Bodily and Pharmacological Effects of Medical marijuana


Cannabis is not only essentially the most abused illicit drug in the states (Gold, Frost-Pineda, & Jacobs, 2004; NIDA, 2010) it can be in fact the most abused against the law drug worldwide (UNODC, 2010). In the United States, it is a schedule-I compound which means that it is legally viewed as having no medical make use of and it is highly addictive (US DEA, 2010). How to buy marijuana in Europe?

Doweiko (2009) explains that not all hashish has abuse potential. He or she, therefore, suggests using the frequent terminology marijuana when talking about cannabis with an abuse perspective. For the sake of clarity, this language is used in this paper also.

Today, marijuana is at the particular forefront of international dispute debating the appropriateness connected with its widespread illegal condition. In many Union states, it may be legalized for medical uses.

This trend is known as “medical marijuana” and is strongly congratulated by advocates while concurrently loathed harshly by oppositions (Dubner, 2007; Nakay, the year of 2007; Van Tuyl, 2007). It truly is in this context that it was made a decision to choose the topic of the bodily and pharmacological effects of weed for the basis of this analysis article.

What is marijuana?

Weed is a plant more effectively called cannabis Sativa. As I have said, some cannabis Sativa plant life does not have abuse potential and so is called hemp. Hemp is needed widely for various fiber content products including a newspaper in addition to artists’ canvas. Cannabis sativa with abuse potential are what we call marijuana (Doweiko, 2009).

It is interesting to make note that although widely reported for many years, there is a lot in which researchers still do not find out about marijuana. Neuroscientists and biologists know what the effects of marijuana are generally but they still do not completely understand why (Hazelden, 2005).

Deweiko (2009), Gold, Frost-Pineda, and Jacobs (2004) point out that approximately four hundred known chemical substances found in the cannabis vegetation, researchers know of over 60 that are thought to have psychoactive effects on the human brain. By far the most well-known and potent of the is ∆-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Like Hazelden (2005), Deweiko states that while we know a lot of the neurophysical effects of THC, the understandings THC produces these consequences are unclear.


Being a psychoactive substance, THC instantly affects the central nervous system (CNS). It affects a massive array of neurotransmitters and catalyzes various other biochemical and enzymatic tasks as well.

The CNS is usually stimulated when the THC initiates specific neuroreceptors in the mind causing the various physical and emotional responses that will be expounded on specifically further on. The only ingredients that can activate neurotransmitters tend to be substances that mimic chemical substances that the brain produces normally.

The fact that THC stimulates mind function teaches scientists how the brain has natural cannabinoid receptors. It is still cloudy why humans have all-natural cannabinoid receptors and how that they work (Hazelden, 2005; Frank, 2004). What we do know is marijuana will stimulate cannabinoid receptors up to twenty occasions more actively than some of the body’s natural neurotransmitters actually could (Doweiko, 2009).

Probably the biggest mystery of all may be the relationship between THC and also the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin pain is among the most stimulated by simply all psychoactive drugs, several specifically alcohol and cigarette smoking.

Independent of marijuana’s connection with the chemical, serotonin is readily a little understood neurochemical as well as its supposed neuroscientific roles connected with functioning and purpose are mostly hypothetical (Schuckit along with Tapert, 2004). What neuroscientists have found definitively is that medical marijuana smokers have very high degrees of serotonin activity (Hazelden, 2005).

I would hypothesize that it may end up being this relationship between THC and serotonin that clarifies the “marijuana maintenance program” of achieving abstinence coming from alcohol and allows aaa weed smokers to avoid painful disengagement symptoms and avoid cravings coming from alcohol. The efficacy regarding “marijuana maintenance” for helping alcohol abstinence is not medical but is a phenomenon I personally witnessed with many clients.

Interestingly, marijuana copies so many neurological reactions connected with other drugs that it is particularly difficult to classify in a distinct class. Researchers will input it in any of these categories: psychedelic; hallucinogen; or serotonin inhibitor.

It has properties that copy similar chemical responses seeing that opioids. Other chemical results mimic stimulants (Ashton, I b? rjan p? tv? tusentalet; Gold, Frost-Pineda, & Jacobs, 2004). Hazelden (2005) classifies marijuana in its own exclusive class – cannabinoids.

The true reason for this confusion is the sophisticatedness of the numerous psychoactive properties within marijuana, both known in addition to unknown. One recent consumer I saw could not recover from the particular visual distortions he endured as a result of pervasive psychedelic make use of as long as he was still smoking cigarettes marijuana.

This seemed to be because of the psychedelic properties throughout active cannabis (Ashton, 2001). Although not strong enough to make these visual distortions themselves, marijuana was strong adequate to prevent the brain from curing and recovering.


Cannabinoid receptors are located throughout the mental thus affecting a wide variety of performance. The most important on the emotional amount is the stimulation of the brain’s nucleus accumbens perverting often the brain’s natural reward locations. Another is that of the amygdala which controls one’s sensations and fears (Adolphs, Trane, Damasio, & Damasio, 95; Van Tuyl, 2007).

