Cannabis users are at greater risk of emergency and hospital care: study

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According to a recent study published in BMJ Open Respiratory Research, people who used cannabis were 22% more likely to visit the emergency room or be hospitalized than those who did not use cannabis.

“Our study shows that cannabis use in the general population is associated with an increased risk of clinically serious adverse events, in particular the need to go to the emergency room or be hospitalized,” said lead author Dr. Nicholas Vosoris, St. Michael’s Hospital Pulmonologist and Associate Fellow at the hospital’s Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.

“Unlike tobacco, there is some uncertainty or controversy regarding the adverse health effects of cannabis. Some people may believe that cannabis has some health benefits and is otherwise harmless. Our research highlights for those who use or intend to use cannabis that [behavior] associated with important adverse health events.

Cannabis use is associated with "increased risk of clinically serious negative outcomes."

Cannabis use is associated with an “increased risk of clinically serious adverse effects”.

The study was conducted by researchers from Unity Health Toronto and ICES, an independent non-profit research institute formerly known as the Institute for Clinical Evaluation Sciences in Canada.


Serious injury and lung disease were the two leading causes of emergency room visits and hospitalizations among cannabis users.

“Marijuana – which can also be called cannabis, weed, weed or drug refers to the dried flowers, leaves, stems and seeds of the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant contains over 100 compounds (or cannabinoids), the CDC says.

One such compound is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is mind-altering and is often referred to as a “high” according to the CDC.

Canadian researchers conducted a retrospective study of Ontarians aged 12 to 65 between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2015, noting that Ontario is the most populous province in Canada with a population of approximately 14.7 million, which accounts for an estimated 40% of the country’s population, and is also culturally diverse.

Marijuana refers to the dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of cannabis.

Marijuana refers to the dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of cannabis.
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Canadian researchers first collected survey data from people who reported cannabis use and then linked it to health data from several databases.

Those participants who reported cannabis use within the past year were matched to one of three control groups: people who never reported cannabis use, used cannabis only once, or used more than 12 months ago, and adjusted for many confounding variables including physical and mental. diseases, tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use.

The aim of the study was to find out if there was an association between marijuana use and hospitalizations or emergency room visits related to lung problems.

The researchers found no strong association with marijuana use and emergency room visits or hospitalizations. associated with respiratory problems or death from any reason.

But they found that emergency room visits or hospitalizations for any reason increased by about 22% among those who used marijuana, suggesting that marijuana may be associated with adverse health effects.


A previous study found that only cannabis smokers who had more than 20 joints per year had worse lung function, so the researchers suggest their results could be explained by the fact that smokers were exposed to too little cannabis smoke in the study.

Some study participants also did not smoke cannabis, but were instead exposed to a non-inhalation type, which is less likely to cause lung disease than cannabis inhalation.

And the possible passive smoking of cannabis among the control group participants could “contaminate” the control group.

“Smoked marijuana, regardless of how smoked, can damage lung tissue and cause scarring and damage to small vessels“, the CDC said in a statement.

Many of the same toxins and carcinogens that are cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke are also found in marijuana smoke, according to the agency.

Marijuana is the most used "federally illicit drug" in America, according to the CDC.

According to the CDC, marijuana is the most commonly used “federal illegal drug” in America.

Marijuana smoking can also lead to a greater risk of respiratory problems like bronchitis and mucus production, but these symptoms usually improve after marijuana smokers stop smoking, according to the CDC.

Recreational marijuana is illegal in the US under federal law, but at least 19 states have passed laws allowing the drug to be sold, reports The Hill.

it most commonly used “federal illicit drug” in the US, according to the CDC.

About 48.2 million people used it in 2019, according to the CDC.

But almost every state in the country, with the exception of Idaho, Nebraska and Kansas, has legalized some form of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, reports The Hill.


“More research is needed to understand the specific effects of marijuana smoking on lung cancer and other respiratory diseases such as emphysema (a lung disease that causes shortness of breath) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),” the CDC said in a statement.

Results of our research support health professionals and the government to discourage recreational cannabis use among the general population. Given the context of the decriminalization of cannabis in Canada, which has likely contributed to the greater use of the product among the public, our medical and political leaders must do more to educate and remind citizens of the harmful health effects of cannabis. Dr. Vosoris said in a press release.