Large cross-sectional and longitudinal studies have not found a link between Cannabis smoking and long-term pulmonary consequences, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.22,23 The technology of Cannabis delivery systems has progressed far more rapidly than the clinical evidence for or against such technology.
“Vaping” is an informal term for inhalation of aerosolized Cannabis components and water vapor. Vaporizers do not heat Cannabis to the point of combustion; therefore, they provide less exposure to smoke-related toxicants while providing similar time of onset.
Neuropsychiatric adverse effects. Data regarding the relationship between Cannabis use and psychiatric disorders are incompletely understood, in conflict, and related to cannabinoid type. Consider Pennsylvania’s addition of anxiety disorder as a “serious medical condition” covered under the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act.24 Although patients often report the use of medical Cannabis to treat anxiety,25 panic attacks are often associated with Cannabis use.26
While there is a clear association between Cannabis use and psychotic disorder, a causal link has yet to be unequivocally established. However, the rate of psychiatric hospitalization is increased in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia patients who use Cannabis heavily.27
We recommend, therefore, that physicians screen patients for serious mental health concerns before recommending or certifying them to use medical Cannabis.
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