Tuesday June 18, 2019

Regular Pot Smokers May Need Higher Dosage for Sedation: Study

Cannabis use in the United States increased 43 per cent between 2007 and 2015. An estimated 13.5 per cent of the adult population used cannabis during this period, with the greatest increase recorded among people 26 and older

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Marijuana, Canada
An employee inspects the leaf of a cannabis plant at a medical marijuana plantation in northern Israel. (VOA)

People who regularly use cannabis may require more than two times the usual level of sedation when undergoing medical procedures, warns a new study.

“Some of the sedative medications have dose-dependent side effects, meaning the higher the dose, the greater likelihood for problems,” said lead researcher Mark Twardowski from Western Medical Associates in Colorado, US.

“That becomes particularly dangerous when suppressed respiratory function is a known side effect,” Twardowski added.

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)

For the study, the researchers in Colorado examined the medical records of 250 patients who received endoscopic procedures after 2012, when the state legalised recreational cannabis.

Patients who smoked or ingested cannabis on a daily or weekly basis required 14 per cent more fentanyl, 20 per cent more midazolam, and 220 per cent more propofol to achieve optimum sedation for routine procedures, including colonoscopy, showed the findings published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

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“Cannabis has some metabolic effects we don’t understand and patients need to know that their cannabis use might make other medications less effective. We’re seeing some problematic trends anecdotally, and there is virtually no formal data to provide a sense of scale or suggest any evidence-based protocols,” Twardowski said.

Cannabis use in the United States increased 43 per cent between 2007 and 2015. An estimated 13.5 per cent of the adult population used cannabis during this period, with the greatest increase recorded among people 26 and older, according to the study. (IANS)

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Daily Cannabis Use May Increase Risk of Psychosis

This increased to five times more likely for daily use of high potency cannabis

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Amid growing decriminalisation of cannabis use, a new study warns that daily cannabis use, especially of high potency, is strongly linked to the risk of developing psychosis, a mental disorder characterised by a disconnection from reality.

The findings, published in the journal the Lancet Psychiatry, are consistent with previous studies showing smoking pot with a high concentration of THC — over 10 per cent of the psychoactive substance within cannabis — has more harmful effects on mental health than the use of weaker forms.

“As the legal status of cannabis changes in many countries and states, and as we consider the medicinal properties of some types of cannabis, it is of vital importance that we also consider the potential adverse effects that are associated with daily cannabis use, especially of high potency varieties,” said lead author of the study Marta Di Forti from King’s College London.

The new study looked at 11 sites across Europe and Brazil. First, the researchers estimated the prevalence of psychosis by identifying individuals with first episode of psychosis, presented to mental health services between 2010 and 2015.

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)

Second, they compared 901 patients with first episode of psychosis with 1,237 healthy matched controls to understand the risk factors associated with psychosis.

The researchers collected information about participants’ history of cannabis use and other recreational drugs.

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Across the 11 sites, people who used cannabis on a daily basis were three times more likely to have a diagnosis of first episode psychosis, compared with people who had never used cannabis, the findings showed.

This increased to five times more likely for daily use of high potency cannabis. (IANS)