British Mental Health Experts: Cannabis Not a 'Harmless' Drug

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A major medical journal in the United Kingdom has published a detailed research paper by mental health experts warning cannabis products with high concentrations of THC, a chemical known to affect the mind, have been associated with psychosis and dependence in users.

The experts' analysis was published in the British journal The Lancet on July 25.

"We present, to our knowledge, the first systematic review of the association of cannabis potency with mental health and addiction," epidemiologists Lindsey Hindes and Gemma Taylor, psychologist Tom Freeman and the paper's three other authors wrote in the paper's introduction, according to The College Fix.

"Overall, use of higher potency cannabis, relative to lower potency cannabis, was associated with an increased risk of psychosis and cannabis use disorder," the paper stated. "Evidence varied for depression and anxiety."

According to the researchers, THC cannabis concentrations have increased around the world in recent years.

"In the USA and Europe, the concentration of THC has more than doubled over the past 10 years, and new legal markets have facilitated the rapid development of cannabis products with higher potencies than earlier products, such as concentrated extracts," the researchers noted.

The authors also explained people who used cannabis with high THC levels were more likely to have a "psychotic episode." One study even found that people who use the highly potent marijuana daily were five times more likely to be diagnosed with psychosis compared to those who never use the drug," The Fix reported.

Medical experts have previously warned that marijuana can be highly addictive. According to a report published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and last updated in April 2020, "Marijuana use can lead to the development of problem use, known as marijuana use disorder, which takes the form of addiction in severe cases. Recent data suggest that 30% of those who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder."

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