TN Department of Health issues public health advisory on cannabis
By Kim Swindell Wood | September 28, 2018 6:04 am
Evidence, known harms increase concerns about risks to health
The Tennessee Department of Health is issuing a public health and safety advisory to warn Tennesseans about the risks of harm associated with use of products derived from Cannabis, including marijuana and hemp that claim to benefit health. TDH is partnering with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in urging Tennesseans to be aware of the risks associated with these products.
Among the risks cited in the new TDH Public Health and Safety Advisory are:
- Marijuana is addictive. Approximately one in 11 adults who use marijuana will become addicted, and the risk of addiction is greater among youth.
- Marijuana now available is more potent with greater levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the primary psychoactive substance in Cannabis than marijuana available in previous decades. The long-term health or developmental consequences of exposure to these high concentrations of marijuana are unknown.
- Marijuana use is associated with adverse health outcomes including development of psychoses like schizophrenia and increased risk of motor vehicle crashes.
- Marijuana is particularly harmful to a developing child. Smoking marijuana during pregnancy is associated with being born at low birth weight, a risk factor for death in the child’s first year of life.
- There are a limited number of conditions where there is substantial or conclusive evidence for using Cannabis-derived products as medication, but outside of these conditions, there is not sufficient evidence to show that any form of Cannabis, including marijuana or hemp, are safe and effective as medication.
- Marijuana impairs judgment and can lead to actions that result in death.
Substance abuse is a treatable and preventable disease. Call the Tennessee REDLINE at 1-800-889-9789 for immediate help for anyone suffering from a substance use disorder.
The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments. Learn more about TDH services and programs at www.tn.gov/health.