Cannabis, or marijuana as we all know it, has been legal for almost a year. The drug was legalised across Canada on October 17, 2018, with the federal government providing clearly stated rules and regulations to buy, sell, grow, and use.

As for the health and social effects that cannabis poses, young adults are most affected and they are the ones responsible for the majority of the drug’s consumption.

There are both short-term and long-term impacts caused by the use of cannabis. The most common immediate health dangers imposed by the drug include cyclic vomiting syndrome and burns, as found by Fiona Clement and her team at the University of Calgary in their research on human cannabis consumption.

Other health concerns include risk of stroke, testicular cancer, and brain changes affecting efficient learning and/or causing impairment in memory (short-term and long-term). It has also been discovered that there is a consistent link between cannabis consumption and mental illness. Although these are not immediate effects of consuming the drug in large amounts, these risks can still be considered harmful to one’s health over longer periods of time.

Another adverse effect this drug has on your mental health is impaired decision-making. Cannabis consumption slows your decision-making abilities, making you more prone to accidents and injury.

Impaired driving is one of the major risks of cannabis consumption. Although the research has identified all these detrimental health effects of consuming the drug, the mental health effects have been found to be the most powerful compared to the risks of cancer and stroke.

Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go for research on cannabis and its health effects. Currently, there are only weak links associated with cannabis use and an individual’s mental and physical health.

For example, there is an associative, but not a causal, connection between a highly potent form of cannabis, THC, which is the main mind-altering ingredient in cannabis, and the chances of developing psychotic disorders.

In the largest study of cannabis consumption, about 900 people from 11 psychiatric-service sites across Europe and Brazil were treated for their first episode of psychosis. It is very important to note that despite the research conducted, only associative evidence is available, meaning that all the results are reported to the researchers by the clinics or service centres. This means that the data is secondary, and moreover it is not peer-reviewed, so the conclusion of these findings has yet to be tested and verified.

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