Public Health and Safety

Cannabis Use in Canada: Linked to Increased Hospitalizations 

Since Canada legalized marijuana for commercial adult use, the hospitalization rates associated to marijuana for “harmful use”, “dependency” and “cannabis-induced psychosis” have all increased. 

These are some of the findings that researchers (Myran, D. shared in JAMA which detailed a seven-year study, in the major provinces of Canada, representing 26.9 million people, ages 15 – 105 years. Of those they were able to identify 105,203 individual hospitalizations (65.8% male, 67% over the age of 25) with adverse consequences from cannabis usage. Quebec, the second most populous province behind Ontario, had elevated rates of cannabis hospitalization in all three time periods examined, pre-legalization, legalization with restrictions and commercial adult use. 

The authors note that during the pre-legalization and legalization with restrictions periods, hospital rates associated to cannabis use were elevated. However, the greatest increase taking place after March 2020 when commercial adult use went into effect, and after the introduction of high potency THC products was allowed in late 2019. 

The authors suggest that increases seen in adverse health effects from cannabis use and associated hospitalizations correspond with the same time where products lines, potency levels, and greater public access all expanded in Canada.  

Read Time: 10 minutes

Photo: / Bughdaryan, S.