Emergent Medical Illnesses Related to Cannabis Use.

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As more states rush to legalize the use of cannabis products, both medically and recreationally, there are more medical harms being seen in emergency departments (ED). The tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration today is much stronger than the concentration from the 90s. In the 1990s most typical « joints » contained 1-3 mg of THC. Today, plants are being raised and modified to produce a higher concentration of THC. In turn, the amount of cannabidiol (CBD) is decreasing. Previously, people would smoke 1-3 mg of THC. The typical joint in Colorado contains 18 mg of THC or more. Currently, in the ED, we see patients who self-report smoking 2,000 mg or more of THC in a day. In 2015, 2.6 million individuals started cannabis use, 45% were 12-17 years of age.3 This brief report includes some of the more common illnesses that have been seen over the last four years of legalization in Colorado, and is by no means inclusive of all the potential problems that can occur. Among the many untoward effects being seen, illnesses that will be discussed are: cannabinoid associated hyperemesis, acute psychosis, cannabinoid catatonia syndrome, acute myo-pericarditis and ingestions.

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