Canada Leads the Way on Cannabis And Mental Health in the Workplace
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Since 2018, Cannabis has become a legal psychoactive substance in Canada. Since then we've seen progressive reforms. So progressive that some workplaces now permit the use of cannabis during office hours.
Seeing cannabis and the workplace in the same sentence might seem weird. However, it's the truth. Not all cannabis strains make the consumer couch-locked. Some induce a productive streak in the worker. It is commendable that some workplaces have decided to take advantage of this fact.
Some corporations may soon allow the consumption of a strain of pot during office hours, but this can only be done if the strain has been proven to have very little effect on reducing productivity levels.
It might be a challenge to small and big corporations at an international level. But, there is still a long way to go before all this can happen.
Other Businesses would still have a right to have a zero-tolerance to drugs space, but they would not have a right to state that a worker shouldn't get stone in their free time.
There will come a point in time when cannabis consumption will be equated to alcohol consumption in social settings. By then, Canada will have an extremely balanced system where all workplaces can have policies to ensure workplace safety and other liability issues.
Some of these policies might read "No smoking on duty, don't be stoned at work, smoke all you want when you're not in the workplace, etc.
In the workplace, the rules prohibiting cannabis are far murkier than that of alcohol. Whereas the excessive consumption of both can limit a worker's performance.
Some organizations have begun to get actively involved in the cannabis charge in Canada. These organizations are on this because they think cannabis is capable of improving the mental health and productivity of workers in the various businesses in Canada.
This article will be limited to the top three organizations actively involved: Canadian Mental Health Commission (CMHC); CanaQuest Medical Corp; Canadian Cannabis Dispute Resolution Centre.
Researching cannabis and mental health
The Caadian Mental Healch Commission (CMHC) is a body vested with the task of making research on the relationship between Canadian mental health and the use of cannabis. They also examine existing works and explore the connections between cannabis use and mental health.
From their research, they have been able to establish partly that cannabis improves the mental health of Canadians in their workplace. They're leading the charge to explore specific modes of consumption of cannabinoids to determine how they can affect productivity in the workplace. Intense research is still ongoing, and the existing cannabis reforms in the country make the process really smooth.
CMHC believes that the decriminalization of cannabis in Canada puts the country in a position to become a leading force in cannabis and mental health research.
From their findings, the Canadian Mental Health Commission (CMHC) has valued the economic burden of workplace mental health issues at a staggering $52 billion annually. 40% of this amount is linked to loss of productivity. It is not unusual that chronic pain is one of the likely effects due to mental health problems.
That is, there is a link between mental and physical health. Poor mental health can present itself as mood disorders or some other forms of physical pain.
It can be recalled that in 2017, CHMC carried out a survey on Canadian Tobacco, Drugs, and Alcohol use. They were able to report that over 37% of marijuana consumers are using Drugs for medical purposes.
Several Businesses maintain their stance that all forms of cannabis consumption influence a worker's ability to function efficiently in the workplace. They believe marijuana reduces the person's level of productivity in the workplace. Some have persisting biases that make them doubt if their workers are truly using for medical reasons.
Related: The 9 Best Weed Strains For Anxiety
The partnership to make it work
These organizations are partners in raising awareness of the benefits of cannabis. They are education communities, companies, employees, and employers on cannabis-related programs that can help Canadian businesses increase their productivity levels, in turn, boost revenues.
CCDRC is a national body that develops cannabis-related educational materials for both domestic and internal use. These materials were developed to improve the various sectors of the economy, as well as industry-specific associations.
CannaQuest is a pharmaceutical company that infuses cannabinoid compounds and other botanical molecules. The company is focused on developing cannabis medicines that can be used to treat mental health disorders like depression, addiction, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorders, and anxiety.
The CannaQuest and CCDRC partnership will work with scientifically backed evidence and published data of the acclaimed Dr. Steven Laviolette and his team in Canada. Dr. Laviolette is the man for this job because he and his team have studied the effects of CBD on mental health and overall wellness.
Thanks to the abundant research by CannaQuest Medical Corp, many wellness-focused drugs and nutraceuticals have been provided for the Canadian population. These products have little to very minimal inebriating effects. They have been tested within the diverse Canadian population.
This is why they are poised to lead the charge for cannabis for mental health in Canadian workplaces.
Change is inevitable
Change can't be evaded, who would have thought the whole world would have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic already. Canadian businesses have to embrace change and adopt measures that will create a safe work environment for their workers.
With the involvement of these three organizations, companies can be better equipped with cannabis resolution policies that consider workers that need the drug for improved mental health.
I'll end with the comment of Treena Reilkoff, a facilitator and trauma-informed mediator at CCDRC where he explained the objectives of these organizations.
“Our common goal is the recognition that medicinal cannabis is an alternative treatment to traditional pharmaceuticals and through education about the practicality and safety of medicinal cannabis, barriers and stigmas are reduced.”
Hopefully, it all turns out well as time goes on.