There are observed that the heavy weed smokers who I work together with personally seem to share any commonality of using the medicine to manage their anger. This kind of observation has evidenced structured consequences and is the basis involving much scientific research. Studies have in fact found that the romantic relationship between marijuana and controlling anger is clinically substantial (Eftekhari, Turner, & Larimer, 2004).

Anger is a protection mechanism used to guard towards emotional consequences of difficulty fueled by fear (Cramer, 1998). As stated, fear is really a primary function controlled by the amygdala which is heavily stimulated through marijuana use (Adolphs, Trane, Damasio, & Damasio, 95; Van Tuyl, 2007).

Neurophysical Effects of THC:

Neurological communications between transmitters and pain not only control emotions as well as psychological functioning. It is also the way the body controls both intentional and nonvolitional functioning. Typically the cerebellum and the basal ganglia control all bodily motion and coordination.

These are a couple of the most abundantly stimulated regions of the brain that are triggered by cannabis. This explains marijuana’s physical effect causing altered high blood pressure (Van Tuyl, 2007), along with a weakening of the muscles (Doweiko, 2009). THC ultimately impacts all neuromotor activity to some extent (Gold, Frost-Pineda, & Jacobs, 2004).

An interesting phenomenon I possess witnessed in almost all consumers who identify marijuana as being a drug of choice is using marijuana smoking before having it. This is explained by the effects of pot on the “CB-1” receptor. Typically the CB-1 receptors in the head are found heavily in the limbic system, or the nucleolus accumbens, which controls the prize pathways (Martin, 2004).

These types of reward pathways are exactly what affect the appetite and eating routine as part of the body’s natural success instinct, causing us in order to crave eating food and fulfilling us with dopamine if we finally do (Hazeldon, 2005). Martin (2004) makes this interconnection, pointing out that unique for marijuana users is the arousal of the CB-1 receptor instantly triggering the appetite.

What on earth are high grade and low class?

A current client of my own explains how he initially smoked up to fifteen important joints of “low grade” cannabis daily but eventually turned to “high grade” once the low grade was beginning to prove ineffective. In the end, 20 joints of high-grade weed were becoming ineffective regarding him as well.

He usually failed to get his “high” from that either. This complete process occurred within all 5 years of the client’s initial ever experience with medical marijuana. What is high and minimal grade marijuana, and the reason would marijuana begin to get rid of its effects after a while?

Often the potency of marijuana will be measured by the THC articles within. As the market around the street becomes more aggressive, the potency on the avenue becomes purer. It’s caused a trend inside ever-rising potency this responds to demand. Just one average joint of medical marijuana smoked today has the same THC potency as 15 average joints of medical marijuana smoke during the 1960s (Hazelden, 2005).

THC levels vary mainly on what part of the pot leaf is being used for generation. For instance, cannabis buds may be between two to eight times more potent than totally developed leaves. Hash necessary oil, a form of marijuana developed by distilling cannabis resin, can deliver higher levels of THC as compared to even high-grade buds (Gold, Frost-Pineda, & Jacobs, 2004).


The need to raise the degree of marijuana one smokes, possibly the need to intensify from minimal grade to high grade may be known clinically as tolerance. Serotonin levels are efficient. As it realizes that neuroreceptors are being induced without the neurotransmitters emitting individuals’ chemical signals, the brain resourcefully lowers its chemical end result so the total levels are generally back to normal.

The smoker will not likely feel the high anymore while his brain is now “tolerating” the higher levels of chemicals as well or she is back to experiencing normal. The smoker at this point raises the dose to obtain the old high back and the actual cycle continues.

The cigarette smoker may find switching up in levels effective for a while. Eventually, the mind can cease to produce the actual chemical altogether, entirely depending on the synthetic version becoming ingested (Gold, Frost-Pineda, as well as Jacobs, 2004; Hazelden, 2005).

Why isn’t there just about any withdrawal?

The flip side of building up a tolerance process is known as “dependence. inch As the body stops generating its own natural chemicals, this now needs the cannabis user to continue smoking to be able to continue the functioning involving chemicals without interruption.

Our bodies are now ordering the consumption of the THC making it really difficult to quit. In fact, research shows that marijuana dependency is usually even more powerful than outwardly harder drugs like cocaine (Gold, Frost-Pineda, & Jacobs, 2004).

By quitting various other drugs like stimulants, opioids, or alcohol, the body responds in negative and sometimes significantly dangerous ways. This is due to the unexpected lack of chemical input linked together with the fact that the brain offers stopped its own natural neurotransmission of those chemicals long ago. This is actually the phenomenon of withdrawal (Haney, 2004; Hazelden, 2005; Jaffe & Jaffe, 2004; Tabakoff & Hoffman, 2004).

Whilst research has shown comparable drawback reactions is marijuana customers as in alcohol or various other drugs (Ashton, 2001), the things I have witnessed many times during my personal interaction with consumers is the apparent lack of revulsion experienced by most marijuana people.

Of course, they experience yearnings, but they don’t report finding the same neurophysical withdrawal response that the other drug customers have. Some marijuana people who smoke and use this as their final evidence that marijuana “is not really a drug” and they should consequently not be subjugated to the exact same treatment and pursuit of recuperation efforts as other medication or alcohol abusers.

