Home Medizin Notaufnahmebesuche wegen Cannabis nutzen einen Vorboten einer Angststörung

Notaufnahmebesuche wegen Cannabis nutzen einen Vorboten einer Angststörung

von NFI Redaktion

New research findings indicate that patterns of cannabis consumption leading patients to seek treatment in the emergency room increase the risk of developing an anxiety disorder and exacerbate anxiety disorders in patients who already suffer from them.

In a population-based cohort study involving over 12 million participants, about 24% of patients who visited the emergency room due to cannabis use had an outpatient visit, emergency room visit, or hospital stay for an anxiety disorder in the following three years. Among these patients, the likelihood of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder was nearly four times higher than the general population. This risk was elevated in younger men who sought emergency care due to cannabis consumption.

„There is a general belief that cannabis is relatively harmless and that it could even be a medicine that helps with various conditions,“ said lead author Daniel T. Myran, MD, MPH, researcher at the Bruyère Research Institute and assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa, Canada, in an interview with Medscape Medical News. „But the signal we see in our study is that there is a group of people who may be very vulnerable to cannabis consumption, leading to the development of anxiety disorders or using cannabis to alleviate their anxieties but only making them worse,“ Myran explained.

Photo of Dr. Daniel Myran
Daniel T. Myran, MD, MPH

The results were published on February 5 in The Lancet journal eClinicalMedicine 2024.

Cannabis and Anxiety

Cannabis consumption is increasing globally, and cannabis is the third most commonly used drug after alcohol and nicotine. The potency of cannabis has significantly increased over the years.

„Cannabis has fundamentally changed since the 1960s and 1970s,“ said Myran. The concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient, in dried cannabis flowers was 2% in the 1960s and 1970s. „The stuff being sold in North America now contains 20–30% THC, so it’s ten times stronger than what it was in the ’60s and ’70s,“ Myran explained. „This boomer generation consumed cannabis in the ’60s, and now they’re trying it again, and it’s different.“

The researchers utilized health administrative data to conduct a population-based cohort study involving all patients aged 10 to 105 years who had no prior physician visits for anxiety disorders from January 2008 to March 2019 in Ontario. They excluded all patients with one or more comorbidities from physician visits related to anxiety disorders as well as those who had one or more emergency room visits due to cannabis consumption in the last three years.

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