Cannabis Use Jumps 40% in Canada
According to the latest world drug report by the United Nations, 40 percent more Canadians were using cannabis in 2017 than 2013. This happened in the lead-up to legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes in July 2018.
According to the report, the growth in pre-legalization Canada was attributed to increased national debate around legalization. As a result, users had a decreased perception of risk and used cannabis more freely.
The increase in Canada was more evident for adults aged 20 years above. However, there was a decline in usage among teenagers aged 19 years or less. Majority of Canadian provinces have 19 years as the legal age limit for recreational cannabis use (except Alberta and Quebec – 18 years).
However, the report shows higher usage of recreational marijuana and CBD in young people aged 15-24 years than adults older than 25 years. At 23 percent, British Columbia had the highest number of users in the country. Manitoba and Nova Scotia also had more users than the national average of 15 percent.
The UN says it’s too early to assess the impact of legalization on recreational marijuana usage. Early trends show a steady rise, and they will be interesting to follow in the coming months. For example, it would be interesting to find out how investors in this market and the organized crime underworld are affected by the lifting of this ban.
Cannabis Use around the World
Canada joined the ranks of countries that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Uruguay paved the way followed by Spain and Peru, which allow some recreational use. Many more countries, including parts of the USA, the Netherlands and South Africa have similar laws.
Ten states in the USA have legalized marijuana for all purposes, and are enacting laws to expunge cannabis-related charges from residents’ criminal records. Most of the remaining states have legalized some usage, such as use of medicinal marijuana cannabidiol (CBD). Spain and Peru allow private growth and usage of cannabis, as did South Africa.
Safe Use of Cannabis in Canada
There are two major kinds of cannabis, CBD and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The former does not have an effect on the brain; DHT causes the typical high associated with cannabis use. There are various strains available in the market, and they have different effects for different people.
It’s also worth mentioning that while marijuana use is legal in Canada, you should be careful when traveling. Most provinces allow you to have 30 grams in public. However, you cannot leave or come into the country with any amount of marijuana.
Depending on your province, be sure to buy cannabis from the authorized suppliers. Do not exceed the amount allowed in public, and stick to the recommended places where recreational smoking is permitted.
Often recreational use is prohibited in or close to schools, hospitals and other places with children or crowds. In some provinces, recreational use is only allowed within private residences.
18-year-olds from Quebec and Alberta should be careful about carrying marijuana to other provinces. You could still be arrested for being underage even if it’s legal in your province.
Global use of marijuana has increased by 60 percent between 2008 and 2018, with the number of recreational users growing by 130 percent in that time.
Research is also on-going to discover more therapeutic uses of marijuana. So far, CBD is used to manage Dravets Syndrome – a childhood condition that causes almost non-stop seizures.
As more and more countries go on to legalize some form of cannabis, it should be easier to access for medical or recreational purposes. Governments are also working to set up structures to prevent abuse and make this industry attractive for investors.