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A same balanced australian science article on Medical Marijuana,

Marijuana: What science has to say | COSMOS magazine

"When it comes to the marijuana debate, science and rationality have very little to do with it: the truth about marijuana has been lost in the smoke of political rhetoric,"
"Marijuana is somewhat more harmful than aspirin." Iversen should know; he spent 10 years assessing the risks of drugs for pharmaceutical giant Merck & Company, and recently served on Britain's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

 

On the scale of harmful substances, marijuana ranks fairly low. Tobacco and alcohol exact a far greater toll, between them accounting for some 12 per cent of global deaths. Even aspirin is credited with causing in the vicinity of 50 deaths a year in Australia alone. No deaths are attributable to marijuana.

 

Yet in the war on drugs, marijuana continues to be singled out as the principal scapegoat. In 2005, some three quarters of a million people in the U.S. alone were arrested on marijuana-related charges, about 89 per cent of these just for possession. Even cancer patients who were using marijuana to ease their symptoms were among those arrested.

SOME PUT the scapegoating of marijuana down to the conservative political tide sweeping Western democracies.
Does this prove marijuana causes schizophrenia? "The jury is still out," says Iversen. "The problem is that only a small proportion of people smoke heavily, and only a small proportion of people develop schizophrenia – we're dealing with vanishingly small numbers."

 

Given the large increase in the number of people who use marijuana over the past 30 years, as well as its increased potency, if marijuana was causing schizophrenia we should see an increased number of cases. But estimates by Hall and others show that the rate has stayed at about one per cent.

"[Australian Prime Minister John] Howard can't lose on this. If he wins, he'll be wrapped in the Australian flag as protecting the youth of the future. If he loses, then the states [who are his political enemies] get labelled 'soft on drugs'."

 

Yet even if most people are not harmed by smoking marijuana – and, as Iversen puts it, "many find it a very useful drug" – there's no doubt a minority is harmed.

Marijuana: What science has to say | COSMOS magazine

 

More here as well on

# Marijuana may slow progression of Alzheimer's

# Medical marijuana

The Mardigrass Festival campaigns for the legislation of marijuana as well as offering five days of cannabis-based activities in the New South Wales town of Nimbin.(Image: Nimbin Hemp Embassy)

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The Politics of Pain

 

Clinton Promises to End Federal Raids on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

During a visit to Manchester, New Hampshire on July 13, Len Epstein of Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana told the senator and presidential candidate: "Twelve states allow medical marijuana, but the Bush administrations continues to raid patients."

 

Clinton replied: "Yes, I know. It's terrible."

Clinton has now pledged to fight racial profiling, reform the crack/powder sentencing disparity, promote treatment instead of incarceration, and now vows to end the federal war on medical marijuana patients and providers.

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How much good scientific evidence supports the claims that marijuana causes short-term and long-term memory changes and loss? I've read on the BBC, and it has already been mentioned, that marijuana use may cause schizophrenia in certain isolated individuals. Or is this memory loss thing another myth like marijuana causes sexual promiscuity, loss of morals, and acts as a gateway drug as people always moaned about when I was growing up? (I want to mention that I've never taken any illegal drugs, and relatively few prescription drugs aside from the occasional dose of antibiotics when growing up. My only addictions right now are good coffee and tea. :bouquet:) Marijuana use is becoming more common in my area, as I see teenagers and other young people light up or I smell it from far away. It's illegal, but it's fast becoming another fact of life in my part of "Happy Valley."

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People who are schizo will be shizo.

Marijuana has this strange tendency to force people to see the truth.

So if a shizo was repressing shizo tendencies, mary jane will probably make the schizo more schizo.

It does affect memory. I know this because if I smoke before bed I wob't remember any of my dreams.

Not exactly sure HOW it does, though.

Buffy?

:bouquet:

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How much good scientific evidence supports the claims that marijuana causes short-term and long-term memory changes and loss?

