Public health surveillance of cannabis use in Europe: prevalence of use, cannabis potency and treatment rate
Over the past decade, cannabis use, number of treatments and potency levels have increased in Europe, highlighting major concerns about the impact of cannabis use on public health. Continued monitoring and efforts to improve data quality and reporting, including indicators of high-risk use and cannabis-related harm, will be needed to assess the health impact of international changes in cannabis regulation. A study on international cannabis use published in The Lancet reveals that one in five users report high-risk consumption patterns.
The study entitled "Public health monitoring of cannabis use in Europe: prevalence of use, cannabis potency, and treatment rates" treatment rate and potency of cannabis products) examined data on four key indicators of cannabis in Europe, using information from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, European Monitoring Center for Drug and Drug Addiction and the Global Burden of Disease Study. She found that each of them had increased.
Between 2010 and 2019, the prevalence of cannabis use in the past month increased by 27% among European adults (from 3-1 to 3-9%), with the most pronounced relative increases seen among 35- 64, observes the study.
In 13 of the 26 countries studied, one in five users declared high-risk consumption. The entry rate into treatment for cannabis-related problems per 100000 adults has also increased from 27.0 to 35.1, but has been stable since 2015.
Modest increases in potency were seen in weed cannabis (6-9% to 10-6% THC) while median THC values tripled in cannabis resin (7-6% to 24-1% THC). In light of these findings, the authors called for greater regulation of international cannabis. “Over the past decade, cannabis use, treatment rates and potency levels have increased in Europe, highlighting major concerns about the impact of cannabis use on public health,” perhaps read in the conclusion of the study.
“Ongoing monitoring and efforts to improve data quality and communication, including indicators of high-risk use and harm attributable to cannabis, will be needed to assess the health impact of international changes in cannabis regulation. "