Front page Cannabis report WHO 2016
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Report from WHO on effects of nonmedical cannabis use

Just in time for the UNGASS conference in New York, the World Health Organization released a report that gives an update on what we today know about the health and social consequences on cannabis use. The report is a very important contribution towards a more sober and knowledge-based discussion around cannabis policies, in UN as well as in the member states.

Research on the effects of cannabis use is still in its infancy. This leaves a large room for any type of opinions in the public debate, from those who see cannabis as the root of all evil to those who glamorize cannabis as a gift from God or Mother Earth and a solution to all problems. Some web sites claim that there no such thing as recreational use; all use is in their opinion medical use, and that cannabis can cure a large number of diseases.

The body of more systematic evidence is slowly growing and should form the basis for more sober and knowledge-based discussion around cannabis problems and cannabis policies. The new report from the World Health Organizations, The Health and Social Effetcts of Nonmedical Cannabis Use, is a good contribution towards such a more constructive debate. A large group of experts and researchers from different parts of the world have contributed to the report.

The text stresses several times that any medical use of cannabis is beyond the scope of this publication.

The WHO report has the following contents:

  • Cannabis substance profile and its health impact;
  • Epidemilogy of cannabis use, disorders and treatment;
  • Neurobiology of cannabis use;
  • Short-term effects of cannabis;
  • Mental health and psychosocial outcomes of long-term cannabis use;
  • Long-term cannabis use and noncommunicable diseases;
  • Prevention and treatment.

The last section pulls together the most important facts and points at priority areas for further research.