The health effects of cannabis use may not always be seen as a high priority for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. However, the impact of cannabis use on physical and mental health can have significant consequences. It is known that the use of high potency cannabis has increased over the last two decades, with a corresponding increased risk to health. In particular, young people are at increased risk of experiencing harms to mental health. Physical harms to health include effects on the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, an increased risk of cancer, and in-utero effects from maternal use. The review notes concern that in countries where there has been commercialisation of cannabis use, there has been an increase in the rate and use of high potency products. While generalising findings about cannabis use for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is problematic due to limited data, high rates of cannabis use have been found in some remote communities. The review highlights the protective factors that reduce harms from cannabis use and suggests future directions for a collaborative approach to addressing cannabis related harms in communities.
This review is part of a suite of knowledge exchange products that includes a summary, a video, and a fact sheet.
& Lenton, S.
Review of cannabis use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Journal of the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, 3(3).