America’s Favorite, Weed, Comes with Big Health Risks

(Psychology Today) Most people don’t realize cannabis (marijuana, or “weed”) can be addictive and regular use may carry health risks such as stroke, heart attack, and mental illness, among others. Medical marijuana users may use the drug often or daily for chronic pain, and health problems are more common among frequent users. Yet most Americans see little problem with marijuana use.

In the United States, 22% of Americans 12 years of age or older, or 19 million people, used cannabis in 2022, with highest usage among those 18-25 years old (38%). In 2022, 30.7% of twelfth graders reported using cannabis in the past year, and 6.3% used cannabis daily in the past 30 days.

Cannabis use disorder (CUD) is also increasing; in 2022, 5.7 million people met diagnostic criteria for this disorder. The risk was highest (16.5%) among young adults ages 18-25. The core feature of the disorder is that users can’t stop using even though cannabis causes adverse consequences. Some people with CUD smoke marijuana multiple times every day, and many users are young men.

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