Weed more dangerous than previously thought

Abuja – Despite the steady relaxing of anti-drug law

    surrounding cannabis, the medical community is still
    split on the safety of the substance. Criticisms around
    the safety of the drug have been re-raised following a
    new review, published in the journal Addiction.
    Among numerous other findings, the review found that
    teenagers who regularly smoke marijuana are twice as
    likely to suffer from mental disorders and impaired brain
    function. Schizophrenia, a severely debilitating mental
    disorder, has particularly been linked to heavy marijuana
    usage, according to the National Alliance on Mental
    Illness in the US. A key study cited in the review found
    that 13% of schizophrenia cases could have been
    prevented if cannabis use was avoided, this was found in
    a 27-year follow-up study of over 50 000 young Swedish
    The author of the review, Professor Wayne Hall, says
    that the perception of cannabis as a safe drug is due to
    an overreaction to previous warnings about its dangers,
    which were greatly exaggerated, he told Live Science.
    Hall is professor of addiction policy at King’s College
    London and a drugs advisor to the World Health
    The review also found a 100% increase in car accidents
    amongst people who drove after smoking marijuana than
    those who didn’t.
    Dagga smokers often argue that the drug is not
    addictive, another claim that was debunked by the
    paper. Hall went as far as to claim that the drugs is just
    as addictive as heroin, likely due the narcotic high it
    Heart problems were also touched on, with there being
    numerous reports of seemingly healthy people,
    particularly men, suffering fatal heart attacks after
    smoking marijuana. This effect multiplied if subjects
    smoked in middle-age. However, these findings are
    muddied by the fact that most cannabis smokers also
    smoke cigarettes, which have well-documented affects
    on the heart.
    The key substance in marijuana is delta-9-
    tetrahydrocannabinol, usually referred to as THC. It’s
    this ingredient that provides the “high” of marijuana and
    is also believed to be at the root of the drug’s health
    issues, though a causal link has yet to be established.
    Hall reported that the THC content of marijuana has
    more than quadrupled since 1980.
    One of the most common arguments levelled against
    cannabis use is that, while it isn’t dangerous in itself, it is
    a gateway to drugs that are. There are no reported
    cases of anyone dying from a marijuana overdose, and
    it’s a matter of scientific debate as to whether an
    overdose is even possible.
    The review also found that smoking marijuana was
    related to a greatly increased likelihood of dropping out
    of school, and that women who smoke while pregnant
    are likely to give birth to babies with lower-than-average
    birth weight.


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