Marijuana – Is It Really a Dangerous Drug?

Just take a deep breath!

In 2012, a report at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) calculated that even smoking just one joint every single day for two decades may be benign, even though many participants just smoked three or two joints every month. “I was surprised we didn’t see effects [of marijuana use],” reported UCSF epidemiologist Mark Pletcher, who headed the analysis CBD capsules UK.

1 assessment of varied research points to small sample size and inadequate study design as grounds for scientists’ inability to nail down a link between cannabis and cancer risk.

“We really can not guarantee ourselves about heavy usage,” he explained.

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 found 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, “that you might definitely see being a effect of cannabis usage, IQ goes down,” said Derik Hermann, a clinical neuroscientist at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Germany who was 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. Ole Rogeberg contended that socioeconomic factors, not marijuana use, contributed to the lower IQs seen in cannabis users.

Rogeberg’s conclusion counters a sizeable literature, however, which supports a link between pot use and neurophysiological decline. Studies in both humans and animals suggest that people 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 on the subject suggest that while
there

may be negative consequences of smoking as a teen, users who begin in adulthood are generally unaffected. This may be due to endocannabinoid-directed reorganization of the brain during puberty, Hermann explained. The intake of cannabinoids that comes with pot use may cause irreversible “deceiving of this neurological increase,” he said.

In addition to the consequences for intelligence, many studies suggest that smoking marijuana raises the risk of schizophrenia, and may 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 similar to brain changes seen in schizophrenia patients. Other studies further suggest that weed-smoking schizophrenics have greater disease-associated brain changes and perform worse on cognitive tests than their non-smoking counterparts.

But much of 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 “may possibly have disagreeable ailments [that precede fullblown schizophrenia] and therefore are self-medicating” with the psychotropic drug, said Roland Lamarine, a professor of community health at California State University, Chico. “We have not seen a gain in schizophrenics, in spite of a whole lot more marijuana usage.”

In reality, other research shows that cannabis-using schizophrenics score better on cognitive tests compared to non-using schizophrenics. Such conflicting reports might be a result of the varying concentrations-and varying effects-of cannabinoids in bud. Along with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a neurotoxic cannabinoid that’s accountable for bud’s anti inflammatory properties, the medication also comprises a number of non psychoactive cannabinoids, for example cannabidiol (CBD), that may drive back neuron harm. Hermann revealed that the level of the hippocampus-a brain area crucial for memory processing-is marginally smaller compared to cannabis users compared to in non-users, however more CBD-rich marijuana countered that result.

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