Cannabis use in youth is linked to bipolar symptoms in young adults, finds new research by the University of Warwick.
Researchers from Warwick Medical School found that adolescent cannabis use is an independent risk factor for future hypomania – periods of elated mood, over-active and excited behaviour, and reduced need for sleep that are often experienced as part of bipolar disorder, and have a significant impact on day-to-day life.
When cannabinoids activate signaling pathways in cancer cells they can stimulate a cell death mechanism called apoptosis, unleashing a potent anti-tumor effect. Yet cannabinoids, which have also shown strong activity against human tumor tissue grown in animal models, have undergone minimal testing in patients.
Cannabis smokers often report that they use the drug to relax or relieve stress, but few studies provide clinical evidence of these effects.
As cannabis laws become liberalised in many countries, experts writing in The Lancet Psychiatry argue that there is an urgent need to explore how cannabis use can be made safer.
The authors say that policy makers and researchers should consider regulating cannabis potency, reducing the use of tobacco (e.g. by using vapourisers), and exploring how the chemical composition of cannabis could be modified to reduce harm without altering the pleasurable effects of the drug.