A comprehensive review of multiple studies has shed light on the potential harmful effects of cannabis on certain demographics, including teenagers, pregnant women, mentally ill individuals, and young adults. The findings, published by the BMJ Medical Journal, were the result of an extensive analysis conducted by an international team of experts. They examined studies conducted between 2002 and 2022 to understand the impact of cannabis, cannabinoids, and cannabis-based medicines on health.

While the review acknowledged that cannabis compounds might offer relief for conditions such as sclerosis, chronic pain, and inflammatory bowel disease, it also pointed out potential risks for other groups. Particularly concerning were the negative effects on mental health and the potential harm to unborn babies if consumed by pregnant women. The authors emphasized the importance of avoiding cannabis during adolescence, early adulthood, pregnancy, and while driving for individuals with mental health disorders.

Although the review highlighted the potential risks associated with cannabis use, it is essential to consider the broader context surrounding the legalization of cannabis in Thailand since June 2022. The decriminalization and regulation of cannabis signify a significant shift in societal attitudes toward the plant and its potential benefits. Advocates argue that legalizing cannabis allows for better control, regulation, and taxation while fostering economic growth and providing alternative treatment options.

Furthermore, research efforts have been ongoing for years, assessing the potential benefits of cannabis for human health. Notably, a study conducted by Rutgers University revealed a substantial increase in cannabis use among both pregnant and non-pregnant women between 2002 and 2014. This highlights the need for further research to better understand the implications and potential risks associated with cannabis use in these populations.

In contrast to the ongoing legalization efforts in Thailand, many countries still categorize cannabis as illegal or heavily regulated. However, several nations, including Uruguay, Mexico, Malta, and South Africa, have taken steps to permit its recreational use, while others allow its medicinal use. In Asia, Thailand has emerged as a trailblazer, becoming the first country in the region to decriminalize cannabis and allow its cultivation and possession for medical purposes.

As the legalization movement gains momentum globally, it is crucial to navigate the complexities and varying perspectives surrounding cannabis use. Each country has its own set of regulations and policies, leading to differing degrees of legalization. For instance, while Uruguay embraces full legalization and allows public consumption, Spain restricts its use to private spaces.

In conclusion, the evolving landscape of cannabis legalization in Thailand raises both excitement and concerns. The recent review of studies emphasizes the need to consider potential risks, particularly for vulnerable populations. However, the broader push for legalization highlights the growing recognition of cannabis’s potential benefits and the desire to regulate its use in a responsible manner. As Thailand pioneers cannabis decriminalization in Asia, it opens the door to further research, understanding, and potential breakthroughs in the field of medicinal cannabis.

As a disclaimer, the opinions expressed in this article don’t reflect those of High Thailand.

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