Friday, 20 March 2020

Stark Warning to Cannabis Users: Just 1 Dose Can Induce Psychiatric Symptoms

Weed, pot, skunk, bud, reefer, marijuana — whatever you call it, cannabis is fast becoming another legal drug in the United States.
While advocates say it’s a relatively harmless and perhaps even a wonder drug, emerging research shows that even one dose can induce psychiatric symptoms in otherwise healthy individuals.
The marijuana plant contains two main compounds: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which acts on the brain to produce the “high” that users experience; and CBD (cannabidiol), that, when isolated, can be used for medicinal purposes without the psychoactive effects, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Regardless of how they are consumed — whether by smoking, vaping, or orally ingesting — products containing THC put users at risk of adverse psychiatric effects.
A study published by The Lancet medical journal found that a single dose of the “psychoactive component in cannabis could induce a range of psychiatric symptoms” in those with “no history of psychotic or major psychiatric disorders.”ead 
NEW—Single dose of psychoactive component in cannabis could induce a range of psychiatric symptoms in healthy people: systematic review & meta-analysis of 15 studies incl. 331 ppl w/ no history of psychotic or major psychiatric disorders @TheLancetPsych 
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In a report on the study by CNN, Oliver Howes, a senior co-author of the study and professor of molecular psychiatry at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience warned, “The first takeaway is that for people in general there is a risk, even if you are healthy and taking a single dose, a one-off, you could have these symptoms.”
There is also troubling evidence that THC can have a profound impact on adolescent brain development and produce other negative outcomes, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America .
Studies show that “exposure to THC or similar molecules during a specific window of adolescence delays maturation of the prefrontal cortex,” which can have a profound impact on cognitive, behavioral and social functioning.
Although researchers are quick to point out that correlation does not always equal causation, the fact remains that there is undeniably some relationship between mental illness and THC use.
While this information has been known for decades, proponents for legalization of marijuana have been victorious at the state, if not federal, level. Cannabis is already legal in 11 states for recreational use and 33 states for medical use, according to CBS News.
One of the many consequences of this legalization effort is that states where marijuana is still outlawed are seeing the drug pour in from states where it is legalized.
It is perplexing why lawmakers would be so eager to convey legal status on a drug that is already proven harmful. Pharmaceutical producers are facing legal battles over their role in the opioid epidemic, but meanwhile, states are scrambling to legalize to an outlawed, demonstrably harmful substance.
It just doesn’t make sense to demonize drug companies that produced an FDA-approved product because it became widely abused while pushing an already prohibited, harmful, mind-altering substance toward legalization.
State governments should heed the cautionary tale of America’s most abused legal drug: alcohol. It is estimated that alcohol causes about 88,000 preventable deaths per year according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
The effort to outlaw alcohol through the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was infamously problematic and ultimately repealed. Once a substance is normalized and ingrained in the everyday lives of many Americans, it’s difficult to eliminate. Despite the many alcohol-related deaths and the detrimental impact on families and society, alcohol isn’t going away anytime soon.
Still, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has included legalization of marijuana as part of his 2020 presidential bid, tweeting on March 11 that: “The time is long overdue for us to legalize marijuana and expunge past marijuana convictions,” despite the apparent harm the drug causes.
The time is long overdue for us to legalize marijuana and expunge past marijuana convictions.
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Of course any political disagreement would not be complete without the conservative position being labeled racist. In a March 10 New York Daily News opinion piece, cannabis legalization activist Natalie Papillion disregards the science and asserts that the “real reefer madness remains our marijuana enforcement policy.”
Papillion ignores the human impact of potentially preventable mental illness, but instead focuses on the fact that the majority of those arrested for marijuana use and possession happen to be black. In the world of activists like Papillion, it is racist to hold onto policies that would discourage citizens of all colors from using a harmful drug.
America has its share of struggles as citizens suffer with addictions to substances that are already legal. With the emerging evidence that cannabis can cause psychiatric problems for otherwise healthy users, it is irresponsible for lawmakers to continue to advocate for its legalization. This recent news underscores the importance of keeping the drug out of society as much as possible.

As with many other leftist policies, however, the human cost is disregarded in favor of their highest value — that everybody gets to do whatever they want, no matter the harm done.

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