JUL 11, 2019 9:12 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
  • Chelsey is a content strategist and copywriter with a business degree. She has a background in public relations and marketing and enjoys writing about various topics, from health, to lifestyle, to women’s issues. Since 2016, she has written for a variety of online publications, earning well over 100,000 shares. She published her first book in 2019.
You May Also Like
MAR 17, 2020
Immunology
MAR 17, 2020
What's the deal with SARS-CoV-2's spike protein?
Structurally, SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) are spherical shells consisting of a lipid membrane, with a core containing the virus’ gene...
MAR 16, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
MAR 16, 2020
Cannabis Reduces ADHD Med Use in New Study
As the legalization of medical cannabis increases in the U.S. and around the globe, its effects on a variety of conditions and behaviors are under examinat...
MAR 20, 2020
Health & Medicine
MAR 20, 2020
Why Does COVID-19 Kill So Many Older People?
Since early statistics began to emerge from China, it seemed that COVID-19 tended to affect older people more than younger ones. And now, data from Italy i...
MAR 23, 2020
Microbiology
MAR 23, 2020
The Loss of a Sense of Smell May be a Major Symptom of COVID-19
The loss of the sense of smell may be a symptom of a COVID-19 infection in people with no other symptoms....
MAR 24, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
MAR 24, 2020
Crumpling Graphene Makes It an Ultra-Sensitive Biosensor
Liquid biopsies often need to make many copies of RNA or DNA before they are detectable. New research aims to change that....
MAR 25, 2020
Cardiology
MAR 25, 2020
Staying Fit While Avoiding COVID-19
For those used to working out at a gym, the current circumstances requiring us all to remain isolated as much as possible might be throwing off their routi...
Loading Comments...