The truth is00 that the seeming lack of intense withdrawal is a product of the uniqueness of how the body merchants THC. While alcohol and also other drugs are out of an individual’s system within one today (Schuckit & Tapert, 2004), THC can take up to 1 month until it is fully removed from the body (Doweiko, 2009).

When THC is consumed by the smoker, it is at first distributed very rapidly with the heart, lungs, and mind (Ashton, 2001). THC but is eventually converted into proteins and becomes stored is actually body fat and muscle.

This particular second process of storage throughout body fat reserve is a considerably slower process. When the end-user begins abstinence, fat-stashed THC begins its gradual release back into the blood steady flow. While the rate of re-entry into the body’s system is way too slow to produce any psychoactive effects, it will aid in eliminating the former smoker through the revulsion process in a more feasible and pain-free manner.

A lot more one smokes the more one particular stores. The more body size the smoker has, a lot more THC can be stored as well (Doweiko, 2009). Hence, in very large clients There are seen it take up to help thirty days before urine projection screens show a cleared THC level.

Similar to THC’s slow-moving taper-like cleansing is a slow rate of original onset of psychoactive response. Buyers report that they do not get substantial smoking marijuana right away instructions it takes them time for all their bodied to get used to the item before they feel substantial.

This is explained by the slow-moving absorption of THC in fatty tissue reaching peak union in 4-5 days. For the reason that THC begins to release slowly and gradually into the bloodstream, the bodily response will become heightened speedily with every new use tobacco of marijuana resulting in yet another high.

As the user repeats this process and high numbers of THC accumulate in the body along with continuing to reach the brain, typically the THC is finally sent out to the neocortical, limbic, physical, and motor areas which are detailed earlier (Ashton, 2001).


The neurology along with neurophysiology of marijuana continues to be described thus far. There are many actual physical components of marijuana smoking too. National Institute on Substance abuse (2010) reports that cannabis smokers can have many of the exact same respiratory problems as tobacco people who smoke and including daily cough, phlegm production, more frequent severe chest illness, and an increased risk of lung infections.

These people quote research showing proof that chronic marijuana people who smoke and, who do not smoke cigarettes, have more health problems than no smokers because of respiratory health issues.

The definitive research revealing the significant negative biophysical well-being effects of marijuana is not decisive. We do know that marijuana light up contains fifty to 70 % more carcinogenic hydrocarbons when compared with tobacco smoke does (Ashton, 2001; Gold, Frost-Pineda, as well as Jacobs, 2004; NIDA, 2010).

While some research shows that pot smokers show dysregulation regarding epithelial cells in their breathing tissue which can lead to cancers, other studies have shown absolutely no positive associations at all among marijuana use and chest, upper respiratory, or top digestive tract cancers (NIDA, 2010).

Perhaps the most eye starting fact of all is that almost all experts agree that in the past there has yet to be a solitary documented death reported simply as a result of marijuana smoking (Doweiko, 2009; Gold, Frost-Pineda, as well as Jacobs, 2004; Nakaya, 2008; Van Tuyl, 2007).

Pharmacology – “Medical Marijuana”:

This kind of the last fact regarding the apparently less harmful effects of cannabis smoking even in comparisons along with legal drugs like alcoholic beverages and nicotine is most usually the very first quoted by advocates of legalizing marijuana because of its positive medical advantages (Dubner, 2007; Nakaya, 2007; Vehicle Tuyl, 2007).

Nakaya (2007) points to the seemingly result of marijuana on Alzheimer’s, cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, as well as AIDS. While not scientific, individual experiences of the positive alleviation of sufferers from serious illness are quoted while benefits that are claimed for you outweigh the negative effects.

Lorrie Tuyl (2007) states “almost all drugs – which include those that are legal rapid pose greater threats for you to individual health and/or culture than does marijuana. very well She agrees that legalizing the smoking of pot would not justify the positive consequences but posits still how the risks associated with smoking might be “mitigated by alternate paths of administration, such as vaporization” (pg. 22-23).

The quarrels point to clinically riskier medicines like opioids, benzodiazepines, as well as amphetamines that are administered through prescription on a daily basis. These medicines, like Vicodin, Xanex, or even Ritalin, are internationally appropriate when deemed “medically required. “

Conclusion / Representation:

While I am not comfortable with a weight in on the controversy from the legalization of marijuana, to conclude this research paper, you will find clear implications for me being a practitioner. Alcohol too is pretty legal, as is nicotine, but also for the addiction counselor, you will need to continue keeping a reconnaissance on the biopsychosocial considerations in connection with the misuse of any compound.

Because of the large lack of scientific knowledge regarding the neurobiological qualities associated with an exact brain operating, a crucial focus moving forward may prove to be keeping tabs on breakthrough findings in the neuroscience of THC and other cannabinoids. The findings of particular importance to get current practice are the problem of marijuana’s relationship having emotional self-medication, tolerance, and quite a few of all the withdrawal process.

There are already begun to utilize the advantage of the physical and medicinal effects of marijuana expressed heretofore with personal success and appearance forward to continue utilizing greater distance research to do the same.

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