Today’s cannabis increases health harms – new study

By May 28, 2020 Media Release

Media Release 28 May 2020
A new study just published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry has found that the use of high-potency cannabis was associated with a significant increase in the frequency of cannabis use, likelihood of cannabis problems, and likelihood of anxiety disorder.  In addition, high-potency weed users are more likely to use weed at least once a week, twice as likely to have used illicit drugs within the past 12 months, and more than three times as likely to be tobacco smokers.

The study involved more than 1,087 UK residents who reported marijuana use in the past year, using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).

The researchers say that this study provides the first general population evidence suggesting that the use of high-potency cannabis is associated with mental health and addiction.

Significantly, the study defined high potency as “typically ≥10% THC”. According to the proposed New Zealand legislation, THC levels (the psychoactive chemical in cannabis) are initially set at 15% THC for smoking.

This is significantly higher than the Woodstock Weed of 2-4%. But as we know, when the potency is limited, this will simply empower the black market and the gangs who will provide high-THC products demanded by users.

“This latest study simply reinforces what we already know. The use of cannabis is associated with increased risks of a number of adverse outcomes including educational delay, welfare dependence, increased risks of psychotic symptoms, major depression, increased risks of motor vehicle accidents, increased risks of tobacco use, increased risks of other illicit drug use, and respiratory impairment.”

“At a time when New Zealand’s mental health system is bursting at the seams, why would we go and legitimise a mind-altering product which will simply add to social harm?”