Over 800,000 Canadians are experimenting with recreational or illegal cannabis for their health

According to Statistics Canada, there are 811,000 Canadians taking recreational or illegal cannabis products for their health without a doctor’s note or prescription. 

“These are not products that have been approved by Health Canada as over-the-counter medicines (OTCs) or natural health products (NHPs),” notes a release from Consumer Health Products Canada. “Until Health Canada changes the law that prevents the manufactures of OTCs and NHPs from seeking their approval, they never will be.”

Consumer Health Products Canada (CHPC) said in a statement that the country “has an opportunity to demonstrate to the world how to manage, in an evidence-based manner, the risks associated with recreational cannabis use while supporting research into its potential health benefits.”

In the release, CHPC calls Health Canada to recognize the findings of a CBD study from the World Health Organization that concluded, “in humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”

The organization argues that cannabis ingredients that are shown to have no addiction potential should be regulated the same way as any other OTC or NHP. 

“However, Health Canada has not recognized the WHO’s conclusions. This has led to potential medicines being sold as recreational products, putting Canadians at risk as they are forced to take treatment into their own hands,” the release notes. “Medicines should not be sold next to recreational products. The current government approach is forcing health-seeking Canadians into retail models designed to sell recreational products. For many, this represents an unwelcome exposure to recreational cannabis.”

“The strong interest in cannabis-derived health products represents an important opportunity to leverage existing laws,” the release adds. “Mitigating the public health implications of recreational cannabis use should start with providing Canadians safe and effective cannabis derived health products where other medicines are sold.”

Meantime, Athletes For CARE has recently introduced the Canadian Medical Cannabis Patient Support Program. 

“This innovative and simple-to-use support system will allow athletes to have easier access to medical cannabis prescriptions and treatment, as well as key tools that will support them throughout their journey with medical cannabis,” notes an Athletes for CARE release.

“We’re excited to bring this new medical cannabis support program to life for our Canadian athletes,” said Christina Michael, Director of Canadian Activation for Athletes for CARE. “This further strengthens our growth and ability to improve the health and wellness options for individuals who may be living with physical and mental health challenges and looking to medical cannabis as a potential therapeutic option to help.”