Weed Users Are Nearly 25% More Likely to Require Emergency Care and Hospitalization

A new study has discovered that using recreational marijuana is associated with an increased risk of needing emergency room care and being hospitalized for any reason.

The study, which was published Monday in the journal BMJ Open Respiratory Research, examined national health records data for over 30,000 Ontario, Canada, residents aged 12 to 65 over a six-year period.

Cannabis users were 22 percent more likely to visit an emergency room or be hospitalized when compared to non-users, according to the study.

The finding held true even after accounting for over 30 other confounding factors, such as other illicit drug use, alcohol consumption, and tobacco smoking.
Among cannabis users, physical bodily injury was the leading cause of emergency department visits and hospitalizations, with respiratory reasons coming in a close second.”

Among cannabis users, physical bodily injury was the leading cause of emergency department visits and hospitalizations, with respiratory reasons coming in a close second.”

A 2021 study discovered that marijuana smokers had higher blood and urine levels of several smoke-related toxins such as naphthalene, acrylamide, and acrylonitrile than nonsmokers. Naphthalene has been linked to anemia, liver damage, and neurological damage, whereas acrylamide and acrylonitrile have been linked to cancer and other health problems.

Another study published last year discovered that teenagers were roughly twice as likely to report “wheezing or whistling” in the chest after vaping marijuana as they were after smoking cigarettes or using e-cigarettes.

Increasing body of research

A number of studies have found a link between marijuana use and physical and mental harm.

According to a 2021 study, heavy marijuana use by teens and young adults with mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, has been linked to an increased risk of self-harm, suicide attempts, and death.

Another 2021 study discovered that regular cannabis users, including teenagers, are increasingly presenting to emergency rooms with severe intestinal distress known as “cannabis hyperemesis syndrome,” or CHS.

In a previous interview, Dr. Sam Wang, a pediatric emergency medicine specialist and toxicologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, said the condition causes nausea, severe abdominal pain, and prolonged vomiting “which can go on for hours.”

A review published earlier this year examined studies on over 43,000 people and discovered that tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, has a negative impact on the brain’s higher levels of thinking.

This may have an impact on young people “consequently lead to reduced educational attainment, and, in adults, to poor work performance and dangerous driving. These consequences may be worse in regular and heavy users.” In a previous interview, coauthor Dr. Alexandre Dumais, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal, told CNN.

At a time when “health care systems are already stretched thin around the world following the Covid pandemic and with difficult economic times … cannabis use is on the rise around the world,” according to Vozoris.

“Our study results should set off ‘alarm bells’ in the minds of the public, health care professionals, and political leaders,” he wrote in an email.



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