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Low risk of psychiatric hospital admissions for medicinal cannabis patients.

According to recent data published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse, people who use medical cannabis have a low chance of psychiatric hospital admissions due to their consumption.

Over 23,000 Canadian patients with medical marijuana authorization were studied for hospitalisations connected to cannabis over the course of 240 days. Both the medical and adult use of cannabis products is now permitted in Canada. Researchers kept note of hospitalisations that were either "caused by cannabis toxicity" or were "caused by mental or behavioural disorders related to cannabis use." Investigators noted that 26 patients were admitted for either mental or behavioural disorders during the experiment, and a total of 14 patients were hospitalised for cannabis toxicity-related problems.

The findings refute arguments made by some opponents of cannabis legalisation that regular cannabis use can cause psychosis and other mental health conditions. There is currently insufficient information on the risk of cannabis used for medical purposes, despite several studies on illicit cannabis use linking teen use to an increased risk of psychosis and schizophrenia in those deemed to be predisposed to these disorders. This study further endorses the argument that cannabis alone does not cause psychosis, instead, it can aggravate pre-existing disorders both known and unknown to the individual.

The authors of the study concluded, “The results suggest that the incidence of cannabis poisoning or cannabis-related mental and behavioural disorders was low among patients who were authorized to use cannabis for medical care”. The small rates of hospital admissions relating to cannabis in a large cohort of medical cannabis consumers address concerns that increasing the availability of medicinal cannabis will not have the detrimental impact that some policymakers believe. Additionally, it also tells us that evidence-based cannabis education will need to be a priority in the future.

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