‘It’s Not Good For Your Mental Health’: Stormzy Gives Up Weed

British Rapper Claims Cannabis Worsened His Depression

Famous musicians are just like us regular folk – and they get the blues too. Many artists have admitted to smoking weed to treat their depression. Rapper Scarface said it best on this lyric from 1997:

“When you sad, depressed, and feeling strange, who you blame? Need some company to keep you sane? Call her name, Mary Jane.”

Kid Cudi has built a career off of rapping about marijuana and depression, and Lady Gaga once said she used marijuana to cope with emotional pain and relieve stress.

British rapper Stormzy used to be a big fan of weed, too. But he recently confessed that he has stopped using the drug – and his reasoning has some raising eyebrows. The 26-year old rapper, known for #1 hits in the U.K. like “Vossi Bop” and “Own It,” revealed that his battle with depression has worsened, and that he believes his weed habit was to blame.

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“I have suffered with mental health problems for the past few years. When I used to feel depressed, I would lock myself away and smoke weed and I would just get worse and worse and worse,” he told fans.

While smokers with depression usually turn to weed as a source of relief, Stormzy has identified weed as a troubling tool. But could there be another explanation?

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Here’s One Possibility

Cannabis is completely illegal to use in the United Kingdom, unlike in Canada and many of the United States. A number of benefits have emerged as the legalization of weed has rolled out in North America: since the plant is governed, it has been researched carefully and has been the subject of heavy testing.

In other words: it’s possible that the strains Stormzy exposed himself to in the U.K. are faulty, weak, or not as advertised.

Is There A Link Between Marijuana And Depression?

There’s no real consensus on the correlation between pot and depression, but scientists are looking into it. Take this 2015 study from the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions: they found that endocannabinoids – chemical compounds in the brain that are linked to feelings and well-being – activate similar receptors to those found in marijuana’s compounds.

“Chronic stress is one of the major causes of depression. Using compounds derived from cannabis to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression,” said research scientist Samir Haj-Dahmane, PhD.

These are only one study’s findings, and there’s still a long way to go in the world of cannabis research. We hope that research will someday point to ways that marijuana can explicitly help those with mental health struggles.