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    cannabis public health

    Cannabis and Public Health


    Cannabis and public health: A study assessing regular cannabis users through health indicators

    Javier Hidalgo, Genís Oña, Miguel Ángel Alcázar Córcoles, and José Carlos Bouso.

    Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research



    About the study

    Researchers from ICEERS and the Department of Biological & Health Psychology from the Autonomous University of Madrid selected various items of the Enquesta de Salut de Catalunya (ESCA) and other items related to cannabis use to build a survey and administer it to 419 regular cannabis users in Catalonia.

    Cannabis users demonstrated better scores on positive health perception and body mass index and reported having fewer issues with cholesterol, blood pressure, chronic diseases, physical limitations, and depression (7.1% of cannabis users had depression compared to 20.5% of the general population).

    Moreover, cannabis users reported consuming half the amount of alcohol as the general population. Researchers also found that about 30% of the sample was able to stop taking prescription medications while using cannabis.



    Background and objective: An increasing number of countries are deciding to regulate the medicinal and/or recreational use of cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.). However, there is a lack of information on the impact of regular consumption of this substance on public health. In this study, for the first time, regular cannabis consumers in Spain were assessed using health indicators, comparing these data with the general population.

    Materials and methods: Various items of the Enquesta de Salut de Catalunya (ESCA) and other items related to cannabis use were selected to build a survey and administer it to a representative sample of regular cannabis users in Catalonia.

    Results: Most of the indicators did not show any deterioration in the health of regular cannabis users as compared to the general population. It was observed that users suffered from more sleep problems, and about 40% of the sample would like to discontinue cannabis use, suggesting a dependence pattern. About 30% of the sample was able to discontinue the use of prescription medications because of cannabis. Social support and sleep problems, and not cannabis use, were predictors of depression and well-being scores.

    Conclusions: It seems that regular cannabis use, despite contributing to problems related to sleep quality or dependence, does not have a negative impact on public health in a manner detectable using health indicators.

    Link to the study


    Contact ICEERS Research team



    CORRIGENDUM: When the data was transcribed, there was a slight typographical error in the sociodemographic description of the sample. This caused a minimal decimal variation in its description, but not in the results. You can access the discussion of this error in PubPeer and read the raw data here.


    Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash.



    Categories: Studies & papers , Cannabis
    Tags: cannabis , scientific research , study , health , public health , mental health , health indicators