In today’s article a compilation of content from other authors will be made in order to provide information on responsible cannabis use. Many countries are moving towards the regulation of medicinal and recreational Cannabis: Canada, Mexico, Uruguay, the Netherlands or the United States are just some examples of this movement towards the legalization of the controlled consumption and sale of Cannabis flowers and its derivatives.
Many experts are betting that the legalization of marijuana can be considered one of the better options to deal with the misuses of this substance, as well as an approach to the responsible consumption of Cannabis. On the other hand, regularization could also end the black market, one of the biggest burdens on non-regularized use of this substance.
This could mean regulating the quality, dosage and presence of psychoactive cannabinoids of marijuana. In the same way, activists in pursuit of the regularization of Cannabis also affirm that legalization can minimize social damage while eliminate ban costs that can be used for prevention, education, health and social programs.
As many countries move towards legalization, it is important that the public is advised on the responsible use of Cannabis. Both health workers and legislators should consider the implications that Cannabis may have for public health and working to carry out risk reduction policies that promote health and well-being, as well as respecting informed decision-making by the population.
Problems that arise when responsible consumption of Cannabis is not done
Cannabis is the most consumed non-regularized recreational substance in Spain, being especially consumption among the younger population is significant. This testifies to how established this substance is in this country and how necessary it is to learn to use it properly.
To establish guidelines for the responsible consumption of Cannabis it is very important provide maximum information possible on the risks that the uncontrolled consumption of Cannabis can produce in people. To do this, the best is based on scientific evidence:
When Cannabis is smoked, there is scientific evidence that it can cause respiratory symptoms such as episodes of chronic bronchitis or shortness of breath. Although the main cause of these problems in the population is still tobacco, Cannabis smoke contains tar and other carcinogens.
Vaping appears to be a less harmful method of consuming Cannabis, as it does not produce combustion. The rate of respiratory symptoms in recreational marijuana vaping users was 40% lower than smoked Cannabis users, according to this study from the Beckley Foundation.
However still It is too early to say that the use of vapers does not entail respiratory problems, since the medium and long-term effects of Cannabis use through this method are unknown and, although vaping seems a hopeful solution, we must wait to see what science has to say in this regard.
Long-term use of Cannabis can lead to develop addiction and impairment or significant discomfort, as stated in this study, which also reports how approximately 9% of the population that uses marijuana ends up developing a certain type of dependence on this substance.
The same report reports that the average level of dependence that nicotine can develop is 68%, 23% for alcohol and 21% for cocaine. Although it is true that marijuana does not lead the list of substances susceptible to generating dependence, it is true that it has the possibility of generating dependence and leading to inappropriate use of it. Thus, it is essential to prevent this aspect and promote the responsible use of Cannabis.
Different investigations have addressed the issue of the links between marijuana use and mental health problems. Although it is still necessary to advance more in this regard, there is evidence that relates the continued use of Cannabis with anxiety and depression problems.
Other research points to a relationship between cannabis use and the early appearance of problems like psychosis. In fact, it is reported that people can increase the risk of suffering psychosis by up to 40% compared to non-users.
The study emphasizes that the marijuana use when you are young is highly inadvisable because early use of this substance is associated with an even higher risk, as there is between 50% and 200% more chances of suffering from psychosis than non-marijuana users.
One possible answer to this problem is that high concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, can put users at greater risk than those lower concentrations that cause more bearable sensations.
There is evidence that stands out as an increase in the rate of memory impairment and an increase in cannabis-induced paranoia and psychosis after the consumption of Cannabis products with a high presence of active cannabinoids such as THC. Being especially worrisome those products with Clandestine synthetic cannabinoids.
The tests conclude by alluding that although the association between cannabis use and certain mental illnesses exists, causality is not yet fully understood.
How to reduce and make a responsible cannabis consumption
Then some of the most important tips for risk reduction and responsible consumption of Cannabis. Withdrawal is the best way to avoid health risks entirely, although those who consume it can hope to reduce these risks by adopting the following recommendations.
1. Delay consumption until adulthood
As mentioned above, Cannabis use in the younger population can bring negative effects on your cognitive development. Furthermore, since the risk of dependence is higher when use begins at a younger age, cannabis use disorder and the associated health damage are more serious.
That is why if consumption is delayed until early adulthood, health damage can be reduced or avoided, a way to make a responsible consumption of Cannabis.
2. Reduce the frequency of consumption
Since the risk of damage increases with the rate of consumption, it is necessary to avoid frequent use, daily or almost daily. To do this, space consumption at specific times can be an appropriate way to promote responsible cannabis use.
3. Stop consumption when it is difficult to control
Those consumers who make a very frequent use of non-medicinal Cannabis would be incurring in a little responsible consumption. When you experience some difficulty in controlling Cannabis use, you should stop and ask for professional help if necessary.
4. Minimize respiratory complications
A good way to minimize the harmful effects of Cannabis on health is avoid smoking cannabis with tobacco, since it contains more carcinogenic substances and can cause more respiratory complications in the long term. Therefore, many researchers agree that it is preferable refrain from inhaling smoke deeply and hold your breath, as well as consider using a vaporizer and trying to minimize carcinogens derived from combustion.
5. Do not consume in high quantities
Consume high amounts of THC. As has been seen, it can be more damaging than if it is done in small amounts. Therefore, it is advisable not to consume in large quantities Cannabis with a high concentration of THC or an excessive consumption of this psychoactive cannabinoid.
6. Avoid combining Cannabis with other psychoactive substances
The non-medicinal Cannabis mix with alcohol or medications can exponentially increase memory impairment or the appearance of episodes of depression or anxiety. Experts also agree that the combination of Cannabis with alcohol can promote the appearance of anxiety, nausea, vomiting or fainting.
7. Never drive under the influence of THC
Nor driving with people who have consumed THC. The effect of inhaled Cannabis may peak within 30 minutes of being consumed and its effects gradually disappear. The cognitive impairment produced by THC can last from 3 to 6 hours, depending on each individual. It is necessary to wait longer than this time before getting behind the wheel, especially if the products that have been consumed have a high concentration of THC. Deterioration can be more pronounced if THC has been combined with other substances.
8. Moderation when sharing
Responsible use of Cannabis is part of minimize lip contact with other consumers. Sharing has always been closely linked to the culture of cannabis consumption, but it is necessary to be careful in this regard and reduce the risk of transmitting infections such as meningitis; or in these times, infectious viruses such as Covid-19.
9. Vulnerable groups
In the high risk groups, as pregnant women or people with a personal or family history of psychosis should avoid the consumption of Cannabis completely.
To continue with interesting stories: What is Kratom and what does the science say about its consumption? and Can You Combine Marijuana with Psilocybin ?.
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