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2023 Study: Impact of Cannabis in Society

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

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2023 Study: Impact of Cannabis in Society

A February 2023 study entitled "A Review on the Impact of Cannabis in Society and the Analytical Methodologies for Cannabinoids" that was published in the journal Psychoactives provides an overview of cannabis and "the analytical challenges in the quality control and biological analysis."

The study focused on the medicinal efficacy of the psychoactive cannabinoids delta-8 THC and delta-9 THC and the "non-intoxicating cannabinoid" CBD.

A Reefer Madness era propaganda poster that reads "Mad Chat" and "Drug Crazed Abandon"
A Reefer Madness era propaganda poster

The researchers noted that the cannabis plant "has been cultivated for thousands of years for use in fabric." On the other end of the scale, the study reported that humans have been using cannabis for its psychoactive effects as far back as 2500 BC in China.


Explaining the Lingo & History

2023 Study: Impact of Cannabis in Society. The study explained that the term marijuana "generally refers to cannabis plants or the plant material with high levels of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), the main psychoactive component of cannabis." The study also addressed another label for cannabis, hemp, stating that it refers to plants featuring low levels of delta-9 THC.


"From the 1800s to 1937, major U.S. pharmaceutical firms marketed cannabis tinctures as analgesics and sedatives. However, the U.S. Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 prohibited the sale of such products."

Reported the study: "From the 1800s to 1937, major U.S. pharmaceutical firms marketed cannabis tinctures as analgesics and sedatives. However, the U.S. Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 prohibited the sale of such products. The media and government began to shift public perception against marijuana, as evident in the 1936 propaganda film Reefer Madness, which promoted the idea that opium, morphine, and heroin were dangerous, but 'even more dangerous, more deadly, than these soul destroying drugs is the menace of marijuana.'"


The researchers noted that the next move by the U.S. federal government against marijuana occurred in 1970 when the Nixon administration classified delta-9 THC as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substance Act, which also made it more difficult to conduct research about the botanical species. Importantly, the study observed that, beginning in about 1990, "public perception...shifted in regard to the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use."

An image of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Cannabis has been Schedule I since 1970

2023 Study: Impact of Cannabis in Society Results

The study's authors explained that, of the primary chemical elements of cannabis, "Δ9-THC is the most abundant and most active psychoactive component." It noted that CBD is oine of the most abundant biocactive chemical components of cannabis and that it might help those suffering anxiety, insomnia, pain, and other conditions.


"CBD is frequently mischaracterized as non-psychoactive or non-psychotropic. However, these labels are inaccurate as it has pharmacological effects for anxiety, depression, and addiction."

Interestingly, the study's authors confronted the topic of the psychoactive status of CBD. "CBD is frequently mischaracterized as non-psychoactive or non-psychotropic. However, these labels are inaccurate as it has pharmacological effects for anxiety, depression, and addiction." The research said that CBD should instead of labeled non-intoxicating because, compared to delta-9 THC, it lacks the "craving and compulsive use that would be indicative of a drug of abuse."


The study also noted that quality issues have plagued CBD products and recommended that they be addressed by either government or the industry. It reported that a 2016 study found that 31 percent of 84 CBD products from 31 companies were mislabeled in terms of their actual content.

A tincture bottle of CBD oil
Image courtesy Leafwize Naturals

2023 Study: Impact of Cannabis in Society Conclusions

The research reported that there is a "growing acceptance" of the use of cannabis by society. It noted that there is a dearth of research about the plant, particularly human trials, due to the prohibition of cannabis.

"Currently, 37 U.S. states allow for the use of medical marijuana and about 40 countries in the world have legalized it," noted the researchers, adding that this number continues to increase. Another thing increasing about cannabis is consumer demand.


The study reported that many studies indicate that cannabis may be used to treat chronic pain and other diseases, but that science-based information about dosing is lacking, particularly for the purpose of preventing adverse effects from cannabis (such as disorientation, confusion, sometimes extreme anxiety, paranoia, and even panic attacks).


Currently, 37 U.S. states allow for the use of medical marijuana and about 40 countries in the world have legalized it," noted the researchers.

"Consumers should be able to be confident that cannabis products have the correct amount of active ingredients and that they are free from toxic and harmful substances," said the study's authors.


This was one of the few scientific investigations of medical and adult-use cannabis in the United States to address the topic of molecular stability and the results of processing, storage, shipment, and other elements of product distribution.


The study stressed that the state of legal cannabis involves a "patchwork of laws across nations and governments regarding the medicinal and recreational use" of the controversial herb."

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