Experts are calling for standard units similar to alcohol units to be introduced for cannabis products.
Writing in the journal Addiction, Dr Tom Freeman, Lead Director of the Addiction and Mental Health Group at the University of Bath, along with colleague Dr Valentina Lorenzetti, say existing proposals for standard cannabis units have been based on specific methods of administration (e.g. joints) and these may not capture other methods including pipes, bongs, blunts, dabbing, vaporizers, vape pens, edibles and liquids. Other proposals (e.g. grams of cannabis) cannot account for heterogeneity in ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations across different cannabis products, they say.
They argue that, similar to alcohol units, standard cannabis units should reflect the quantity of active pharmacological constituents, i.e. dose of THC. They propose that a 'standard THC unit' should be fixed at 5 mg of THC for all cannabis products and methods of administration.
“Standard THC units can potentially be applied across all cannabis products and methods of administration to guide consumers and promote safer patterns of use,” they say.
In addition, with evidence suggesting cannabidiol (CBD) may partially offset some of the harmful effects of higher doses of THC, they suggest consumption of standard CBD units might offer an additional strategy for harm reduction, if supported by sufficient evidence.