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Spain: Study finds no decline in health of regular cannabis users



Photo: DR

A study carried out by researchers from International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service (ICEERS), in Spain, led by José Carlos Bouso, found that regular cannabis users do not experience a decline in their health when compared to the general population. The study, published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, was the first of its kind to assess the impact of regular cannabis use on public health in Spain, which has the third highest rate of cannabis use in Europe.

The research team, made up of members of the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research and Service (ICEERS) and the Department of Biological and Health Psychology at the Autonomous University of Madrid, developed a questionnaire based on the Catalan Public Health Survey to collect information from 419 regular cannabis users in the Catalonia region of Spain. Data were collected between 2019 and 2022 and included socio-demographic information, general and mental health, lifestyle, social support and the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other substances.

José Carlos Bouso, principal investigator of the study

The study concluded that the general health of regular cannabis users is comparable or better than that of the general population. Cannabis users scored better on self-rated health and body mass index, and reported fewer problems with cholesterol, blood pressure, chronic illness, physical limitations, and depression. Additionally, cannabis users reported consuming half the amount of alcohol as the general population, and 30% of the sample were able to stop taking prescription drugs while using cannabis.

While the study found that cannabis users scored lower than the general population when it came to sleep indicators, existing evidence also pointed to better sleep quality in medical cannabis users. The study's authors suggest including cannabis-related articles in national health surveys to provide valuable data to support the public debate on its regulation.

José Carlos Bouso, the main investigator of the study, said: “Cannabis consumption is stigmatized because the plant is considered harmful to public health, but there has never been a real study on its impact, based on public health indicators. This is the first time that a study of this type has been carried out. The results are intended to help guide policy decisions on cannabis regulation.”



[Disclaimer: Please note that this text was originally written in Portuguese and is translated into English and other languages ​​using an automatic translator. Some words may differ from the original and typos or errors may occur in other languages.]


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