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Portugal's drug users switch to super-powered cannabis

cannabisIn the past three years, requests for help related to the use of cannabis have outstripped those for of heroin and cocaine.

This is one of the greatest changes in the inevitable flip side of Portugal’s drug scene, the treatment of those whose use has become out of control.

The head of European Monitoring Unit for Drugs and Drug Addiction, João Goulão, spoke at the launch the 2015 edition of the 'European Report on Drugs' today in Lisbon.

Speaking to reporters after presenting the report, Goulão said "the situation in Portugal has been notable for the prevalence of heroin for many years," but that there has been a reduction in the importance of heroin and a "growing importance" in cannabis.

"This is perhaps the greatest change," said Goulão as treatment centres have been getting more and more patients with cannabis problems and fewer with heroin and cocaine problems.

One of the reasons may be the superhuman strength of many strains of today’s cannabis which Goulão says has a much higher power to when I were a lad. Cannabis now is a long way past being considered a soft drug as it was in the hazy past.
Goulão is all for cannabis use for therapeutic reasons as it has been show scientifically that there are benefits in certain clinical situations: but he insisted that current strains of common cannabis plants are increasingly powerful.

A few years ago the relative potency was around 3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), today "there are plants with 20% THC," he said.

The major consequence of this rise in strength has been an increase in dependency, coupled with psychotic episodes, panic attacks and other unpleasant side affects.

Drug consumption levels in Portugal remain below the European average but Goulão stressed the numbers are "still high but there has at least been a consistent decline in HIV infection among drug users."

The drug expert warned also that the authorities need pay special attention to the sale of drugs via the Internet.

This view was echoed by Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Commissioner for Immigration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, who chaired today’s presentation ceremony, who spoke also of concerns that the Internet is becoming "a new source of supply of psychoactive substances."

"The report shows that we are faced with a global drug market, a rapidly changing one and so we need to be united, fast and determined in our response in the face of this threat," said Avramopoulos.


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+4 #5 Clever Jake 2015-06-05 21:24
"A few years ago the relative potency was around 3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), today "there are plants with 20% THC," he said."

The reefer madness is quite astounding in that statement. There are many landrace strains that have been around for many millennia with high THC levels of 20% like the citral kush regional strains from Afghanistan to Nepal. The only strains that are around 3% THC are likely to be ruduralis strains that would probably be used very often apart from their modern usage in autoflowering strains.

The problem in Portugal is that they should have fully legalised cannabis so that people could either grow or buy a strain that is suitable to them. All the relevant information of a strains effects along with THC and CBD information should be available for the discerning cannabis user to be able to make an informed and educated decision.
-9 #4 daniel green 2015-06-05 21:05
Big Pharma te paga para escribir huevadas
-7 #3 Mike Parent 2015-06-05 16:14
Potency Is a Red Herring.
Alcohol is sold in potencies from 3.2% to 100%.
People just use less of the more potent variety.
-8 #2 liveaboard 2015-06-05 13:44
Cannabis is surely a locally produced product, whereas cocaine and heroine are imported, with asosiated costs.

Most users mix the strong cannabis with tobacco, which is highly addictive. The stronger the cannabis, the less is mixed into the tobacco.
Of course it could be mixed with the less potent cannabis leaves, but those are usually discarded.
+3 #1 algarveandroid 2015-06-05 01:41
The strains he speaks of are what are known as "skunk" , usually cross bred for the higher THC , the psychoactive element , the "trippy part" is not what every user wants , but withthe illegal status its what they might have to take being the only option or end up taking whatever the dealer has....its true its a gateway drug , as long as its illegal to grow your own.

But there is another constituent of cannabis , CBD , this is the one of importance in the medical field , it is the "couch lock" part of the chemical structure , that has been shown to be affective medically , particularly in cancer treatment , neuropathy , diabetes onset , and MS.

High strains of Cbd plants vs THC , are particularly good for pain relief , epilepsy treatments , IBD , cancer recovery.

Then comes along big pharma , and adds cancer causing chemicals like synth alchohol and calls it sativex and trademarks it , selling it for 140 euros for a few days supply.

big Pharma is happier to sell you the petrochemical based ones they make to you for thousands , when meds based on CBD cost cents and cant be trademarked.

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