cannabis dangers

The danger of synthetic cannabinoids

With the rise in cannabis usage worldwide, understanding the associated dangers, especially regarding synthetic cannabinoids.

Synthetic Cannabinoids: An Overview

Synthetic cannabinoids, different from natural cannabis, possess more potent and severe side effects, making them a significant concern.

What are Synthetic Cannabinoids?

Synthetic cannabis, commonly referred to as “Spice” or “K2,” is a group of chemicals resembling compounds found in natural cannabis. Unlike traditional cannabis, these are man-made chemicals dissolved in liquid and sprayed onto smokable herbs. Originating from culinary herbs like sage, the term “Spice” was coined. These substances, although chemically analogous to natural cannabis, differ in structure and potency. They lack naturally occurring counteracting cannabinoids like CBD, leading to intensified, often dangerous effects.

Effects of Synthetic Cannabinoids

Synthetic cannabinoids produce a range of effects, from stimulation to severe side effects like coma and respiratory failure.

  • Positive Sensations: Users might feel stimulated with increased energy and appetite.
  • Detrimental Outcomes: Consumption can lead to vomiting, temporary psychotic states, hallucinations, aggression, reduced mood, heightened body temperature and heart rate, seizures, risk of coma, and even respiratory failure.
  • Social Impact: Synthetic cannabinoids, due to their inconspicuousness, are prevalent in prisons and impoverished city districts, offering a cheaper intoxication alternative to alcohol. However, the ramifications, including aggressive behavior, trance-like states, and severe disorientation, make them a grave concern.

Cannabis Usage During Pregnancy

Using cannabis during pregnancy poses substantial risks to the developing fetus, leading to long-term health and developmental issues.

Cannabis – risks to the Newborn

A fetus is highly sensitive to external substances. Cannabis consumption during pregnancy exposes the child to several health risks. These include:

  • Reduced Birth Weight: One immediate consequence of cannabis use during pregnancy is the potential reduction in the newborn’s birth weight.
  • Developmental Difficulties: Long-term effects on children exposed to cannabis in the womb encompass impaired reasoning, deteriorated memory and attention, heightened hyperactivity, and an increased chance of substance misuse in the future.
  • ADHD: A more prevalent diagnosis of ADHD is noticed among children whose mothers consumed cannabis during pregnancy.

Breastfeeding and Cannabis

Even post-birth, cannabis consumption can impact the newborn, primarily if the mother is breastfeeding.

Cannabinoids from cannabis can transfer to the baby through breastfeeding. The compounds from cannabis linger in the system for several days, meaning the “pump and dump” method on the day of consumption is ineffective. The safest course of action is to abstain from any cannabis consumption until the baby is entirely weaned off or on formula.

In conclusion, while the benefits and recreational use of cannabis are widely discussed, it’s essential to stay informed about its dangers, particularly the hazardous synthetic cannabinoids and the severe implications for pregnant women and their offspring. Awareness and informed decisions can ensure safety and well-being.

References:

Nutt, D. (2020). DRUGS WITHOUT THE HOT AIR: making sense of legal and illegal drugs. UIT Cambridge Limited, Roncero.

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