What is the PCU?

First of all, we want to make our position about cannabis use clear.

We consider that in older people moderate and responsible consumption in social situations is a similar option to alcohol consumption. In adolescents the consumption of cannabis becomes a serious problem, as well as the consumption of alcohol.

Cannabis use has a very different social image from that of alcohol. The majority of the population is aware of the difference between social alcohol consumption and abusive consumption or alcoholism. However, this is not the case with cannabis. Socially cannabis use is valued in two very different ways:

  • As a serious danger, associating it with the world of drug addiction.
  • As something natural, positive and without any risk.

Indeed a high consumption can generate serious problems and an occasional social consumption can be the equivalent of a glass of wine or beers that are taken in a meeting of friends.

The intention of this website is not to provide information about cannabis, but about a little-known concept and very important for the consequences it entails: Problematic cannabis use. 

We aim to raise awareness of the difference between cannabis use and problematic cannabis use.

Steps to follow

  1. Know.- What problematic cannabis use is, how it affects consumers and what factors influence it.
  2. Assess.– Is my consumption problematic? The PCU Test is a tool that tells you what your consumption is like:
    1. not problematic
    2. problematic
    3. serious problematic 
  3. Deciding and acting.– Self-help resources aimed at people who want their consumption to stop being problematic.

Step 1: Know


It is that consumption that is generating problems for the consumer or his environment. Within these problems we would include: 

  • physical health problems, 
  • psychic health problems, 
  • problems in social relations, 
  • and even risky behaviours that may endanger the life or health of the consumer.

(Collaborative study between the Government Delegation for the National Drug Plan and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. Klempova, Sánchez and others. 2009)


  • A third of problem consumers have personality disorders (obsessions, anxiety, aggressiveness,…).
  • It considerably increases the possibilities of suffering from a mental illness: psychosis, schizophrenia, depression.
  • Social relationships are concentrated in people who consume or who facilitate the maintenance of consumption.
  • Family or couple relationships deteriorate considerably.
  • It causes alterations in memory and learning and reduces academic or professional performance.
  • It diminishes the capacity of planning and organization of the personal, labor or academic questions.
  • Decreases the ability to make decisions and solve day-to-day problems.
  • Causes amotivational syndrome, lack of motivation to face challenges and vital projects.
  • Decreases motor coordination and increases the risk of accidents.
  • Decreases impulse control and control of emotions, alters affectivity.
  • Etc.


These are the factors that can considerably aggravate the consequences of Problematic Cannabis Use:

  • The type of consumption. 
  • Family history of mental illness, anxiety disorders, aggressive behavior, alcoholism, or drug use.
  • Frequency and amount of use. 
  • Certain personal characteristics, or personality traits of the consumer.
  • The lack of vital expectations and motivation.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Social relations focused on consumption.
  • Poor perception of the risks of problematic consumption.
  • Ignorance and lack of information.
  • A low decision-making capacity to provoke a change in consumption.
  • Lack of personal resources and support.

Step 2: Assess.


We advise you to take the Cannabis Problem Consumption Test. It is aimed exclusively at adults (18 years) who use it under their sole responsibility.

The Test evaluates aspects related to: your type of consumption, your family history, the consequences that consumption has on your life and on your mental health and your position with respect to your consumption. It helps you to reflect on your way of consuming and offers you a result in which it indicates you if your consumption:e ayuda a reflexionar sobre tu manera de consumir y te ofrece un resultado en el que te indica si tu consumo:

  • It is not Problematic.
  • It is Problematic.
  • It is Serious Problematic.

If your results indicate that your consumption is problematic, we propose you an action plan that can help you so that your consumption is not problematic.

Step 3: Deciding and acting.


We offer you some practical tools to help you achieve this:

Do you control it?

If you want to know if your cannabis use is problematic, take the Test.