Research Topic

Cannabis: A Public Health Perspective

About this Research Topic

Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in Canada – used by an estimated 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 4 students. In addition to alcohol and tobacco, cannabis is ranked as one of the top three psychoactive substances most commonly used.

Given the earlier challenges involved in conducting research into the health and related risks associated with cannabis use, there exists a paucity of good evidence to appropriately inform public policy. Limited research to dates suggest that cannabis (when initiated at early age onset and a high frequency and length of use) has been associated with a variety of health problems that include cognitive and respiratory impairment, psychotic episodes, dependence and injury risk. This, suggesting at minimum a need for an evidence-based primary and secondary prevention, treatment and enforcement effort to be targeted at these high-risk patterns of use.

Given the large cannabis user population, especially among young people, and the failure of the criminalization approach to discourage use, a public health framework for cannabis use is urgently needed in Canada. Additionally the use of a public health framework in the legalization of cannabis can provide for the creation of an entity with a social responsibility mandate to ultimately provide an effective means of controlling consumption and reducing harm.

We welcome contributions from different countries and though not meant to be an exhaustive list, we invite original research and reviews of the existing literature on any of the following identified risks and potential harms:

-The impairment of attention, memory and psychomotor performance with extended use
- Impact of Cannabis use on driving
-Educational strategies for public awareness
-Interaction between cannabis use for medicinal and recreational purposes
-Cannabis and respiratory concerns
-Cannabis and dependency
-Strategies for monitoring both prevalence and health effects
-Youth and cannabis
-Cannabis and its impact on underlying and latent psychiatric disorders
-The development of mechanisms to support the use of research evidence in developing policy


Keywords: Cannabis, Marijuana, Medical applications, Recreational Use


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in Canada – used by an estimated 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 4 students. In addition to alcohol and tobacco, cannabis is ranked as one of the top three psychoactive substances most commonly used.

Given the earlier challenges involved in conducting research into the health and related risks associated with cannabis use, there exists a paucity of good evidence to appropriately inform public policy. Limited research to dates suggest that cannabis (when initiated at early age onset and a high frequency and length of use) has been associated with a variety of health problems that include cognitive and respiratory impairment, psychotic episodes, dependence and injury risk. This, suggesting at minimum a need for an evidence-based primary and secondary prevention, treatment and enforcement effort to be targeted at these high-risk patterns of use.

Given the large cannabis user population, especially among young people, and the failure of the criminalization approach to discourage use, a public health framework for cannabis use is urgently needed in Canada. Additionally the use of a public health framework in the legalization of cannabis can provide for the creation of an entity with a social responsibility mandate to ultimately provide an effective means of controlling consumption and reducing harm.

We welcome contributions from different countries and though not meant to be an exhaustive list, we invite original research and reviews of the existing literature on any of the following identified risks and potential harms:

-The impairment of attention, memory and psychomotor performance with extended use
- Impact of Cannabis use on driving
-Educational strategies for public awareness
-Interaction between cannabis use for medicinal and recreational purposes
-Cannabis and respiratory concerns
-Cannabis and dependency
-Strategies for monitoring both prevalence and health effects
-Youth and cannabis
-Cannabis and its impact on underlying and latent psychiatric disorders
-The development of mechanisms to support the use of research evidence in developing policy


Keywords: Cannabis, Marijuana, Medical applications, Recreational Use


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 December 2017 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 December 2017 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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