DONALD P. TASHKIN, M.D., F.A.C.P.; JAMES R. SOARES, M.D.; ROBERT S. HEPLER, M.D.; BERTRAND J. SHAPIRO, M.D., F.A.C.P.; GARY S. RACHELEFSKY, M.D.
Recent advances in development of immunoassay methods for marijuana constituents in body fluids provide a rapid means of detection for forensic purposes and a useful research tool for accurate quantitation of dose-response relation. Therapeutic possibilities of cannabis, such as reduction in intraocular pressure and bronchodilatation, may stimulate development of synthetic cannabinoid derivatives that meet acceptable standards of safety and efficacy for treatment of glaucoma and asthma. Cannabis use may have harmful short- and long-term impacts on health. Potentially serious short-term effects include predisposition to angina during exercise in patients with coronary artery disease. Even in healthy subjects, marijuana smoking decreases peak exercise performance, possibly because of its chronotropic effect with achievement of maximum heart rate at reduced work loads. Although no conclusive evidence exists for long-term biologic consequences of chronic cannabis use, preliminary evidence, suggesting impairment in pulmonary function and immune responses, requires further investigation with large-scale epidemiologic studies.
TASHKIN DP, SOARES JR, HEPLER RS, SHAPIRO BJ, RACHELEFSKY GS. Cannabis, 1977. Ann Intern Med. 1978;89:539–549. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-89-4-539
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1978;89(4):539-549.
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