The THC in cannabis can destroy critical neuronal pathways in the developing brain, which can result in permanent brain changes. The worst-case scenario is psychosis that becomes permanent and is then considered schizophrenia, a life-long, debilitating disease. No one can predict in advance who will be susceptible, as some can experience symptoms after a few times of use.
Professionals say the evidence found in peer-reviewed studies is undeniable: THC in cannabis, even in low concentrations, can cause psychosis. And out of the drugs that can cause a temporary episode of psychosis, marijuana/cannabis has the highest conversion rate to chronic psychotic disorders like bipolar and schizophrenia.
Dr. Christine Miller is a Molecular Neuroscientist with a PhD. Pharmacology. She researched the causes and nature of psychosis for thirty years of her career.
“The causal link between marijuana use and the development of psychosis is quite simply the most well-replicated, high-impact finding in schizophrenia research today. Given current use rates and the strong potency of the drug available, it stands to be responsible for a larger proportion of schizophrenia cases than any other established factor. Who may be at risk cannot be reliably predicted. The time is long overdue for the surgeon general and American neuroscientists and psychiatrists, along with their universities and professional societies, to inform the public and for journalists to pay heed.”
Dr. C Miller
(click image to play)
There are hundreds of peer-reviewed, scientific articles that prove the causal links between marijuana use and psychotic outcomes such as schizophrenia.
A person suffering from marijuana-induced psychosis is over 18-times more likely to lash out violently. But individuals with psychosis from non-drug causes and who are medicated with antipsychotics but not using marijuana or other recreational drugs, do not pose a great risk for violence.
Dr Bertha Madras (the honourable) gave a strong statement in her keynote contribution. The war on drugs does not lead to addiction, which is often used as an argument by the pro-legalisation movement. The change in drug views, politics, and law cannot be dismissed before looking into a specific drug, such as Cannabis. Cannabis is also not so innocent as it is believed to be. It does cause many negative health conditions, such as psychosis, schizophrenia, mental health problems, traffic deaths, etc. there is also evidence that people using cannabis are more likely to develop opioid dependency.
Dr Madeline Meier shared her significant research on the cognitive effects of long-term cannabis use. Her longitudinal study has shown that there is a large difference in the development of IQ between non-cannabis users and highly frequent cannabis users. The lather has seen a reduction of 8 IQ points, which on a long-term, affects their social developments, education, work, relationships, etc.
Prof Mary Cannon and Dr Emmet Power continued on the topic of Madeline. They showcased that marijuana is a gateway drug and leads to poor outcomes of those using it in earlier life. This relates to the fact that adolescence their brains are still developing. Cannabis is having severe effects, sometimes even worse than alcohol. Mega-analysis show evidence of a significant increase of depression, suicide attempts, increase of homicide, etc. Therefore, legislation is powerful.
Dr Peter Allebeck highlighted the misconceptions of Cannabis and that there are acute effects and chronic effects after high and long-term use of cannabis, such as amotivational syndrome and anxiety syndrome. The most specific, however, be would be the development of chronic psychosis and the possible development of schizophrenia. The risks of these psychosis were also elaborated on. Therefore, his message is to warn young people on the effects.
Dr Robert L. DuPont elaborated on the risks of impaired driving. Whereas currently there is a strong focus on alcohol impaired driving and its effects, there is les awareness on the dangers of cannabis impaired driving. As he phrased it, if the focus is safety, you don’t want anyone using drugs at all. With cannabis impaired driving, there is a more risk-taking behaviour, leading to higher fatality. Cannabis also, in general, affects the driving performance longer compared to alcohol. Therefore, the focus should be more on testing. Yet, this is also a separate challenge.
Marijuana Use Reaches Record Levels Among College Students. Marijuana use among U.S. college students reached a historic high in 2020, while alcohol use took a "significant" drop, according to the 2020 Monitoring the Future panel study.
The uptick represents the highest levels of marijuana use recorded since the 1980s. The survey found daily marijuana use -- defined as using it on 20 or more occasions in the past 30 days -- increased to 7.9 percent in 2020 among 19- to 22-year-old full-time college students. That's an increase of 3.3 percentage points over the past five years.
This, of course, is no arbitrary anomaly, it is a direct consequence of the relentless pro-cannabis push that began when NORML announced there unabashed agenda to see recreational cannabis use be normalized via the faux ‘medicinal’ backdoor.
After a disturbing rise in ‘Weed’ use in the 1970’s and a subsequently effective Demand Reduction push, cannabis use was declining consistently, until the new ‘medicinal’ strategy was put in play. (see charts below)
The cognitive dissonance this created in the minds of the impressionable young, and the validation of many ‘grown ups’ wanting another addiction for profit substance embedded into the currents of trade, cannabis use has been steadily increasing to the point now where in the United States it is now eclipsing previous use – and all this with a more potent product that is continuing to undermine the potential, productivity and the future of an entire emerging generation.
