1 / 4 of Canadians surveyed turned to hashish through the pandemic final 12 months

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“It will be important to further study Canadians’ cannabis use and how it will affect their health in the future.”

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Angela Stelmakowich

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February 11, 2021 • • 50 minutes ago • • 3 minutes read Across cannabinoid levels, THC levels were the strongest independent predictors of symptom relief. The Commonwealth Fund poll shows that 23 percent of adults here at home said they had used weeds at least once in the past 12 months. /. Photo by Getty Images

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A new analysis by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) confirms what many have been reporting for months: COVID-19 has increased the use of cannabis and alcohol.

The Commonwealth Fund survey – an international survey that mirrors responses in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US – shows that 23 percent of adults are at home here reported using weeds at least once in the past 12 months, according to a CIHI statement breaking down Canadian results. The survey was conducted in Canada between March 6 and June 15 last year. 75 percent of the interviews took place in March and April. Weed consumption was broken down by 36 percent of respondents aged 18 to 24, 38 percent for 25 to 34 year olds, 26 percent for 35 to 49 year olds, 18 percent for 50 to 64 year olds and eight percent for respondents indicated 65 and older.

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It is perhaps surprising that the highest usage was not necessarily in the provinces and territories with the largest population or number of retail options. The survey shows that reported weed use was highest in the areas and Nova Scotia, followed by Alberta and BC, notes the CIHI, an independent, nonprofit group dedicated to providing basic health information to Canadians.

Cannabis use in Canada is higher than most other countries – an average of nine percent of respondents from all countries combined reported using cannabis – which may make sense since Canada is the only country on the list that legalizes recreational herbs at the federal level Has. The Canadian percentage was closer to that of the United States (20 percent), where about a dozen states have adult cannabis laws.

“It will be important to further study Canadians’ cannabis use and see how it will affect their health in the future,” suggests Tracy Johnson, director of health systems analysis and emerging issues at CIHI. Johnson points out that while there is currently a means of defining heavy drinking, “there are no standards that define“ heavy cannabis use ”.

“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we’ve increased some of these (substance use) numbers – especially among people with mental health and substance use problems.” /. Screenshot photo from report How Canada Compare: Commonwealth Fund 2020 International Health Survey Findings on General Population in 11 Countries

The possible effects could also have exerted on the users. Overall, 22 percent of Canadian respondents had “spoken to their doctor about the use of cannabis or other drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, heroin or other substances, a slightly higher rate than in other countries (17 percent),” reports CIHI.

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“Since the beginning of the pandemic, some of these (substance use) numbers have increased – especially among people with mental health and substance use problems,” said Rita Notarandrea, CEO of the Canadian Center for Substance Use and Addiction. “With more lockdowns across the country, we need to take this into account as we work to reduce the overall health impact in Canada,” Notarandrea added.

For the first time, the global survey includes comparable information on harmful behaviors, including alcohol, tobacco, electronic vaping devices, cannabis and illicit drugs. These behaviors are important as they have both health and social implications for individuals and health systems, the report notes.

“Compared to respondents in peer countries, a lower percentage of Canadians reported consuming tobacco products every day and drinking a lot every month.” /. Photo by Getty Images

“Compared to respondents in peer countries, a lower percentage of Canadians reported using tobacco products on a daily basis and drinking a lot each month, while a higher percentage reported using electronic vaping devices, cannabis and illicit drugs,” it said.

Heavy drinking – defined as four or more drinks for women and five or more for men on one occasion, at least once a month – was slightly higher than cannabis use, at 27 percent. In Canada, heavy alcohol use was reported more often in people aged 25 to 34 years than in people aged 35 and over, according to CIHI.

Still, the overall heavy drinking percentage in Canada was lower than the Commonwealth Fund average of 32 percent.

CIHI reports that additional analysis of the health of Canadians and the country’s health systems during the pandemic will be released this year.

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