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17/08/2020 - Press release

Dr. Marta Torrens and Dr. Rafael Maldonado edit a special issue of European Neuropsychopharmacology on the recreational use of cannabis

The journal is dedicating a prominent position to research on cannabis and its derivatives, its recreational use, the associated risks, and potential medical applications. It features articles by some of the most prominent figures in the field, under the editorship of Dr. Torrens and Dr. Maldonado.

The July issue of the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology is dedicating a special section to the controversy over the globally growing trend to legalise the use of marijuana for certain recreational and medical uses. This has been edited by Dr. Marta Torrens, director of the Addictions Process Group at the Hospital del Mar Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Addictions (INAD) and coordinator of the Addictions Research Group at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), and Dr. Rafael Maldonado, head of the Neuropharmacology Laboratory at the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (CEXS) at Pompeu Fabra University and the IMIM. Together they authored an editorial on the subject for the journal.

The editors emphasise that "We have managed to bring together a wide range of leading authors in this field, who offer a multidisciplinary, translational and expert view of the various uses of cannabis, in both the recreational and pharmacological scopes." This provides an updated overview of the issue, analysing possible situations of risk, the existing evidence on the use of cannabis as a treatment for various diseases, and what we know about the substance and its derivatives.

"Cannabis derivatives are one of the most important health concerns, given the high prevalence of recreational use in a large number of countries", say the editors, who warn of the potential consequences of its use on early brain development. At the same time, they point to possible changes in use patterns during the lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The authors participating in this special edition of European Neuropsychopharmacology examine cognitive problems deriving from the use of cannabis as a deterrent for its medical use, the pharmacological mechanisms involved in the development of tolerance to its effects, and its therapeutic use as an alternative to opioids in the field of neuropsychopharmacology. They also analyse its widespread use among patients with psychiatric disorders and its increased use in cases of post-traumatic stress.

Photo: Marta Torrens and Rafael Maldonado Font: Hospital del Mar/ IMIM

Reference article

Maldonado R, Torrens M. Cannabis research: Risks of recreational use and potential medical applications. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 2020; 36: 167-168.

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