Marijuana, also known as “cannabis”, and by numerous other names is a preparation of cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug and as medicine. Pharmacologically, the principal constituent of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol; it is one of 483 known compounds in the plant, including at least 84 other other cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, cannabinol,tetrahydrocannabivarin and cannabigerol.
Marijuana is often consumed for its psychoactive and physiological effects, which can include heightened mood or euphoria, relaxation, and increase in appetite. Unwanted side- effects can sometimes include a decrease in short-term memory, dry mouth, impaired motor skills, reddening of the eyes and feelings of paranonia or anxiety. Contemporary uses of cannabis are as a recreational or medicinal drug, and as part of religious or spiritual rites; the earliest recorded uses date from the 3rd millennium BC.
Since the early 20th century cannabis has been subject to legal restrictions with the possession, use, and sale of cannabis preparations containing psychoactive cannabinoids currently illegal in most countries of the world; the United Nations has said that cannabis is the most-used illicit drug in the world. In 2004, the United Nations estimated that global consumption of cannabis indicated that approximately 4% of the adult world population (162 million people) used cannabis annually, and that approximately 0. 6% (22.
5 million) of people used cannabis daily. GOOD & BAD EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA* Marijuana is a very controversial issue with a lot of information being spread around, both for and against it. The subject of marijuana affects everyone whether they know it or not due to the millions of tax dollars that have been fruitlessly spent on the drug war and marijuana prohibition, with almost no conclusive impact on cannabis culture. The truth about marijuana needs to be brought to light so that people can decide, with an educated opinion, whether or not the positive
Marijuana use and the ability to freely choose whether or not it should be legal or illegal is fierce debate today. Whether or not State or Federal government should regulate this is the “hot topic” that is being debate even as we speak. There are two sides to every story and of course my opinion as well. The side that opposes the legalization of marijuana stands tall with the National Institute ...
effects of marijuana outweigh the negative. Between the anti-drug activists, who would say anything to make marijuana seem like an evil life taking tool, and the pro-drug activists, who seem to think that it is a plant that was sent down from the heavens to save mankind, the actual facts and data can get quite distorted and warped. Therefore in the end it’s hard to separate the fact from the fiction. More and more, you see new stories about marijuana legalization with activists from both sides arguing their case.
The battle has really been coming to a head in the last few years and I believe that the decision of marijuana legalization will be made in my lifetime; so it is a very relevant topic to me, and to my generation as well. The truth needs to be heard. I have gathered and examined multiple reliable sources and studies, as well as pulled from my own personal experience with the drug to put together the true picture of marijuana. It has psychoactive and physiological effects when consumed.
The immediate desired effects from consuming cannabis include relaxation and mild euphoria (the “high” or “stoned” feeling), while some immediate undesired side-effects include a decrease in short-term memory, dry mouth, impaired motor skills and reddening of the eyes. Aside from a subjective change in perception and mood, the most common short-term physical and neurological effects include increased heart rate, increased appetite and consumption of food, lowered blood pressure, impairment of short-term and working memory, psychomotor coordination, and concentration.
A 2013 literature review said that exposure to marijuana had biologically-based physical, mental , behavioral and social health consequences and was “associated with diseases of the liver (particularly with co-existing hepatitis C), lungs, heart, and vasculature”. The positive effect findings from my first source were fairly typical for what one may have heard about the drug. Some of which being: feeling relaxed, feeling happy, getting munchies (could also be considered negative), increased enjoyment of music and art, more appreciation of the surroundings, forgetting cares and worries, better imagination and
Introduction Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant. You may hear marijuana called by street names such as pot, herb, weed, grass, boom, Mary Jane, gangster, or chronic. There are more than 200 slang terms for marijuana. All forms of marijuana are mind-altering. In other words, they change how the brain works. They all ...
visualization, increased creativity, as well as more enjoyment of sexual activity and increased feelings of excitement. The negative effects findings were also pretty typical for what one may have heard which would include: being forgetful, over sleeping, not getting things done, concentration difficulties, neglecting work or duties, loss of balance or dizziness, problems with performing tasks, and nausea. From these findings several facts were concluded.
The main conclusion seems to be that if used casually marijuana’s positive effects outweigh the negative; the source states that “Cannabis users generally enjoyed it and found it beneficial to them, but they put up with sometime disturbances of cognitive function and mood, the latter including disorientation, depression and anxiety (paranoia)”).
They found that in casual users the effects, either positive or negative, only lasted during the time of intoxication and sometimes during the following day, and that as long as the use remained casual rather than heavy the effects would not become problematic.
