Dr. Cyril D’Souza’s April 14 presentation on Cannabis Use & Addiction was informative and captivating. He presented a number of facts, based in large part on research studies he has conducted himself. As a Professor and Researcher at the Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. D’Souza has received NIH funding for studies out of New Haven that have received national recognition.
On the evening of April 14, Cyril made it clear that even his studies have yet to take into account the potency of today’s marijuana, which now contains THC levels above 20% compared to 4% less than 2 decades ago. At the same time, CBD levels have been reduced, despite CBD being the cannabinoid with more medical benefits without the side effects of THC.
One key distinction that Dr. D’Souza made, was between legalization and commercialization. A country like Uruguay has legalized successfully–with no major impact to public health–because you can only purchase cannabis through government-owned stores. Thus, private sector commercialization has not caused a huge increase in usage and health issues like cannabis use disorder and psychosis. On the other hand, U.S. states like Colorado have legalized by partnering with commercial companies. These firms compete with each other by employing marketing techniques that: 1) use packaging that attracts adolescents and young adults, 2) emphasize products with higher THC potency, and 3) promote more frequent usage.
Feel free to view the event YouTube replay here. If the slide deck becomes available, we’ll post that here as well. #marijuanaknowthefacts