Putting Cannabis “Research” Into Perspective
The furore around yesterday’s BMJ article on cannabis and psychosis is reverberating around the world. It shouldn’t be any surprise really that a psychoactive substance has psychoactive effects but it provides opportunity for good sensationalist copy.
In the course of dealing with today’s events, two incisive and illuminating facts emerged:
First, the study which is published in the BMJ includes a statement that says:
“Furthermore, we used a rather broad outcome measure, defined as a minimum of one positive rating on a G section item, representing psychotic experiences rather than clinically relevant psychotic disorder.”
The study asked people to say if they used cannabis and if they had experienced one of a series of “subclinical” symptoms of psychosis, like an hallucination. If they had just one yes in 10 years they counted towards the study’s findings.
Secondly, I was reviewing the number of cannabis related hospital admissions – approximately 1000 per annum. As a comparison, I checked on the number of emergency peanut allergy cases – approximately 3000 per annum.
Just say no to peanuts?