Cannabis and its effects on health and society are a much debated topic both in Sweden and internationally. The debate is often defined by polarised rhetoric. This report examines what current research says about cannabis and health, cannabis and social problems, and cannabis for medicinal use.

Cannabis is one of the most widely used drugs in the world. The Public Health Agency of Sweden estimates that 12 percent of Swedes in the age group 16–84 have smoked cannabis at some point in their lifes. Cannabis use is associated with a heightened risk of respiratory disease, road accidents and lower infant birth weight. Above all, cannabis affects various mental functions. Regular use can lead to addiction and impaired cognitive function (thinking, coordination).

This Research Brief offers a concise overview of the knowledge about cannabis with regard to health, social problems and medicinal use.

This publication is also available in a Swedish version. Read or download the Swedish version »