(Summary: the following demographics should completely ABSTAIN from cannabis use:
- People aged 0-28 years of age (children and adolescents – developing brain)
- Pregnant women
- People with mental illness or vulnerable to such
- Drivers/Driving (one could also assume, anyone operating a vehicle of any kind)
Whilst there are only some minor benefits from some cannabis derivatives, they come with adverse side effects and there is no curative properties in cannabis. More clinical, double-blind, placebo accounted for trials are required to further understand limitations, risks and potential benefits of cannabis. Dalgarno Institute)
Objective: To systematically assess credibility and certainty of associations between cannabis, cannabinoids, and cannabis-based medicines and human health, from observational studies and randomised controlled trials (RCTs).
Searches and inclusion criteria: We conducted an umbrella review of meta-analyses of observational studies(i.e., case-control and cohort studies) and randomised controlled trials that reported on any outcome associated with cannabis and cannabinoids use in humans.
Conclusions: Convincing or converging evidence supports that cannabis use is associated with poor mental health and cognition, increased the risk of car crashes, and can have detrimental effects on offspring if used during pregnancy. Cannabis use should be avoided in adolescents and young adults (when neurodevelopment is still occurring), when most mental health disorders have onset and cognition is paramount for optimising academic performance and learning, as well as in pregnant women and drivers. Conversely, cannabidiol could be considered a potential beneficial treatment option in epilepsy across age groups to reduce seizures. Cannabis based medicines could also be considered for chronic pain across different conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, spasticity in multiple sclerosis, for nausea and vomiting in people with mixed conditions and for sleep in cancer. However, clinical relevance must be considered before a possible incorporation into clinical guidelines; for example, including numbers needed to treat for benefit, risk to benefit ratios, comparative efficacy and safety with existing treatment options, and development of patient information concerning potential adverse events. Cannabidiol appears to be safe regarding psychiatric symptoms, but more research needs to be conducted before this drug can be recommended for the treatment of any psychiatric disorder. The remaining associations between cannabis and health outcomes are not supported by converging or convincing evidence.
Law and public health policy makers and researchers should consider this evidence synthesis when making policy decisions on cannabinoids use regulation, and when planning a future epidemiological or experimental research agenda, with particular attention to the tetrahydrocannabinol content of cannabinoids. Future guidelines are needed to translate current findings into clinical practice, while involving stakeholders.