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Thanks to the Joint Blog for drawing attention to this new study and for their wonderful graphics.

In a new National Institute of Health study, Prospective Study of Cannabis Use in Adolescents at Clinical High-Risk for Psychosis: Impact on Conversion to Psychosis and Functional Outcome debunks another of the long time myths about cannabis usage. Cannabis usage does not cause psychosis but alcohol does.

Conclusions

The current data do not support low to moderate lifetime cannabis use to be a major contributor to psychosis or poor social and role functioning in high-risk youth.

Maybe now we can begin to treat the cannabinoid drugs found in cannabis resins as the valuable medicines they are meant to be without getting confused with the recreational use of dried female flowers and leaves of the cannabis plants.

Originally posted to RMForbes on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 05:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Now that canard is disposed of... (9+ / 0-)

    ...maybe we can get to the "Big Three" social problems facing them: Obesity, alcohol, gun violence.

    Yes there are many other problems. But -possibly- now these parents who catch their kids smoking pot won't be throwing them into the "treatment" nightmare. Having witnessed it, more kids come OUT of treatment hard-drug users than go IN.

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 05:21:51 PM PDT

  •  Thanks RM Forbes. Since the DEA has so tihtly (11+ / 0-)

    controlled access to marijuana for research it may take some time to restore confidence that the DEA did not selectively allow only those researchers to have it who they expected would find results painting a negative picture.

    Most of the most credible researchers I've read have bitterly complained that the DEA was not allowing them access to the only legal source.  

    Thanks RM.  

    Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

    by HoundDog on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 05:27:13 PM PDT

  •  I really believe that keeping the beneficial... (9+ / 0-)

    effects of marijuana from the people who need them -- by law -- is tantamount to our government perpetrating an ongoing crime against humanity.

    "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." - 17th-century French clergyman and statesman Cardinal Richelieu.

    by markthshark on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 05:38:21 PM PDT

  •  I've always thought (9+ / 0-)

    that if you've got a young teen who is feeling the effects of the onset of schizophrenia, they might smoke more cannabis to relieve those symptoms?
    Anyway, the good news is that these studies are getting more and more interest, the bad news is the DEA (which grows its own cannabis) won't share with medical researchers looking to do real studies on the benefits of cannabis. It seems the DEA would rather watch millions of people suffer from various maladies than give up the pharma's stranglehold on legal drugs.
    Thanks for sharing that, RM, tweeted~

    •  I can see how you might think that... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Damnit Janet

      but a couple of points. First, the thought is based on the misinformation that the National Institute of Health study has just dispelled. Second, not all people who hear voices are schizophrenic but, to the best of my knowledge, all people with schizophrenia hear voices. That wouldn't drive me to substance known to cause paranoia, but it sure might drive me to a substance known to cause unconsciousness. You may have actually hit on the cause of the correlation, you just had the substances reversed (through no fault of your own).

      Oh, in addition, schizophrenia onset tends to occur at the end of adolescence which, physiologically, is around age 22, when alcohol becomes freely available. Huh.

      One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

      by Darwinian Detritus on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 06:37:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We all have voices in our heads. We all speak to (4+ / 0-)

        ourselves. And most of us can give thanks for being able to "listen or leave", "listen or leave". Obviously those who have difficulty reaching that point of development/maturity deserve to access every advantage they can imagine. And if and when they may happen to fail, the rest of us must be ready to aid and support.

        We, all, are far more fragile than any but the most enlighted of us can possibly conceive. And, strangely, nearly equally resilint.

        Thankfully.

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 07:10:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is more childhood (5+ / 0-)

        schizophrenia than is acknowledged.  My son definitely had symptoms all his life but was not diagnosed until in full psychosis and in jail at age 18.  He smoked pot in high school and after a long hospitalization.  He finally admitted after punching holes in walls that pot is not good for him.  It makes him paranoid and angry. Pot is like everything else we ingest, smoke or apply to our bodies, it doesn't suit everyone.

        Everyone! Arms akimbo! 68351

        by tobendaro on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 07:30:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pot may very well not be good for your son (3+ / 0-)

          However, the herbal cannabinoid drugs found in cannabis resins mimic the natural cannabinoid drugs produced by our body's endocannabinoid system that are necessary for our body's basic functions at the cellular level. Smoking pot adds thousands of chemicals to these herbal cannabinoids and these hot gasses and chemicals that are in the smoke are far more likely to really cause the problems your son experiences.

          The primary cannabinoid drug, CBD, has very well known anti-psychotic properties and kills the THC high. I would be surprised to find out that your son wouldn't respond well to strains of cannabis with higher concentrations of CBD (not smoking it of course). I know I prefer these strains because at my age I don't use cannabis recreationally anymore, I use it medicinally.

          Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

          by RMForbes on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 07:56:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry to hear of you son's journey (6+ / 0-)

          I can't begin to imagine your own journey through it as his parent.  

          Just now at my OLD age - I'm learning about strains.  I used to think it was some silly name game but there is a definite difference between Indica strains and Sativa strains.  As well as a difference between one Indica plant and another.

