- More than 3,400 patients under 19 went to hospital due to mental and behavioural illnesses brought on by cannabis last year
- NHS figures show the number of admission has risen 38 per cent since 2013/14
- Teenagers say cannabis has become more accessible through social media sites
- Dealers may post cannabis bag pictures on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram
- James Hamilton had a cannabis addiction aged 14 and developed depression
Last week a major study in the Lancet Psychiatry journal revealed that potent forms of the drug increased the risk of psychotic disorders five-fold. A shocking 30 per cent of new cases of psychosis in London are linked to skunk cannabis, the King’s College London researchers found.
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Walk on to any mental health ward as I have and you will be confronted with the tragic victims of our lackadaisical attitude towards cannabis.
There is mounting evidence to show the drug is having a horrific effect on the young, not least the Mail’s disturbing story today. A third of psychosis cases in London are the result of smoking skunk, according to research. Another study by Oxford University showed it increases the risk of depression in teenagers by 40 per cent.
They join the hundreds of other studies which show that, far from being the harmless substance campaigners would have us believe, cannabis is a dangerous, damaging intoxicant that has a profound effect on the structure and function of the brain.
We don’t enforce the law on cannabis, which means parents who are bravely trying to steer their children away from it are unsupported by the criminal justice system, writes Dr Max Pemberton
The wards are littered with similar examples of lives wrecked, sometimes for a short time, sometimes permanently. I have seen dozens of people who have become psychotic using cannabis, and the number has increased recently as the stronger forms have become more widely available.
The lives ruined by cannabis aren’t on display for everyone to see because they’re locked away in mental hospitals.
DR MAX THE MIND DOCTOR: The wards are full of lives wrecked by the evil drug that is cannabis
One of the state’s most vocal opponents of legalizing recreational marijuana in recent years has been Dr. Deepak D’Souza, a research scientist and professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine.
In testimony before the legislature and in his role as a member of the state medical marijuana program’s board of physicians, an advisory group for lawmakers, D’Souza has laid out what he says are the dangers of legalization. His four areas of concern are the impact on young people and the developing brain; the anticipated increase in cannabis use disorder; the negative impact on people with serious mental illness; and increased motor vehicle accidents.
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Findings: Differences in frequency of daily cannabis use and in use of high-potency cannabis contributed to the striking variation in the incidence of psychotic disorder across the 11 studied sites. Given the increasing availability of high-potency cannabis, this has important implications for public health.
Mar 19, 2019 Mark Gold, MD
Limited information exists on marijuana use and male reproductive health. A recent study from Duke University evaluated differences in sperm quality resulting from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) exposure in both rats and humans. Findings suggest that paternal marijuana use, prior to conception, may present epigenetic risks to potential offspring.
- Individuals who used marijuana can have higher and also can have significantly lower sperm concentrations, compared to those who did not, posing potential complications for fertility.
- THC-exposed sperm was associated with significantly altered DNA, in both rat and human samples.
- Associations were even stronger among individuals with higher levels of THC in their urine, implying a “dose-response relationship” such that chronic marijuana users may be impacted more severely.
- Authors identified three unique potential genetic pathways modified by THC exposure.
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