Cannabis Users Had a 22% Higher Incidence of Requiring Hospitalization
LAS VEGAS – Cannabis is sending a growing number of customers to local emergency rooms as the THC content of cannabis increases.
Cannabis users were 22% more likely to end up in the emergency room than nonusers, according to a study published in the journal BMJ Open Respiratory Research.
“There’s clearly an increase,” said Dr. Roger Martinez, an emergency physician. “Typically, it will be mental in nature, such as anxiety or agitation. They may experience chest pain, palpitations, nausea, or vomiting at times.”
With marijuana legal in 19 states, many consumers are unaware of how much stronger marijuana has become with increasing quantities of THC, cannabis’s psychoactive component.
“Not only is the high higher, but the potential side effects are more severe,” Dr. Martinez explained.
THC levels in cannabis used to be approximately 2%-3%, but now they can range from 15%-30%.
According to research, this high-potency cannabis can increase the risk of anxiety, sadness, and suicidal thinking.
“I had no idea that may cause psychological concerns,” Stacey Weir, the mother, said.
“You see a lot of folks who have never used cannabis before,” said Dr. Martinez. “The entire age range, up to and including 80 years old. From children to people in their eighties.”
When taken in excess, this much stronger cannabis can have a harmful influence on a developing brain.
“A New Zealand study found that heavy marijuana usage during adolescence reduces IQ by six to eight points. It may not seem like much, but it is the difference between an A student and a B student “Dr. Martinez stated
According to doctors, the keys to utilizing the medicine are moderation and awareness of its power.
Dr. Martinez also stated that a 50 mg edible can appear identical to a 5 mg edible, thus users must pay special attention to dose.
“The edibles are a little alarming; they look like sweets and brownies, so you’re not sure,” Weir added.
Last year, over 22 million Americans consumed cannabis, with the vast majority not ending up in the emergency department. Marijuana also has medical applications, such as the treatment of seizures and inflammation.
“Marijuana has some valid medical applications, such as treating insomnia. People use it for anxiety, anti-nausea, and pain relief, so yes, in moderation and when taken appropriately, it may assist a lot of people “Dr. Martinez stated
However, the dangers of greater THC levels must be emphasized to the general public, particularly young individuals.
“It would undoubtedly assist if the general population had more information and education about it,” Dr. Martinez added.
There are other ways to consume THC, such as vaping, where the concentration is much higher, with some cartridges reaching 90% potency.
This also increases the likelihood of requiring medical intervention. According to various research, this is especially true for children and teenagers.
Credits: 8 News Now
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