A recent study conducted by researchers at York University, United Kingdom has found that Italians prefer using ‘light cannabis’ to prescription medication. In case you are wondering what light cannabis is – it is basically a product derived from hemp, containing no more than 0.2% of THC.
Light cannabis’s legalization in 2016 wasn’t a planned move but rather an inadvertent mistake by the lawmakers when they literally forgot considering implications of a new law expanding the legality of hemp. This mistake by the lawmakers meant that even kids could buy “C-light”.
The law, however, has also brought about an unintended consequence, although a good one: The Italian Mafia has been losing out huge money owing to poor sales of drugs in the black market ever since the law was passed. One report evaluates organized crime’s losses at about 160-200 million Euros each year.
The study found that in areas where C-light was available, sales of anxiolytics fell by 11.5%, sedatives fell by 10% and antipsychotics fell by 4.8%. Apart from these drugs, a drop in sales was also noted for antidepressants, antiepileptics, antimigraines and antipsychotics.
“The patient responses to new drugs and therapies are usually heterogeneous and sluggish because of typical risk aversion; however, this doesn’t seem to be the case for C-light in Italy,” the researchers wrote.
The THC amount present in light cannabis is similar to what is found in CBD products available across the United States. Since CBD products have been a rage in the US, people in Italy apparently have similar hopes, suggest their c-light purchase patterns.
The York University study is perhaps the first among many that investigate this growing trend involving CBD products and light cannabis.
Notably, smoking cannabis is still illegal in Italy.