Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids

Cannabis Smoking Linked to Lung Cancer
gpa_team Monday, December 19, 2016 9:12:07 AM
        There is a troubling new research that teenagers smoking marijuana are not only affecting themselves, but they are maybe causing addiction in children they will have years down the road. Smoking marijuana has an effect during your lifetime on your brain and behavior. But now the study shows it can even last into your offspring, even though they did not themselves were directly exposed to marijuana. Smoking cannabis permanently changes the human brains. The changes are passed to the offspring. When those offspring grow up, they will show compulsive behavior and a strong appetite for heroin. The amount of cannabbis-derived tar inhaled into lungs is four times that of an unfiltered cigarette. The tar attacks the hair-like cilia that protect the lungs and paralizes or destroys them. This allows the tar to penetrate leading to a greater risk of chronic bronchitis. Once inhaled, the cannabis chemicals slip easily through the membranes lining the lungs and into bloodstream. The blood carries them from the lungs to the heart. Cannabis smoking may have a greater potential than tobacco smoking to cause lung cancer. Cannabis smoke is qualitatively similar to tobacco smoke, although it contains up to twice the concentration of the carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Cannabis is less densely packed than tobacco cigarettes, and tends to be smoked without filters to a smaller butt size, leading to higher concentrations of smoke inhaled. Furthermore, smokers of cannabis inhale more deeply and hold their breath for longer, facilitating the deposition of the carcinogenic products in the lower respiratory tract. These factors are likely to be responsible for the five-fold greater absorption of carbon monoxide from a cannabis joint, compared with a tobacco cigarette of similar size despite similar carbon monoxide concentrations in the smoke inhaled. The major finding has been that for each joint-year of cannabis exposure, the risk of lung cancer increased by 8%, with a 5.7-fold greater risk in those with more than 10.5 joint-years of cannabis use. (Source: PubMed)

Harmful Effects of Synthetic Cannabinoids
gpa_team Monday, December 19, 2016 10:12:07 AM
        Synthetic cannabinoids were initially developed for research purposes. As such, the methods for synthesizing the compounds are published in the scientific literature and utilized by clandestine chemists to produce compounds for commercial SC products. Once synthesized, SCs are dissolved in ethanol or acetone and sprayed on plant material, which is then sold in packets as incense, herbal blends, or potpourri, and usually labeled with a disclaimer indicating that the contents are not for human consumption. These products are sold under a variety of names including “Spice,” “K2,” “Black Mamba,” and “Scooby Snax.” Low doses of synthetic cannabinoids produce marijuana-like effects, including perceptual distortions and mood elevation, but higher doses or binge use can produce serious adverse effects, including increased heart rate, uncontrolled vomiting, acute kidney injury, panic attacks, hallucinations, psychosis, and seizures.
   Although several chemical structural classes of synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) were recently classified as Schedule I substances, making these substances illegal in the US, rates of use and cases of serious toxic effects remain high. The use of legal highs is increasing and the chemical compositions and physiological effects of these drugs are continually changing.  Synthetic cannabinoids, rarely identified on toxicological testing, have been linked to serious adverse cardiovascular effects such as myocardial infarction and cardiac arrest. Synthetic cannabinoid compounds with adamantane component  have high potency and are undetectable on conventional toxicology testing. Adverse effects of intoxication have been reported to occur even in those who only used SCs once: irritability, agitation, anxiety, and seizures associated with intoxication or withdrawal. In additiion, synthetic cannabinoids carry the greatest risk oflater psychosis. XLR-11, a widely consumed synthetic cannabinoid,  may cause tumors in the respiratory tract.
Cannabis has become popular among US military veterans suffering from PTSD, and several US states have approved its medicinal use for such symptoms. However, as yet there is no evidence concerning the safety or efficacy of this practice. More people with attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are seeking treatment for cannabis use disorders. However, studies show that cannabis use increases risk of adult ADHD. (Source: PubMed)

gpa_team Tuesday, January 3, 2017 10:12:07 AM
        Although the public and the media use the term “medical marijuana” liberally, few acknowledge or are even aware of the complex nature of the plant, which consists of  > 400 chemicals, with approximately 70 cannabinoids. The truth is, there is growing evidence that not all components of marijuana are medically beneficial and it is still unclear as to what specific medical disorders are best treated by this plant. The understanding of medicinal aspects of cannabinoids is only in its infancy. Most scientific studies to date have focused on 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most prominent psychoactive constituent of the plant and the cannabinoid that leads to the rewarding effects of cannabis. Another prominent phytocannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD), which has extremely low concentrations in the marijuana strains commonly used recreationally in which the THC potency has dramatically increased. It may hold the psychiatric therapeutic promise, NOT the general marijuana plant. (Source: PubMed)

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Keywords: cannabis, marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids, adverse effects



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