However, if use increased and effects became more chronic than effects may begin causing problems. Also in this study the health risks of marijuana were examined. It was discovered that the risks of smoking cannabis were different, and perhaps even lesser, than those of smoking tobacco; furthermore it was found that due to the large amount of individuals smoking marijuana combined with tobacco, statistics describing marijuana dependency may have been inflated, by the fact that it was the nicotine in tobacco that people were becoming dependent on rather than actual cannabis itself.
The study also stated that near-daily use was more likely to cause problems and was discouraged. My second source dealt mostly with the medical aspects of marijuana, but this data is still important for people to know and be aware of. In this study, patients with various medical problems were treated with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active ingredient in marijuana, and it was found to treat a wide range of various ailments such as: Tourette-
... the cognitive functioning of 65 heavy cannabis users, most of whom had smoked marijuana at least 27 out of the ... for alcohol's confounding effect, Dr. Heishman tested marijuana's effects on the functional components of driving. Study subjects smoked a marijuana cigarette, waited ... had been eagerly awaited by doctors and specialists in drug abuse. The official explanation for excluding the comparison ...
Syndrome, appetite loss, weight loss, nausea, depression, HIV-infection, migraines, asthma, back pain, hepatitis C, sleeping disorders, epilepsy, spasticity, headaches, alcoholism, glaucoma, disk prolapse, spinal cord injury, as well as improving the well being of cancer patients (Grotenhermen, 2002).
It did not go into to detail about how cannabis was able to help with these symptoms, but it did back the results up with various other studies that all showed the same results, so I feel safe in saying that marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes, which is a major plus for the positive effects side.
My third source deals with the regular, as well as the medical aspects of marijuana. The study found that despite the many rumors and false reports, cannabis does not, in fact, cause cancer. The study goes on to say that the smoking of the plant, not any chemical of the plant itself, causes a majority of the bodily damage done to the individual smoking the drug. If the individual ingests the plant orally or through a vaporizer it would seem that the risk of any kind of cancer can be greatly reduced, if not eliminated altogether.
Cannabis also has not been seen to be the cause of any other life threatening problems (Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr. , and John Benson, Jr. 1999).
The study also confirmed many of the medical applications that were discussed in my second source. This study reported similar positive effects as the previous studies: sense of well-being, euphoria, increased talkativeness and laughter, periods of introspective dreaminess, lethargy, and sleepiness.
The negative effects were also congruent with the previous studies consisting of: anxiety, paranoia, panic, depression, dysphoria, depersonalization, delusions, illusions, and hallucinations. The study then goes on to mention that the negative and adverse reactions to the cannabis were experienced mostly in “inexperienced users after large doses of smoked or oral marijuana” (Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr. , and John A. Benson, Jr. 1999).
... for alcohol's confounding effect, Dr. Heishman tested marijuana's effects on the functional components of driving. Study subjects smoked a marijuana cigarette, waited ... people under forty, and it depletes the brain of serotonin and the user may lose his sense of well ... of the only drugs that serves another purpose besides a "trip" or a "high." Marijuana Marijuana - Harmful Effects Marijuana can cause ...
Another popular threat used by anti-drug activist is that marijuana causes brain damage.
They base this threat on a previous study that was done by the Nixon administration when it began its war on drugs. However, this new study states that “Early studies purporting to show structural changes in the brains of heavy marijuana users have not been replicated with more sophisticated techniques” (Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr. , and John A. Benson, Jr. 1999).
The “gateway” theory is also a popular claim made against marijuana. The “gateway” theory claims that if a person begins using marijuana than they are almost guaranteed to move on to other, harsher drugs.
Again this study disagrees, saying that “It does not appear to be a gateway drug to the extent that it is the cause or even that it is the most significant predictor of serious drug abuse; that is, care must be taken not to attribute cause to association”. Therefore from all of these studies it can be concluded that the positive effects of marijuana significantly out number and out weigh the negative. I admit to having personal experience with cannabis, and I can also to attest to the positive and negative effects of cannabis. When I was under the influence of marijuana I experienced most of the positive and negative effects.
I felt very at ease, but at the same time quite paranoid. I never attempted to work while intoxicated, however I believe that my inability to perform tasks of any sort would be decided by how heavily I had smoked. If I had smoked heavily than my ability would be severely limited, but if I had only done some casual smoking I would have been able to perform simple tasks at least. Overall, each time I was under the influence I strongly believed that the positive effects out weighed the negative, and looking back, un-intoxicated, I still hold the same opinion.
