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Cannabis regulations are insufficient given the increased health risks of highly potent products

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Nearly half of all American citizens now live in a state where they can buy cannabis on a recreational market, and all but 13 have legalized medical use. All of these policies have been developed statewide and approved under a federal ban, which may change soon as lawmakers in both the House and Senate develop federal proposals to legalize cannabis.

A new USC Schaeffer Center white paper shows how this is done nationwide Regulations have poor public health standards compared to other countries, leaving consumers vulnerable. Federal legalization is an opportunity to enforce regulations that better protect consumers and promote reasonable use. Regulations Policy makers should consider setting a maximum amount of THC allowed in products sold in the market and setting purchase limits on high potency cannabis products, such as foodstuffs and e-cigarette cartridges, as has been done in other legal jurisdictions outside the country.

“Allowing the industry to self-regulate in the United States has resulted in the production of products that are more effective and diversified than in other countries, and has led to a variety of products geared toward youth, including hemp-infused ice cream, chewing gum, and waffles,” Rosalie Licardo Bacola, senior fellow at USC Schaeffer Center and Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Health Policy, Economics, and Law at the USC Price School of Public Policy. “Current state regulations and public counseling are insufficient to protect vulnerable populations who are most vulnerable to addiction and other harms.”

High potency hemp products have been linked and coordination issues, cognitive dysfunction, cannabinoid hyperactivity syndrome, psychosis, and increased risks of anxiety, depression, and dependence when used for prolonged periods. Severe health effects associated with high-potency products include unexpected poisonings and acute psychosis.

Policies must discourage excessive use of cannabis

Product innovation in the legal cannabis industry has gone beyond state regulations and our knowledge of the health effects of non-medical cannabis for adults, Pacula and colleagues write. Concentrations of cannabis and its extracts can reach concentrated THC levels of up to 90% in certain cases—much more than dried flower in the range of 15-21%. These products are also growing in popularity — sales of concentrates like e-cigarette pens rose 145% in the first two years of legalization in Washington state.

However, the state’s methods of organization did not adequately take into account the limits of quantity and effectiveness. Only two states, Vermont and Connecticut, have set limits for effectiveness on both flower and concentrate. Most states place sales limits on product weight and product type, an approach that allows individuals to purchase excessive amounts of highly potent products in a single transaction.

In most states an individual can purchase 500 10mg servings of concentrate in one transaction. Six states allow purchases in excess of 1,000 servings. By comparison, full barrels of beer, which usually requires taping, provide 165 servings of alcohol.

“Voters in many of these states supported legalization because they were told we would regulate cannabis like alcohol, but in reality, when it comes to product innovation, content and standard sizes, the cannabis market has been largely left alone,” Sima Besar, Senior Partner at the Health Policy Project at University of Southern California Shaffer Center. And that’s what matters to public health.”

“We’re seeing evidence of real health consequences from this approach, especially among young people,” Bakula explains. For example, studies show a rise in cannabis-related emergency department visits for acute psychiatric symptoms and cyclic vomiting in states that legalize recreational cannabis use.

Key policies to support the responsible use of cannabis

To better regulate markets and legal cannabis products, researchers are finding four policy areas that state and federal laws can do more to encourage responsible use.

  • Putting limits on the amount of THC in legal products sold: Putting clear, moderate caps on the flower, concentrates, and extracts.
  • Setting potency-based sales limits: Restricting the amount of cannabis a retailer can sell to an individual in a single transaction or over a period of time, based on the amount of THC in the product.
  • design On the basis of product potency: Cannabis is taxed in a similar way to alcohol, based on the potential for intoxication rather than the weight of the container or the retail price.
  • Implementation of seed sale data tracking systems: Allow To view and watch every gram of legal cannabis grown as it moves through the supply chain, including comprehensive monitoring of ingredients added to products ultimately purchased in stores.

While generating tax revenue and reversing the harms from prohibition is important, prioritizing public health — and prolonged use of highly potent cannabis products has health consequences, the researchers wrote.

“Restrictive health regulations are difficult to implement in markets that are already operating and generating jobs and revenue,” Bakula says. “Now is the time when the federal government has the best chance of ensuring a market that fully takes into account the public.” . ”


Few consumers understand the levels of THC in hemp foods


more information:
Rosalie Licardo Bakula and others Federal Public Health Cannabis Regulations in the United States(2022). doi: 10.25549/FBEW-6Z03

Cannabis Regulations Inadequate due to Increased Health Risks of High Potency Products (2022, July 18) Retrieved on July 18, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-07-cannabis-inad appropriate-health-high-potency- products. programming language

This document is subject to copyright. Notwithstanding any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.

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