Cannabis

A Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) study finds that one month of abstaining from cannabis use resulted in measurable improvement in memory functions important for learning among adolescents and young adults who are regular cannabis users. The study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry is one of the first to prospectively track over time changes in cognitive function associated with halting cannabis use. “Our findings provide two pieces of convincing evidence,” says Randi Schuster, PhD, director of Neuropsychology at the Center for Addiction Medicine in the MGH Department of Psychiatry, lead author of the paper. “The first is that adolescents learn better when they are not using cannabis. The second – which is the good news part of the story – is that at least some of the deficits associated with cannabis use are not permanent and actually improve pretty quickly after cannabis use stops.” 

For complete article https://www.massgeneral.org/about/pressrelease.aspx?id=2308

October 2018 By Maria Kohut  Fact checked by Jasmin Collier

Authorities are legalizing cannabis, particularly for medicinal use, in an increasing number of states. Many people stand by its alleged benefits, but new research warns that frequent use may lead to the "disabling" symptoms of cannabis withdrawal syndrome.

The researchers also note that cannabis withdrawal symptoms appeared to be linked with mental disability and a family history of depression.

Also, these symptoms were associated with a number of psychiatric disorders, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders (social phobia, agoraphobia, and panic disorder), personality disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder

For complete article

Often featuring in the lower rungs of priority when it comes to determining the safety of a drug, the impact of a pharmaceutical on the freshwater environment can be significant on the health of lakes, rivers and those who reside nearby.

The gamut is wide and worrying – from limpets in the UK no longer able to cling on to rocks for survival as they “bathe in a soup” of antidepressants to Canadian male fish growing eggs in their testes after being exposed to the synthetic estrogen found in birth control pills.

These examples should serve as a reminder that when deeming a drug fit for market, we should research and factor in its impact on the environment and water systems.

As the tide of marijuana legalization seems to be steadily sweeping North America, it also highlights how the USA and Canada, with our shared watersheds and borderless water movement, need to put our heads together on this issue... There is also guidance to prevent these compounds from leeching into nearby water bodies and reaching its flora and fauna.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of fresh water to North America’s economy and peoples.

For complete article

Executive Summary

Cannabis can be both addictive and harmful. 

Our understanding of the precise extent and nature of the health implications of recreational cannabis use is developing but, at this stage, there is a great deal of uncertainty. On the eve of the first legal retail sales of recreational cannabis in Canada, the Canadian Medical Association Journal published an editorial which referred to legalisation as: a national, uncontrolled experiment in which the profits of cannabis producers and tax revenues are squarely pitched against the health of Canadians.1 

The World Health Organisation recognises addiction rates of 1 in every 9 adults that uses cannabis. This rate of addiction is significantly higher in teenagers, the very age group most susceptible to its harmful effects. Currently, there is scientific uncertainty regarding the causality between cannabis use and the onset of conditions such as psychosis or diminished cognitive function. Nevertheless, there is a compelling body of correlational evidence, spanning 20 years and multiple jurisdictions, that heavily suggests that there is a such relationship. This is particularly pronounced in frequent and younger users. The existing law does mitigate the risk that cannabis poses. Although there has been a slight up-lift in recent years, cannabis consumption has been falling for nearly 20 years in the UK. A great many people do take the law seriously and, to many, the law continues to deter them from using a harmful substance.

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