USERS OF MARIJUANA: “BEFORE & AFTER”* EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN* As THC enters the brain, it causes the user to feel euphoric—or high—by acting on the brain’s reward system, which is made up of regions that govern the response to pleasurable things like sex and chocolate, as well as to most drugs of abuse. THC activates the reward system in the same way that nearly all drugs of abuse do: by stimulating brain cells to release the chemical dopamine. Along with euphoria, relaxation is another frequently reported effect in human studies.
... Psychology 84: 386-98 (1975) 2. Warrant: Studies have shown that marijuana does not effect brain related cognitive functions. 3. Backing: Researchers have ... puberty, (13) Copeland, K. C. et al," Marijuana Smoking and Pubertal Arrest," Journal of Pediatrics 96: 1079-80 (1980). There ... In the last two years THC (the active drug in Marijuana) has been discovered as a " Peripheral receptor associated ...
Other effects, which vary dramatically among different users, include heightened sensory perception (e. g. , brighter colors), laughter, altered perception of time, and increased appetite. After a while, the euphoria subsides, and the user may feel sleepy or depressed. Occasionally, marijuana use may produce anxiety, fear, distrust, or panic. Marijuana use impairs a person’s ability to form new memories and to shift focus. THC also disrupts coordination and balance by binding to receptors in the cerebellum and basal ganglia—parts of the brain that regulate balance, posture, coordination, and reaction time.
Therefore, learning, doing complicated tasks, participating in athletics, and driving are also affected. Marijuana users who have taken large doses of the drug may experience an acute psychosis, which includes hallucinations, delusions, and a loss of the sense of personal identity. Short-term psychotic reactions to high concentrations of THC are distinct from longer-lasting, schizophrenia-like disorders that have been associated with the use of cannabis in vulnerable individuals. Our understanding of marijuana’s long-term brain effects is limited.
Research findings on how chronic cannabis use affects brain structure, for example, have been inconsistent. It may be that the effects are too subtle for reliable detection by current techniques. A similar challenge arises in studies of the effects of chronic marijuana use on brain function. Although imaging studies in chronic users do show some consistent alterations, the relation of these changes to cognitive functioning is less clear. This uncertainty may stem from confounding factors such as other drug use, residual dry or withdrawal symptoms in long-term chronic users.
An enduring question in the field is whether individuals, who quit marijuana, even after long-term, heavy use, can recover some of their cognitive abilities. One study reports that the ability of long-term heavy marijuana users to recall words from a list was still impaired 1 week after they quit using, but returned to normal by 4 weeks. However, another study found that marijuana’s effects on the brain can build up and deteriorate critical life skills over time. Such effects may be worse in those with other mental disorders, or simply by virtue of the normal aging process.
... of coordination, increased heart rate, and anxiety. These effects are even greater when other drugs are mixed with marijuana. Long-term effect is cancer, ... for sale and manufacture. Every 52 seconds, a marijuana smoker is arrested in America.This is truly a waste of ... Sources Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Surveys, Attitude tracking studies web The Birmingham News, Val Walton, News staff writer ...
Memory impairment from marijuana use occurs because THC alters how information is processed in the hippocampus, a brain area responsible for memory formation. Distribution of cannabinoid receptors in the rat brain. Brain image reveals high levels (shown in orange and yellow) of cannabinoid receptors in many areas, including the cortex, hippocampus, cerebellum, and nucleus accumbens (ventral striatum).
Most of the evidence supporting this assertion comes from animal studies. For example, rats exposed to THC in utero, soon after birth, or during adolescence, show notable problems withspecific learning/memory tasks later in life.
Moreover, cognitive impairment in adult rats is associated with structural and functional changes in the hippocampus from THC exposure during adolescence. As people age, they lose neurons in the hippocampus, which decreases their ability to learn new information. Chronic THC exposure may hasten age-related loss of hippocampal neurons. In one study, rats exposed to THC every day for 8 months (approximately 30 percent of their life-span) showed a level of nerve cell loss (at 11 to 12 months of age) that equaled that of unexposed animals twice their age.
An enduring question in the field is whether individuals who quit marijuana, even after long-term, heavy use, can recover some of their cognitive abilities. One study reports that the ability of long-term heavy marijuana users to recall words from a list was still impaired 1 week after they quit using, but returned to normal by 4 weeks. However, another study found that marijuana’s effects on the brain can build up and deteriorate critical life skills over time. Such effects may be worse in those with other mental disorders, or simply by virtue of the normal aging process.
