Do cannabis users think package warnings are needed?

December 6, 2016
Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Legalization of cannabis for medical or leisure use is increasing in the U.S., and many experts and cannabis users alike agree that package warnings stating the health risks are needed. The warnings suggested by cannabis users are not necessarily the same as those of medical experts though, as shown in a new study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

In the article "Cannabis Users' Recommended Warnings for Packages of Legally Sold Cannabis: An Australia-Centered Study," authors John Malouff, Caitlin Johnson, University of New England, and Sally Rooke, University of Sydney.

Australia, asked young adults who had used cannabis at least once to suggest a warning that governments could mandate on cannabis packages. Some youths in Australia view cannabis as potentially harmful, and many of their recommended warnings agreed with those of , particularly related to the effects of cannabis on driving ability, mental health and psychological functioning, addiction/abuse risk, and long-term physical effects. However, the study participants also suggested some types of warnings not typically recommended by experts.

"One of the many challenges created by legalization is how to package products," says Editor-in-Chief Daniele Piomelli, PhD, University of California-Irvine, School of Medicine. "This is no small problem: think how different a box of gummy bears and a bottle of medications look, and how this difference can influence use. We hope that this contribution will be the first of several examining this issue from different perspectives."

Explore further: Marijuana could help treat drug addiction, mental health

More information: John M. Malouff et al, Cannabis Users' Recommended Warnings for Packages of Legally Sold Cannabis: An Australia-Centered Study, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research (2016). DOI: 10.1089/can.2016.0029

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