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Arnica

Posted by Maddalena Frau on October 14, 2013 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)



Arnica (Arnica montana) has been used for medicinal purposes since the 1500s and is still popular today. Applied to the skin as a cream, ointment, liniment, salve, or tincture, arnica has been used to soothe muscle aches, reduce inflammation, and heal wounds. It is commonly used for injuries such as sprains and bruises. As an herb, arnica is usually used topically (on the skin) because it can cause serious side effects when taken by mouth. Oral homeopathic remedies do contain arnica, but they use a diluted form that is not considered dangerous. If you have any question about whether you have the herbal or homeopathic form of arnica, talk to your doctor.

Plant Description

Arnica is a perennial that grows to a height of 1 - 2 feet with yellow-orange flowers similar to daisies. Stems are round and hairy, ending in 1 - 3 flower stalks, with flowers 2 - 3 inches across. Leaves are bright green. The upper leaves are toothed and slightly hairy, while lower leaves have rounded tips. It is native to the mountains of Europe and Siberia, and is cultivated in North America.

Parts Used

Fresh or dried flower heads are used in medicinal preparations.

Medicinal Uses and Indications

  • Arnica is used topically for a wide range of conditions, including bruises, sprains, muscle aches, wound healing, superficial phlebitis, joint pain, inflammation from insect bites, and swelling from broken bones. More recent studies suggest it may also be helpful in the treatment of burns.
  • Homeopathic preparations are also used to treat sore muscles, bruises, and other conditions caused by overexertion or injury. Homeopathic doses are extremely diluted. They have no detectable amount of the plant in them and are generally considered safe for internal use when taken according to the directions on the label.

Available Forms

Arnica is available in topical creams and ointments. It is most commonly found as a tincture, which can also be used as the base for compresses and poultices. Arnica oil may also be used in topical preparations.

A number of homeopathic remedies are available in pill, topical, or injectable forms.

How to Take It

You should not take arnica by mouth without direct medical supervision, except in a diluted form as a homeopathic remedy, because side effects may be severe (see "Precautions").

Use homeopathic products according to directions on the label or the advice of your homeopathic practitioner. Health care providers may give homeopathic preparations by injection.

When using arnica topically, never apply it to an open wound without a doctor's supervision.

Pediatric

You may also use homeopathic preparations to treat bruising, swelling, and trauma to soft tissues. Follow the dosage instructions on the product label or consult a licensed homeopath. Use only in homeopathic formulations. Don’t use the herb itself.

Adult

Commercial preparations of creams, ointments, and lotions are available through some specialty stores and natural health providers. Homeopathic preparations are widely available at health food stores and many pharmacies.

Precautions

Arnica is generally safe when used on the skin. However, using it for a long time may irritate the skin, causing eczema, peeling, blisters, or other skin conditions. Arnica should not be used on broken skin, such as leg ulcers. In one study, researchers found that arnica used topically increased leg pain 24 hours after participants performed calf exercises. Also, people who are hypersensitive or allergic to the herb should avoid it.

Arnica is rarely used as an internal herbal remedy because it can cause dizziness, tremors, and heart irregularities. It may also irritate mucous membranes and cause vomiting. Large doses can even be fatal. Do not take arnica by mouth except under close supervision of your doctor. You can generally take homeopathic remedies, which use extremely small amounts of arnica, safely.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid taking arnica, and ask your doctor before using it on your skin. Talk to your doctor before taking any medication, including herbs.

Possible Interactions

When used topically or in a homeopathic remedy, there are no known interactions with arnica and conventional medications.

Supporting Research

Adkison JD. The effect of topical arnica on muscle pain. Ann Pharmacother. 2010; 44(10):1579-84.

Auerbach. Wilderness Medicine, 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby; 2011.

Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, Mass: Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.

Bolognia. Dermatology, 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders; 2012.

Brinkhaus B, Wilkens JM, Ludtke R, Hunger J, Witt CM, Willich SN. Homeopathic arnica therapy in patients receiving knee surgery: Results of three randomised double-blind trials. Complement Ther Med. 2006 Dec;14(4):237-46.

Huber R. Bross F, Schempp C, Grundermann C. Arnica and stinging nettle for treating burns - a self-experiment. Complement Ther Med. 2011; 19(5):276-80.

