Report Summarizes Research on Marijuana’s Negative Health Effects

The current state of science on the adverse health effects of marijuana use links the drug to several significant adverse effects including addiction, a review reports. The article, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is authored by scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health. The review describes the science establishing that marijuana can be addictive and that this risk for addiction increases for daily or young users. It also offers insights into research on the gateway theory indicating that marijuana use, similar to nicotine and alcohol use, may be associated with an increased vulnerability to other drugs. The authors review literature showing that marijuana impairs driving, increasing the risk of being involved in a car accident and that these risks are further enhanced when combining marijuana with alcohol. The authors also discuss the implications of rising marijuana potencies and note that, because older studies are based on the effects of lower-potency (less THC) marijuana, stronger adverse health effects may occur with today’s more potent marijuana. (THC is the psychoactive or mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol found in marijuana.)
http://www.nih.gov/news/health/jun2014/nida-04.htm