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Acute and Long-Term Effects of Cannabis Use: A Review

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Cannabis remains the most commonly used and trafficked illicit drug in the world. Its use is largely concentrated among young people (15- to 34-year-olds). There is a variety of cannabis use patterns, ranging from experimental use to dependent use. Men are more likely than women to report both early initiation and frequent use of cannabis. Due to the high prevalence of cannabis use, the impact of cannabis on public health may be significant. A range of acute and chronic health problems associated with cannabis use has been identified.

Cannabis can frequently have negative effects in its users, which may be amplified by certain demographic and/or psychosocial factors. Acute adverse effects include hyperemesis syndrome, impaired coordination and performance, anxiety, suicidal ideations/tendencies, and psychotic symptoms. Acute cannabis consumption is also associated with an increased risk of motor vehicle crashes, especially fatal collisions. Evidence indicates that frequent and prolonged use of cannabis can be detrimental to both mental and physical health. Chronic effects of cannabis use include mood disorders, exacerbation of psychotic disorders in vulnerable people, cannabis use disorders, withdrawal syndrome, neurocognitive impairments, cardiovascular and respiratory and other diseases.
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Keywords: Cannabis; THC; acute effects; addiction; and cannabis use disorders; cannabinoids; dependence; long-term effects; marijuana

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 August 2014

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  • Current Pharmaceutical Design publishes timely in-depth reviews covering all aspects of current research in rational drug design. Each issue is devoted to a single major therapeutic area. A Guest Editor who is an acknowledged authority in a therapeutic field has solicits for each issue comprehensive and timely reviews from leading researchers in the pharmaceutical industry and academia.

    Each thematic issue of Current Pharmaceutical Design covers all subject areas of major importance to modern drug design, including: medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, drug targets and disease mechanism.
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