The current state of research on the risks and potentials of cannabis. The authors of the study “Cannabis:” Potential and Risks. A scientific analysis “(CaPRis) surveyed over 2100 scientific publications, selected from 5 databases with more than 27 million individual publications for two years.
The Federal Ministry of Health promoted the research project led by the LMU Munich with the aim: to provide the latest scientific knowledge on the risks of catfish, but also to analyze and present the potential of cannabis as a drug.
Current state of research on the risks and potentials of cannabis
And these are the main findings of the study:
Cannabis as an intoxicant
- Acutely consumed cannabinoids can lead to a variety of cognitive impairments, clearly in memory, attention and psychomotor.
- Regular killing also leads to global deficits in cognition, especially memory. However, the picture of these limitations is not as consistent as with the acute effects. A decrease in intelligence as a result of regular cannabis consumption could not be proven. Cognitive functional deficits due to chronic consumption seem to be temporary.
- The influence of the entry age on long-term cognitive disorders could not be conclusively clarified. “There is, therefore, a clear need for longitudinal studies and control of the age effect in these studies,” say the CaPRis authors.
- International standards on key cannabis use variables are lacking to improve the comparability of studies and their outcomes.
- Regarding the organic consequences, the study summarizes: Chronic cannabis use increases the risk of respiratory symptoms. Acute cannabis use causes dilated blood vessels, hypertension, and accelerated heart rate. A risk assessment of the cardiovascular effects associated with chronic consumption (ischemic infarction, myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation) can not take place on the basis of the available evidence.
- With regard to cancer, the study shows no significant relationship between Cannabis consumption and cancers of the head and neck area and the lungs, but very well with testicular cancer.
- Chronic weevils apparently cause brain structural changes, especially in the amygdala and the hippocampus, ie structures important for memory formation. Above all changes of volume and form as well as the density of the gray mass were shown. Perhaps these changes “are directly related to the THC: CBD ratio of cannabis preparations consumed.
- Cannabis use during pregnancy may seem to interfere with the development of the fetus. In addition, there is some evidence of disturbances of child development in visual cognitive skills, attention and increased cannabis use in adolescence.
- Acute increases the risk of traffic accidents, especially when mixed with alcohol.
- Frequent cannabis use in early adolescence often leads to dropping out of school and fewer academic degrees. Too few empirical data are available regarding cannabis-related abnormalities in social behavior and offending.
- The risk of anxiety and depression is slightly increased by cannabis use and dependence. The risk of psychotic disorders also increases.
Cannabis as a medicine
- Cannabis drugs were superior to placebo in treating chronic pain (by at least 30 percent). However, there is mostly evidence for a slight pain reduction and various improvements in secondary dimensions. There is no evidence for a substantial pain reduction (by at least 50 percent). The best-studied cannabis drug for pain is Nabiximols.
- In MS and paraplegia-associated spasticity, efficacy could not be proven with objectifiable test criteria.
- In Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome, no improvement in the primary symptoms could be shown.
- In HIV / Aids, four out of five studies show a weight-stimulating effect. In addition, cannabis also acts here as in chemotherapy against vomiting and nausea.
- Side effects can be “quite common” with cannabis medications, which are mostly transient and not serious.