Doctors are looking for ways to make cannabis use safer
In many countries around the world, attitudes to cannabis have changed a lot in recent years. Definitive bans on cannabis are increasingly being replaced by more relaxed legislation. Scientists are now looking for ways to reduce the negative health effects of cannabis. Researchers found that many of the risks to users are reduced when cannabis is consumed without tobacco.
Scientists from recognized King’s College London and UCL found that cannabis use is far less harmful when cannabis use is without tobacco. The doctors published the results of the study in the journal "Lancet Psychiatry".
Consumers should take cannabis straight through a vaporizer
It is critical for health officials that measures be taken to reduce the harm done by cannabis use. Many of the health risks can be avoided if users are encouraged to use cannabis without tobacco and, for example, with the help of so-called vaporizers.
With current drug policies, consumers need to be protected from negative effects
The rapidly changing laws surrounding cannabis lead to the need to protect users from the most harmful effects, experts say. Further research is urgently needed to scientifically support the changed drug policy.
Cannabis use has doubled in four decades
So far, it has been quite difficult to assess which cannabis strains and which amounts of cannabis are generally consumed. However, estimates suggest that cannabis use has doubled on average over the past four decades, the scientists explain. In many countries, cannabis with high potency dominates when it is sold on the black market.
Cannabis use should be made safer
In the past eight years, the number of Europeans who have had treatment for cannabis problems has increased by more than 50 percent. It is unclear how many people volunteered for treatment or how many were instructed by clinics in clinics, the authors explain. Scientists are now working on making consumption generally safer.
Laws for cannabis have changed in many countries
Several European countries have already changed their cannabis laws. These include, for example, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal. In the United States, eight states have formally legalized cannabis. There are also many regions where cannabis is used as a medication for medical reasons, the researchers add.
Effects of the changed drug policy are still unclear
Legalizing cannabis is expected to reduce cannabis costs. It is extremely unlikely that the number of users will decrease. To what extent the changed drug policy in relation to cannabis will lead to increased use and lead to increased health problems remains unclear, according to the scientists. But we know that cannabis users are at increased health risk, adds author Dr. Amir Englund from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London.
What do the main compounds do in cannabis?
The main compounds found in cannabis are THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and cannabidiol (CBD), the experts explain. The THC leads to the typical so-called cannabis high. High levels of THC are associated with an increased risk of developing psychoses. However, there is some evidence that CBD counteracts the negative effects of THC, such as poor memory and paranoia, the scientists explain.
There is a need for action to protect consumers
We cannot always wait for a lot of research, we have to achieve the best possible results with the currently known evidence, says author Dr. English. This is the only way to protect consumers to a certain extent from negative health effects.
Cannabis should not be smoked with tobacco
This year, Dr. Englund in another study is investigating whether different levels of CBD can reduce the harmful effects of THC. The European habit of smoking cannabis with tobacco is one of the greatest known health risks for cannabis users. However, this problem is largely ignored in the context of the debate about the consequences for public health, say the doctors. Health damage can be minimized by developing effective strategies to reduce smoking of tobacco cannabis in the general population, the experts add. (as)