Indeed, much of this information is anecdotal. Even I, myself, have stories to tell where my memory wasn't specifically effected, but my ability to *recall* that memory definitely was. Memory is a complicated piece of our being, itself still being explored and our understanding increased.

 

We do not videotape the world and play it back later like a DVD. We do not have a harddrive where each experience is stored as a file. We encounter the universe and it is represented by our perception. Our perception is the result of all of our senses, and the manner in which our nerve cells are arranged. Think, for example, how two people can look at the same exact object in the same exact setting and have two COMPLETELY different experiences of it.

 

So, memory is formed once these individualized (subjective) perceptions of the world flow through our bodies. The process of information travel causes existing neural connections to strengthen, and new neural connections to form. Memory is the the connection... or, more accurately, the sequence and different groupings of these connections. Recall is the activation of those groupings, doing so as similarly as possible as the connections were activated at the time of experience.

 

This is why memory degrades with time. The connections themselves are always changing, and can never be activated in the exact same way as they were the first time.

 

 

How does this all tie into herb? The process of making those connections is highly reliant on neurotransmitters. When we have substances in our body like THC, our receptor action is changed (specifically, the cannabinoid receptors). So, the connections themselves are not formed in the same way, and I posit (this is me making this up, so bear that in mind) that our system of accessing/recalling (or re-activating) those connections is "thrown off" because of the altered context (or "chemical setting") in which they were formed.

 

Just like baking a cake. You have a very specific list of ingredients. These ingredients here would be the body's own natural elements and transmitters. We then come out with a very consistent cake, that always tastes pretty much the same. Smoking herb essentially changes the ingredients used when making the cake, so it tastes different. Since it "tastes" different, we cannot identify it as quicky and easily... sometimes not at all.

 

The memory is still there, but we cannot access it as successfully. There is also a difference between short-term storage and long-term storage, but that's another semester of classes to summarize that. :doh:

 

Please take this all with a grain of salt. I'm just thought surfing here. :lol:

 

 

Neuroscience For Kids - marijuana

THC acts on "cannabinoid" receptors which are found on neurons in many places in the brain. These brain areas are involved in memory (the hippocampus), concentration (cerebral cortex), perception (sensory portions of the cerebral cortex) and movement (the cerebellum, substantia nigra, globus pallidus).

 

http://www.hnrc.ucsd.edu/publications_pdf/348art2003.pdf

Nevertheless, when considering all 15 studies (i.e., those that met both strict and more relaxed criteria) we only noted that regular cannabis users performed worse on memory tests, but that the magnitude of the effect was very small.

 

 

Dude... where'd I leave my sunglasses? :bouquet:

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How much good scientific evidence supports

There is a lot of stuff on the web

but you probably need a year or two to do a meta study to really get to the nub

Unfortunately a lot of governments restrict research on herbs.

 

The schizophrenia connection I have read about seems new (research) and restricted to adolescents. (which is common in adolescents anyway- it is a bad time for many)

 

Again the whole thing has become so politicized and when you have the USA government with 12 BILLION dollars telling you it is bad well. . .

 

But with eminent scientists saying MJ is as dangerous as aspirin (which can be dangerous) you have to wonder.

 

I have been caring on a sad, tragic private conversation with a Hypog member who has severe nerve damage. The ONLY thing that helps is MJ but he can't get it and is to afraid to break the law. The pills don't work for him

This is cruel and tragic, that we put people thought this,- though mostly silly historical prejudice rather than science..

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fo some reason when i smoke marijuana, my heart rate greatly increases and my temperature shoots way up. it didnt used to be that way...and i still have no idea why my body reacts that way now...but i actaully dont mind.

 

obviously i stopped smoking the stuff, and i found myself to be less lathargic, more attentive, less paraniod and more able to function around humans.

