Friday, April 7 marks the beginning of a year-long campaign by the World Health Organization (WHO) to increase awareness and encourage research and treatment of what is the largest cause of disability worldwide: depression.

More than 300 million people live with the debilitating symptoms of depression. Alarmingly, the number of people suffering with the condition has increased 18% from 2005 to 2015.

The first salvo of the WHO initiative is a series of articles and videos directed at overcoming the disturbingly prevalent social stigma attached to the condition. The campaign describes the major symptoms of depression (among them: sadness, anxiety, disturbed sleep, feelings of low self-worth, apathy, inability to concentrate, pessimism and loss of appetite), and urges those who believe they may have depression to take the vital first step to relief by talking about it. (#letstalk; #depression). Depression can be treated.

Depression is a common symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Preliminary evidence that medical cannabis may have therapeutic potential in treating PTSD (including depression) has led Tilray to collaborate with the University of British Columbia to mount the first clinical trial on the subject.

Click here for more information on the WHO campaign and here for more on the UBC PTSD study.

Medical Cannabis and Depression: Research