Monthly Archives: November 2011

Medical Marijuana Provides Valuable Pain Alleviation

Heated controversy still exists regarding the efficacy of marijuana as a pain reliever. Supporters and users stand behind the drug as a source of relief from acute pain while critics counter that this support is merely an excuse for people to get high legally.

However, a recent study has been conducted that follows usage in the home by sufferers of chronic pain, and the verdict is in. Medical marijuana does indeed provide acute pain relief due to the analgesic effects of THC. It doesn’t matter the nature of injury, whether it is post-traumatic or post-surgery, the relief was apparent in all patients when compared to a placebo.

The Study And Its Results

This research was conducted by Dr. Mark Ware of McGill University and later published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Dr. Ware is also Director of Clinical Research at the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit, so he constantly has access to patients whose current situations are rife with pain-related symptoms.

The methodology of the study instructed patients who had acute pain issues to take a single hit three times daily from a pipe with a THC density of approximately 10%. This process happened for five days. The patients’ level of pain relief was in direct comparison to others who used a 0% THC placebo.

Researchers were able to reveal a clear benefit to using marijuana over the placebo. Patients had a noticeable diminishing of pain, and they showed signs of elevated mood and more sound sleep.

Because this short-term focused study was able to show such positive effects of weed usage, Dr. Ware hoped in the future that longer-term, more involved studies could be carried out. These future developments could provide even more evidence of the potential advantages associated with the use of medical marijuana.

No Debate on Effectiveness for Users

Medical marijuana’s usefulness as an effective pain relief drug is still a highly controversial topic, and most likely will continue to be a subject of ire. On the other hand, studies like this help back the claims of regular users whose quality of life is greatly increased through consumption of THC and activation of the human cannabinoid system.

People on the outside looking in sometimes unnecessarily look down on the practice because of the social stigma tied to using marijuana, and medical studies are in a powerful position to dispel those ideas because society tends to place great trust in modern medicine.

 


For additional info on the positive and negative effects of weed, an in-depth analysis of indica vs sativa, and information relating to other marijuana topics, please visit The Effects of Weed Network.


Long-term Impact of Weed Consumption on Mental Performance Minimal

It’s easy to picture a daily marijuana user as forgetful and easily distracted, but is this a sign of the long term effects of weed on the brain? A 2001 study says no and makes the claim that any cognitive function discrepancies between lifetime user and non-user are virtually undetectable. This finding should certainly paint marijuana in a different light for those who fear brain deterioration and memory loss associated with heavy marijuana use.

The Study Methods

This study was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry and led by Harrison Pope, MD, of Harvard Medical School. The goal of this research was to determine the long-term effects that marijuana had upon brain function.

To do this, they gathered adults aging 30-55 years old and divided them into three separate groups: heavy users who used over 5,000 times in their lifetime and continued with to use daily, moderate users who had hit the 5,000 mark but used less than 12 times in the past 3 months, and lastly the control group of those who hadn’t used over 50 times in their entire lifetimes.

The investigation was set up to test cognitive functions such as word recall and ability to pay attention in each of the users at 0, 1, 7, and 28 days of not using marijuana. The purpose of this was to establish if the effects of weed on cognitive ability lingered after THC had been completely flushed out of the system, which can take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks.

As THC Leaves, So Does Malfunction

Researchers discovered that the residual lingering effects of THC played a role in deterring cognitive functionality. At 0 and 1 day tests, performance from control subjects who had used very little versus heavy users was noticeably different. At day 7, the difference in capabilities was less apparent. Lastly, at day 28 the tests showed “virtually no significant differences” between heavy users and the control group.

These results have a big implication, which is that marijuana displays no apparent irreversible effects on the ability for the brain to function. While THC is still within the body, it certainly has influence over brain capabilities, but as it is expelled from the body, these negative effects of weed disappear.

Marijuana Affects Brain Function But Not Permanently

It is important to keep in mind that this analysis showed that cognitive function was still diminished in heavy users even while they weren’t actively under the influence of marijuana. However, this study affirms there is little risk in using every day for causing permanent damage to brain capacity.

 

For additional news on the negative effects of weed, an analysis of indica vs sativa, and information relating to marijuana, please visit The Effects of Weed Network.


Marijuana is Not a Portal to Future Drug Dependency

For decades, cannabis has been branded as a gateway drug. This description presumes that individuals who decide to use cannabis have an increased likelihood of developing a substance abuse problem. Some claims even state that the use of dangerous illegal drugs is nearly inevitable once a person uses cannabis.

However, a 12-year study from the University of Pittsburgh concludes that this label is contrary to actual facts. The study goes further by emphasizing environment plays a larger role in substance abuse than which substance a person uses. The study finds that weed is not a gateway drug and classifying it as such more likely stems from emotionally-charged rhetoric than analysis of fact.

Study Regarding Gateway Drug Claim

The research conducted was headed by Ralph Tarter, Ph.D., and was created to determine if any correlation existed between initial weed use and future substance abuse and addiction.

Researchers followed a group of males age 10-12 who would all eventually use legal or illegal drugs. When they reached age 22, the individuals were split into three groups: those who used only alcohol and tobacco, those who used alcohol and tobacco first then moved into marijuana usage, and finally people who used weed first followed by alcohol and tobacco. The investigation concluded that none of the subsets had any higher chance of developing a substance abuse problem.

However, there were better indicators of higher risk outside of drug choice. They examined 35 additional factors in the participants’ lives and found 3 to be significant in determining higher substance abuse probabilities. Those factors included living in poorer neighborhoods, growing up in areas with higher drug exposure, and being raised in households with little parental involvement. All of these factors imply that environment plays a more substantial role in substance abuse likelihood than any sort of gateway drug.

