Marijuana – Is It Really a Dangerous Drug?
“I was amazed we didn’t see effects [of marijuana use],” said UCSF epidemiologist Mark Pletcher, who headed the study.
One assessment of various research points to small sample size and inadequate study design as reasons for scientists’ inability to nail down a link between cannabis and cancer hazard. However, some suspect that this kind of link does not exist, and that marijuana may even have cancer-preventive effects. Even a 2008 study, as an example, suggested that smoking marijuana can decrease the risk of tobacco-associated lung cancer, calculating that people who smoke marijuana and tobacco have a decrease risk of cancer than those who smoke only tobacco where to buy cbd oil near me (though still a higher risk than non smokers).
But Pletcher isn’t sanguine about marijuana’s effects in the lungs, and suspects that there could nonetheless be long-term lung damage that can be difficult to find. “We really can’t guarantee ourselves about heavy usage,” he clarified.
Your mind on drugs
There is some evidence to suggest that benign subjects show increased risk-taking and impaired decisionmaking, and score on memory tasks-and residual impairments have been discovered days or weeks after usage. Some studies also link years of regular marijuana use to deficits in learning, memory, and concentration. A recent and widely discussed report on the IQs of New Zealanders followed since birth found the cannabis users who’d started their dependence in adolescence had lower IQs than non-users.
However, not 4 weeks after, a re-analysis and computer simulation at the Ragnar Frisch Center for Economic Research in Oslo countered the Duke findings. Ole Rogeberg contended that socioeconomic factors, not bud use, led to the decreased IQs found in cannabis customers.
Rogeberg’s end counters a sizable literature, but which supports a connection between marijuana use and neuro-physiological reduction. Studies in both animals and humans suggest that those who have a bud habit in adolescence face long term unwanted effects in brain function, together with some users finding it tough to concentrate and find new activities.
Notably, most studies on the subject claim that while there could be unwanted effects of smoking for a young adult, users that begin in adulthood are often unaffected. This may be on account of endocannabinoid-directed reorganization of the brain throughout puberty, Hermann clarified. The intake of cannabinoids that comes with marijuana use may result in irreversible “misleading of the neural increase,” he said.
Besides the consequences of intelligence, many studies suggest that smoking bud raises the probability of schizophrenia, and may have similar impacts on the brain. Hermann’s group used MRI to find cannabis-associated neuron damage inside the pre frontal cortex and found it was similar to brain changes seen in schizophrenia patients. Other studies further imply that weed-smoking schizophrenics have greater disease-associated brain fluctuations and also function better on cognitive tests than their counterparts that are senile.
However much of the research can not distinguish between brain changes caused by marijuana use and symptoms related to the illness. It’s possible that cannabis-smoking schizophrenics “may possibly have disagreeable ailments [that precede full blown schizophrenia] and so are self-medicating” with the psychotropic drug, said Roland Lamarine, a professor of community health at California State University, Chico. “We’ve not seen a gain in schizophrenics, despite a lot more marijuana use.”
In addition to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a neurotoxic cannabinoid that’s responsible for bud’s mind-altering properties, the medication also contains an assortment of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), which can drive back neuron damage. Hermann discovered that the volume of the hippocampus-a brain area crucial for memory processing-is marginally smaller in cannabis users compared to in non-users, however more CBD-rich marijuana countered that effect.
A deadly cocktail?
While data behind the harmful consequences of marijuana on its are feeble, some investigators are more worried about the medication along with other compounds, such as smoking, alcohol, or alcoholism. Some studies suggest, for instance, that marijuana may increase cravings for other drugs, leading to its notorious label as a “gateway drug.” Research released earlier this month supported this theory as it found that, at least in rats, THC vulnerability raises cigarette’s addictive consequences. What’s more, marijuana may well not mix well with prescription drugs, as cannabis causes the liver to metabolize drugs more slowly, increasing the probability of drug toxicity.
Despite these concerns, however, Lamarine believes it’s improbable that the consequences of cannabis use are dire, even given the total amount of research that has focused on the discipline. “We’re not planning to get up to the large discovery that bud induces major brain damage,” he said. “We’d have found that by now.”