The countdown to the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Canada ended yesterday when retail stores opened for the first time to serve adults who wanted to consume this substance that has been wrapped in a lot of controversy for decades. Legalization day also marked the start of one of the biggest “experiments” in public health policy. This is because cannabis was legalized without fully understanding how different categories of people would be affected by its regular consumption.
Of primary interest are teens and young adults. While federal law places the minimum age for those who can legally buy and consume cannabis at 18, provinces and territories imposed their own age limits with several putting it at 19.
Those age limits still give the scientific community the jitters since there is widespread agreement that a person’s brain continues to develop until that individual turns 25. This means that a young adult or an adolescent will have several years within which to consume a substance that could potentially alter the structure of that person’s brain during these crucial formative years.
Public health groups and the scientific community will be watching this age group closely in order to ascertain the actual impact of cannabis consumption upon them both in the short term and the long term.
The second category of people that has scientists worried is those who are predisposed to developing different kinds of psychosis, such as schizophrenia. Cannabis consumption has been linked to triggering episodes of psychosis, but it isn’t clear exactly how the substance affects the brain in order to trigger the condition.
Younger people are at a higher risk of developing psychosis if those individuals are predisposed to it and consume cannabis early in life. Researchers are ready to study this special group and learn more about the way cannabis affects their brains.
Of special concern to the scientific community are the senior citizens who may consume cannabis now that it is legal. This section of the population is usually overshadowed by the focus centered upon teens and young adults, but they also deserve serious attention.
Seniors often have a number of health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and weakened body systems. It is not known how cannabis will interact with the different medications those seniors are taking for their health challenges.
Sections of the scientific community will be watching these older members of the community closely given that the sharpest increases in cannabis consumption have been registered in this group.
The fourth group that will be watched closely are the pregnant or nursing mothers. The medical community urges these people to refrain from consuming cannabis in the same way that advice is given to avoid other substances like alcohol and tobacco during this stage.
However, advice (professional or not) can either be accepted or ignored. Researchers will therefore be looking out for the impact that cannabis has on pregnant women or those breastfeeding who go ahead and light a joint every so often.
The eyes of the world are on Canada to see how this experiment with cannabis pans out. The results will either encourage other countries to open up to marijuana, or strengthen their prohibitionist positions. Cannabis industry players like Green Hygienics Holdings Inc. (OTC: GRYN) and GreenBox POS, LLC (OTC: GRBX) have their fingers crossed hoping that Canada’s lead is followed by other countries.
More from CannabisNewsWire
CannabisNewsWire (CNW) is an information service that provides (1) access to our news aggregation and syndication servers, (2) CannabisNewsBreaks that summarize corporate news and information, (3) enhanced press release services, (4) social media distribution and optimization services, and (5) a full array of corporate communication solutions. As a multifaceted financial news and content distribution company with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, CNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. CNW has an ever-growing distribution network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets across the country. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, CNW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. CNW is where news, content and information converge.
To receive instant SMS alerts, text CANNABIS to 21000
For more information please visit https://www.CannabisNewsWire.com