          Had a long talk with a friend who uses a tincture for her OCD/Anxiety.  She's a dear friend of my son who is autistic.  She relayed how she HATES to smoke just about any weed and that she almost gave up on tinctures and edibles because she only can have certain Indica strains.  She says most of the Sativas make her more anxious and can even cause her to have panic attacks.  But due to her using Indica tinctures, she has just blossomed into a wonderful woman who volunteered to be a teacher's assistant in special ed classes and that is how she met my son and has remained a constant friend to him 4 years after he graduated high school.

          Cannabis isn't for everyone. Very true.  But some strains are totally different.  I'm just now learning - and there is so much to learn -that my arthritis LOVES a strain called Catatonic.  If I smoked it, I'd probably be a couch zombie, but apply it to my skin and I can feel the pain leave and I can lift both arms above my head. :)

          I wish you and your son much peace and progress.  

          "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

          by Damnit Janet on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 07:56:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  No, not all schizophrenics hear voices. It's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RMForbes

        common, but not universal.

        Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
        ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

        by FarWestGirl on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 10:09:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't believe teens should be smoking anything (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Damnit Janet, skohayes, FarWestGirl

      However, I also believe that concentrated cannabinoid oils would be far better in treating ADHD and other learning disabilities than the dangerous and addictive prescription drugs like Ritalin we now give to our children. When I was in college I found eating a little of my homegrown bud with my breakfast before going to class helped my concentrate on my studies and all but eliminated my testing anxiety.

      So, smoking no...but cannabis edibles, tinctures and preparations a much better idea.  

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 07:17:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My son is autistic. (5+ / 0-)

        When first diagnosed, the "schools" wanted him on clonidine.  Horrific stuff!  They also wanted him on Ritalin.  Thankfully, our pediatrician wasn't "old school" and gave me one piece of advice we took forever when thinking about medicines for our son.

        Is the medicine going to help him or help you and the teachers?

        We never found a pharm-drug for him that we felt was for him or that the side effects weren't more dangerous or harmful.

        There are so many sleep "meds" parents put their little kids on because some young autistics simply don't sleep.  My son was almost 6 years old before he slept more than 4 hours a night.  Instead of medicating him or giving him "nutritional supplements" - we went through the long, hard road of helping him LEARN how to have control of the night.  Can't teach someone how to go to sleep, but you sure can teach them how to use the night time as a time to relax and do your own thing.  He finally found a rhythm for himself.  He didn't have to go to sleep, but he did have to stay in his room and be quiet and mindful of others.  It was HARD but now he is 21 and sleeping or staying in his room and not wandering around were lessons he finally figured out.

        It's just crazy how Ritalin is pushed by schools even but medical cannabis which could be helpful to so many for numerous things - including going to sleep peacefully... - is illegal.

        I could cry.  In fact, I have.  Am.

        "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

        by Damnit Janet on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 07:47:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (7+ / 0-)

    for your continued sharing on this incredible plant and all of it's possibilities.

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 06:04:52 PM PDT

  •  I've been looking at the cancer studies. (6+ / 0-)

    Good stuff.

  •  Well I could have told them that (5+ / 0-)

    my husband was a Vietnam Vet who smoked pot most of his life. Back in the day VA doctors recommended it as the most effective thing for PTSD. They did this off the record because at the time both medical marijuana and PTSD were not things they were allowed to talk about. Since he had actually been smoking it off and on since he was 16 it was easy and it worked for him in a big positive way.

    He was as sane as they come.

    I can also tell you it never effected his lung capacity his job required that he take a lung function test every year.

    It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

    by PSWaterspirit on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 07:49:04 PM PDT

  •  Ok, another of many dueling studies... (0+ / 0-)

    It is a little larger than some previous ones, but still not anywhere being definitive either in size or in  longitudinality (is that a word???...lol). The first thing the narrative did was cite various studies that had found positive correlations. The authors feel that their study contradicts some of the previous findings - and I would agree that it does for some of the cases. However, in their own study limitations, they admit that their study would only be a good analysis for younger individuals whose usage would parallel that of a hypothetical average user. They drew no conclusions considering correlations between heavy users and the onset of a psychosis - in deed they eliminated any identified users with a perceived problem from the study.

    So, we have a study that seems to show that average usage of marijuana will not cause reefer madness. That's good, but I think most in the scientific community would believe this already. The study makes no claims about the safety of heavy or problematic use.

    As for the comparison with alcohol - I think most would agree with the same thing. Average use generally doesn't cause problems. Light use might in deed be beneficial. Heavy use can kill you (obviously heavy use of marijuana won't kill you but might well lead to other serious problems).

    However, in the world of dueling studies, several other recent ones have indicated that average use might cause problems other than the rapidt onset of problematic psychosis.

    •  Actually that is not what this study said (0+ / 0-)

      In this study of high risk individuals concluded that any amount of alcohol use does increase the rate of psychosis while even cannabis use that would be considered abuse showed no increase. Also, this study was done over five years which is at least twice as long as your competing statistical studies.

      The problem we have here is the DEA will not allow comprehensive studies on the actual cannabinoid drugs found in cannabis resins. There are thousands of chemicals in smoke or even the environment that have proven detrimental effects which could also be the trigger mechanism(s). We need to get the DEA out of the way so that cannabinoids like THC and CBD can be directly studied instead of relying upon statistical studies that use statistics that are generated from questionnaires about illegal and legal recreational drug use given to people after they have developed psychosis. We need to agree that none of these studies prove anything more than correlation and do not prove causation.  

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 10:19:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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