Monday February 18, 2019

Maternal Cannabis Use to Trigger Early Indulgence in Kids

The researchers also analysed the impacts of mother's marijuana use on child's cognitive skills, family's socio-economic position and social environment

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Cannabis-based drug may help in motor neuron disease: Lancet. pixabay

Children whose mothers use Cannabis are more likely to start smoking weed an average of two years earlier, which can lead to severe neuropsychiatric and social consequences, according to a new study.

The results, led by researchers from the Brown University in Rhode Island, US, suggested that mothers who used marijuana increased their children’s risk for its early use, at a median age of 16, as compared with age 18 for children whose mothers did not use the drug.

While marijuana has been recognised as a therapeutic benefit for a number of health conditions, including a safer alternative to opioids, it has been linked with negative consequences among children.

Early usage of cannabis may lead to conditions such as impairments in concentration and decision-making, increased impulsivity, as well as reductions in IQ.

The younger a child begins using marijuana, the more severe the effects would be. Therefore, delaying marijuana initiation may be an important public health goal, the researchers said.

Marijuana
In this July 12, 2018 file photo, a newly-transplanted cannabis cuttings grow in pots at a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Massachusetts. (VOA)

“Beginning marijuana use at a young age has been linked with negative cognitive and behavioural consequences,” said Natasha Sokol, a postdoctoral student at the varsity.

“It’s important to better understand how these changes may impact children’s early marijuana use so that we can better identify at-risk youth and implement effective prevention strategies,” she added.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the team assessed the timing and extent of marijuana use and initiation among 4,440 children and 2,586 mothers.

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They tested the effect of a mother’s marijuana use between a child’s birth and age 12 on that child’s subsequent risk of marijuana initiation and controlling for factors related to the child’s early life behaviour.

The researchers also analysed the impacts of mother’s marijuana use on child’s cognitive skills, family’s socio-economic position and social environment. (IANS)

Next Story

Edible Marijuana May Affect Heart Health in Elderly, Says Study

A number of prior case reports, as well as epidemiological studies, have described the association between cannabis use and acute cardiovascular adverse events, including myocardial infarction, stroke, arrhythmias and sudden death

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Israel, Marijauna
An Israeli woman works at Tikkun Olam medical cannabis farm, near the northern Israeli city of Safed, Israel, Nov. 1, 2012. Late Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, Israel's parliament unanimously approved a law to permit exports of medical marijuana. VOA

With marijuana legalisation sweeping the US, an increasing number of people believe that “weed” is the safest recreational drug, and carries health benefits that outweigh its risks.

However, according to a new study, each marijuana formulation may affect and sometimes even compromise the cardiovascular system in older adults.

“Marijuana can be a useful tool for many patients, especially for pain and nausea relief. At the same time, like all other medications, it does carry risks and side effects,” said Alexandra Saunders from the Dalhousie University in Canada.

Cannabis flower (marijuana).

The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, examined the case of a patient who developed crushing chest pain and myocardial ischemia after consuming most of a marijuana lollipop.

The “inappropriate dosing and oral consumption of marijuana resulted in distress that caused a cardiac event and subsequent reduced cardiac function,” Saunders said.

The report describes a 70-year-old man with stable coronary artery disease, taking the appropriate cardiac medications, who ate most of a lollipop that was infused with 90 mg of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) to relieve pain and aid sleep. The lollipop caused him to have a potentially serious heart attack.

According to the report, he consumed a much larger dose than the 7 mg that is typically ingested by smoking a single joint or taking the 2.5 mg starting dose of a synthetic THC.

Marijuana, Canada, israel
In this July 12, 2018 file photo, a newly-transplanted cannabis cuttings grow in pots at a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Massachusetts. (VOA)

The patient’s ingestion of an unusually large amount of THC caused the unexpected strain on his body from anxiety and fearful hallucinations and likely triggered the cardiac event, the researchers said.

A number of prior case reports, as well as epidemiological studies, have described the association between cannabis use and acute cardiovascular adverse events, including myocardial infarction, stroke, arrhythmias and sudden death.

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While previous research on marijuana-induced myocardial ischemia has mostly focused on younger patients, healthcare providers need to understand and manage cannabis use and its complications in older patients, particularly in those with cardiovascular disease, the researchers noted. (IANS)