BOSTON – A consortium of clinicians and scientists from across Massachusetts has joined together to publicly release a "Satement of Concern” expressing their disagreement with how marijuana policy is being shaped in the Commonwealth.
According to the Statement of Concern, marijuana is being governed and regulated as if it were an “ordinary commodity”, rather than following a Public Health Framework. This is of concern because scientific evidence clearly establishes that marijuana (and specifically the psychoactive chemical THC) has the potential to do significant harm to public health. Harmful effects include, but are not limited to, the risk of addiction, impaired cognitive function, and increased risk of mental illness (including psychosis).
You can read the full Statement of Concern here.
“I want to die,” he wrote before hanging himself at the age of 31. “My soul is already dead. Marijuana killed my soul + ruined my brain.”
Andy wanted to quit. He couldn't
A new study shows he's not alone
The peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet last month published a major study that found people who use high-potency marijuana daily are five times more likely to develop psychosis than those who never partake. The researchers compared data for more than 2,100 people in multiple countries.
Read more commentary:
Cannabis for medicinal and/or recreational purposes has been decriminalized in 28 states as of the 2016 election. In the remaining states, cannabis remains the most commonly used illicit drug. Cardiovascular effects of cannabis use are not well established due to a limited number of studies. We therefore utilized a large national database to examine the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and events amongst patients with cannabis use.
Prevalence of heart failure, cerebrovascular accident (CVA), coronary artery disease, sudden cardiac death, and hypertension were significantly higher in patients with cannabis use. After multivariate regression adjusting for age, sex, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, coronary artery disease, tobacco use, and alcohol use, cannabis use remained an independent predictor of both heart failure (odds ratio = 1.1, 1.03-1.18, P < 0.01) and CVA (odds ratio = 1.24, 1.14-1.34, P < 0.001).
Cannabis use independently predicted the risks of heart failure and CVA in individuals 18-55 years old. With continued legalization of cannabis, potential cardiovascular effects and their underlying mechanisms need to be further investigated.
Daily Mail April 2019 11:16
Using marijuana during pregnancy to treat morning sickness could damage an unborn baby's brain, a new study says.
Research conducted on rats found that expecting mothers who used cannabis affected the section of the brain involved in memory and learning.
The rate of pregnant women using pot for severe nausea and vomiting has increased by 11.3 percent over the last decade and by more than 62 percent for general overall use.
Previous studies have shown that children born to women who used marijuana during pregnancy are more likely to develop cognitive and behavioral problems.
The team, from Auburn University in Alabama, says its findings confirm pot's harmful effects on developing brains and advise that there are no safe levels when it comes to expectant mothers.
'Marijuana is becoming one of the most consumed drugs in pregnancy, but we know from past studies that it has harmful effects on developing brains,' co-author Priyanka Das Pinky, a graduate student at Auburn University, told DailyMail.com.
For the new study, the team wanted to examine the effects cannabis use could have on a fetus's hippocampus, which is responsible for processing memory and emotional responses.
They raised pregnant female rats and exposed one group to a synthetic chemical that acts similarly to marijuana.
The dose was equivalent to a pregnant human mother using moderate to heavy amounts of cannabis.
When the baby rats were born, the researchers examined their brains and found that the nerve connections in the 'brain's memory bank' were reduced in rats exposed to synthetic pot in the womb compared to those that weren't exposed.
Researchers found that this was due to a reduction in a protein known as Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule (NCAM), which helps maintain neural connections and strength.
'When we examined what was causing this, we found this molecule in brain was not maintaining proper connection in neurons,' Pinky said. 'There has not been much data on this molecule before, so that was exciting to see.