The Psychopharmacology of Cannabis and its Impact on Mental Health – A Primer
Time to read: 12–15 minutes
Cannabis (‘marijuana’, ‘hashish’) has been used for centuries for its medicinal and psychoactive properties and remains commonly used, worldwide.
It is a focus of particular current interest as many jurisdictions are making it available for medical use (‘medical marijuana’), decriminalising and even legalising it.
The plant Cannabis sativa contains numerous different chemicals, including around 60 cannabinoids.
This review focuses on the compound with psychoactive properties – delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). We cover CB1 and CB2 receptors and the harmful effects of cannabis on mental health. Medicinal cannabis will be covered in another article.
Zammit S et al., Self reported cannabis use as a risk factor for schizophrenia in Swedish conscripts of 1969: historical cohort study. BMJ. 2002.