The number of notifications of health problems and deaths related to cannabis and cannabinoids has increased in France between 2012 and 2017. The data presented in the specialized scientific Committee temporary on cannabis therapeutics should lead to caution. This committee was created in September by the national Agency of health safety of drug and health products to judge the relevance and feasibility of the provision of cannabis for therapeutic purposes in our country. He has recently gathered the views of health professionals and reviewed data of vigilance in order to assess potential risks.

Dr. Emilie Bouquet, the Centre for evaluation and information on drug dependencies and addictovigilance of the CHU of Poitiers, presented the results of a national survey conducted in 13 French centres. The analysis focused on 2 217 notifications of vigilance involving cannabis alone or in combination with alcohol and/or tobacco between 2012 and 2017. “The number of cases with cannabis has tripled from 179 in 2012 to 562 in 2017, when the overall number of notifications doubled, from 2 833 5 560 cases,” she said.

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thirty of the most affected

Overall, men in their thirties are the main affected, with most often a chronic exposure, as well as a frequent consumption of tobacco, or even alcohol. For more than one in five patients, the use of cannabis was ” referred autothérapeutique “, including anxiolytic, sedative and hypnotic. The reported complications were psychiatric in more than half of the cases, with a length and/or a request for withdrawal (35 %), well ahead of the psychotic disorders, aggression, impulsivity and/or violence as well as protests anxious, depressed, or even suicidal ideation. According to Dr. Bunch, a psychiatric history were found in half of the persons concerned.

But the problems do not stop there. Notifications are state of neurological problems in 15.6 % of cases, affecting mostly the extreme ages. This is primarily from disorders of consciousness, memory, cognitive function and concentration, strokes as well as convulsions and epilepsy. The gastrointestinal complications relate to 7.8% of people (primarily nausea and vomiting, and abdominal pain). With respect to cardiac disorders, which were found in 7.7% of cases, they typically take the form of tachycardia, palpitations and sometimes heart attack.

Over a hundred deaths

according to Dr. Bunch, the deaths involving cannabis have increased between 2012 and 2016. Over this period, the specialist there are 131 direct fatalities, 62 of which related only to cannabis, and 136 deaths indirect, including 73 with this unique drug. Between 2012 and 2017, 16 deaths were reported spontaneously, involving the cannabis alone or in combination with tobacco and/or alcohol, excluding drama.

In the framework of the evaluation of availability of cannabis for therapeutic purposes and specialties-based cannabinoids, the experts believe, therefore, that it must be ” imperatively take account of this risk of complications rare but serious for the potential future-exposed patients, maintain vigilance, continue to research on security of employment and train/inform the health professionals required to prescribe, dispense and administer these products.”

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