When the federal government legalized non-medical cannabis in 2018, there were — and continue to be — many unknowns about its implications for mental and physical health. Now, with the onset of COVID-19 and the corresponding increase in substance use, closing these knowledge gaps has taken on new importance.
That’s why the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), is pleased to announce the funding of four team grants to further explore the relationship between mental health and cannabis use.
With a total investment of nearly $4.7 million over five years, the four research projects will delve deeper in the effects of cannabis use in key areas, including adolescent development, psychosis, autism spectrum disorder, and individuals that use forensic mental health services. Detailed descriptions of each project can be found on CIHR’s website.
The overall purpose of the projects is to investigate the potential harms and benefits of cannabis, the role of social determinants of health, and the needs of diverse populations experiencing cannabis use disorder and/or mental illness.
The only way to fully understand what the legalization and regulation of cannabis means for people in Canada is to look more closely into its effects on specific populations, demographics, and disorders. The MHCC believes that these grants represent a historic opportunity to do just that, and we are excited to be a part of it.
President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada