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Research Claims Cannabis Can Ease Mental Illnesses
    #4251453 - 06/03/05 08:35 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Research Claims Cannabis Can Ease Mental Illnesses
June 3, 2005 - news.scotsman.com

Severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bi-polar depression could be eased with cannabis, according to new research today.

While some experts have warned about the long-term mental damage that cannabis smokers risk, scientists at Newcastle University believe in regulated doses it can ease manic attacks.

Professor Heather Ashton, who led the study by the department of psychiatry, stressed the medicinal use of cannabis was quite separate from heavy, recreational use.

She said: "There are certain things in cannabis which can be helpful in certain forms of mental disease.

"People who take it for relief of these symptoms do not need the heavy doses that recreational users take."

She did not advocate smoking the drug, but said there were certain chemicals known as cannabinoids in it which can be synthesised into a spray and administered under the tongue.

In certain doses, it can have a sedative, anti-psychotic or anti-depressive effect, she said.

One ingredient THC makes users feel 'high', while another, known as CBD, can have a calming effect.

Prof Ashton, a psycho-pharmacologist, wanted to study the effect of a mixture of those two specific chemicals.

"It is a fact that people with bi-polar depression do take it and, anecdotally, they say it can relieve depression and mania."

Prof Ashton said current anti-psychotic drugs, often a mixture of lithium, was not satisfactory as they can render patients emotionally "flat".

"We thought it might be useful to patients to try, as an add-on not as a single drug, a known mixture of certain cannabinoids."

The department was now looking for funding to begin a trial, which could be done in collaboration with North American scientists, who have access to the two cannabinoids as they have already been licensed in Canada.

Fears about the harmful effects of cannabis on mental health, particularly psychosis, have caused the government to consider bringing it back from a class C to class B drug.

During the election campaign Tony Blair said cannabis was not "quite as harmless as people make out".

However, last month Britain's top policeman Sir Ian Blair asked for it not to be reclassified.

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner said: "It's a waste of time, in terms of policing, to deal with small amounts (of cannabis) because the courts and the CPS have consistently failed to do anything about it."

He would prefer fixed-penalty notices for possession of small amounts of the drug.

Claims have been made recently that THC in cannabis can protect arteries against harmful changes which cause strokes and heart attacks.

It is also used by Multiple Sclerosis sufferers who claim it helps them control spasms, while some cancer patients say it reduces side effects of chemotherapy, including nausea.

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Re: Research Claims Cannabis Can Ease Mental Illnesses [Re: veggie]
    #4251459 - 06/03/05 08:44 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

But I just read that it was worse than crack? Now I'm confused :frown:

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Re: Research Claims Cannabis Can Ease Mental Illnesses [Re: veggie]
    #4252088 - 06/03/05 02:11 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Wasn't there an article here just a couple months ago saying cannabis use leads to mental illness? :lol:

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Error: divide byzero

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Re: Research Claims Cannabis Can Ease Mental Illnesses [Re: faslimy]
    #4262642 - 06/06/05 06:51 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

> Now I'm confused

I bet you smoke that devil weed, 'Marywana'... thats your problem. That forsaken substance will destroy your brain so that you are always confused. Turn your life around and drink alcohol and smoke tobacco instead... that is, if you value a sound mind and a healthy body. If you keep smoking that devil weed, you will end up dead in the street with a heroin needle sticking out of your arm. Trust me, I see it happen all the time and those needles are sharp!

(for the humor impaired, no, I am not being serious here...)

Just another spore in the wind.

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