Marijuana Research Review

July 30, 2010

We have been monitoring ALL scientific research on marijuana/cannabis since about 1994 (and before that we purchased reference material from NIDA of all previous scientific studies). My husband is a nephrologist and clinical pharmacologist and my son is a rheumatologist. Both of these medical specialties require a depth of knowledge of pharmaceutical drugs that far surpasses that of most other subspecialties. One of the most important aspects of prescribing drugs of any sort is knowing the potential side effects and knowing how the drug will interact with other drugs or foods the individual may be taking. Every person is unique and drugs that are benign to one individual may be deadly for another. Penicillin is an excellent example because though it has saved millions of lives, it is also deadly for some. To date there are more than 20,000 published studies on marijuana and none of them offer proof of its safety or efficacy. That being said, I am attaching a file of documents relating to marijuana being a leading cause of drug-related emergency room episodes.

Fifteen years ago I attended a medical conference in Auckland, NZ with my husband. The doctor sitting next to me at dinner asked what I do. I told him that I was the unpaid head of a non-profit drug prevention organization. He said he didn’t think NZ had a drug problem. The doctor sitting across from us interjected that not only did NZ have a drug problem but that it was impacting the medical system. He said that he was head of the psychiatric unit at Auckland’s main hospital and that he would venture that at least 50% of those admitted for emergency psychiatric problems were there because of marijuana. I had heard that marijuana could cause psychiatric problems because two individuals I knew had kids who would go “round the twist” as they say in Auckland, whenever they smoked pot, and would end up in psychiatric care, but I had no idea is was that severe.

Then, about ten years ago, just after my husband became director of transplant for Legacy Hospital Systems, we went to dinner with one of the administrators and his wife. The wife asked what I do and I told her. She then volunteered that she was head of a triage unit in a psychiatric ward at another hospital and that it was her opinion that at least 65% of those admitted for emergency psychiatric problems were there because of marijuana.

re ingesting cannabis. One does not always know the potency of the cannabis being used or how much is in the product. Below is an exchange between a doctor who ingested “space cakes” and the editor of High Times Magazine. You will see that Ed Rosenthal (then the editor) acknowledges that marijuana can cause problems for even experienced users.

Marijuana is such an insidious drug that it may be years before we see the full extent of its potential to do harm. But a couple of things I think are VERY important and that is that marijuana has become a major factor in infertility (see Science Magazine for starters), and it destroys brain cells.

I am also attaching a document put together in 1999 (when there were only about 10,000 studies on marijuana) by a drug prevention specialist out of Canada. This document is called The Marijuana Connection and it categorizes the studies by side effect.

Source: Marijuana Research Review July 2010

Constituents of Cannabis Sativa L. (Marijuana)

In a document entitled “Constituents of Cannabis Sativa L. (Marijuana)” published by the University of Mississippi, Research Institute of

Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Pharmaceutics” (Ross SA, Elsohly MA. Constituents of Cannabis Sativa L. XXVIII A review of the natural

constituents: 1980-1994. J. Pharm Science. 1995;4:1-10, it states that marijuana contains 483 substances, 66 of which are cannabinoids. No

other plant contains cannabinoids.

Up to January, 2001, over 15,000 scientific papers have been published on cannabis and its constituents and many reviews have been written on

cannabis constituents and cannabinoid chemistry. A total of 483 natural constituents have been isolated and/or identified in Cannabis sativa

L., and they have been delineated as follows:

Cannabinoids 66
Nitrogenous Compounds 27
Amino acids 18
Proteins, Glycoproteins, Enzymes 11
Sugars & related compounds 34
Hydrocarbons 50
Simple Alcohols 7
Simple Aldehydes 12
Simple Keytones 13
Simple Acids 21
Fatty Acids 22
Simple Esters & Lactones 13
Steroids 11
Terpenes 120
Non-Cannabinoids Phenols 25
Flavonoids 21
Vitamins 1
Pigments 2
Elements 9

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