EFFECTS ON GENERAL PHYSICAL HEALTH* Within a few minutes after inhaling marijuana smoke, an individual’s heart rate speeds up, the bronchial passages relax and become enlarged, and blood vessels in the eyes expand, making the eyes look red. The heart rate—normally 70 to 80 beats per minute—may increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute, or may even double in some cases. Taking other drugs with marijuana can amplify this effect. Limited evidence suggests that a person’s risk of heart attack during the first hour after smoking marijuana is four times his or her usual risk.
This observation could be partly explained by marijuana raising blood pressure (in some cases) and heart rate and reducing the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen. Such possibilities need to be examined more closely, particularly since current marijuana users include adults from the baby boomer generation, who may have other cardiovascular risks that may increase their vulnerability. The smoke of marijuana, like that of tobacco, consists of a toxic mixture of gases and particulates, many of which are known to be harmful to the lungs.
Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers do, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illnesses, and a greater risk of lung infections. Even infrequent marijuana use can cause burning and stinging of the mouth and throat, often accompanied by a heavy cough. One study found that extra sick days used by frequent marijuana smokers were often because of respiratory illnesses.
In addition, marijuana has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract because it contains irritants and carcinogens—up to 70 percent more than tobacco smoke. It also induces high levels of an enzyme that converts certain hydrocarbons into their cancer-causing form, which could accelerate the changes that ultimately produce malignant cells. And since marijuana smokers generally inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers, the lungs are exposed longer to carcinogenic smoke.
However, while several lines of evidence have suggested that marijuana use may lead to lung cancer, the supporting evidence is inconclusive. 8 The presence of an unidentified active ingredient in cannabis smoke having protective properties—if corroborated and properly characterized— could help explain the inconsistencies and modest findings. A significant body of research demonstrates negative effects of THC on the function of various immune cells, both in vitro in cells and in vivo with test animals.
However, no studies to date connect marijuana’s suspected immune system suppression with greater incidence of infections or immune disorders in humans. One short (3-week) study found marijuana smoking to be associated with a few statistically significant negative effects on the immune function of AIDS patients; a second small study of college students also suggested the possibility of marijuana having adverse effects on immune system functioning. Thus, the combined evidence from animal studies plus the limited human data available seem to warrant additional research on the impact of marijuana on the immune system.
EFFECTS ON THE LUNGS* Regular smoking of marijuana by itself causes visible and microscopic injury to the large airways that is consistently associated with an increased likelihood of symptoms of chronic bronchitis that subside after cessation of use. On the other hand, habitual use of marijuana alone does not appear to lead to significant abnormalities in lung function when assessed either cross- sectionally or longitudinally, except for possible increases in lung volumes and modest increases in airway resistance of unclear clinical significance. Therefore, no clear link to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has been established.
Although marijuana smoke contains a number of carcinogens and cocarcinogens, findings from a limited number of well-designed epidemiological studies do not suggest an increased risk for the development of either lung or upper airway cancer from light or moderate use, although evidence is mixed concerning possible carcinogenic risks of heavy, long-term use. Although regular marijuana smoking leads to bronchial epithelial ciliary loss and impairs the microbicidal function of alveolar macrophages, evidence is inconclusive regarding possible associated risks for lower respiratory tract infection.
Several case reports have implicated marijuana smoking as an etiologic factor in pneumothorax/pneumomediastinum and bullous lung disease, although evidence of a possible causal link from epidemiologic studies is lacking. In summary, the accumulated weight of evidence implies far lower risks for pulmonary complications of even regular heavy use of marijuana compared with the grave pulmonary consequences of tobacco. 10 FACTS ABOUT MARIJUANA* FACT #1: Roughly 750,000 people are arrested for marijuana each year, the vast majority of them for simple possession with racial minorities over-represented.
Approximately 750,000 people were arrested for marijuana law violations in 2012 according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report – comprising about half (48 percent) of all drug arrests in the United States; that’s one marijuana arrest every 42 seconds. A decade ago, marijuana arrests comprised just 44 percent of all drug arrests. Approximately 42 percent of all drug arrests nationwide are for marijuana possession. Of total arrests for marijuana law violations, more than 87 percent were for simple possession, not sale or manufacture.
