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New mar1juana Studies- maybe not so safe?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Mr. Clutch, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/education/edlife/this-is-your-brain-on-drugs-mar1juana-adults-teens.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=1&referrer=

    This Is Your Brain on Drugs
    By ABIGAIL SULLIVAN MOORE
    OCTOBER 29, 2014
    The gray matter of the nucleus accumbens, the walnut-shaped pleasure center of the brain, was glowing like a flame, showing a notable increase in density. “It could mean that there’s some sort of drug learning taking place,” speculated Jodi Gilman, at her computer screen at the Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard Center for Addiction Medicine. Was the brain adapting to mar1juana exposure, rewiring the reward system to demand the drug?

    Dr. Gilman was reviewing a composite scan of the brains of 20 pot smokers, ages 18 to 25. What she and fellow researchers at Harvard and Northwestern University found within those scans surprised them. Even in the seven participants who smoked only once or twice a week, there was evidence of structural differences in two significant regions of the brain. The more the subjects smoked, the greater the differences.

    Moderate mar1juana use by healthy adults seems to pose little risk, and there are potential medical benefits, including easing nausea and pain. But it has long been known that, with the brain developing into the mid-20s, young people who smoke early and often are more likely to have learning and mental health problems. Now researchers suggest existing studies are no longer sufficient. Much of what’s known is based on studies conducted years ago with much less powerful pot.

    mar1juana samples seized by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency show the concentration of THC, the drug’s psychoactive compound, rising from a mean of 3.75 percent in 1995 to 13 percent in 2013. Potency seesaws depending on the strain and form. Fresh Baked, which sells recreational mar1juana in Boulder, Colo., offers “Green Crack,” with a THC content of about 21 percent, and “Phnom Pen,” with about 8 percent. The level in a concentrate called “Bubble Hash” is about 70 percent; cartridges for vaporizers, much like e-cigarettes, range from 15 to 30 percent THC.


    A Harvard-Northwestern study has found differences between the brains of young adult mar1juana smokers and those of nonsmokers. In these composite scans, colors represent the differences — in the shape of the amygdala, top, and nucleus accumbens. Yellow indicates areas that are most different, red the least.
    THE JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE
    High-THC mar1juana is associated with paranoia and psychosis, according to a June article in The New England Journal of Medicine. “We have seen very, very significant increases in emergency room admissions associated with mar1juana use that can’t be accounted for solely on basis of changes in prevalence rates,” said Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a co-author of the THC study. “It can only be explained by the fact that current mar1juana has higher potency associated with much greater risk for adverse effects.” Emergency room visits related to mar1juana have nearly doubled, from 66,000 in 2004 to 129,000 in 2011, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

    Higher potency may also accelerate addiction. “You don’t have to work so hard to get high,” said Alan J. Budney, a researcher and professor at Dartmouth’s medical school. “As you make it easier to get high, it makes a person more vulnerable to addiction.” Among adults, the rate is one of 11; for teenagers, one of six.

    Concerns over increasing potency, and rising usage among the young, is giving new urgency to research.

    For the Harvard-Northwestern study, published in the April issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, the team scanned the brains of 40 young adults, most from Boston-area colleges. Half were nonusers; half reported smoking for one to six years and showed no signs of dependence. Besides the seven light smokers, nine used three to five days a week and four used, on average, daily. All smokers showed abnormalities in the shape, density and volume of the nucleus accumbens, which “is at the core of motivation, the core of pleasure and pain, and every decision that you make,” explained Dr. Hans Breiter, a co-author of the study and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern’s medical school.

    Similar changes affected the amygdala, which is fundamental in processing emotions, memories and fear responses.

    What is already known is that in casual users, THC can disrupt focus, working memory, decision making and motivation for about 24 hours. “The fact that we can see these structural effects in the brain could indicate that the effects of THC are longer lasting than we previously thought,” said Dr. Gilman, an instructor in psychology at Harvard’s medical school.

    The study was preliminary and small, and attempts to replicate it are underway. Meanwhile, Dr. Gilman is trying to figure out how the findings relate to brain function and behavior.

    One day in September, she was assessing Emma, a student who said her smoking — almost every day — didn’t interfere with school, work or other obligations. For $100 to go toward study-abroad plans, Emma politely plowed through nearly three hours of tests on cognitive functions that are or might be affected by THC, like the ability to delay gratification (would it be better to have $30 tonight or $45 in 15 days?) and motivation (a choice between computer games, the harder one offering a bigger payoff). For memory, Emma listened to lists of words, repeating back those she recalled. Next came risk. Would she bungee jump? Eat high-cholesterol food? (“These kids tend to be risk takers, particularly with their own health and safety,” Dr. Gilman said.)

