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Inhaled Cannabis Transfers to Breast Milk

Smoking marijuana while breast-feeding may pose risk to infants.

A small study of breast-feeding mothers suggests that the breast-fed infants would consume about 2.5% of the inhaled cannabis dose. Well-intentioned parents might choose to smoke marijuana away from their infants to minimize exposure, but thus study indicates the breast-fed infants will still ingest some. While these amounts are small, the impact on the developing brain is unknown.

PositiveTip: The safest practice is for breast-feeding mothers to refrain from using any cannabis.

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AAP Issues Guidelines to Parents About Marijuana Use

Average cannabis potency has surged and many adolescents have overdosed.

While cannabis acceptance in society is increasing, there are significant issues parents need to be aware of:

  • the developing adolescent brain can be harmed by regular marijuana use
  • vaporizing cannabis may introduce toxic chemicals into young bodies
  • parents should not use marijuana in front of their children to avoid inadvertently encouraging its use
  • marijuana edibles should be carefully stored away from children

PositiveTip: Remember, the younger an adolescent begins using drugs, the more likely that adult drug dependence or addiction will develop.


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Pot Smokers at Risk for Brain Vessel Blockage

Smoking pot precipitates narrowing of brain vessels and probably risk of stroke.

As marijuana (cannabis) use increases, particularly in the young, there is growing concern that younger (under 50) users are at higher risk for ischemic strokes. French research had found regular cannabis users were 3 times as likely to experience intercranial stenosis (narrowing of brain arteries) as non-pot smokers. More research is needed to determine if this finding is causally linked to cannabis use.

PositiveTip: Many think marijuana use is safe, but it does carry serious health risks.

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Marijuana Arrests Teen's Development

Teen marijuana use linked to school failure, suicide, and drug abuse.

Three well-controlled, large studies in New Zealand and Australia of those who used marijuana before age 17 reveal adverse changes to developing brains and significant negative impacts on motivation, drive, and cognition. Subjects were followed for up to 30 years. A dose-response relationship was observed between frequency of use and dropout rates, suicide attempts, failure to get a college degree, and use of illicit drugs.

PositiveTip: Parents must warn teens and young adults about the major adverse effects of marijuana use.

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Cannabis Risk are Significant

Motor vehicle accident risks similar between THC and alcohol.

"Marijuana has been associated with substantial adverse effects, some of which have been determined with a high level of confidence." This is the conclusion of top officials of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse. This review provides evidence that regular and/or heavy use of cannabis is strongly linked to addictive behaviors, lung dysfunction, motor vehicle accidents, and "diminished lifetime achievement."

PositiveTip: Avoid the "weed" for a healthy and productive life.

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Cardiovascular Events and Cannabis Use

Dearth rate was 25% in adverse events associated with cannabis use.

A small, 5-year French study of cannabis-related reports of adverse events found an association with cardiovascular complications. The death rate was 25.6% and the average age was 34 years old. This is difficult to study because of the extreme variation in THC concentrations, the frequent use of other drugs, and the lack of strong control groups. More research is needed to determine if this association is causal.

PositiveTip: Though widely believed that cannabis use is harmless, evidence suggests it may be very risky.

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Heavy Pot Use Linked to Drop in IQ

Teen marijuana use may lower IQ later in life.

Heavy use of marijuana (cannabis), especially when started in the teen years, has been linked to measureable declines in IQ by age 38. New Zealand researchers analyzed data on IQ testing and cannabis dependence diagnoses in 874 individuals. While measurable, the effect was not as marked in those who started heavy cannibis use in adulthood. These findings held true when participants who smoked, consumed alcohol, or used illicit drugs were excluded.

PositiveTip: To help preserve your IQ, avoid the use of marijuana.

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Pot and Driving Don't Mix

Risk of motor vehicle accidents raised by acute marijuana use.

A British meta-analysis of nine oberservational studies involving more than 49,000 participants revealed that driving under the influence of cannabis (marijuana) nearly doubles the risk of motor vehicle accidents compared to unimpaired driving. Acute cannabis consumption was determined by toxicologic analysis of whole blood or by self-reporting.

PositiveTip: Driving while under the influence of any mind-numbing substance--including marijuana--substantially raises the risk of accidents.

Marijuana Psychosis

Marijuana (cannabis) is the most popular illegal drug in the world. It is estimated that worldwide, over 160,000,000 people use marijuana every day.

Marijuana use can lead to psychosis.

Psychosis is a major mental disorder, impairing a person's ability to think, respond emotionally, remember, communicate, interpret reality and behave appropriately -- to a degree that the person can't meet the ordinary demands of life. Symptoms can include seeing, hearing, smelling, or tasting things that are not there; paranoia; and delusional thoughts. Depending on the condition, psychotic symptoms may be constant or might come and go.

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Use of Illegal Drugs and Cognitive Performance

Moderate canabis and ecstasy use reduce memory and attention in young adults.

The regular use of some illegal drugs may cause cognitive impairments. Two of these substances are "ecstasy" and "canabis". Recent research has focussed on attention and memory in a community-based sample of young adults derived from a large-scale epidemiological study. Subjects were sampled with varying degrees of lifetime drug use.

A dose-response relationship was found for poorer episodic memory function when ecstasy and cannabis were used. There was also a stronger tendency for attention to lapse with the higher use of these drugs.

PositiveTip: For maximum memory and alertness stay away from all illegal drugs.