 

however a few years ago marijuana helped me beat depression, and allowed me to stop taking the other drugs that my doctor had me perscribed to (which made me feel numb to life). when i stopped smoking though, and to this day, i dont feel the depression that i used to feel returning. this re-inforces my belief that so many ailments and injurys are a state of mind...and if marijuana, or anything else, allows you to change your own mentality and outlook then hooray!

 

i do not feel that people who want to smoke marijuana ought to be prosecuted for doing so.

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The schizophrenia connection I have read about seems new (research) and restricted to adolescents. (which is common in adolescents anyway- it is a bad time for many).

 

i definately can draw a connection between when i began experimenting with substances and my development of (minor) schizophranic tendencies. i think, also, that upon further thought and sifting of my memory, i can directly link these tendencies with marijuana and not the other drugs that used in my research (such as LSD, and other psychedelics). these drugs, especially the LSD, i am sure could not have helped my state much, but as i was using marijuana before trying any of these things, and then tendencies start to show themselves during these prior dates, i am then lead to the conclusion that it was infact the marijuana that was the cause.

 

suprising, and something that i have never taken the time to think about before....:turtle:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found this artical today what do you think of it? :doh:

 

Marijuana component opens the door for virus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma

 

Marijuana component opens the door for virus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma

 

August 02' date=' 2007 - PHILADELPHIA -- The major active component of marijuana could enhance the ability of the virus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma to infect cells and multiply, according to a team of researchers at Harvard Medical School. According to the researchers, low doses of Ä-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), equivalent to that in the bloodstream of an average marijuana smoker, could be enough to facilitate infection of skin cells and could even coax these cells into malignancy.

 

While most people are not at risk from Kaposi's sarcoma herpes virus (KSHV), researchers say those with lowered immune systems, such as AIDS patients or transplant recipients, are more susceptible to developing the sarcoma as a result of infection. Their findings, reported in the August 1 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, offer cautionary evidence that those with weakened immune systems should speak with their doctors before using marijuana medicinally or recreationally.

 

“These findings raise some serious questions about using marijuana, in any form, if you have a weakened immune system,” said lead study author Jerome E. Groopman, M.D., professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “While THC is best known as the main psychotropic part of marijuana, an analog of THC is the active ingredient of marinol, a drug frequently given to AIDS patients, among others, for increasing appetite and limiting chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.”

 

While previous studies indicated that marijuana smoking was associated with Kaposi's sarcoma, this is the first to demonstrate that THC itself can assist the virus in entering endothelial cells, which comprise skin and related tissue.

 

According to Dr. Groopman, the study illustrates the complicated role marijuana and other cannabinoids play in human health. Numerous types of cells display cannabinoid receptors on their outer surfaces, which act as switches that control cellular processes. Dr. Groopman's laboratory had previously demonstrated that THC could have a protective effect against a certain form of invasive, drug-resistant lung cancer.

 

To study the combined effect of THC and KSHV, the researchers examined a culture of human skin cells, which are susceptible to infection and could provide a model of Kaposi's sarcoma. These culture cells display many copies of two prominent cannabinoid receptors. Dr. Groopman and his colleagues found that by bonding to these receptors, low doses of THC activate two proteins responsible for maintaining a cell's internal framework, or cytoskeleton. By altering the cytoskeleton, THC effectively opens the door for KSHV, allowing the virus to more easily enter and infect the cell. “We can take away that effect by using antagonists that block the two cannabinoid receptors, which adds evidence that THC is the culprit,” Dr. Groopman said.

 

Once a cell is infected, the presence of THC may also promote the cellular events that turn it cancerous, the researchers say. They found that THC also promotes the production of a viral receptor similar to one that attracts a cell-signaling protein called interleukin-8. Previous studies have noted that this receptor could trigger the cell to reproduce, causing Kaposi's sarcoma-like lesions in mice. Indeed, the researchers saw that THC induced the infected cells to reproduce and form colonies in culture.

 

“Here we see both infection and malignancy going on in the presence of THC, offering some serious concerns about the safety of THC among those at risk,” Dr. Groopman said. “Of course, we still do not know the exact molecular events that are occurring here, but these results are just the first part of our ongoing research.”

