Discussion in 'Medical Marijuana' started by Alfa, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    Jan 14, 2003
    117 y/o from The Netherlands

    The Blunt Truth: Drug Increases Brain Cell Growth

    ST. JOHN'S, NFLD. (CUP) - Supporters of marijuana may finally have an excuse to smoke weed every day, as a recent study in the Journal Of Clinical Investigation suggests that smoking pot can make the brain grow.

    Though most drugs inhibit the growth of new brain cells, injections of a synthetic cannibinoid have had the opposite effect in mice in a study performed at the University of Saskatchewan. Research on how drugs affect the brain has been critical to addiction treatment, particularly research on the hippocampus.

    The hippocampus is an area of the brain essential to memory formation.

    It is unusual because it grows new neurons over a person's lifetime.

    Researchers believe these new cells help to improve memory and fight depression and mood disorders.

    Many drugs - heroin, cocaine and the more common alcohol and nicotine

    - inhibit the growth of these new cells. It was thought that marijuana did the same thing, but new research suggests otherwise.

    Neuropsychiatrist, Xia Zhang and a team of researchers study how marijuana-like drugs, known collectively as cannabinoids, act on the brain.

    The team tested the effects of HU-210, a potent synthetic cannabinoid similar to a group of compounds found in marijuana. The synthetic version is about 100 times as powerful as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the high-inducing compound loved by recreational users.

    The researchers found that rats treated with HU-210 on a regular basis showed neurogenesis - the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus. A current hypothesis suggests depression may be triggered when the hippocampus grows insufficient numbers of new brain cells. If true, HU-210 could offer a treatment for such mood disorders by stimulating this growth.

    Whether this is true for all cannabinoids remains unclear, as HU-210 is only one of many and the HU-210 in the study is highly purified.

    "That does not mean that general use in healthy people is beneficial,"

    said Memorial University of Newfoundland psychology professor William McKim. "We need to learn if this happens in humans, whether this is useful in healthy people and whether THC causes it as well."

    McKim warns that marijuana disrupts memory and cognition. "These effects can be long-lasting after heavy use," he said. "This makes it difficult to succeed academically if you use it excessively."

    "Occasional light use probably does not have very serious consequences. [But], there is some evidence that marijuana smoke might cause cancer," he cautioned.

    Still, the positive aspects of marijuana are becoming more plentiful as further research is done. McKim says it's not surprising that THC and compounds like it could have medicinal effects.

    "Many have been identified," he said. "It stimulates appetite in people with AIDS, it is an analgesic and blocks nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and it treats the symptoms of glaucoma."

    The research group's next studies will examine the more unpleasant side of the drug.
  2. Sklander

    Sklander Silver Member

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    Jul 29, 2005
    from congo_democratic
    Thank you for this wonderful information. I won't forget it!
  3. psyche

    psyche Palladium Member

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    Feb 28, 2006
    30 y/o from finland
    Ok sorry to wake this thread up just to say this but I had this same news appear in my local newspaper some time ago. There were no negative aspects included, and there was picked up a quote that goes translated "The conclusion is that smoking marihuana is a good thing" -Xia Zhang. I think that's too much said for averige Joe. There's nothing about dangers, and at the end there's only disclaimer-like statement
    "For now marihuana's benefits in producing neurons has still only provetd in rats and even in there only with HU210, which is 100 times more potent than marihuanas active ingredient THC"
  4. cj1223

    cj1223 Newbie

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    Jul 12, 2006
    42 y/o
    sure why not but most of the depressed are depressed from drug use and the weed isnt going to help. But if your unhappy and never smoked weed in your life spark up a juzzy
  5. Bajeda

    Bajeda Super Moderator Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Jul 13, 2006
    from U.S.A.
    I wouldnt say that most of the depressed people are depressed from drugs. Some people get depressed from drugs while other people are depressed so they turn to drugs.

    In any case, this is nice news, though it doesn't really change much. Still, its nice to see that more research is being done on the subject. If only the US could move Marijuana to Schedule III or IV so research can be done on it.