Marijuana : Do you find it Such a Damaging Pharmaceutical?
Have a deep breath!
In 2012, a study at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) calculated that even smoking just one joint each and every day for 20 years may be benign, though most participants only smoked two or three joints each month. “I was surprised we didn’t see effects [of marijuana use],” said UCSF epidemiologist Mark Pletcher, who led the study.
One assessment of various epidemiological studies points to small sample size and poor study design as reasons for scientists’inability to nail down a link between cannabis and cancer risk. However many suspect that such a link doesn’t exist, and that marijuana could even have cancer-preventive effects. A 2008 study, like, suggested that smoking marijuana may reduce the risk of tobacco-associated lung cancer, calculating that folks who smoke both marijuana and tobacco have a lowered danger of cancer than those that smoke only tobacco (though still a greater risk than non-smokers).
But even Pletcher isn’t sanguine about marijuana’s effects on the lungs, and suspects that there could be long-term lung damage that may be hard to detect. “We really can’t reassure ourselves about heavy use,” he explained.
Your brain on drugs
There’s some evidence to claim that stoned subjects exhibit increased risk-taking and impaired decision-making, and score worse on memory tasks-and residual impairments have now been detected days or even weeks after use. Some studies also link years of regular marijuana use to deficits in memory, learning, and concentration. A recent and widely discussed report on the IQs of New Zealanders followed since birth unearthed that cannabis users who’d started their habit in adolescence had lower IQs than non-users.
In this study, led by researchers at Duke University, “you might clearly see as a consequence of cannabis use, IQ goes down,” said Derik Hermann, a medical neuroscientist at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Germany who had been not involved in the research.
But not 4 months later, a re-analysis and computer simulation at the Ragnar Frisch Center for Economic Research in Oslo countered the Duke findings. How should I store CBD Gummies? Ole Rogeberg contended that socioeconomic factors, not marijuana use, contributed to the low IQs observed in cannabis users.
Rogeberg’s conclusion counters a large literature, however, which supports a link between pot use and neurophysiological decline. Studies in both humans and animals suggest that folks who acquiring a marijuana habit in adolescence face long-term negative impacts on brain function, with some users finding it difficult to concentrate and learn new tasks.
Notably, most studies about them claim that while there might be negative consequences of smoking as a teen, users who begin in adulthood are often unaffected. This can be due to endocannabinoid-directed reorganization of mental performance during puberty, Hermann explained. The intake of cannabinoids that is included with pot use might cause irreversible “misleading of the neural growth,” he said.
Along with the consequences for intelligence, many studies claim that smoking marijuana raises the risk of schizophrenia, and could have similar effects on the brain. Hermann’s group used MRI to detect cannabis-associated neuron damage in the pre-frontal cortex and found that it was much like brain changes observed in schizophrenia patients. Other studies further claim that weed-smoking schizophrenics have greater disease-associated brain changes and perform worse on cognitive tests than their non-smoking counterparts.
But much with this research can’t distinguish between brain changes resulting from marijuana use and symptoms associated with the disease. It’s possible that cannabis-smoking schizophrenics “might have unpleasant symptoms [that precede full-blown schizophrenia] and are self-medicating” with the psychotropic drug, said Roland Lamarine, a professor of community health at California State University, Chico. “We haven’t seen a rise in schizophrenics, despite having a lot more marijuana use.”
Actually, other research suggests that cannabis-using schizophrenics score better on cognitive tests than non-using schizophrenics. Such conflicting reports might be because of the varying concentrations-and varying effects-of cannabinoids in marijuana. Along with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a neurotoxic cannabinoid that’s in charge of marijuana’s mind-altering properties, the drug also incorporates a number of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), which could protect against neuron damage. Hermann unearthed that the amount of the hippocampus-a brain area very important to memory processing-is slightly smaller in cannabis users than in non-users, but more CBD-rich marijuana countered this effect.
A dangerous cocktail?
While data supporting the harmful aftereffects of marijuana on its own are weak, some researchers are far more worried about the drug together with other substances, such as tobacco, alcohol, or cocaine. Some studies suggest, like, that marijuana may increase cravings for other drugs, resulting in its infamous tag as a “gateway drug.” A study published earlier this month supported this theory when it unearthed that, at the very least in rats, THC exposure increases tobacco’s addictive effects. Furthermore, marijuana may not mix well with prescription drugs, as cannabis causes the liver to metabolize drugs more slowly, raising the risk of drug toxicity.