    A final test: Did Emma crave a joint? Her response: somewhat.

    Dr. Gilman is concerned about pot’s impact on the college population. “This is when they are making some major life decisions,” she said, “choosing a major, making long-lasting friendships.”

    Dr. Volkow noted another problem: Partying on a Saturday night may hinder studying for a test or writing a paper due on Monday. “Maybe you won’t have the motivation to study, because there’s no reward, no incentive,” she said.

    Evidence of long-term effects is also building. A study released in 2012 showed that teenagers who were found to be dependent on pot before age 18 and who continued using it into adulthood lost an average of eight I.Q. points by age 38. And last year at Northwestern, Dr. Breiter and colleagues also saw changes in the nucleus accumbens among adults in their early 20s who had smoked daily for three years but had stopped for at least two years.

    They had impaired working memories as well. “Working memory is key for learning,” Dr. Breiter said. “If I were to design a substance that is bad for college students, it would be mar1juana.”
     
  2. GanjaRocket

    GanjaRocket Member

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    Such a complex question boiled down to an overly reductive study..

    PhDs need something to do I guess
     
  3. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    Sugar is more dangerous than mar1juana at this point.
     
  4. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    So is milk.
     
  5. ThatBoyNick

    ThatBoyNick Member

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    Lol nothing wrong with it.
     
  6. Realjad

    Realjad Contributing Member

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    maybe.. maybe not*

    Land of the free
     
  7. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    Not arguing to ban it. I drink, and it's worse than pot.

    But we shouldn't say its completely safe either, particularly for youngsters with developing brains.
     
  8. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    Babies should definitely not smoke pot!
     
  9. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

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    Yes, I have maintained for years that the primary, overriding goal of our drug policy should be reducing the access that young people have. People shouldn't be making decisions about psychoactive substances until adulthood, the pubescent brain isn't mature enough for such substances.
     
  10. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    Pay a lab coat enough money . . . .they will say anything

    Rocket River
     
  11. Rockets2K

    Rockets2K Clutch Crew

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    Exactly.

    You will not find anybody that is in favor of legalization advocating for any minors to be allowed to take it. Since mar1juana is no worse than alcohol, which we try to keep minors from having, there is no reason why adults can not make the decision to take it or not.

    that isnt even taking into account the amount of our taxpayer dollars that are wasted EVERY day to pursue, prosecute and jail people for doing mar1juana or the amount of money that could be raised by taxing it and regulating it.

    Its just as stupid as banning gambling, another activity that adults should be allowed to decide to do or not without the government sticking their nose into it.
     
  12. Bobbythegreat

    Bobbythegreat Member
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    You can't get truly addicted to weed, if they still know that little about it after the fact then their study is invalid.
     
  13. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

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    AKA do everything in moderation, no ****. Have seen friends become massively dependent on weed to where they need to smoke everyday sometime twice everyday.

    It's pretty sad.
     
  14. dmc89

    dmc89 Member

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    Pretty much this. I occasionally light up a fatty as a method of relaxing. However, almost no one in real life knows that I do. The people you can tell smoke mar1juana usually smoke it so much it defines their lifestyle and behaviour i.e. lazy, not punctual, unkempt appearance, etc.
     
  15. Bobbythegreat

    Bobbythegreat Member
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    Yeah but that's only a mental addiction, it's still sad, but it's nothing compared to things that are actual physical addictions. It's really hard to do things that are physically addictive in moderation, but moderation should always be the goal.
     
  16. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    It won't be a mental addiction after BIG SMOKE gets their hands into it
    Time to add some addictions and preservatives

    Rocket River
     
  17. rudan

    rudan Member

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    Future democrat health crisis tax payers will have to pay for. Predictable.
     
  18. Bobbythegreat

    Bobbythegreat Member
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    That's just paranoia, something you can get from weed now.
     
  19. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

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    I'm actually fascinated by the small little divide between young republicans and old republicans on mar1juana consumption. Just letting you know weed consumption is more of a youth thing, not a political thing.
     
  20. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    BIG SMOKE don't want profits. . .they want MEGA PROFITS!!

    Rocket River
     

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