 

American Association for Cancer Research[/quote']

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:)Quite a lively discussion going on here on the side-effects of MJ !

People who are schizo will be shizo.

Marijuana has this strange tendency to force people to see the truth.

So if a shizo was repressing shizo tendencies, mary jane will probably make the schizo more schizo.

 

;)

 

I'm afraid, that's not a convincing argument in favor of MJ.:doh:

A recent study about the schizo-MJ connection states that even a single dose of MJ increases the risk of schizo by 40%.

 

That's quite a huge risk, and can't just be waived away into smoke...just like that !

 

Surely you won't argue about the potential hazards of radiation, on actively dividing cells of our body, considering that each one of us here does carry a bundle of proto-oncogenes, which are capable of triggering off tumor growth at the drop of the hat!:hihi:

(Note: don't take the metaphor too literally !:lol:)

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Welcome raghu,

glad to someone new in the group,

 

First I would like to say that orbsycli is on walk about and we may not hear from him for a spell,

 

raghu' date='

Quite a lively discussion going on here on the side-effects of MJ !

I'm afraid, that's not a convincing argument in favor of MJ.

A recent study about the schizo-MJ connection states that even a single dose of MJ increases the risk of schizo by 40%.

 

That's quite a huge risk, and can't just be waived away into smoke...just like that !

 

Surely you won't argue about the potential hazards of radiation, on actively dividing cells of our body, considering that each one of us here does carry a bundle of proto-oncogenes, which are capable of triggering off tumor growth at the drop of the hat!

(Note: don't take the metaphor too literally !) [/quote']

 

second I know you can't post links yet (need 10 post) but I looked for the reference and couldn't find the article or related information as to the "schizo-MJ connection" if you could please tell us the link as I would very much like to read this, Thank you.

 

Schizophrenia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

:winknudge:

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Welcome raghu,

glad to someone new in the group,

 

First I would like to say that orbsycli is on walk about and we may not hear from him for a spell,

 

 

 

second I know you can't post links yet (need 10 post) but I looked for the reference and couldn't find the article or related information as to the "schizo-MJ connection" if you could please tell us the link as I would very much like to read this, Thank you.

 

 

 

;)

 

1.Thanks man for the warm welcome.:)

 

2. Is he on a trek/hike/ sojourn?? I'll be missing him & his quick witted replies, that's for sure!:(

 

3. The statement was published by a daily newspaper citing the jornal

'Lancet' as its source. (in the month of July)

Sorry, but can't verify it for you, because I haven't subscribed for that jornal. But, I think it is this :

 

Cannabis use and risk of psychotic or affective mental health outcomes: a systematic review

Theresa HM Moore, Stanley Zammit, Anne Lingford-Hughes, Thomas RE Barnes, Peter B Jones, Margaret Burke, Glyn LewisThe Lancet - Vol. 370, Issue 9584, 28 July 2007, Pages 319-328

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raghu

Sorry' date=' but can't verify it for you, because I haven't subscribed for that jornal. But, I think it is this :

 

Cannabis use and risk of psychotic or affective mental health outcomes: a systematic review

Theresa HM Moore, Stanley Zammit, Anne Lingford-Hughes, Thomas RE Barnes, Peter B Jones, Margaret Burke, Glyn LewisThe Lancet - Vol. 370, Issue 9584, 28 July 2007, Pages 319-328 [/quote']

you were right on the money here is the link.

 

Translated version of http://www.lanutrition.fr/Le-cannabis-moins-inoffensif-qu-on-pouvait-le-penser-n-1756.html

The cannabis less inoffensive than one could think it

LaNutrition.fr' date=' 31/07/2007

 

 

New studies highlight the health risks of a consumption of cannabis. Not only this last is particularly toxic for the lungs but in more it would increase the risks of schizophrenia.

