The adverse health effects of chronic cannabis use

Authors

  • Wayne Hall,

    Corresponding author
    1. The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Site, Herston, Australia
    2. National Addiction Centre, Kings College London, London, United Kingdom
    • Wayne Hall, The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Site, Herston, QLD 4029 Australia. E-mail: w.hall@uq.edu.au

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  • Louisa Degenhardt

    1. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    2. Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
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Abstract

This paper summarizes the most probable of the adverse health effects of regular cannabis use sustained over years, as indicated by epidemiological studies that have established an association between cannabis use and adverse outcomes; ruled out reverse causation; and controlled for plausible alternative explanations. We have also focused on adverse outcomes for which there is good evidence of biological plausibility. The focus is on those adverse health effects of greatest potential public health significance – those that are most likely to occur and to affect a substantial proportion of regular cannabis users. These most probable adverse effects of regular use include a dependence syndrome, impaired respiratory function, cardiovascular disease, adverse effects on adolescent psychosocial development and mental health, and residual cognitive impairment. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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