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Background: Cannabis is the most prevalent illegal drug used and the second most common cause of ED drug-related complaints in the USA. Recently, newer more potent strains, concentrated THC products, and consumption methods have become available. Objective: Our first objective was to define cannabis use in the USA and provide a summary background on its current preparations, pharmacokinetics, vital sign and physical exam findings, adverse effects, and laboratory testing. Our second objective, using the aforementioned summary as relevant background information, was to present and summarize the care and treatment of the most commonly reported cannabis-related topics relevant to ED physicians. Methods: We first performed an extensive literature search of peer-reviewed publications using New PubMed and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials to identify the most commonly reported cannabis-related topics in emergency care. Once the six topic areas were identified, we undertook an extensive narrative literature review for each section of this paper using New PubMed and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from the inception of the databases to September 30, 2020. Results: The six subject areas that were most frequently reported in the medical literature relevant to cannabis-related ED care were acute intoxication/overdose, pediatric exposure, cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, cannabis withdrawal, e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI), and synthetic cannabinoids. Conclusion: As cannabis becomes more widely available with the adoption of state medical cannabis laws, ED-related cannabis visits will likely rise. While cannabis has historically been considered a relatively safe drug, increased legal and illegal access to newer formulations of higher potency products and consumption methods have altered the management and approach to ED patient care and forced physicians to become more vigilant about recognizing and treating some new cannabis-related life-threatening conditions.
Takakuwa, K. M., & Schears, R. M. (2021, December 1). The emergency department care of the cannabis and synthetic cannabinoid patient: a narrative review. International Journal of Emergency Medicine. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12245-021-00330-3