The number of Britons aged over 40 who are addicted to skunk, the super-strength type of cannabis, is rapidly increasing, new figures show.
Researchers from the University of York found that the total has more than doubled in the last ten years.
Skunk is a potent strain of cannabis that can cause serious mental health problems.
Mental health problems
Using data from Public Health England, the researchers found that the total number of the age group seeking treatment rose from 471 in 2005/2006 to 1,008 in 2015/2016.
They also discovered that there has been a 95 per cent increase in the number of women seeking help for cannabis use and a 72 per cent increase for men.
Ian Hamilton, lead author of the study, said: “Long-term cannabis users, who are aged 40 or older, therefore, have been used to lower-potency cannabis in the past, which can now no longer be sourced.
“Turning to higher-potency cannabis could increase the likelihood of them developing health problems.”
Cannabis is a Class B drug which carries a maximum sentence of five years for possession and an unlimited fine.
Recent figures revealed that hospital admissions relating to the drug have risen sharply.
There were 27,501 admissions in England in 2016/2017, a 15 per cent increase compared to 23,866 in 2014/2015.
Last month, NHS psychiatrist Dr Max Pemberton said that activists are using medical cannabis as an excuse to push their pro-drugs agenda.