Home > Pharmacology and effects of cannabis: a brief review.

Ashton, C. Heather (2001) Pharmacology and effects of cannabis: a brief review. British Journal of Psychiatry , 178 , pp. 101-106.

URL: http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/full/178/2/101

Increasing prevalence of recreational cannabis use among the young population has stimulated debate on the possible effects of acute and long-term use. This paper aims to highlight recent knowledge of mechanisms of action, effects on psychomotor and cognitive performance, and health risks associated with cannabis consumption.

The paper reviews recent literature on the prevalence of cannabis use, the potency of modern cannabis preparations and the pharmacological actions of cannabis. The paper outlines that cannabinoids derived form herbal cannabis interact with endogenous cannabinoid systems in the body. Actions on specific brain receptors cause dose-related impairments of psychomotor performance with implications for car and train driving, aeroplane piloting and academic performance. Other constituents of cannabis smoke carry respiratory and cardiovascular health risks similar to those of tobacco smoke. The paper concludes that cannabis is not, as widely perceived, a harmless drug but poses risks to the individual and to society.


Item Type:Article
Call No:BE
Page Range:pp. 101-106
Publisher:Royal College of Psychiatrists
Keywords:Cannabis, cannabis chemistry, cardiovascular disorder, health risk assessment, pharmacology (field), psychomotor impairment, respiratory disorder, tetrahydrocannabinol
Accession Number:HRB 1885 (Available)
Subjects:G Health and disease > State of health
E Concepts in biomedical areas > Pharmacology and toxicology
B Substances > Cannabis / Marijuana
A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Effects and consequences
G Health and disease > Substance related disorder > Substance related mental disorder

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