Browse by author
Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Heather Ashton
Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.
Background Increasing prevalence of recreational cannabis use among the young population has stimulated debate on the possible effects of acute and longterm use. Aims To highlight recent knowledge of mechanisms of action, effects on psychomotor and cognitive performance, and health risks associated with cannabis consumption. Method A brief review of recent literature on the prevalence of recreational cannabis use, the potency of modern cannabis preparations and the pharmacological actions of cannabis. Results Cannabinoids derived from 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. Conclusions Cannabis is not, as widely perceived, a harmless drug but poses risks to the individual and to society.
Author(s): Ashton CH
Publication type: Review
Publication status: Published
Journal: British Journal of Psychiatry
ISSN (print): 0007-1250
ISSN (electronic): 1472-1465