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Marijuana Damages Brains in Young People

December 22nd, 2009 · No Comments

A new study, published in Neurobiology of Disease, states that daily consumption of marijuana (cannabis) in teens can cause depression and anxiety, and have an irreversible long-term effect on the brain.

According to Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, a psychiatric researcher from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, the damaging effects of marijuana on young brains are worse than originally thought.

“We wanted to know what happens in the brains of teenagers when they use marijuana and whether they are more susceptible to its neurological effects than adults,” stated Dr. Gobbi.

Her study points to an apparent action of marijuana on two important compounds in the brain — serotonin and norepinephrine — which are involved in the regulation of neurological functions such as mood control and anxiety.

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Cannabis Use and Psychotic Illness

September 30th, 2009 · No Comments

A team of researchers from Australia and the U.S. led by Dr. Louisa Degenhardt at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, have made the case for estimating the role that cannabis (aka marijuana) plays as a risk factor for psychosis worldwide.

This could give an idea of the extent of impact cannabis has on our public healthy globally. The information could be very valuable for guiding health policymakers in their decisions regarding services, research and health policies.

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Marijuana and Male Fertility

February 1st, 2009 · No Comments

The Biology of Reproduction publication is the official journal of the Society for the Study of Reproduction.

A research report in the February 2009 issue states that human male fertility is impacted by chronic marijuana users. Evidence shows that the sperm has decreased ability to fertilize due to poor penetration of the female egg.

This is more evidence that marijuana is not as safe as some people think.

Marijuana use also affects pregnant women.

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Tags: Marijuana Addiction · News - Addiction and Alternative Health

Marijuana Worse Than Tobacco Cigarettes For Lung Cancer Risk

February 9th, 2008 · No Comments

cigarette-rollsSmoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, and scientists have warned of an “epidemic” of lung cancers linked to cannabis (marijuana).

In an article published in the European Respiratory Journal, the scientists said cannabis could be expected to harm the airways more than tobacco as its smoke contained twice the level of carcinogens, such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons, compared with tobacco cigarettes.

The method of smoking also increases the risk, since joints are typically smoked without a proper filter and almost to the very tip, which increases the amount of smoke inhaled. The cannabis smoker inhales more deeply and for longer, facilitating the deposition of carcinogens in the airways.

Marijuana addiction is becoming a real problem.

More information on this research:

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Marijuana and Behavioral Development

November 12th, 2007 · No Comments

Prenatal marijuana exposure had significant effects on the developing central nervous system (CNS) in children and adolescents according to recent research. These findings were presented in a symposium about in utero substance exposure at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 54th Annual Meeting .

Weed Woes

“For people who grew up in the 1960s, this was a big disappointment,” said Nancy L. Day, PhD, from the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, referring to the marijuana study findings. “We all thought marijuana was a good drug, but it’s not,” she added.

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Marijuana Fog, Driving and Coping

October 17th, 2007 · No Comments

The immediate effects of smoking marijuana are mild euphoria and, often, drowsiness. Research shows that brain receptors respond to cannabis by releasing the feel-good neurotransmitter, dopamine. Cannabis’s effects on judgment, coordination, and short-term memory make it inadvisable to drive, to operate heavy machinery, or to try to learn anything new while under its influence. This is due to the high concentration of cannabis receptors in both the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory, and the cerebellum, the part of the brain that governs motor coordination. Moreover, these effects may actually last longer than those of alcohol.

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Marijuana More Harmful Than Cigarettes According To Research Study

August 3rd, 2007 · No Comments

A recent research report published in Thorax – An International Journal of Respiratory Medicine, stated that “one cannabis joint causes a similar degree of lung damage as between 2.5 and five tobacco cigarettes“.

The three year study by New Zealand’s Medical Research Institute (mrinz.ac.nz) found that longtime pot smokers can develop symptoms of asthma and bronchitis, along with obstruction of the large airways and excessive lung inflation.

Marijuana smokers had symptoms that included wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and phlegm – all of which were associated with tobacco smokers, except chest tightness.

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Marijuana and Psychosis

August 2nd, 2007 · No Comments

marijuana plant

Marijuana is the most frequently used illegal substance in many countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States and it seems to increase the chance of becoming psychotic, researchers report in an analysis of past research that brings up the old issue of whether pot is dangerous.

The new review suggests that even infrequent use of marijuana could raise the small but real risk of this serious mental illness by 40 percent.

Doctors have long suspected a connection and say the latest findings underline the need to highlight marijuana’s long-term risks. The research, paid for by the British Health Department, was published recently in the medical journal The Lancet. (thelancet.com)

“The available evidence now suggests that cannabis is not as harmless as many people think,” said Dr. Stanley Zammit, one of the study’s authors and a lecturer in the department of psychological medicine at Cardiff University.

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Drugs, Alcohol and ADD

July 15th, 2007 · No Comments

Drug and alcohol abuse are very common among teenagers and adults with untreated ADD Attention Deficit Disorder. One study by psychiatrist Joseph Biederman and his colleagues at Harvard University indicated that 52 percent of untreated ADD adults abuse drugs or alcohol.

The drugs that they choose to abuse are alcohol and marijuana to settle the internal restlessness they feel, and cocaine and methaphetamines to feel more energetic and focused. Nicotine use (cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco) is much more common in people with ADD, as is the intake of large amounts of caffeine. Nicotine and caffeine are mild stimulants.

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Tags: Alcohol Addiction · Drugs and Brain Disorders · Marijuana Addiction

Marijuana Use Damages The Brain

June 2nd, 2007 · No Comments

Psychiatrist, Dr. Daniel G. Amen, is a pioneer in scans called brain SPECT imaging. SPECT stands for single photon emission computed tomography and measures blood flow and activity patterns in the brain.

It basically tells three things: areas of the brain that work well, areas of the brain that work too hard and areas of the brain that do not work hard enough.

In studies of patients who had smoked marijuana, Dr. Amen found significant changes in brain activity, especially those who were heavy users. Decreased brain activity was found in the prefrontal cortex and temporal lobes.

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Tags: Drugs and Brain Disorders · Marijuana Addiction