A new medical study has found that cannabis use does not appear to be related to respiratory related emergency department visits when compared with non users of the drug.
The study conducted by a team based in Canada studied 35,114 individuals in Ontario. The second largest province in Canada legalised recreational cannabis in 2018.
Of these individuals, 66% were men and the average age of the participants was 32 years old.
6,425 of the study reported that they used cannabis, 42% less than once a month with 10% reporting daily use.
The aim of the study was to examine whether those that used cannabis would visit the emergency department for respiratory related illness.
Much like cigarette smokers, there is evidence from previous studies that smoking cannabis can be linked with coughs, wheezing and lung disease.
The findings suggest that there was little difference for this between those who used cannabis and those who did not.
However, they did find that cannabis users were 25% more likely to visit the emergency department of a hospital for either emergency care or hospitalisation overall compared to those of the control group. The most common reason for such visits were “acute trauma”.
For this reason, those who completed the medical study still suggested that recreational use of the cannabis should be discouraged.
As cannabis continues to be legalised in more countries – most recently Thailand – further medical studies will be easier to conduct. In 2020 Cannabis was shown to be effective against hospital superbugs such as MRSA.