The Effects Of Marijuana Marijuana can cause many harmful effects. There has never been a major test though. The ones theyve used have shown very different things. I have been very surprised by what I have been reading. I cannot believe the difference in what different scientists think.
One says, It’s hard to know for sure whether regular marijuana use causes cancer. But it is known that marijuana contains some of the same and sometimes even more, of the cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Studies show that someone who smokes five joints per week may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day. While in certain places it is legally perscribed to people with many different types of cancer. The New scientist says, A FRENCH government study has heaped fuel on the debate over the safety of cannabis by listing it as the least dangerous of all potentially addictive drugs.
It also concludes that alcohol is among the most dangerous. The study, commissioned by French health minister Bernard Kouchner, was carried out by a panel of 10 French and foreign scientists headed by Bernard-Pierre Roques of the Ren Descartes University of Paris. The panel searched the scientific literature for information about psychological and physical dependence, neural and general toxicity and social hazards such as aggressive behavior caused by various legal and illegal drugs. The team then grouped the substances into three categories of dangerousness. Cannabis was the only drug put in the least dangerous category. While cautioning that no drug they assessed was completely free of danger, the researchers gave cannabis a rating of weak for social hazard and addictiveness, very weak for general toxicity and zero for neurotoxicity.
In the most dangerous category, they included heroin and other opiates, and cocaine. Alcohol was also placed in this category because of its strong toxicity, its potential as a social hazard and its very strong addictiveness. In the middle category they placed stimulants such as amphetamines, hallucinogens and tobacco–largely because of its very strong addictiveness and toxicity. The authors point out that governments base their decisions whether or not to prohibit a drug on its ability to induce dependence. They conclude that the official classification for some drugs is incorrect.
These are two very different sides. Yet another online site says, Health officials in Geneva have suppressed the publication of a politically sensitive analysis that confirms what ageing hippies have known for decades: cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco. According to a document leaked to New Scientist, the analysis concludes not only that the amount of dope smoked worldwide does less harm to public health than drink and cigarettes, but that the same is likely to hold true even if people consumed dope on the same scale as these legal substances. The comparison was due to appear in a report on the harmful effects of cannabis published last December by the WHO. But it was ditched at the last minute following a long and intense dispute between WHO officials, the cannabis experts who drafted the report and a group of external advisers.
As the WHO’s first report on cannabis for 15 years, the document had been eagerly awaited by doctors and specialists in drug abuse. The official explanation for excluding the comparison of dope with legal substances is that the reliability and public health significance of such comparisons are doubtful. However, insiders say the comparison was scientifically sound and that the WHO caved in to political pressure. It is understood that advisers from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse and the UN International Drug Control Programme warned the WHO that it would play into the hands of groups campaigning to legalise marijuana. One member of the expert panel which drafted the report, says: In the eyes of some, any such comparison is tantamount to an argument for marijuana legalisation. Another member, Billy Martin of the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, says that some WHO officials went nuts when they saw the draft report.
The leaked version of the excluded section states that the reason for making the comparisons was not to promote one drug over another but rather to minimise the double standards that have operated in appraising the health effects of cannabis. Nevertheless, in most of the comparisons it makes between cannabis and alcohol, the illegal drug comes out better–or at least on a par–with the legal one. The report concludes, for example, that in developed societies cannabis appears to play little role in injuries caused by violence, as does alcohol. It also says that while the evidence for fetal alcohol syndrome is good, the evidence that cannabis can harm fetal development is far from conclusive. Cannabis also fared better in five out of seven comparisons of long-term damage to health. For example, the report says that while heavy consumption of either drug can lead to dependence, only alcohol produces a well defined withdrawal syndrome.
And while heavy drinking leads to cirrhosis, severe brain injury and a much increased risk of accidents and suicide, the report concludes that there is only suggestive evidence that chronic cannabis use may produce subtle defects in cognitive functioning. Two comparisons were more equivocal. The report says that both heavy drinking and marijuana smoking can produce symptoms of psychosis in susceptible people. And, it says, there is evidence that chronic cannabis smoking may be a contributory cause of cancers of the aerodigestive tract. Well I wonder what the governments own drug site (NIDA) says about marijuana, People who smoke marijuana often develop the same kinds of breathing problems that cigarette smokers have: coughing and wheezing.
They tend to have more chest colds than nonusers. They are also at greater risk of getting lung infections like pneumonia. Animal studies have found that THC can damage the cells and tissues in the body that help protect people from disease. When the immune cells are weakened, you are more likely to get sick. Another government site says, Within a few minutes of inhaling marijuana smoke, users likely experience dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, some loss of coordination and poor sense of balance, and slower reaction times, along with intoxication.
Blood vessels in the eye expand. For some people, marijuana raises blood pressure slightly and can double the normal heart rate. This effect can be greater when other drugs are mixed with marijuana. Research also has documented the following chronic or long-term effects of marijuana use. THC suppresses the neurons in the information-processing system of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is crucial for learning, memory, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivation.
Researchers have discovered that learned behaviors, which depend on the hippocampus, deteriorate after chronic exposure to THC. Chronic abuse of marijuana also is associated with impaired attention and memory, while prenatal exposure to marijuana is associated with impaired verbal reasoning and memory in preschool children. Of possible relevance are findings from animal studies showing that chronic exposure to THC damages and destroys nerve cells and causes other pathological changes in the hippocampus. Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers have. These individuals may have daily coug …