Medical Xpress: Frequent cannabis (marijuana) use among young people was linked to an increased risk of stroke and people diagnosed with cannabis use disorder were more likely to be hospitalized for heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias), according to two new preliminary studies to be presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2019
"The effects of using cannabis are seen within 15 minutes and last for around three hours. At lower doses, it is linked to a rapid heartbeat. At higher doses, it is linked to a too-slow heartbeat," said Rikinkumar S. Patel, M.D., M.P.H., resident physician in the department of psychiatry at the Griffin Memorial Hospital in Norman, Oklahoma.
"The risk of cannabis use linked to arrhythmia in young people is a major concern, and physicians should ask patients hospitalized with arrhythmias about their use of cannabis and other substances because they could be triggering their arrhythmias," said Patel.
There is little evidence that the use of cannabinoids can improve symptoms of anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychosis, or Tourette syndrome, according to a report in Lancet Psychiatry.
“Cannabinoids are often advocated as a treatment for various mental disorders,” wrote Nicola Black, Ph.D., of the University of New South Wales and colleagues. Doctors and patients “need to be aware of the low quality and quantity of evidence for the effectiveness of medicinal cannabinoids in treating mental disorders and the potential risk of adverse events,” they added.
Black and colleagues searched several databases including MEDLINE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Clinical Trials, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for studies published between 1980 and 2018 that examined changes in symptoms and/or remission following the use of medicinal cannabinoid for treating adults with anxiety, ADHD, depression, PTSD, psychosis, or Tourette syndrome, either as the primary condition or secondary to other medical conditions. The researchers also searched for unpublished or ongoing studies on ClinicalTrials.gov, the EU Clinical Trials Register, and the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry.
They identified 83 studies, including 40 randomized, controlled trials (RCTs), for the analysis. Most of the RCTs were very small (with median sample sizes of 10 to 39 participants) and had short follow-up periods (median trial length of four to five weeks), the authors noted.
“We found little evidence for the effectiveness of pharmaceutical CBD [cannabidiol] or medicinal cannabis for the treatment of any of [the examined] mental disorders,” Black and colleagues wrote. “Some very-low quality evidence was found for the use of pharmaceutical THC [tetrahydrocannabinol] (with or without CBD) in treating anxiety symptoms among individuals with other medical conditions, such as chronic noncancer pain and multiple sclerosis.”
In an accompanying commentary, Deepak Cyril D’Souza, M.B.B.S., M.D., of Yale University cautioned, “The process of drug development in modern medicine is to first demonstrate efficacy and safety in clinical trials before using the drug clinically. With cannabinoids, it seems that the cart (use) is before the horse (evidence). If cannabinoids are to be used in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, they should first be tested in randomized, controlled trials and subjected to the same regulatory approval process as other prescription medications.”
The growing and disturbing evidence of harms done invitro and lifetime impacts
(The drug use infused lies continue – Let’s not let facts get in the way of a good marijuana myth!)
We also don’t have good data for state prisons — where more than 87 percent of US prison inmates are held, based on federal data. But we do know that a minority of state prisoners are in for drugs: In 2015, 3.4 percent of all state prisoners were in for drug possession and 11.7 percent were in for other drug-related crimes. So, again, only a fraction of prisoners are locked up due to drug prohibition in general, much less marijuana prohibition in particular.
We do have some good data for the federal system. According to the US Sentencing Commission, 92 of nearly 20,000 people — fewer than half a percent — sentenced for drug offenses during fiscal year 2017 were locked up due to simple possession of marijuana. And drug cases made up less than a third of cases reported by the Sentencing Commission that year. Not all of these people were sentenced to prison; some got probation instead.
Based on the data we do have, though, it’s fair to say that marijuana prohibition — and even the war on drugs more broadly — is not the major driver of mass incarceration.
Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is a condition that sometimes develops due to the use of marijuana. The syndrome causes repeated and severe vomiting and nausea.
It is important for people with CHS to stop using marijuana because this will resolve their nausea and vomiting. Preventing dehydration and stopping nausea and vomiting are the treatment goals during the hyperemesis stage of the condition.
When people with CHS stop using marijuana, their symptoms of nausea and vomiting usually disappear. Nausea and vomiting tend to return if they start using marijuana again.