Common Sense Vindicated

I have long suspected underlying personal and environmental issues create drug abuse problems rather than the drugs themselves, and this study justifies my suspicions. Substance abuse is merely a symptom of deeper problems, and the drugs themselves are only filling that void (at least until addiction takes hold).

To label marijuana as a gateway drug and declare it an outright enemy is a path of ineffectiveness. If communities want to prevent addiction to harmful drugs, they need to attack the root of the problem. The real enemy is a crumbling environment, and solving the problem is carried out by raising awareness about the true causes of drug abuse and helping to strengthen the bonds and environment that young people grow up in.

 

For additional news on the negative effects of weed, an analysis of indica vs sativa, and information relating to marijuana, please visit The Effects of Weed Network.


What Influence Could Marijuana Possess Over the Heart?

The Effects of Weed Network discusses many of the side effects that weed has on the lungs and brain, however, another essential body component continues to be omitted so far: the one and only heart. Although the influence cannabis possesses within the brain and respiratory system is more critical than the outcomes towards the heart, especially the adverse, the heart is obviously a body organ that should not be overlooked.

A Bump In Heart Beat Rate

One immediate reply one’s heart experiences whenever consuming weed is certainly an elevated heart beat. This increase will vary in every individual, yet a fair estimation is heart rate increases by nearly 30-40 beats per minute also known as BPM. Since a normal resting heart rate ranges between 60-80 BPM, this may result in as much as a 50% increase in heart rate.

This isn’t automatically negative by itself because healthy exercise achieves the exact same outcome. Then again, this particular fact can be very necessary for those who are afflicted by coronary disorders meaning they’ll have a difficult time managing that sort of heart activity. In the event that this type of person were to use weed several times a day, they might be possibly positioning themselves for great risk of a cardiac event.

Study Demonstrates Small Risk of Heart Problems

An investigation had been carried out by Harvard Medical School and led by Dr. Murray Mittleman aimed towards discerning the effects cannabis provides in heart functionality along with its possible risks. The scientists discovered cannabis consumers were approximately 5 times more prone to endure a heart attack in the initial hour following consuming cannabis. This is mainly associated with the heightened heart beat rate which comes after the utilization of weed. Dr. Mittleman stated, “Blood pressure increases then abruptly falls when the person stands up. This could precipitate a heart attack.”

When the question was asked to clarify the reason why marijuana would have this type of effect towards the heart, Mittleman could not offer a comprehensive solution. He felt that it was feasible that perhaps it is attributed to the body’s response to THC, inhalation of the smoke itself, or possibly another trigger not really considered.

Before people become too troubled about it, they need to realize that the chance of experiencing heart failure because of marijuana is remote. Actually, the study stated the likelihood is as unlikely as 1 in 100,000. This danger grows steadily with age but remains to be incredibly unlikely in any situation.

Weed Negligible Danger towards Heart

Even though cannabis undoubtedly has an impact on the function of the heart, an individual should not end up being too concerned unless of course they have a substantive heart condition. Logically speaking, the effect is relatively insignificant.

 

For additional news on the negative effects of weed, an analysis of indica vs sativa, and information relating to marijuana, please visit The Effects of Weed Network.


Unhealthy Weed Toxins Results in Bullous Lung Condition

Though many are curious about the effects of weed on cancer, another form of physical trauma is much more likely to occur when smoking. This damage takes the form of lung disease and more specifically bullous emphysema.

Bullous emphysema is a serious disease that debilitates lung capacity and function. The extreme temperatures and prolonged inhalation of weed smoke both lead to a rapid erosion of lung wall linings. This erosion reduces the lung’s elasticity and results in less oxygen available inside the bloodstream. This will be most evident in shortness of breath and increased risk of infection.

A study published in the January 2008 issue of Respirology titled “Bullous Lung Disease due to Marijuana” further details this issue. A team led by Dr. Matthew Naughton wanted to examine the negative effects of weed smoke on the respiratory system.

One significant fact they revealed was marijuana smokers will establish bullous lung disease much sooner than tobacco smokers. The mean age for developing such a disease in weed users was 41 years old while tobacco users was 65 years old, a massive 24 year difference! As stated earlier, this was attributed to cannabis smoke being inhaled at a much higher temperature and held in the lungs for a longer period of time.

Another troubling discovery they made was that bullous lung disease often goes undetected. Lung function and X-rays may appear completely normal while high resolution CT scans tell a completely different story of serious lung damage.

The reassuring idea behind all of this is that this type of lung disease is completely preventable. Because the problem is attributed to the smoke itself and not the marijuana, by cutting out the smoke, you cut out the damage.

Eliminating the toxic smoke problem takes a process called vaporization. I am a strong advocate of vaporization as it allows users to receive the positive benefits of THC without having to damage their lungs along the way.

Vaporization works by heating marijuana to the appropriate level which allows the THC to essentially steam out and be released through vapor without causing the organic green matter to combust. This greatly reduces heat and carcinogenic levels of the inhaled matter.

I will continue to post articles that outline the negative effects of weed on the lungs and respiratory system. Through my research, I have found deterioration of lung tissue to be the most common and hazardous risk of smoking marijuana. If you want to learn more about the topic of vaporization, please visit The Effect of Weed Network’s vaporization page.

For additional news on the negative effects of weed, an analysis of indica vs sativa, and information relating to marijuana, please visit The Effects of Weed Network.