Restrictions On Marijuana Research

Despite the fact that many studies in the past have demonstrated the usefulness of marijuana, outdated regulations and attitudes have thwarted legitimate marijuana research. This is evident from the fact that even though marijuana’s usefulness can be gauged from the fact that it has been made legal in many states of the United States of America, there are many states that still term it as a Schedule 1 drug, alongside LSD and heroin.

The worst part is that marijuana has been defined as having no medical use and potentially additive in nature even though medical studies have proven that medical marijuana is one of the best drugs for treating health complications such as arthritis, neuropathic pain, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, movement disorders, malignant tumors, HIV, the AIDS wasting syndrome, or dementia. Medical marijuana is also second to none when it comes to providing relief to patients suffering from health diseases, including hepatitis C, incontinence, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes mellitus, fibromyalgia, Huntington’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome.

If that was not all, the marijuana provided by he National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is regarded as less potent when compared to the marijuana often easily available on the street. Furthermore, studies that emphasize on finding the positive benefits of marijuana smoking are not easily funded, while those highlighting negative effects of marijuana get easy funds.

Marijuana & Our Brain

The effects of marijuana reach different parts of the body along with the brain, irrespective of how it is used.

Since marijuana includes hundreds of chemicals, it leads to hundreds of additional compounds when burned. When abused or used indiscriminately, marijuana use may lead to side effects such as memory and learning problems, loss of coordination, paranoia, panic attacks, problem solving difficulties, and distorted perception. It is important to note that marijuana use is not lethal when compared to alcohol. Since the initial effects of marijuana wear off on their own after an hour or two, the use of marijuana is relatively safer than of other drugs.

But, marijuana chemicals remain in the body for much longer and this may mean that marijuana may still be present in your body after four days if you had taken one milligram of THC, the primary ingredient of marijuana.

However, medicinal marijuana has been found to be great value for stopping convulsions, reducing muscle spasms, eliminating menstrual pain, stimulating appetite, and to treat health complications such as HIV, AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. This is just one of the reasons why marijuana has been considered as the best and safest drug known to the mankind as the drug has never taken a life on its own in the history of human beings.

Brain Cells Proliferated By Marijuana

Most drugs of abuse reduce the generation of new neurons in the brain, but the effects of marijuana on this process, known as neurogenesis, had not been clear.

In a paper that appeared online in advance of print publication of the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Xia Zhang and colleagues from University of Saskatchewan demonstrated that a potent and synthetic cannabinoid promotes neurogenesis besides exerting anti-anxiety and antidepressant-like effects.

It was suggested by the researchers that there is a positive correlation between increased adult neurogenesis and modified behavior following chronic cannabinoid treatment.

The offered data helped in expanding the present knowledge about the positive roles cannabinoids and their receptors play in brain processing and medicine. It was also revealed that cannabinoids is perhaps the only drug that can enhance adult neurogenesis and subsequently modify behavior.

Reference:
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
Journal of Clinical Investigation
the-jci.org/article.php?id=25509

Merit of Medical Marijuana

Research Suggests Medical Marijuana Has Merit

merit-medical-marijuanaAccording to California researchers who presented an update of their findings to the California Legislature and also released them to the public, marijuana can be a promising treatment for some specific, pain-related medical conditions.

”I think the evidence is getting better and better that marijuana, or the constituents of cannabis, are useful at least in the adjunctive treatment of neuropathy,” Igor Grant, MD, executive vice-chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, tells WebMD.

”We don’t know if it’s a front-line treatment. I’m hoping the results of our studies will prompt larger-scale studies that involve a much more varied population.”

”This [report given to the Legislature] sets the stage of larger-scale studies,” he says.

Some experts who reviewed the report said they worry about the health effects of marijuana smoke in the long term and some of the studies are flawed.

