Discussion: The results show that maternal THC exposure during gestation induces myocardial hyperplasia and semilunar valve thickening in the fetal heart and postnatal cardiac dysfunction. Our study suggests that maternal cannabis consumption may induce abnormalities in the developing heart and cardiac dysfunction in postnatal life.
NIH-funded results add to growing scientific evidence of negative health effects of cannabis use during pregnancy
Prenatal cannabis exposure following the middle of the first trimester—generally after five to six weeks of fetal development—is associated with attention, social, and behavioral problems that persist as the affected children progress into early adolescence (11 and 12 years of age), according to new research supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health. These conditions may put these children at a greater risk of mental health disorders and substance use in late adolescence, when youth are typically most vulnerable to these disorders and behaviors
These findings add to an expanding body of research on the effects of cannabis use during pregnancy. A previous analysis using baseline data from the ABCD Study found an association between prenatal cannabis exposure and behavioral problems in these children at 9 to 10 years of age. Preclinical studies have shown that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive substance in cannabis, can cross the placenta and potentially affect brain development.
The Continued Rise of Unintentional Ingestion of Edible Cannabis in Toddlers—A Growing Public Health Concern
As use of cannabis continues to be decriminalized and legalized across the US for adults aged 21 years and older, there has been a concurrent increase in unintentional ingestion of cannabis edibles among children, which raises a significant public health concern.
One study found that the mean (SD) age for unintentional ingestion of cannabis edibles in the pediatric population is 25.2 (18.7) months. From2004to 2018, there was a 13-fold increase nationally in encounters involving children younger than 6 years, with the increase in edible cannabis–related exposures being greater than the increase in nonedible cannabis–related exposures.
In addition, a retrospective cohort study of children presenting to a pediatric ED for unintentional ingestion of cannabis edibles found that 87%of intoxications occurred in the home.
Children with THC intoxication can present with neurologic impairment, including lethargy, ataxia, tachycardia, mydriasis, seizures, altered mental status, and hypotonia. However, given the unpredictability of the dose ingested, patient presentation can vary. Altered mental status in children results in broad differential diagnoses ranging from traumatic to infectious causes.
Therefore, acutely altered mental status in children with an undiagnosed cannabis ingestion has led to prolonged hospitalizations with extensive and invasive diagnostic testing, including laboratory studies, lumbar punctures, electroencephalograms, and computed tomographic scans of the head to aid in diagnosis. Although most patients require routine observation in the ED or inpatient hospital unit, some patients require intensive interventions, including airway support and management,in the pediatric intensive care unit.
20/10 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Using marijuana increases the risk of developing the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation (a-fib), a new study suggests. It's been known that drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine and opiates can directly affect the heart and cause abnormal rhythms like a-fib, but weed can increase the risk by 35%, researchers found. "There is a common perception that cannabis may be healthy because it's 'natural,'" said lead researcher Dr. Gregory Marcus, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. "But as laws become more lenient in allowing use of these substances, it's important to recognize adverse consequences that may substantially impact the lives of users." "These data are sufficiently compelling to suggest that cannabis users suffering from atrial fibrillation should at least experiment with cessation to see if it indeed has a meaningful effect on their particular arrhythmia," Marcus said. "Once one has had an episode of atrial fibrillation, I find that patients are often especially eager to identify anything they can do to avoid subsequent episodes."
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 83(4), 494–501 (2022).
Objective: The objective of this study was to estimate the effects of marijuana legalization and the subsequent onset of retail sales on injury and fatal traffic crash rates in the United States during the period 2009–2019.
Method: State-by-state quarterly crash rates per mile of travel were modeled as a function of time, unemployment rate, maximum posted speed limit, seat belt use rate, alcohol use rate, percent of miles driven on rural roads, and indicators of legalized recreational marijuana use and sales.
Results: Legalization of the recreational use of marijuana was associated with a 6.5% increase in injury crash rates and a 2.3% increase in fatal crash rates, but the subsequent onset of retail marijuana sales did not elicit additional substantial changes. Thus, the combined effect of legalization and retail sales was a 5.8% increase in injury crash rates and a 4.1% increase in fatal crash rates. Across states, the effects on injury crash rates ranged from a 7% decrease to an 18% increase. The effects on fatal crash rates ranged from a 10% decrease to a 4% increase.
Conclusions: The estimated increases in injury and fatal crash rates after recreational marijuana legalization are consistent with earlier studies, but the effects varied across states. Because this is an early look at the time trends, researchers and policymakers need to continue monitoring the data.
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