JUL 11, 2019 09:12 PM PDT

High Risk: Seizures and Coma Linked to Use of Synthetic Cannabinoids in Adolescents

WRITTEN BY: C Reardon

A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics states that exposure to acute synthetic cannabinoid toxicity is far more dangerous to the adolescent brain than traditional cannabis toxicity and is linked to higher odds of neuropsychiatric morbidity.

Since 2011, poisonings related to synthetic cannabinoids have increased significantly. The total number of patients across all age groups who have sought out emergency medical treatment for synthetic cannabinoid toxicity is 30 times that of cannabis-related visits.

Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made chemicals similar to the chemicals found in the marijuana plant. Synthetic cannabinoids are sometimes called "synthetic marijuana" and are often said to be safe and legal alternatives to cannabis. The reality is, they may be far more harmful to the human brain than the natural plant. 

Dr. Sarah Ann R. Anderson-Burnett from Columbia University Herbert and Florence Irving Medical Center, New York City says that "adolescent use of synthetic cannabinoids can lead to severe outcomes, such as coma, seizures, and severe agitation."

Using data from the Toxicology Investigators Consortium Case Registry, Dr. Anderson-Burnett and colleagues investigated the effects of both on the brain.  

Their study included 107 adolescents with only synthetic cannabinoid exposure, 38 with synthetic cannabinoid polydrug exposure, 86 with only cannabis exposure, and 117 with cannabis polydrug exposure.

They found that those with synthetic cannabis exposure had 3.89-fold increased odds of seizures and 3.42-fold enhanced odds of coma or central nervous system depression.

Those with synthetic cannabinoid polydrug exposure had 4.8-fold higher odds of seizures than the cannabis polydrug group.

Photo Source: Pixabay.com

'Physicians should be aware of these neurological effects and should send their adolescent patients for screening for synthetic cannabinoids." Dr. Aviv Weinstein from Ariel University in the Israeli settlement of Ariel in the West Bank. "There is a lack of public awareness of the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids; this evidence should be disseminated to help (prevent use) of SCs among adolescents."
 

About the Author
You May Also Like
JUL 24, 2019
Cardiology
JUL 24, 2019
Denying Woman Abortions Results In Long Lasting Consequences
Previous studies have shown that women who are denied access to abortion face threats to their mental health. It’s also possible that forced motherho...
JUL 24, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
JUL 24, 2019
How a Genetically-modified Virus can Combat Prostate Cancer
Around one in nine men will get prostate cancer, which is the second-deadliest cancer for American men after lung cancer....
JUL 24, 2019
Drug Discovery
JUL 24, 2019
Anticholinergic Drugs and Dementia?
A link between anticholinergic drug use and cognitive impairment was recently observed from observational studies on randomized clinical trials. Regenstrie...
JUL 24, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
JUL 24, 2019
Why do Mosquitoes Prefer People?
Mosquitoes are considered to be one of the deadliest animals in the world....
JUL 24, 2019
Cancer
JUL 24, 2019
Combining Breast and Lung Cancer Drugs to Overcome Treatment Resistance
The efforts to overcome cancer’s ability to evolve and resist treatment take many forms and comprise a vital and active branch of contemporary cancer...
JUL 24, 2019
Cardiology
JUL 24, 2019
Probiotics For Hypertension May Become Standard
Today, as it is relatively new frontier within scientific research, the role of the microbiome is up for debate. As scientists grow increasingly more inter...
Loading Comments...