The Forbidden Herb - Is Ganja Bad For Your Health?

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Sep 5, 2001.

  1. By Eulalee Thompson
    Source: Jamaica Gleaner

    Just before setting out to sea, some Jamaican fishermen use ganja and they experience remarkable improvement in their vision when they are out on the high seas.
    It was this chance observation of the herb's effect on vision, that led local scientist, Professor Manley West to team up with his colleague Dr. Albert Lockhart, to create the glaucoma treatment Canasol and more recently, Cantimol. Many studies indicate that the use of ganja is deeply steeped in the folk culture, sometimes taking on a mystical imagery.

    Like the fishermen, a large proportion of people take ganja as tea or for smoking and they credit it with many healing properties.

    It is not surprising, therefore, that in its wide public consultation, leading to the recommendation to decriminalise ganja for private, personal use, the National Commission on Ganja had personal testimonies ranging from 'miraculous-like cures to relief from simple colds' when ganja was used.

    But the essential question is: 'Does ganja use negatively impact human health ?' There appears to be no controversy among medical experts on this issue; they say 'yes'. Ganja has medicinal properties that can be exploited and developed but recreational smoking can be bad for human health.

    Ganja is no different from any other psychotropic drug in its physiological effect, said Dr. Winston Dawes, president of the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ). Furthermore, all kinds of smoking, he said, will negatively affect health.

    "There is no clinical advantage from smoking it outside of some terminally-ill patients who use it for nausea and also for medicinal use like glaucoma. It is implicated in low birth weight in women who smoke and there is also a psychological aspect, a condition known as ganja psychosis, has been recognised in some people who are susceptible to it," he said.

    Nevertheless, the MAJ supports the decriminalisation of ganja use accompanied by a massive educational drive on the risk and dangers of smoking. "If an individual still insist on smoking in the privacy of his home, then he shouldn't be arrested because people are allowed to smoke other harmful stuff such as cigarette," Dr. Dawes said.

    "When a substance such as ganja is smoked, the chemicals in it are burnt and unstable metabolites ( or breakdown materials ) are created. Some of these metabolites are toxic and can stay for long periods of time in the body's tissues," said Dr. Winston Davidson, former chairman of the National Council on Drug Abuse ( NCDA ).

    When the substance is burnt, the tar content, he said, is three or four times that found in cigarettes.

    Dr. Davidson, who also supports the decriminalisation of ganja, said that not only smoking the herb will negatively impact health but also drinking 'ganja tea'.

    "In the brewed tea, you have a more concentrated form of the psychoactive substance THC ( delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol )," he said.

    THC is the most abundant of the 60 cannabinoids found in ganja. It is the THC that is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream when ganja is smoked. The Commission said that it is now recognised that THC interacts with a naturally occurring system in the body, known as the cannabinoid system. THC affects the body by acting upon the cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are found on nerve cells, in the brain, spinal cord and in some peripheral tissues. CB2 receptors are found mainly in the immune system and are not present in the brain. THC is believed to affect the brain's processing of information, memory, motivation and the experience of emotion.

    Dr. Davidson said that some people are predisposed, even after first use, to develop acute ganja psychosis. This is a state of panic, a distortion of time and space. Ganja use can precipitate existing psychotic illnesses, he said.

    Source: Jamaica Gleaner, The (Jamaica)
    Author: Eulalee Thompson
    Published: September 17, 2001
    Copyright: 2001 The Gleaner Company Limited
  2. whoa.. i can't speak right even when im not stead of saying " The dog ran fast" I say "The ran dog fast" ... lol my memory also gets retarded... i can't remember if i did some this yesterday or last week... also my emotions are subdued.. today i got my ear peirced and my mom noes i HATE needles or anything "peircing" my skin..i had a mono tone facial expression and i didn't even budge.. my mom was like.. "you didn't even flinch".... as for being psychotic.. i belive brother is a nut- job

    this all might be true =[[

    ...who cares :smoke:

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