Kotlus BS, Heringer DM, Dryden RM. Evaluation of Homeopathic Arnica montana for Ecchymosis After Upper Blepharoplasty: A Placebo-Controlled, Randomized, Double-Blind Study. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2010 Jul 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Seeley BM, Denton AB, Ahn MS, Maas CS. Effect of homeopathic Arnica montana on bruising in face-lifts: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2006 Jan-Feb;8(1):54-9.

Alternative Names

Arnica montana; Leopard's bane


Source: Arnica | University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/arnica#ixzz2hhRhPzJ3
University of Maryland Medical Center
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Passionflower

Posted by Maddalena Frau on October 14, 2013 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)




Passionflower is used for sleep problems (insomnia), gastrointestinal (GI) upset related to anxiety or nervousness, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and relieving symptoms related to narcotic drug withdrawal.

Passionflower is also used for seizures, hysteria, asthma, symptoms of menopause, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), nervousness and excitability, palpitations, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, and pain relief.

Some people apply passionflower to the skin for hemorrhoids, burns, and pain and swelling (inflammation).

In foods and beverages, passionflower extract is used as a flavoring.

In 1569, Spanish explorers discovered passionflower in Peru. They believed the flowers symbolized Christ’s passion and indicated his approval for their exploration. Passionflower is found in combination herbal products used as a sedative for promoting calmness and relaxation. Other herbs contained in these products include German chamomile, hops, kava, skullcap, and valerian.

Passionflower was formerly approved as an over-the-counter sedative and sleep aid in the U.S., but it was taken off the market in 1978 because safety and effectiveness had not been proven. However, passionflower may still be available alone or in combination with other herbal products.
The effects of passionflower tend to be milder than valerian (Valeriana officinalis) or kava (Piper methysticum), 2 other herbs used to treat anxiety. Passionflower is often combined with valerian, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), or other calming herbs. Few scientific studies have tested passionflower as a treatment for anxiety or insomnia, however, and since passionflower is often combined with other calming herbs, it is difficult to tell what effects passionflower has on its own.



Other names


Apricot Vine, Corona de Cristo, Fleischfarbige, Fleur de la Passion, Fleur de Passiflore, Flor de Passion, Grenadille, Madre Selva, Maracuja, Maypop, Maypop Passion Flower, Pasiflora, Passiflora, Passiflora incarnata, Passiflorae Herba, Passiflore, Passiflore Aubépine, Passiflore Officinale, Passiflore Purpurine, Passiflore Rouge, Passiflorina, Passion Vine, Passionaria, Passionblume, Passionflower Herb, Passionsblumenkraut, Purple Passion Flower, Water Lemon, Wild Passion Flower.

Plant Description

Native to southeastern parts of the Americas, passionflower is now grown throughout Europe. It is a perennial climbing vine with herbaceous shoots and a sturdy woody stem that grows to a length of nearly 10 meters (about 32 feet).

Each flower has 5 white petals and 5 sepals that vary in color from magenta to blue. According to folklore, passionflower got its name because its corona resembles the crown of thorns worn by Jesus during the crucifixion. The passionflower's ripe fruit is an egg-shaped berry that may be yellow or purple. Some kinds of passionfruit are edible.


Effective for...

  • Anxiety. There is some evidence that passionflower can reduce symptoms of anxiety, sometimes as effectively as some prescription medications.
  • Relieving symptoms related to narcotic drug withdrawal, when used in combination with a medication called clonidine. This combination seems to be effective in reducing symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, sleep problems (insomnia), and agitation. However, passionflower plus clonidine is no better than clonidine alone for physical symptoms such as tremor and nausea.
  • Relieving symptoms of a psychiatric disorder known as “adjustment disorder with anxious mood” when used in a multi-ingredient product (Euphytose, EUP). Other herbs in the product are crataegus, ballota, and valerian, which have mild sedative effects, and cola and paullinia, which have stimulant effects. It’s not clear, though, which ingredient or ingredients in the mix are responsible for decreasing anxiety.
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia). Some preliminary research suggests that drinking a passionflower tea an hour before bedtime might help improve feelings of sleep quality. However, this did not seem to improve the time it takes to fall asleep, the number of awakenings at night, or refreshed feelings upon awakening in the morning.
  • More evidence is needed to rate passionflower for these uses.
  • Nervous stomach.
  • Burns.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Asthma.
  • Heart problems.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Seizures.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Other conditions.


How does it work?

Chrysin, a commercially important flavone found in the blue passion flower, P. caerulea
Harman, a harmala  alkaloid found in many species of Passiflora














The chemicals in passionflower have calming, sleep inducing, and muscle spasm relieving effects. The fresh or dried leaves of maypop are used to make a tea that is used to treat insomnia, hysteria, and epilepsy, and is also valued for its analgesic properties P. edulis (passion fruit) and a few other species are used in Central and South America for similar purposes. Once dried, the leaves can also be smoked.

Many species have been found to contain beta-carboline harmala alkaloids, which are MAO inhibitors with anti-depressant properties. The flower and fruit have only traces of these chemicals, but the leaves and the roots are often more potent and have been used to potentiate the effects of mind-altering drugs.

The most common of these alkaloids is harman (1-methyl-9H-β-carboline), but harmaline (4,9-dihydro-7-methoxy-1-methyl-3H-pyrido[3,4-b]indole), harmalol (1-methyl-2,3,4,9-tetrahydropyrido[3,4-b]indol-7-one), harmine (7-methoxy-1-methyl-9H-pyrido[3,4-b]indole) and harmol were found.

The species known to bear such alkaloids include: P. actinea, P. alata (winged-stem passion flower), P. alba, P. bryonioides (cupped passion flower), P. caerulea (blue passion flower), P. capsularis, P. decaisneana, P. edulis (passion fruit), P. eichleriana, P. foetida (stinking passion flower), P. incarnata (maypop), P. quadrangularis (giant granadilla), P. ruberosa, P. subpeltata and P. warmingii.

Other compounds found in passion flowers are coumarins (e.g. scopoletin and umbelliferone), maltol, phytosterols (e.g. lutenin) and cyanogenic glycosides (e.g. gynocardin) which render some species, i.e. P. adenopoda, somewhat poisonous. Many flavonoids and their glycosides have been found in Passiflora, including apigenin, benzoflavone, homoorientin, 7-isoorientin, isoshaftoside, isovitexin (or saponaretin), kaempferol, lucenin, luteolin, n-orientin, passiflorine (named after the genus), quercetin, rutin, saponarin, shaftoside, vicenin and vitexin. Maypop, Blue Passion Flower (P. caerulea), and perhaps others contain chrysin, a flavone with confirmed anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory, and supposed aromatase inhibitor properties.

Also documented to occur at least in some Passiflora in quantity are the hydrocarbon nonacosane and the anthocyanidin pelargonidin-3-diglycoside.

As regards organic acids, the genus is rich in formic, butyric, linoleic, linolenic, malic, myristic, oleic and palmitic acids as well as phenolic compounds, and the amino acid α-alanine. Esters like ethyl butyrate, ethyl caproate, n-hexyl butyrate and n-hexyl caproate give the fruits their flavor and appetizing smell.

Sugars, contained mainly in the fruit, are most significantly d-fructose, d-glucose and raffinose. Among enzymes, Passiflora was found to be rich in catalase, pectin methylesterase and phenolase

The medical utility of very few species of Passiflora has been scientifically studied. In initial trials for treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, maypop extract performed as well as oxazepam but with fewer short-term side effects. It was recommended to follow up with long-term studies.

In another study performed on mice, it was shown that Passiflora alata has a genotoxic effect on cells, and further research was recommended before this one species is considered safe for human consumption.

Passionflower herb (Passiflorae herba) from P. incarnata is official in the European Pharmacopoeia. The herbal drug should contain not less than 1.5% total flavonoids expressed as vitexin. It is used in sedative tea mixtures with other calming herbs.


Are there safety concerns?

Passionflower is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in amounts normally found in food. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken short-term (less than one month) as medicine. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts.

Passionflower can cause some side effects such as dizziness, confusion, irregular muscle action and coordination, altered consciousness, and inflamed blood vessels. There has also been a report of nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, a rapid heart rate, and abnormal heart rhythm in one person who took it.

There isn’t enough information to rate the safety of passionflower when applied to the skin.

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Don’t take passionflower if you are pregnant. It is UNSAFE. There are some chemicals in passionflower that might cause the uterus to contract.

Not enough is known about the safety of taking passionflower during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and don’t use it.

Surgery: Passionflower can affect the central nervous system. It might increase the effects of anesthesia and other medications on the brain during and after surgery. Stop taking passionflower at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there interactions with medications?

Moderate

Be cautious with this combination.

Sedative medications (CNS depressants)
Passionflower might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking passionflower along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.

Some sedative medications include pentobarbital (Nembutal), phenobarbital (Luminal), secobarbital (Seconal), clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.


Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

Herbs and supplements that might cause sleepiness and drowsiness
Passionflower can cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Using it along with other herbs that have the same effect, might cause too much sleepiness and drowsiness. Some of these herbs and supplements include 5-HTP, calamus, California poppy, catnip, hops, Jamaican dogwood, kava, St. John's wort, skullcap, valerian, yerba mansa, and others.


Are there interactions with foods?

There are no known interactions with foods.


What dose is used?

 

Pediatric

No studies have examined the effects of passionflower in children, so do not give passionflower to a child without a doctor's supervision. Adjust the recommended adult dose to account for the child's weight.

Adult

The following are examples of forms and doses used for adults. Speak to your doctor for specific recommendations for your condition:

  • Tea: Steep 0.5 - 2 g (about 1 tsp.) of dried herb in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes; strain and cool. For anxiety, drink 3 - 4 cups per day. For insomnia, drink one cup an hour before going to bed.
  • Fluid extract (1:1 in 25% alcohol): 10 - 20 drops, 3 times a day
  • Tincture (1:5 in 45% alcohol): 10 - 45 drops, 3 times a day

Precautions

The use of herbs is a time honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

Do not take passionflower if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

For others, passionflower is generally considered to be safe and nontoxic in recommended doses.

Possible Interactions

Passionflower may interact with the following medications:

Sedatives (drugs that cause sleepiness) -- Because of its calming effect, passionflower may make the effects of sedative medications stronger. These medications include:

  • Anticonvulsants such as phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium)
  • Drugs for insomnia, such as zolpidem (Ambien), zaleplon (Sonata), eszopiclone (Lunesta), ramelteon (Rozerem)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine, doxepin (Sinequan), and nortriptyline (Pamelor)

Antiplatelets and anticoagulants (blood thinners) -- Passionflower may increase the amount of time blood needs to clot, so it could make the effects of blood thinning medications stronger and increase your risk of bleeding. Blood thinning drugs include:

  • Clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • Warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Aspirin

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO inhibitors or MAOIs) -- MAO inhibitors are an older class of antidepressants that are not often prescribed now. Theoretically, passionflower might increase the effects of MAO inhibitors, as well as their side effects, which can be dangerous. These drugs include:

  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)



  1. Ngan A, Conduit R. A double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the effects of Passiflora incarnata (Passionflower) herbal tea on subjective sleep quality. Phytother Res 2011;25:1153-9.
  2. Miyasaka LS, Atallah AN, Soares BG. Passiflora for anxiety disorder. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2007;:CD004518.
  3. Mori A, Hasegawa K, Murasaki M, et al. Clinical evaluation of Passiflamin (passiflora extract) on neurosis - multicenter double blind study in comparison with mexazolam. Rinsho Hyoka (Clinical Evaluation) 1993;21:383-440.
  4. Gralla EJ, Stebbins RB, Coleman GL, Delahunt CS. Toxicity studies with ethyl maltol. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 1969;15:604-13.
  5. Aoyagi N, Kimura R, Murata T. Studies on passiflora incarnata dry extract. I. Isolation of maltol and pharmacological action of maltol and ethyl maltol. Chem Pharm Bull 1974;22:1008-13.
  6. Dhawan K, Kumar S, Sharma A. Anti-anxiety studies on extracts of Passiflora incarnata Linneaus. J Ethnopharmacol 2001;78:165-70.
  7. Dhawan K, Kumar S, Sharma A. Anxiolytic activity of aerial and underground parts of Passiflora incarnata. Fitoterapia 2001;72:922-6.
  8. Akhondzadeh S, Naghavi HR, Shayeganpour A, et al. Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam. J Clin Pharm Ther 2001;26:363-7.
  9. Fisher AA, Purcell P, Le Couteur DG. Toxicity of Passiflora incarnata L. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 2000;38:63-6.
  10. Bourin M, Bougerol T, Guitton B, Broutin E. A combination of plant extracts in the treatment of outpatients with adjustment disorder with anxious mood: controlled study vs placebo. Fundam Clin Pharmacol 1997;11:127-32.

Soursop/Raviola as a Cancer medicine

Posted by Maddalena Frau on April 10, 2013 at 1:25 AM Comments comments (0)



Soursop/Raviola

Soursop is the fruit of Annona muricata, abroadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree native to Mexico, Cuba, Central America,the Caribbean, and northern South America, primarily Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador,and Venezuela. Soursop is also produced in Somalia. Today, it is also grown insome areas of Southeast Asia, as well as in some Pacific islands. It was mostlikely brought from Mexico to the Philippines by way of the Manila-AcapulcoGalleon trade. It is in the same genus as the chirimoya and the same family asthe pawpaw.


