Sunday, July 03, 2022

The truth about cannabis

A California physician warns us,
Dr Roneet Lev, an emergency doctor at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, who tells me: 'We've been seeing the problems for a while now: depressive breakdowns, psychosis, suicidal thoughts, all related to cannabis. The patients are regular people, not down-and-outs.
'I want people to know the truth about this drug. We've been sold a lie, that cannabis use is harmless and even has a multitude of health benefits. It is exactly the same as what happened with tobacco. The industry told the public it was good for their health at first, before it was proven to be deadly.'
In California, hospital admissions for cannabis-related complications have shot up – from 1,400 in 2005 to 16,000 by 2019. In California, and the other 18 states that have legalised cannabis, rates of addiction are nearly 40 per cent higher than states without legal cannabis, according to research by Columbia University.
Studies have shown that frequent ingestion of cannabis can increase the risk of serious mental illness like psychosis and schizophrenia, as well as insomnia, social anxiety disorder and suicidal thoughts.
Experts say another serious consequence of legalisation is the increasing potency of cannabis.
Plants are bred and chemically treated so they contain ever more THC. While an organic cannabis plant produces flowers with about four per cent THC, the items in most dispensaries today range from about ten to 98 per cent.
Regular use of quantities above ten per cent are linked to a higher risk of addiction, violent behaviour and a newly recognised condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or 'scromiting'.
'It means screaming and violent vomiting,' says Dr Lev. 'I call it the audible cannabis condition, because I hear the violent screams down the hall before I see the patient.'
Before 2016, Dr Lev rarely saw patients with this problem. Now she sees at least one per shift. Symptoms can continue for days, or weeks, and there is no effective treatment.
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