There are more arrests for marijuana possession every year than for all violent crimes combined. A marijuana arrest is no small matter. Most people are handcuffed, placed in a police car, taken to a police station, fingerprinted and photographed, held in jail for 24 hours or more, and then arraigned before a judge. The arrest creates a permanent criminal record that can easily be found on the internet by employers, landlords, schools, credit agencies and banks. The collateral sanctions of a marijuana possession arrest can include loss of employment, financial aid, housing and child custody.
The criminalization of marijuana in the early 20th century was not based on any scientific assessment of its risks – but rather racial prejudice and politics. The first anti- marijuana laws, in the Midwest and the Southwest during the 1910s and 20s, were directed at Mexican migrants and Mexican Americans. Artists and performers – especially black jazz musicians – were common targets. Today, Latino and black communities are still subject to wildly disproportionate marijuana enforcement practices, even though these groups are no more likely than whites to use or sell marijuana.
According to a 2012 ACLU report, Black people are 3. 7 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people despite comparable usage rates. Furthermore, in counties with the worst disparities, Blacks were as much as 30 times more likely to be arrested. States spent an estimated $3. 61 billion enforcing marijuana possession laws in 2010 alone. New York and California combined spent over $1 billion according to the ACLU report. FACT #2: Most Marijuana users never use any other illicit drug. Marijuana is the most popular and easily accessible illegal drug in the United States today.
Therefore, people who have used less accessible drugs such as heroin, cocaine and LSD, are likely to have also used marijuana. Most marijuana users never use any other illegal drug and the vast majority of those who do try another drug never become addicted or go on to have associated problems. Indeed, for the large majority of people, marijuana is a terminus rather than a so-called gateway drug. New evidence suggests that marijuana can function as an “exit drug” helping people reduce or eliminate their use of more harmful drugs by easing withdrawal symptoms.
FACT #3: Increasing admissions for treatment are a reflection of the criminal justice system’s predominant role, rather than increasing rates of clinical dependence. A landmark, Congressionally-mandated Institute of Medicine study found that fewer than 10 percent of those who try marijuana ever meet the clinical criteria for dependence, while 32 percent of tobacco users and 15 percent of alcohol users do. As a result of treatment-instead- of-incarceration policies implemented over the past two decades to stem the skyrocketing U.
S. prison population, marijuana treatment admissions referred by the criminal justice system rose from 48 percent in 1992 to 52 percent in 2011. Just 45 percent of people who enter marijuana treatment meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for marijuana dependence. More than a third hadn’t used marijuana in the 30 days prior to admission for treatment. Many people are “discovered” due to the smell of marijuana and forced to choose between jail and treatment.
Treatment providers support drug courts because they ensure a steady stream of clients. Even with this increase in court-mandated marijuana treatment, only 1. 1% of marijuana users 12 and older in 2011 went to treatment for it. Twice as many people were arrested for simple marijuana possession that year than entered treatment for marijuana dependence (750,000 vs. 333,578).
FACT #4: Marijuana potency is not related to risk of dependence or health impacts. Although marijuana potency has reportedly increased in recent decades, this is largely due to prohibition.
When access to a particular substance is sporadic, risky and limited, both consumers and producers are incentivized to use or sell higher potency material. We saw a similar trend during alcohol prohibition, when beer and cider were largely replaced by spirits and hard liquor, which was easier and more profitable to transport. When access is regulated and controlled, like in medical marijuana states, we see a wider variety of potencies, including marijuana with virtually no traces of psychoactive THC but high in cannabidiol (CBD), which is highly therapeutic but not psychoactive.
In any case, potency is not related to risks of dependence or health impacts. THC is virtually non-toxic to healthy cells or organs, and is incapable of causing a fatal overdose. Currently, doctors may legally prescribe Marinol, an FDA-approved pill that contains 100 percent THC – but, critically, lacks other therapeutic, non-psychoactive compounds found in marijuana. The Food and Drug Administration found THC to be safe and effective for the treatment of nausea, vomiting and wasting diseases. When consumers encounter strong varieties of marijuana, they adjust their use accordingly and smoke less.
FACT #5: Marijuana can be good for mental health Many opponents of medical marijuana make much of the purported link between marijuana use and mental illness. But there is simply no compelling evidence to support the claim that marijuana is a causal risk factor for developing a psychiatric disorder in otherwise healthy individuals. Most tellingly, population-level rates of schizophrenia or other psychiatric illnesses have remained flat even when marijuana use rates have increased. Emerging evidence indicates that patients who have
tried marijuana may show significant improvements in symptoms and clinical outcomes (such as lower mortality rates and better cognitive functioning ) compared with those who have not. In fact, some of the unique chemicals in marijuana, such as cannabidiol (CBD), seem to have anti-psychotic properties. Researchers are investigating marijuana as a possible source of future schizophrenia treatments; until it is legalized, however, this research is significantly impeded. Rates of mental illness have remained stable in light of changes in marijuana consumption levels.
