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The effects of cannabis on mental health.

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    ABSTRACT: New designer drugs (synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones) are new "legal highs" that are sold online for recreational public or private use. Synthetic cannabinoids are psychoactive herbal and chemical products that mimic the effects of cannabis when used. These drugs are available on the Internet or in head shops as incense or air fresheners to circumvent the law. Cathinone is a naturally occurring beta-ketone amphetamine analog found in the leaves of the Catha edulis plant. Synthetic cathinones are phenylalkylamine derivatives that may possess amphetamine-like properties. These drugs are sold online as bath salts. Designer drugs are often labeled as "not for human consumption" to circumvent drug abuse legislation. The absence of legal risks, the ease of obtaining these drugs, the moderate cost, and the availability via the Internet are the main features that attract users, but the number of intoxicated people presenting with emergencies is increasing. There is evidence that negative health and social consequences may affect recreational and chronic users. The addictive potential of designer drugs is not negligible.
    Current pharmaceutical design 08/2013; DOI:10.2174/13816128113199990622 · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 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.
    Current pharmaceutical design 08/2013; 20(25). DOI:10.2174/13816128113199990620 · 3.29 Impact Factor