Cannabis use, even a small amount, is not harmless. A group of experts from the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona warns of the dangers associated with the consumption of this substance, especially in adolescents, young people and people with mental health problems.
The concern of health professionals centers on the consumption of high-potency cannabis at a young age. The amount of THC, the plant’s main active ingredient, has increased significantly in recent decades, increasing its addictive potential and psychotropic effects.
The Hospital Clínic study concludes that consuming five or more servings a week represents a health risk. But in some segments of the population, even lower consumption is harmful. People under 21 years of age, pregnant women and breastfeeding people with mental or physical health problems, such as psychosis, depression, bipolar disorder or cardiorespiratory problems, are particularly vulnerable.
The authors of the study state that no amount of cannabis is completely safe and recommend not consuming it before the age of 21, limiting the amount of THC to 10%, and not exceeding 5 standard joint units per week.
According to the 2021 survey, the average age of initiation of cannabis use in Spain is less than 15 years. Adolescence is perfect, which consumes even worse.
Spain leads the use of cannabis in the European Union (EU), with 14.2% of people between the ages of 15 and 34 who have used it at least once in the last month. In addition, 15% of the population between the ages of 15 and 64 and 11% of young people (14 to 18 years) think that the use of cannabis has no health consequences.
Experts believe that it is crucial for prevention that the population knows the real risk of cannabis use. It should be universal prevention, which is based on scientific evidence and is far from sensational talks.
The results of the Hospital Clínic, although preliminary, are in agreement with other similar studies conducted in Canada.
Mental health, public health, primary care professionals and researchers in the field of alcohol use risk or prevention and treatment of problems from cannabis use participated in the study and reached consensus using Delphi scientific methodology.
Excessive cannabis use represents a growing public health problem. It is necessary for society to be informed about the dangers associated with this substance and for the authorities to implement effective prevention and treatment strategies to deal with this problem.