Following up on a groundbreaking report on the safety and efficacy of CBD, the World Health Organization just came out with a similar report on cannabis in general, the impact of which may be felt globally.
Much like here in the US, the World Health Organization still naively lists cannabis on the same schedule as heroin and nose beers. However, that might be about to change for the highly influential WHO after their very first report on cannabis was made public last week shining a very positive light on the plant we all love.
Hot off the presses straight out of Geneva, Switzerland, Section 1.1 of this peer-reviewed report kicks the entire thing off with the opening line “Cannabis is a relatively safe drug, which is not associated with acute fatal overdoses.”
Their analysis only got more cannabis-friendly from there.
Citing the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), the report states that lethality studies in test subjects show the doses of cannabis needed to kill someone is well beyond what they think could realistically be consumed by any human.
They say that a 150lb human would need to smoke 260 joints at once to die from weed, which they equate to roughly 4 grams of THC. We’re not sure how these numbers stack up when dabbing, but with concentrates and isolates being so popular (as well as videos of people globbing them on youtube), 4 grams seems low and those joints sound shitty.
Regardless, even the DEA admits that nobody has ever overdosed on weed.
The very next section talks about how cannabis use affects the cardiovascular system. Again, the World Health Organization clearly defends cannabis by stating that although initial use may result in slightly higher blood pressure readings, continued use builds a tolerance to those effects and can actually lower a user’s blood pressure and heart rate over time.
The same section drops this bomb on weed-haters – “There is an uncertain association between cannabis use and heart attack but any association appears at best to be weak.” – following up with findings that cannabis use was associated with a reduced risk of atrial fibrillation (AFIB) in a recent study.
The WHO report is anything but weak, going on to say that “cannabis smoking acutely improves airway dynamics and forced expiratory capacity due to the bronchodilatory effects of Δ9-THC”. Though it should be noted, the report does warn that anything over 3-5 joints PER MONTH could lead to respiratory degradation and that vaporizing instead of smoking may be a better option for heavy users.
The amazing anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant effects of marijuana are described in detail but the study warns that if there is any danger with cannabis, it is with unregulated cannabis which could be grown/treated improperly and contaminated with pesticides and/or toxic microbes.
In the Netherlands, for example, the entire supply of cannabis is government-regulated. So all flower products are treated (often with gamma irradiation) to remove this contamination to what they have deemed to be an acceptable level.
While we certainly do not want that level of federal intrusion into this industry here, unfortunately, some regulation is required to keep everybody honest and the weed safe to smoke.
Head, neck, and lung cancers are not caused by cannabis use, although the report does point to evidence of increased chances of testicular cancer by heavy cannabis smokers.
Looking back on an article we wrote a few weeks ago regarding cannabis use and pregnancy, the WHO report warns that there is a possible correlation to low birth weight due to cannabis use by an expecting mother. The report also refuses to rule out the possibility that exposure to cannabis in utero could lead to cognitive disorders or even a propensity to substance abuse for the child after birth.
There is some really interesting and perhaps useful info regarding cannabis and its effect on mental health and then the report dives into the controversial subject of driving while high. It says that cannabis use is in fact associated with a slightly increased risk of being in an accident.
“The relatively low risk may be due to cannabis users overestimating their level of impairment and recruiting strategies to compensate for the effects of cannabis on their driving performance.”
(translated: Stoners sit at a STOP sign and wait for it to say GO)
The WHO will reconvene one final time before making its final recommendation regarding cannabis to the UN Secretary General. If that final report is in favor of progressive cannabis reform its impact will be felt globally. Though the World Health Organization does not dictate US drug policy directly, it certainly gives cover to domestic lawmakers in favor of reform.
We’ll let the World Health Organization lead us out on this piece with what may be the most accurate scientific description of getting baked that we’ve ever read:
“Cannabis consumption causes euphoria, laughter and talkativeness. It is an appetite stimulant and may promote dry mouth and dizziness as well as increasing visual, olfactory and auditory perceptions. Conjunctival reddening occurs, due to vasodilation of blood vessels in the eyes. Time perception may be altered and some users may experience anxiety and panic reactions. Cannabis intoxication can impair attention and short-term memory function and can precipitate psychotic reactions in vulnerable individuals. The pharmacological effects of cannabis are subject to tolerance following repeated exposure and therefore many of the marked reactions observed in naive users are diminished in frequent users.”
Cannabis consumption causes euphoria
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