharmacology of cannabis have nothing to do with it?

What if you don’t have a mental health issue and stop consuming cannabis?

What if, in addition to cutting back on or eliminating cannabis, you also eat right and exercise? Maybe you stop playing video games during your free time and start working on a side hustle to escape the 9-5 rat race.

And once you have your shit together, you consume cannabis as a fun recreational activity. Whether every day or once a week.

If you do all that, will you still experience “cannabis use disorder?” This study doesn’t provide an answer. It is another useless observational study promoting drug war propaganda.