The strength of cannabis in Ireland has doubled over the last ten years according to a new European wide study.
The Irish Times reports that the increase in the strength of cannabis has lead to increasing numbers of young people seeking treatment for addiction and psychosis.
The study states that cannabis resin contains much higher levels of THC, the psychoactive agent found in cannabis, per euros worth.
It also contains much lower levels of the agent CBD which mitigates the effects of THC.
Data collected from 28 EU member states based on drug seizures show the average potency of resin has increased from 8.14 per cent THC content in 2006 to 17.22 per cent in 2016.
The study which was published in the scientific journal Addiction states that the strength of cannabis resin coming from Morocco has been increasing at a particularly fast rate in recent years compared with cannabis herb.
Herbal cannabis’ potency also increased from 5 per cent to 10.22 per cent in the same time frame.
The Irish Times also reports that there has been a consistent rise in cannabis users entering drug treatment since 2007.
In 2007 about 1,000 people entered drug treatment because of their cannabis use and by 2015 that figure had risen to about 2,750.
A number of drug treatment centres are now also offering cannabis specific programmes.
Treatment services such as Coolmine, the Peter McVerry Trust and the Tallaght Rehabilitation Project now offer cannabis-specific programmes.
In 2016 27 per cent of those in drug treatment were there because of cannabis use, second only to those seeking treatment for heroin addiction which accounted for 40 per cent.
Last year Canada became the second country in the world to legalise cannabis for recreational use.
Uruguay legalised recreational use and sale of cannabis back in early 2017.
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