HOSPITALS are dealing with 580 cases of cannabis-related illness each week, NHS figures show.
The number of admissions linked to the class B drug have risen by half in four years to 30,130 a year.
They include those suffering the psychological effects of weed or other issues where cannabis is recorded as an underlying problem.
The biggest group being admitted are those in their 20s and 30s but the sharpest rise is among those in their 60s and 70s.
The NHS Digital data reveals a 52 per cent increase in admissions linked to cannabis across all age groups between 2013/14 and 2017/18.
Admissions among those in their 20s are up 44 per cent but have more than doubled among those in their 60s and 70s – up 128 per cent.
There were 1,422 admissions among this older age group last year. Some may be turning to weed after hearing of its alleged health benefits.
The figures come after a study by King’s College London found smoking cannabis increases the risk of serious mental illness up to five-fold.
Researchers estimated a third of new cases of psychosis in London are linked to potent “skunk”, with high levels of active ingredient THC.
Around 94 per cent of the cannabis sold on the streets of the capital is now this super-strength type.
Mary Brett, from anti-drugs charity Cannabis Skunk Sense, said: “The amount of THC in skunk, the only cannabis available now in London, has been rising inexorably over the past few years.
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“THC causes psychosis by increasing the release of dopamine so it is inevitable that we see a rise in mental illnesses.”
David Raynes, from the National Drug Prevention Alliance, said: “The high strength of much modern cannabis is real worry, with mental illness very expensive to treat.”
And Dr Adrian James, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “Cannabis carries severe health risks.”
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