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Cannabis and mental health to be discussed in Okanagan College speaker series

Kelowna Capital News - 11/5/2018

How will the legalization of cannabis affect mental health? What will the implications be for public health generally?

The next installment of Okanagan College's Signature Speaker Series at the Vernon campus will address recent research on cannabis use and mental health, as well as what legalization will mean for public health.

Zach Walsh, an associate professor at UBC Okanagan, will review recent research and explore the potential of cannabis to serve as a substitute for other psychoactive substances like alcohol or opioids.

"There is so much we don't know about the use of medicinal plants," said Walsh. "Refining medicines derived from cannabis and other plants will have a dramatic effect on the health of Canadians and people worldwide. How do we make the best use of these plants and combine them with other therapies to create better outcomes for people who are suffering?"

Walsh runs the Therapeutic, Recreational and Problematic Substance Lab at UBC's Okanagan campus, which focuses on researching of the association between cannabis use, mental health and addictions. His ongoing research projects include evaluating the efficacy of cannabis for post-traumatic stress, examining the association between psychedelics and violence, and examining cannabis use trajectories among university students.

The presentation will take place in the lecture theatre of Okanagan College's Vernon campus on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m.

Presented by Okanagan College, the Signature Speaker Series is sponsored by the Vernon Atrium Hotel and Conference Centre and Basket Case Picnics Catering. Admission is $10. Participants can register in advance online – www.okanagan.bc.ca/SignatureSpeakers – or pay at the door.

 
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