Website to educate youth about cannabis usage

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As legalization of recreational cannabis approaches, a new national harm-reduction website (‘Cannabis & Psychosis: Explore the Link’) is launching across Canada to educate youth with balanced information about the link between cannabis use and psychotic disorders like schizophrenia.

Featuring current scientific evidence and young people’s experiential perspectives, the resource dispels some of the myths about cannabis while empowering youth and emerging adults with education and prevention resources they need to have an informed understanding about the risks of cannabis use.

With this summer’s planned legalization of recreational cannabis use, mental health clinicians and researchers are deeply concerned that young Canadians may be unaware and unprepared for the effects of cannabis on the developing brain. Approximately 15% of Canadians – including roughly 30% of adolescents and young adults – report using cannabis in the past year. Dr. Phil Tibbo, President of the Canadian Consortium for Early Intervention in Psychosis stated, “Schizophrenia can develop up to six years earlier in young people who consume cannabis regularly.”

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Nearly 1% of the population will develop schizophrenia, which affects a person’s ability to discern reality from non-reality, with young men typically developing the illness in their late teens, while young women often develop it in their early-to-mid 20s. Research has indicated that cannabis use can play a role in early onset of psychotic disorders.

This website also aims to educate youth with balanced information about the link between cannabis use and psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. Cannabis and Psychosis: Explore the Link (www.cannabisandpsychosis.ca) is a project of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada. Featuring current scientific evidence and young people’s experiential perspectives, the resource dispels some of the myths about cannabis while empowering youth and emerging adults with education and prevention resources they need to have an informed understanding about the risks of cannabis use.

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Some of the key research findings that are integrated into the ‘Cannabis and Psychosis: Explore the Link’ website is:
-The median age of starting cannabis use was 17-years-old for both males and females in 2015.
-Cannabis use impacts psychosis which is a break from reality characterized by hallucinations, delusions, impaired thinking and lack of motivation.
-Regular cannabis use can impact the development of a chronic life-long psychotic disorder in at-risk individuals and is associated with an earlier age of onset of psychosis.
-Cannabis use can prevent or hinder recovery in individuals already diagnosed with a psychotic disorder.
-THC content has increased from 1.5% in 1970 to 28% in 2018. -CINEWS

Comments: 1

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  1. The acceptance of the false information that cannabis is detrimental to human health was institutionalized into society many decades ago and unfortunately it takes even longer to unlearn bad information than it does too learn valid information.

    Cannabinoids have been ignored as potent medicines due to the pharmaceutical industry’s failure to successfully isolate and synthesize any beneficial individual cannabinoid compounds; They have ignored the synergy and entourage effects of the complex of over 100 Cannabinoids and 100s of terpenes in the Cannabis plant due to the industry wide fixation on the current ‘Isolate, target, Patent for Profit’, system of pharmaceutical research.

    There is a Pervasive, Institutionalized, Negative Bias against all forms of Cannabis Use that has existed for almost a century and is still rampant in virtually all institutions that form the structure of our society and those who populate those agencies are institutionalized to think ideologically and only in terms of addiction and harm reduction, crime and punishment, Patent and Profit…; In the case of Cannabis they are completely ignoring the abundance of positive heath benefits that the various forms of Whole Plant Cannabinoid Therapy could provide a multitude of individuals, all because it conflicts with established ideological mentality, and/or, it does not fit the current ‘patent and profit’ mandate of pharmaceutical research and production, and marketing.

    Our Medical Institutions, and the professionals within them that make up part of our society, have been either complicit, or at the very least, had blind faith in the claims of the Pharmaceutical industry while simultaneously ignoring the abundance of scientific studies, and evidence, indicating Cannabinoids have multiple health care applications from treating depression, to curing Cancer (Cannabinoids kill cancer cells via apoptosis and anti-angiogenesis. Know since 1974), to preventing and treating Alzheimer’s.

    Our institutions ignore the positives of medicinal cannabis and continue to perpetuate the same false narrative that ‘Cannabis is inherently dangerous’ with essentially no valid foundation in scientific reality; I believe this occurs due to ‘Institutionalized bias’ and for our national institutions to acknowledge the factual reality of the benefits of Cannabinoid Therapy would require all of our medical professions to admit that Cannabis works as a treatment for many Human Ailments; They would also have to admit they do not know how it works AND that, as a civilized developed society, we should have been studying Cannabinoids for at least 5 decades, if not more, and that not only our medical profession, but society as a whole, has completely failed on the issue of cannabis and Public Health.

    Until our Governments, Our Public Institutions, Our Medical professionals and the institutions they represent, Our Law Enforcement Agencies, and society in general, abandon the decades of misinformation and misunderstanding on how the phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant interact with the Human Endocannabinoid System, we will continue to spend more resources on unnecessary legislation and continued delays instead of implementing proper legislation providing access to the vast medicinal potential of this very safe and effective medicinal plant and health supplement.