Like other drugs, cannabis use can also be problematic. This is because not all cannabinoids in the plant are as safe as cannabidiol. In fact, tetrahydrocannabinol in cannabis is known for its psychoactive properties.
Though it is not common, cannabis dependence occurs and is problematic. It goes by the name of cannabis use disorder. This is a condition which causes trouble with focus, memory issues, and extreme mood swings.
One would think that cannabis dependence would have increased with the increasing popularity of the herb. However, this is not the case. In fact, as per a new study the prevalence of cannabis use disorder has reduced. Researchers from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health conducted this research work.
What Did The Research Reveal?
For the purpose of this study, the team of scientists looked at the data of 22,651 individuals from National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This data was from between the years 2002 to 2016. The participants involved had used cannabis more than 300 days last year.
Researchers looked at the effect of cannabis on health and the commonness of CUD in three age categories – 12-17, 18-25, and 26 and older. They found that the prevalence of cannabis use disorder has reduced across all three age categories. In the age bracket of 12 to 17, the decrease is of 27%, in 18- to 25-year-olds the reduction is of 30% whereas among people 26 and older, CUD decrease is of 37.5%.
However, researchers noted that there was no decrease in need for mental health treatment among those who used cannabis regularly. Moreover, prevalence of health problems among cannabis users also hasn’t gone down.
There was, though a substantial reduction in driving under the influence of drugs. Self-reported DUIs reduced among the first age category by 26%, in the second age group by 29%, and by 38% among 26 and older cannabis users.
What Did The Researchers Say?
This is the first time science has dived in to analyze the health of people who frequently use cannabis and the prevalence of CUD. The journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence has published this new study online. Researchers explained that the changing attitudes in the society toward cannabis and the legalization of the substance can be behind this positive change of reduced prevalence.
Treatment for Cannabis Use Disorder
Cannabis use disorder doesn’t only afflict the individual but also the people around him. Therapy and counselling are helpful treatment routes. In some cases, medicines are also recommended for the symptoms. In fact, a latest study showed that cannabis extract aka cannabidiol could be useful in the treatment of cannabis addiction.
Cannabis use disorder is a problematic health condition that some daily or almost daily users of cannabis suffer through. A new study shows that the prevalence of this condition has decreased. Researchers believe this reduction is due to the changing societal views of cannabis and its legalization.