 

The ****, a cool product? Not really to believe several public works of them recently in great scientific reviews… Last week, a Swiss study suggested a bond of cause for purpose between the fact of smoking of the cannabis and the appearance of schizophrenia. Two new studies have been just published on this psychosis and the cannabis. The first confirms the results of the Swiss study: it shows that the cannabis increases the risks of most fragile to rock towards schizophrenia. The second watch to smoke a joint is particularly harmful for pulmonary health. This would have as much effect than to smoke 2,5 to 5 cigarettes.[/quote']

this says that the cannabis increases the risks of most fragile to rock towards schizophrenia. :)

does this mean already on the edge or what, it don't sound good though.

and look at the last line (that I highlighted) ;)

Schizophrenia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Substance use

The relationship between schizophrenia and drug use is complex' date=' meaning that a clear causal connection between drug use and schizophrenia has been difficult to tease apart. There is strong evidence that using certain drugs can trigger either the onset or relapse of schizophrenia in some people. It may also be the case, however, that people with schizophrenia use drugs to overcome negative feelings associated with both the commonly prescribed antipsychotic medication and the condition itself, where negative emotion, paranoia and anhedonia are all considered to be core features.[68'] Amphetamines trigger the release of dopamine and excessive dopamine function is believed to be responsible for many symptoms of schizophrenia (known as the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia), amphetamines may worsen schizophrenia symptoms.[69] Schizophrenia can be triggered by heavy use of hallucinogenic or stimulant drugs.[70] There is evidence that cannabis use can contribute to schizophrenia.[71]

.

.

.

:(

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Schizophrenia & Marijuana

At the population level, elimination of cannabis use would reduce the incidence of schizophrenia by approximately 8%, assuming a causal relationship.

Cannabis use appears to be neither a sufficient nor a necessary cause for psychosis.

It is a component cause, part of a complex constellation of factors leading to psychosis.

Causal association between cannabis and psychosis:...[br J Psychiatry. 2004] - PubMed Result

 

From my very casual reading, of the often popular press, the problem seems to be with adolescents. Something about the brain being formed/changing at that time etc

 

Not many good studies and not much info on dose dependency effects to my knowledge.

Also what severity of conditions is displayed, length of illness etc?

Other drugs used /interactions ( alcohol, acid, meth, etc).?

Also which came first, the chicken or the egg?

 

Acid and amphetamines would be my first suspects for causing Schizophrenia . Acid (LSD) practically mimics the condition (along with Pellagra).

 

Schizophrenia is " commonish" amoung young adults.

Its not easy being a teen.

 

You could do a Goggle Scholar search, if your life is not too short.

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Indeed, much of this information is anecdotal. Even I, myself, have stories to tell where my memory wasn't specifically effected, but my ability to *recall* that memory definitely was. Memory is a complicated piece of our being, itself still being explored and our understanding increased.

 

snip...a bit too large for a simple reply. ;)

 

Dude... where'd I leave my sunglasses? :D

 

Thanks much for the explanation of memory...such a complicated subject it is. Yes, so it would act on many regions of the brain and alter neurotransmitter levels and receptivity, etc. There are many foods or chemicals which do this, and marijuana is not really so different from those except in the effects of its chemical constituents and how they affect the body. Simple things like coffee, IIRC, seem to enhance memory by increasing blood flow, oxygen and nutrient uptake in the brain, causes dopamine levels to rise (which may be part of the reason coffee is so pleasurable), and increases plasticity and activity of certain neurons in the hippocampus and frontal neocortex. I think I read about those effects under caffeine and coffee on Wikipedia.

 

Before I go further on this and try to understand how marijuana might affect memory through its physiological and biochemical mechanisms, I'll buy a textbook on neuroscience and read it over the next few weeks to sharpen my knowledge of neuroscience in general. Time to stop saying I wish I knew more about neuroscience and actually go learn more about it.

 

Oh, and I took your sunglasses. You need look no further. ;)

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