It is important that all policy makers and protectors of public health understand unequivocally that, permission is still the most effective pot promulgator going, and the addiction for profit cannabis industry knows it. The potential, productivity and prospects of Generation Now need to be protected and proactively promoted, not undermined by poor policies.
Both the Centre for Disease Control and the US Food Food & Drug Administration have come out with both concerns and warnings about yet another emerging ‘medicinal’ misuse of cannabis products.
Here are 5 things you should know about delta-8 THC to keep you and those you care for safe from products that may pose serious health risks:
1. Delta-8 THC products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use and may be marketed in ways that put the public health at risk.
2. The FDA has received adverse event reports involving delta-8 THC-containing products. .
National poison control centers received 661 exposure cases of delta-8 THC products between January 2018 and July 31, 2021, 660 of which occurred between January 1, 2021, and July 31, 2021. Of the 661 exposure cases:
41% involved unintentional exposure to delta-8 THC and 77% of these unintentional exposures affected pediatric patients less than 18 years of age.
39% involved pediatric patients less than 18 years of age
18% required hospitalizations, including children who required intensive care unit (ICU) admission following exposure to these products.
3. Delta-8 THC has psychoactive and intoxicating effects.
4. Delta-8 THC products often involve use of potentially harmful chemicals to create the concentrations of delta-8 THC claimed in the marketplace.
5. Delta-8 THC products should be kept out of the reach of children and pets.
Why is the FDA notifying the public about delta-8 THC?
A combination of factors has led the FDA to provide consumers with this information. These factors include:
An uptick in adverse event reports to the FDA and the nation’s poison control centers.
Marketing, including online marketing of products, that is appealing to children.
Concerns regarding contamination due to methods of manufacturing that may in some cases be used to produce marketed delta-8 THC products. 1
CDC – Health Alert Network: Increases in Availability of Cannabis Products Containing Delta-8 THC and Reported Cases of Adverse Events
Several factors can influence both the type and severity of cannabis-related adverse events, including the type of cannabinoid ingested, concentration, route of exposure, and the individual characteristics of the person who consumed the cannabinoid such as their age, weight, and sex. Delta-8 THC intoxication can cause adverse effects similar to those observed during delta-9 THC intoxication10,12, and may include—
Uncoordinated movements and decreased psychomotor activity
Increased heart rate progressing to slowed heart rate
Low blood pressure
Summary The rise in delta-8 THC products in marijuana and hemp marketplaces has increased the availability of psychoactive cannabis products, even in states, territories, and tribal nations where non-medical adult cannabis use is not permitted under law. Variations in product content, manufacturing practices, labeling, and potential misunderstanding of the psychoactive properties of delta-8 THC may lead to unexpected effects among consumers. Adverse event reports involving products that contain delta-8 THC that resulted in consumers’ hospital or emergency department treatment have been described. Increased reports of adverse events related to delta-8 THC, as well as preliminary reports of the emergence of other similarly produced products derived from cannabis warrant the continued monitoring and tracking of adverse events related to THC. 2
“Do not prescribe currently available ‘medicinal cannabis’ products to treat chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) unless part of a registered clinical trial”
So was just one of the unambiguous and evidence-based recommendations outlined in recent literature.
The ‘red flags’ on current therapeutic claims around cannabis and pain (and other pain/distress inducing ailments i.e., certain rare epilepsies) continue to grow.
As the Dalgarno Institute has intimated repeatedly, the decades long declaration on the promised ‘panacea of pot’ have not been actualized, even after repeated proclamations of potential, that it was ‘merely a matter of time and new science’.
Whilst the scientific process is not at an end, one would have thought that nearly 20 years of pursuit would have actualized just some of those remarkable claims. Yet, still promises failed, or any potentials for good, undermined or diminished by unintended consequences, side-effects, and harms.
Ah, but one thing that seems to emerge in the ‘benefits’ column of this purported plant panacea is the placebo effect. As we’ve stated previously, and here again, this emergence should be harnessed to give people Pot-placebos and allow those for who it works to be managed accordingly, without the toxicity of this now utterly engineered plant.
The Literature Speaks and Anecdotes Challenged?
The following is just some of the latest recommendations emerging in the latest literature
Cannabis-derived products are now available for use with therapeutic intentions in Australia and New Zealand. By far the most common reason for their use is chronic pain however there is a critical lack of evidence that it provides a consistent benefit for any type of chronic non-cancer pain. More than 90% of Special Access Scheme – Category B (SAS-B) approvals have been for chronic pain of various types.
