Accurate science-based warnings on marijuana/THC and in
advertisements should be available to the public.
The marijuana/THC now in use is not the cannabis of the 1960s, the
1970s, the 1980s or the 1990s. THC levels at that time were 4% or less.
Currently used products are 5 to 20 times more potent. The science is
settled that marijuana/THC causes a cluster of well-documented harms:
psychosis, impaired driving, addiction, suicide, uncontrollable vomiting
and harm to fetuses and nursing infants and now also cardiovascular,
cerebrovascular and lung injury.
Physicians recommend, at a minimum, a 31-word warning label based
upon medical literature. The warning is short and to the point.
“WARNING: Cannabis/THC may cause: 1. Psychosis* 2. Impaired
driving 3. Addiction 4. Suicide attempt* 5. Uncontrollable vomiting 6.
Harm to fetus/nursing baby *This can occur in individuals with no
previous history of psychosis or mental illness.”
Some of the best documented, most severe consequences of
marijuana/THC use include psychosis and suicide attempts by
individuals with no prior mental health history. The peer-reviewed
literature strongly supports the causal link between marijuana/THC and
psychosis. Hundreds of articles support the link to psychosis. Two
leaders in the field of schizophrenia Dr. W. Hall and Dr. Robin Murray
have weighed in on this issue. Dr. Hall wrote in 2020 in support of the
fact that “cannabis is a component cause of psychosis.” See Murray and
Hall, “Will Legalization and Commercialization of Cannabis Increase
the Incidence and Prevalence of Psychosis?, JAMA Psychiatry 4/8/20,
p.E1. Dr. Sir Robin Murray, the most cited researcher in schizophrenia,
has said, ‘no serious scientist continues to dispute that cannabis is a
component cause of psychosis.’
Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome: CHS did not substantially exist before
cannabis commercialization. It can be expensive to diagnose and treat.
Victims have died from CHS. As with cannabis-induced psychosis, the
treatment of choice is the cessation of marijuana/THC use. Until users
see and understand that marijuana/THC can cause uncontrolled
vomiting, they won’t suspect there is a connection and may continue or
increase their marijuana/THC consumption in a futile attempt to mitigate
the hyperemesis. Victim groups describe their suffering:
Pregnant or breastfeeding: a warning should state in plain English that
the fetus or infant may be harmed if one continues to use
marijuana/THC during pregnancy.
Addiction to marijuana/THC: Use may cause addiction/use disorder,
with all the costs, pain to self and others, and loss of freedom that
accompanies the development of a substance misuse or use disorder.
In Colorado, marijuana/THC has been commercially available for
medical use since 2001 and for nonmedical use since 2014. Recently the
state overhauled their law because of the incidence of psychosis,
cannabis hyperemesis, and other marijuana/THC health harms presenting
in unsuspecting users. Colorado now requires a warning be provided to
purchasers of marijuana/THC concentrate (concentrated THC is defined
here as greater than 10%).
“WARNING Use of Marijuana Concentrate May Lead t0:
- Psychotic symptoms and/or Psychotic disorder (delusions,
hallucinations or difficulty distinguishing reality);
- Mental Health Symptoms/Problems;
- Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) (uncontrolled and repetitive
- Cannabis use disorder/dependence (including physical and
It is unclear if this Colorado rule is enforced. The misconception or
misrepresentation of Marijuana/THC as a benign drug has been
advanced by the cannabis industry and its advocates. With a low
perception of harm, now we are seeing more and more of the unfortunate
consequences of increased marijuana/THC use.
As with tobacco, changing behavior first requires awareness. The FDA
requires their evidence-based health warnings for Marinol/THC
lbl.pdf be given to individuals using Marinol/THC in the United States,
even in states where the drug is illegal and even though marijuana/THC
is federally illegal. Yet the US government allows marijuana/THC to be
sold in stores without public warnings of its health risks and
advertisements on federal highway billboards without any warnings are
seen daily by American children.
Required health warnings are an effective, economical approach to
educating the public at no added cost to the government or consumers.
The difference between effectively communicated, science-based health
warnings, and no or inaccurate warnings, maybe the difference between
sickness and health. Prompt action is required to make the public
effectively aware of the FDA’s and the medical doctors’ science-based
health warnings for Marijuana/THC.
For more information and
references please see the IASIC1.org website and