Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Medical use of cannabinoids from marijuana does not cause serious negative medical side effects
, according to Canadian researchers.

Researchers at McGill University Health Centre and McGill University in Montreal and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver said that as the use of cannabinoid medications increases, so do concerns about their potential to cause "adverse events."

Dr. Mark Ware of the McGill University Health Centre said the analysis reported 31 separate clinical studies of cannabinoid medications conducted between 1966 and 2007. Adverse events were categorized as either serious or non-serious; with serious adverse events defined as those leading to death, hospitalization or disability.

"Overall, we found an 86 percent increase in the rate of non-serious adverse events among the patients treated with cannabinoids compared to the patients in the control groups," Ware said in a statement. "The majority of events were mild to moderate in severity."

The majority of non-serious adverse events observed involved dizziness and drowsiness, the researchers said.

The findings were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.


A federal report said marijuana sold in the United States is at least twice as strong as it was in 1983 and poses a serious risk for teens.

The latest analysis from the University of Mississippi's Potency Monitoring Project said levels of THC the main psychoactive substance in marijuana have reached the highest ever amounts since analysis of the drug began in the late 1970s, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy reported Thursday.

The average amount of THC in recently seized samples was 9.6 percent, compared to an average of just under 4 percent in 1983.

Parents who still think marijuana is a harmless substance need to look at the facts,
John Walters, director of National Drug Control Policy, said in a statement. "Marijuana potency has grown steeply over the past decade, with serious implications in particular for young people, who may be not only at increased risk for various psychological conditions, cognitive deficits and respiratory problems, but are also at significantly higher risk for developing dependency on other drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, than are non-smokers."

The report said higher potency marijuana may be contributing to a growing number of teenagers in treatment for marijuana dependence.



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