Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
https://trends.org.br/article/doi/10.47626/2237-6089-2021-0263
Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Review Article

Current state of cannabis use, policies, and research across sixteen countries: cross-country comparisons and international perspectives

Ramdas Ransing, Pedro A. de la Rosa, Victor Pereira-Sanchez, Jibril I. M. Handuleh, Stefan Jerotic, Anoop Krishna Gupta, Ruta Karaliuniene, Renato de Filippis, Eric Peyron, 10 Ekin Sönmez Güngör, Said Boujraf, Anne Yee, Bita Vahdani, Sheikh Shoib, MJ Stowe, Florence Jaguga, Lisa Dannatt, Alexandre Kieslich da Silva, Paolo Grandinetti, Chonnakarn Jatchavala

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Abstract

Introduction
Varying public views on cannabis use across countries may explain the variation in the prevalence of use, policies, and research in individual countries, and global regulation of cannabis. This paper aims to describe the current state of cannabis use, policies, and research across sixteen countries.

Methods
PubMed and Google Scholar were searched for studies published from 2010 to 2020. Searches were conducted using the relevant country of interest as a search term (e.g., “Iran”), as well as relevant predefined keywords such as “cannabis,” “marijuana,” “hashish,” “bhang “dual diagnosis,” “use,” “addiction,” “prevalence,” “co-morbidity,” “substance use disorder,” “legalization” or “policy” (in English and non-English languages). These keywords were used in multiple combinations to create the search string for studies’ titles and abstracts. Official websites of respective governments and international organizations were also searched in English and non-English languages (using countries national languages) to identify the current state of cannabis use, policies, and research in each of those countries.

Results
The main findings were inconsistent and heterogeneous reporting of cannabis use, variation in policies (e.g., legalization), and variation in intervention strategies across the countries reviewed. European countries dominate the cannabis research output indexed on PubMed, in contrast to Asian countries (Thailand, Malaysia, India, Iran, and Nepal).

Conclusions
Although global cannabis regulation is ongoing, the existing heterogeneities across countries in terms of policies and epidemiology can increase the burden of cannabis use disorders disproportionately and unpredictably. There is an urgent need to develop global strategies to address these cross-country barriers to improve early detection, prevention, and interventions for cannabis use and related disorders.

Keywords

Cannabis, policies, legalization, global health, research.

Submitted date:
05/17/2021

Accepted date:
10/22/2021

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