The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a physiological system that occurs within all mammals and is responsible for maintaining homeostasis and keeping the body in a state of wellbeing, helping us to “eat, sleep, relax and forget” (Americans for Safe Access, 2017; Pettinato, 2017). Initially, most research into the endocannabinoid system was focused on the mechanisms that affect physical health (Martin, 1991). However, there is a growing body of research demonstrating the role that the endocannabinoid system plays in mental health and mood regulation (Walsh et al. 2017). As a result, mental health clinicians often do not have a clear understanding of what the endocannabinoid system is, how it can affect moods, and how exogenous cannabinoids such as cannabis can affect moods, emotions, and related conditions (Feingold, Weiser, Rehm & Lev-Ran, 2015). The purpose of this presentation is to provide a brief overview of the endocannabinoid system, current research on exogenous cannabinoids’ impact on mood regulation, and the potential positive therapeutic impacts of cannabis on mental health and implications for clinical practice.
1. Participants will understand the role that the endocannabinoid system can have impacting mood.
2. Participants will how mental health conditions may be positively impacted by cannabis.