The evidence available is either unsupportive of using cannabinoid products in chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) or is of such low quality that no valid scientific conclusion can be drawn. Cannabidiol-only formulations have not been the subject of a published randomised controlled trial (RCT) for pain indications, yet they are the most commonly prescribed type of product.
In addition, evidence of harms does exist, particularly in relation to sedative effects, interactions with other medications and neuropsychiatric effects (for products which contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)).
Given the above, the clinical use of cannabinoid products cannot be ethically recommended outside a properly established and registered clinical trial environment until high-quality evidence for specific indications is published.
Recommendation 6: Draft guidance says patients with chronic pain should not be offered tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or mixtures of cannabidiol and THC unless the treatment is part of a clinical trial.
International Association for the Study of Pain Presidential Task Force on Cannabis and Cannabinoid Analgesia position statement
Conclusion: Reviews of preclinical research and clinical safety and efficacy of cannabis and cannabinoids for pain relief have identified important research gaps. Due to the lack of high-quality clinical evidence IASP does not currently endorse general use of cannabis and cannabinoids for pain relief. International Association for the Study of Pain recognizes the pressing need for preclinical and clinical studies to fill the research gap, and for education on this topic.
Basic science advances are promising, but these are yet to be fully translated to efficacious and safe medicines. There is a need to increase our understanding of the biology of the endocannabinoid system. High-quality research is required to elucidate the types of pain, and characteristics of individuals, where there is benefit or harm from particular cannabinoid compounds (personalised medicine). Improved understanding of the clinical pharmacology of cannabis and cannabinoids in a pain relief setting is needed. Expansion in the range of chemical entities tested, elucidation of dose effects, and the optimisation of drug delivery is required.
As a global multidisciplinary organization of health and science professionals, IASP has a duty to protect public health, although IASP recognises that some jurisdictions already permit the use of cannabis and cannabinoids for pain relief, other medical indications, or recreational use. More research is required to elucidate the benefits and harms of therapeutic use of cannabis and cannabinoids for the treatment of pain. (A lay summary can be found on the IASP website at: https://www.iasp-pain.org/summarystatement)
‘Medical’ Cannabis Blacklisted by Australian Pain Specialists?
Dean of ANZCA’s pain medicine faculty Professor Michael Vagg said medicinal cannabis products on the market “are not even close” to showing they are effective in the management of patients with complex chronic pain.
“The research available is either unsupportive of using cannabinoid products in chronic non-cancer pain or is of such low quality that no valid scientific conclusion can be drawn,” the pain specialist and physician said.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has said it is currently unable to recommend cannabis-based medical products (CBMPs) for severe treatment-resistant epilepsy.
In draft guidance on the use of CBMPs, NICE said that more research into the use of CBMP for the treatment of a number of conditions was needed because “current research is limited and of low quality”, adding that clinical trials had shown a high level of adverse events.
The guidance said that patients with chronic pain should not be offered tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or mixtures of cannabidiol (CBD) and THC unless the treatment is part of a clinical trial.
NICE also said there is no evidence that CBD in isolation is effective for chronic pain and that the potential benefits of CBPMs in all cases “were small compared with the high and ongoing costs, and the products were not an effective use of NHS resources”
The concern isn’t so much for the failed potential, or even the all to often negative attending issues of this product, but more, that this ‘medicinal’ smoke-screen is being used to promote the ‘harmlessness’ or worse, benefits of this product, all lending itself to ‘recreational’ release. The two popular, and of course, ‘heart string tugging’ uses are pain and epilepsy. After all, no-one, very much including us, wants those suffering to be deprived of properly trialled and tested pharmaceutical grade medicines that do no harm. Simply to have a product alleviate one symptom whilst causing other and often longer-lasting complications or damage, is not good medicine or best-practice at all.
It’s not about listening to ‘experts’ only, as we have seen with the over-prescribing of regulated opioids, but it certainly cannot simply be alleviating a ‘felt need’ at any cost.
We saw all this behaviour unleashed in the second half of the 19th Century with unregulated cocaine and opium employed by anyone making therapeutic claims, simply on the basis that; ‘if you ‘feel’ better, you must be better.’ That disastrous anecdotal prescribing led to (arguably) the greatest per capita addiction statistics the United Stats had ever seen, current opioid crisis included.
We must all ask, but particularly those charged with policy creation, the cautiously wise questions of our current process; are we advancing in our science to bring best health-care practice to the populace, or are we regressing to back-ward model and dressing it up in clinical terms?
Let’s not let science get in the way of a feel-good story, no matter how short lived.
For more articles, research and commentary see following…