For example, when marijuana use rates have increased, there have been no increases in schizophrenia diagnoses. We do see these types of correlations, however for other behaviors that are connected. For example, rates of diabetes in the U. S. have increased as obesity rates have increased. This is not to say, however, that there is no relationship between psychoactive substances and mental functioning. Some effects of marijuana use can include feelings of panic, anxiety and paranoia. Such experiences can be frightening, but the effects are temporary.
Some psychoactive substances have been shown to improve mental health functioning and some do not. Recent research at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands concluded that the endocannabinoid system is responsible for making chemicals that combat mental health conditions such as depression. Stimulating the endocannbinoid system via the use of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant might hold promise as a treatment for depressions and other mental health conditions. Part of the reason that is it so difficult to detangle psychoactive substance use from mental health is age of onset.
For most people, symptoms of mental disturbance occur in the late teens and early 20’s. While it is impossible to predict who will develop a mental disturbance, there seem to be some ties to genetics and to behavioral cues in early childhood. Those who have risk factors, such as a family history of mental health issues, should be cautious in their exposure to all substances that have any intoxicating effects. Unfortunately, in adolescence, teens are more likely to experiment with intoxicants and less likely to be open with their
parents about their drug use and/or any symptoms of mental disturbance they may be experiencing. As a result, drug and alcohol use has usually already started by the time symptoms of mental illness become noticeable. This is why we see so many studies that confirm that most people diagnosed with severe mental illness have had a history of alcohol and drug use. The alcohol and drug use was not the cause of the mental illness, but rather a behavior that coincides with the undetected development of mental health symptoms. In fact, research suggests that those with mental illness might be self-medicating with marijuana.
One study demonstrated that psychotic symptoms predict later use of marijuana, suggesting that people might turn to the plant for help rather than become ill after use. These findings have been replicated by myriad other studies, including a new study conducted by Harvard University researchers, which found that marijuana “is unlikely to be the cause of illness,” even in people who may be genetically predisposed to schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders. The researchers concluded, “In summary, we conclude that cannabis does not cause psychosis by itself.
In genetically vulnerable individuals, while cannabis may modify the illness onset, severity and outcome, there is no evidence from this study that it can cause the psychosis. ” Encouraging an open dialogue with adolescents about their drug use and paying attention to their behavior during the teen years are better prevention tools toward the future development of mental illness than to simply blame marijuana. FACT #6: Marijuana can be protective against the formation of cancer. Several longitudinal studies have established that even long-term marijuana smoking is
not associated with elevated cancer risk, including tobacco-related cancers or with colorectal, lung, melanoma, prostate, breast or cervix. A 2009 population-based case-control study found that moderate marijuana smoking over a 20-year period was associated with reduced risk of head and neck cancer. And a five-year-long population-based case-control study found even long-term heavy marijuana smoking was not associated with lung cancer or upper aero digestive tract cancers.  In fact, some of the chemicals in marijuana, such as THC and especially CBD, have
been found to induce tumor cell death and show potential as effective tools in treating cancer. Scientists who have conducted this type of research, such as UCLA’s Donald Tashkin, hypothesize that the anti-oxidant properties of cannabis might override any cancer causing chemicals found in marijuana smoke, therefore protecting the body against the impact of smoking. Newer research indicates that marijuana has anti-cancer properties and could one day unlock new cancer treatments. Moreover, marijuana smoking is not associated with any other permanent lung harms, such as
chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), emphysema or reduced lung function – even after years of frequent use. FACT #7: Marijuana has been proven helpful for treating the symptoms of a variety of medical conditions. The body’s endocannabinoid may explain why. For many seriously ill people, medical marijuana is the only medicine that relieves their pain and suffering, or treats symptoms of their medical condition, without debilitating side effects. Marijuana’s medicinal benefits are incontrovertible, now proven by decades of peer- reviewed, controlled studies published in highly respected medical journals.
Marijuana has been shown to alleviate symptoms of wide range of debilitating medical conditions including cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), epilepsy, Crohn’s Disease, and glaucoma, and is often an effective alternative to narcotic painkillers. Evidence of marijuana’s efficacy in treating severe and intractable pain is particularly impressive. Researchers at the University of California conducted a decade of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical tria