Why Not Pot? A Review of the Brain-based Risks of Cannabis

Conclusion Evaluating the potential harms of a commonly used drug—especially a complex substance like marijuana—is a challenging but vital task. Fully informed awareness of both the potential and proven benefits and the potential and proven harms of marijuana are necessary in order to have rational discussions with patients, teens, and decision makers regarding marijuana use. Based on a review of the current literature, we suggest the mnemonic DDUMB (dependence, driving, underachievement, mental illness, and “bad to worse”) as a tool that captures several of the more well-supported, brain-based risks associated with marijuana. Using this mnemonic, we reviewed five research-supported harms related to marijuana use. First, cannabis dependence (addiction) is real. Second, driving while under the influence of marijuana is unsafe. Third, marijuana use has a strong association with global underachievement. Fourth, marijuana elevates the risk of developing a psychotic illness and worsens the course of several serious mental health conditions in certain individuals. Fifth, though proving causality is complex, evidence supports a “bad to worse” or “gateway” role of cannabis in the development of other substance use disorders. Important to note, most of these harms are more likely to be present when marijuana use is frequent and starts early (i.e., in adolescence). Though we don’t always heed George Santayana’s aphorism about ...
Source: Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience - Category: Neuroscience Authors: Tags: Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Child Adol Mental Disorders Cognition Current Issue Medical Issues Neurologic Systems and Symptoms Psychiatry Psychopharmacology Review Substance Use Disorders Cannabis dependence drug-related har Source Type: research

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Source: Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine - Category: Complementary Medicine Tags: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med Source Type: research
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Source: International Journal of Legal Medicine - Category: Medical Law Source Type: research
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