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Cannabis Toxicity and Adverse Biological Activity

Author(s): Ronald Bartzatt

Consideration of cannabis as a medicinal entity is an ongoing discussion that requires additional clinical and laboratory research. Marijuana smoking deposits 4x times more tar in the lungs as compared to tobacco smoke and amount of some pro-carcinogens are up to 2x times greater inmarijuana tar. Determination of Dependence/Physical Harm relationship by investigators shows a proximity of cannabis to khat, LSD, ecstasy, alkyl nitrites, and methylphenidate. Non-users that are exposed to cannabis inhalant may suffer loss of coordination, dizziness, confusion, difficulty walking, blurred vision, and vomiting. Illicit drug use has been shown to be strongly associated with homicide events. Psychotropic effects from THC inhalant reaches a maximum after 15 to 30 minutes. Psychotropic effects from oral ingestion of THC reaches maximum level after 2 to 3 hours. Marijuana smoke contains higher levels of specific toxins than tobacco smoke. Ongoing research outcome challenges the concept that marijuana smoke is less harmful than tobacco smoke.Marijuana smoke causes lung damage quickly and could out pace tobacco smoke by as much as 20 years. Studies has shown cannabis usage worsens the course of schizophrenia spectrum disorders and that adolescents possess a greater risk from cannabis than older individuals. Cannabis abuse could be an independent risk factor for the further development of psychotic disorders. Further research and study is warranted concerning clinical application of cannabis.

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