Psychoactive substances have become a topic of concern and discussion among experts and medical professionals. In a recent press conference, Jiří Stabla, the founder of a network of hemp pharmacies, highlighted the risks associated with using a psychotropic extract called HHC, derived from cannabis. This article delves into the concerns raised by experts and the necessity for regulation.
According to Stabla, the proposed regulation categorizes HHC under psychomodulatory substances, along with similar extracts like CBD, which does not have intoxicating effects and is used in treating conditions such as multiple sclerosis. The potential risks associated with using HHC remain uncertain and require further investigation.
Stabla emphasized that HHC is easily accessible, and while it may not be lethal, it does not benefit children who may accidentally consume it. On the contrary, HHC can induce anxiety and paranoia, unlike CBD, which does not have these effects.
The psychomodulatory substances category could include other psychoactive substances such as kratom, known for its concentration-enhancing effects, as well as CBD.
The government has shown agreement with the regulation of kratom and CBD, restricting their use to adults and prohibiting advertisement. However, according to Stabla, HHC should not be present in society. If allowed, it should be in controlled amounts with explicit warnings about its effects on mental states. Traditional hemp extracts, such as CBD, do not pose any harm to individuals.
Dr. Pavel Trančík, a specialist in acute psychiatric care at Bohnice Hospital, reported an increase in hospitalized adolescents with traces of addictive substances in their bodies, particularly cannabinoids with high levels of THC. Although HHC is still a relatively new substance, it has already been associated with intoxication in two cases.
Trančík emphasized the need for further study and caution regarding HHC, considering its potential impact on the nervous system and developing brain, which continues to mature even at eighteen.
Substances like kratom, HHC, and CBD remain unregulated and are sold as dietary supplements or food products. Proposed legislation, which the government has already approved, aims to change this situation. However, František Švejda, a member of the executive board of the Czech Hemp Cluster, finds the current regulatory proposal too vague.
According to Švejda, new cannabinoids like HHC are entirely unregulated, and their safety remains uncertain. These substances should not be present in food products. While the proposed legislation aims to address these issues, excessive regulation for products containing industrial hemp would be unnecessary. Forcing the sale of non-psychoactive products as psychoactive ones would be misleading.
The current lack of regulation in this area is comparable to removing all restrictions on the sale of alcohol. Švejda concludes that regulatory measures that limit availability, especially to minors, would be more effective. A mere ban does not provide a comprehensive solution. Additionally, many products in the market are synthetic and easily modifiable, allowing them to evade legal restrictions.