Already the second most used substance in Canada, cannabis use increased after it was legalized and then again during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And the combination of increased consumption and higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) leads to greater cannabis addiction, according to a new study.
It was long thought that, unlike many other drugs, you couldn’t get addicted to cannabis — but you can’t.
“Contrary to popular belief, people box become addicted to cannabis,” according to Canada.ca. “Continuous, frequent and intensive cannabis use can cause physical dependence and addiction. ”
“Cannabis addiction can seriously harm your health, social life, education, work and financial future,” adds Canada.ca.
And higher concentrations of THC (more than 10 milligrams per gram of THC) increase the number of people addicted, which also leads to more people becoming more likely to have mental health problems, according to the study. published last week in the journal Lancet Psychiatry.
“One of the highest quality studies included in our publication found that high potency cannabis use, compared to low potency cannabis (5 milligrams of THC or less), was linked to a four times greater risk addiction,” study co-author Tom Freeman, senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology and director of the addiction and mental health group at the University of Bath in the UK, said CNN .
Similarly, the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) said in January 2021 that cannabis use was on the rise in Canada. They also discussed the negative aspects of potentially becoming addicted.
“We know that regular cannabis use leads to health problems, addiction and other mental health disorders,” lead author Dr. Tara Elton-Marshall, an independent scientist at the Institute, said at the time. CAMH Institute for Mental Health Policy Research. “To see a sustained increase in cannabis use during the first wave of the pandemic is concerning.”
The CDC said in the United States, approximately 30% of marijuana users suffer from cannabis use disorder – the medical term for marijuana addiction.
CNN quoted the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction’s findings of a 76% increase in the number of people entering treatment for cannabis addiction over the past decade, “as the potency of cannabis continued to grow.” ‘increase over the same period’.
CNN reported that in one gram of herbal cannabis, the dried and harvested tops of female marijuana plants that are typically smoked, THC levels increase by about 2.9 milligrams each year, according to a study 2020 by Freeman and his team at the University of Bath.
In cannabis resin, the sticky brown sap of the plant from which extracts and potencies are made, THC levels increased by about 5.7 milligrams each year from 1975 to 2017, according to the study. Concentrated products can reach extremely high levels of THC.
The study also indicated that as marijuana became more potent, cases of marijuana-associated psychosis increased.
CAMH advise if you participate, opt for products with less THC and more CBD (cannabidiol).
“CBD, another compound in cannabis, can reduce certain negative effects like memory impairment, paranoia, and increased heart rate. Fewer people experience psychotic symptoms or other mental health issues when using high-CBD cannabis.
Statistics of the Canadian Cannabis Survey 2021 show that cannabis use actually decreased slightly in 2021 compared to 2020 (which includes the first waves of the pandemic) among Canadian men (31% to 29%) and Canadian women (23% to 22%).
Information for 2022 is not yet available.
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