Cannabis use in Europe continues to be a topic of concern. The latest data from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) reveals important information about usage patterns, demographics, product types, and the changing market.
Cannabis usage patterns in Europe
According to the EMCDDA, 15.1% of people between 15 and 34 in the EU reported using cannabis last year, with men being twice as likely as women to use it. Daily or very regular cannabis use reported 1.3% of individuals aged 15 to 64. Herbal cannabis was the most popular form used, followed by resin, edibles, and extracts.
Cannabis use varied across countries. Some were reporting increases, others remaining constant, and some seeing a decline compared to previous surveys. However, we need to be cautious when interpreting these trends. We have to take into account data quality and the impact of the pandemic on service delivery.
Cannabis accounts for about a third of all drug treatment admissions in Europe, but the number of people seeking treatment for cannabis-related issues decreased during the pandemic. Spain plays a significant role in cannabis cultivation and trafficking.
Future for cannabis stakeholders
The expanding variety and accessibility of cannabis products present challenges for policymakers and regulators, including the presence of illegal products and those with low THC or CBD levels. Synthetic cannabinoids and substances like HHC add complexity to the regulatory landscape.
To address these challenges, close monitoring of cannabis use patterns is crucial. Treatment plans, regulatory frameworks, and education efforts should be modified accordingly. Balancing public health and safety while considering shifting views on cannabis is essential. Further research, education, and evidence-based interventions are necessary to minimize risks and maximize potential benefits associated with cannabis use. EMCDDA released also report about wording, cosmetics, medical cannabis and legalisation plans.