The researchers show the value of marijuana for pain-related conditions in the report and communicated that marijuana is helpful in reducing pain in people suffering from spinal cord injury and other conditions (appeared in Journal of Pain). It was also remarked pain perception can be reduced with medium doses of marijuana (appeared in Anesthesiology) and pain in HIV patients can be reduced with smoked marijuana (appeared in Neuropsychopharmacology). According to a study appearing in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, researchers found that vaporized marijuana can be safe.

References:

  • Igor Grant, MD, executive vice-chairman, department of psychiatry, University of California San Diego School of Medicine; director, Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, University of California.
  • Kevin Weissman, PharmD, director of drug information services, Los Angeles County+University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles.
  • Joel Hay PhD, professor of pharmaceutical economics and policy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
  • Abrams, D. Neurology, February 2007; vol 68: pp 515-521.
  • Abrams, D. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, November 2007; vol 82: pp 572-578.
  • Ellis, R. Neuropsychopharmacology, published online Aug. 6, 2008; vol 34: pp 672-680.
  • Wallace, M . Anesthesiology, November 2007; vol 107: pp 785-796.
  • Wilsey, B. Journal of Pain, April 2008; vol 9: pp 506-521.

Effects Of Marijuana

marijuana-leaf(DISCLAIMER: this article was written based on the information provided by NIDA, which is heavily lobbied, funded and pressured by large corporations involved in tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceuticals)

pdfMarijuana Abuse , [PDF format, 4.1 MB]
Source: NIDA Drug Abuse

In today’s times, marijuana (also known as hemp, weed, and cannabis) is one of the most abused and illicit drugs. In this piece of information, we will be reading about effects of marijuana so that all of us are on the same knowledge platform.

The active ingredient in marijuana, Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), rapidly passes to the bloodstream from the lungs to carry it throughout the human body, including the brain. THC binds to specific sites known as cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) that are located on the surface of nerve cells. The CBRs are part of a vast communication network called the endocannabinoid system that plays an all-important role in the normal development and function of the brain.

Effects of THC are similar to those of naturally-occurring chemicals known as endogenous chemicals that control many of the mental and physical functions that could be disrupted by use of marijuana. The smoke of marijuana stimulates the CBRs artificially to disrupt function of the endogenous cannabinoids, which can lead to addiction over a long period of time and withdrawal symptoms when marijuana use is stopped. Prolonged or addictive use of marijuana can lead to anxiety, distrust, fear, panic, change in appetite or weight, altered perception of time, and heightened sensory perception.

marijuana-effects

Image Source: http://www.nida.nih.gov/researchreports/marijuana/

In addition to these effects of smoking marijuana, negative effects of weed may include loss of the sense of identity, hallucination, and delusions. The effects of smoking weeds may also include impairment of an individual’s ability to form new memories and disruptions in terms of posture, coordination between organs of the body, and ability to learn.

The following 8 cannabis-associated disorders have been recognized by The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR):

  1. Cannabis dependence

  2. Cannabis-induced psychotic disorder, with delusions

  3. Cannabis-induced psychotic disorder, with hallucinations

  4. Cannabis-induced anxiety disorder

  5. Cannabis-related disorder not otherwise specified

  6. Cannabis abuse

  7. Cannabis intoxication

  8. Cannabis intoxication delirium

The list of effects of marijuana may also include short-term and long-term complications such as sleep impairment, increased heart rate, psychotic episodes, chronic cough, bronchitis, or schizophrenia in vulnerable individuals. Prolonged or addictive marijuana use may also be associated with unexplained need for money or financial problems, secretive or suspicious behaviors, slurred speech, irritability, angry outbursts, bloodshot eyes, and drop in attendance and performance at work or school.

References:

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/286661-overview

http://archives.drugabuse.gov/nida_notes/nnvol11n2/MarijuanaTearoff.html

http://www.nida.nih.gov/researchreports/marijuana/

http://helpguide.org/mental/drug_substance_abuse_addiction_signs_effects_treatment.htm

http://www.drugsno.com/identify-drug-abuse/signs-of-marijuana-abuse/

http://drugabuse.gov/infofacts/marijuana.html