Oct. 17 marks the legalization of cannabis in Canada, which has many calling it a new era for science.
The president of the Ontario Medical Association, Dr. Nadia Alam, was in Kingston, Ont., on Tuesday speaking to groups of people on the pros and cons of cannabis use.
“A lot of people think because it’s legal, it is safe. Recreational cannabis is very different than medical cannabis and there are risks associated with it,” said Alam.
The risks include serious implications for teenagers; as one in six people under the age of 19 will become addicted and will have other problems associated with marijuana use, said Alam.
A study conducted by Nanos polled Canadians on their feelings towards cannabis use and the results show that many are lacking information on the effects of the plant, such as:
- 48 per cent of Ontarians did not know the differences between recreational and medical cannabis.
- More than seven in 10 Ontarians are concerned about mental-health effects for people who use cannabis regularly.
- Nearly three in four Ontarians say they are concerned about respiratory diseases/disorders for people who regularly consume cannabis.
- 53 per cent of Ontarians who purchase cannabis won’t speak to a doctor beforehand.
Alam did acknowledge that cannabidiol (CBD) in medical cannabis does have medicinal uses such as helping nausea from chemotherapy.
However, Alam says recreational cannabis can trigger or heighten symptoms of anxiety and depression, along with cardiovascular issues caused by smoke inhalation.
She continued by saying there needs to be more research done regarding cannabis use and the effects it has on the human body, and she is urging people to see a doctor before using cannabis.