3 Reasons Cannabinoids are set to be a Gamechanger for Mental Health


In Canada, October is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month. Every year, this month serves as a reminder that one in five Canadians1 will personally experience a mental health problem or illness in their lifetime. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, the stress and uncertainty of 2020 has worsened mental health concerns across the population – including in parents, those with existing mental illness or mental health issues, indigenous people, those who identify as LGBTQ+, and Canadians with a disability2.

To learn more about the innovations being made to support the mental health and wellness of Canadians, we spoke to Brent Zettl, Chief Executive Officer of ZYUS Life Sciences, a Canadian company leading research and development of the next generation of plant-made therapeutics, to learn more about how cannabinoids are set to be a gamechanger for the way we address mental health.

Unlocking Untapped Potential

Cannabinoids have been used for medical purposes for close to 4000 years but as a group have not been a focus of medical research. Companies like ZYUS are looking to address this lack of scientific research – especially in the area of mental health – through clinical trials and investment in research. “Implementation of the Cannabis Act (Canada) has had the positive effect of increasing interest in research partnerships and clinical trials to help us better understand the full scope of cannabinoids and their potential to manage a range of symptoms,” said ZYUS CEO, Brent Zettl. “From chronic pain to brain disorders, research is essential to move forward the next generation of cannabinoid-based therapeutics and their potential to support the health of people around the world.”

 An Evidence-Based Approach

Research published earlier this year indicates that there is positive, pilot-stage evidence that cannabinoids can be used to manage a range of mental health conditions ranging from PTSD, to social anxiety and insomnia3.

To better understand how cannabinoids can be used to support mental health, ZYUS is championing an evidence-based approach. This approach is designed to overcome the stigma associated with using cannabinoids to address mental health by backing all findings with rigorous scientific research and evidence. “A research and development led approach, creating evidence-based formulations through clinical trials is the future of the industry, and our focus at ZYUS,” said Brent Zettl. “We are working to reimagine the potential of cannabinoids to make life more livable for everyone. ZYUS has invested in medical research that will potentially provide scientists, researchers and healthcare practitioners with evidence that informs the way we manage mental health in Canada and around the world.”

Canadian Leadership

Canada has been a world-leader in medical cannabis and is set to lead the world in research into the medical use of cannabinoids to address mental health conditions. Since early 2020, ZYUS has been engaging in clinical research to advance the scientific understanding of how cannabinoids may improve patient outcomes.

In the years ahead, Canadian research initiatives and organizations have the potential to change the way we think about and treat mental health conditions for generations to come.  This Mental Health Month, we encourage you to take time for self-care and to reach out to others and check in on their well-being.

To learn more about ZYUS, visit ZYUS.com

1 Facts about Mental Illness. Canadian Mental Health Association. https://cmha.ca/fast-facts-about-mental-illness. Retrieved October 13, 2020.

2 COVID-19 effects on the mental health of vulnerable populations. Canadian Mental Health Association. https://cmha.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/EN_UBC-CMHA-COVID19-Report-FINAL.pdf. Retrieved October 13, 2020.

3 Davidson, M., Karamacoska, D., Firth, J., Sarris, J., Sinclair, J. Medicinal cannabis for psychiatric disorders: a clinically-focused systematic review. (2020). BMC Psychiatry. PMID: 31948424. Doi: 10.1186/s12888-019-2409-8. Retrieved October 13, 2020.