Soursop, raw, edible parts

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)

  • Energy                                       276 kJ (66 kcal)
  • Carbohydrates                        16.84 g
  • Sugars                                      13.54 g
  • Dietary fiber                              3.3 g
  • Fat                                              0.30 g
  • Protein                                      1.00 g
  • Vitamin A equiv.                       0 μg (0%)
  • Thiamine (vit. B1)                   0.070 mg (6%)
  • Riboflavin (vit. B2)                   0.050 mg (4%)
  • Niacin (vit. B3)                         0.900 mg (6%)
  • Vitamin B6                               0.059 mg (5%)
  • Folate (vit. B9)                         14 μg (4%)
  • Vitamin C                                 20.6 mg (25%)
  • Calcium                                   14 mg (1%)
  • Iron                                            0.6 mg (5%)
  • Magnesium                             21 mg (6%)
  • Phosphorus                            27 mg (4%)
  • Potassium                               278 mg (6%)
  • Zinc                                           0.1 mg (1%)

Percentages are relative to

US recommendations for adults.

Source: USDA Nutrient Database

 

The soursop is adapted to areas of high humidityand relatively warm winters; temperatures below 5 °C (41 °F) will causedamage to leaves and small branches, and temperatures below 3 °C (37 °F)can be fatal. The fruit becomes dry and is no longer good for concentrate.

Annonamuricata var.subonica

Other common names include: Evo (Ewe, VoltaRegion, Ghana), Aluguntugui (Ga, Greater Accra Region, Ghana) guanábana(Spanish), graviola (Brazilian Portuguese, pronounced: [gɾɐviˈɔlɐ]), anona (European Portuguese), corossol(French),කටු අනෝදා (Sinhalese), sorsaka(Papiamento), adunu (Acholi), Brazilian pawpaw, guyabano, guanavana,toge-banreisi, durian benggala, durian belanda, nangkablanda, thu-rian khack (Thai), sirsak, zuurzak (Dutch)and nangka londa. In Malayalam, it is called mullaatha, literallythorny custard apple. The other lesser-known Indian names are shul-ram-faland Lakshmana Phala. and in Harar (Ethiopia) in Harari language knownfor centuries as Amba Shoukh (Thorny Mango or Thorny Fruit).

The flavour has been described as a combination of strawberryand pineapple, with sour citrus flavour notes contrasting with an underlyingcreamy flavour reminiscent of coconut or banana.

Cultivationand usesThe plant is grown as a commercial herb crop forits 20–30 cm (7.9–12 in) long, prickly, green fruit, which can have amass of up to 15 lb (6.8 kg), making it probably the second biggestannona after the junglesop.

Away from its native area, some limited productionoccurs as far north as southern Florida within USDA Zone 10; however, these aremostly garden plantings for local consumption. It is also grown in parts of SoutheastAsia and abundant on the Island of Mauritius. The soursop will reportedly fruitas a container specimen, even in temperate climates, if protected from cooltemperatures.

The flesh of the fruit consists of an edible, whitepulp, some fiber, and a core of indigestible, black seeds. The species is theonly member of its genus suitable for processing and preservation. The sweetpulp is used to make juice, as well as candies, sorbets, and ice creamflavorings.

In Mexico, Colombia and Harar (Ethiopia), it is acommon fruit, often used for dessert as the only ingredient, or as an aguafresca beverage; in Colombia, it is a fruit for juices, mixed with milk.Ice cream and fruit bars made of soursop are also very popular. The seeds arenormally left in the preparation, and removed while consuming, unless a blenderis used for processing.

In Indonesia, dodol sirsak, a sweetmeat, ismade by boiling soursop pulp in water and adding sugar until the mixturehardens. Soursop is also a common ingredient for making fresh fruit juices thatare sold by street food vendors. In the Philippines, it is called guyabano,obviously derived from the Spanish guanabana, and is eaten ripe, or usedto make juices, smoothies, or ice cream. Sometimes, they use the leaf intenderizing meat. In Vietnam, this fruit is called mãng cầu Xiêm in thesouth, or mãng cầu in the north, and is used to make smoothies, or eatenas is. In Cambodia, this fruit is called tearb barung, literally"western custard-apple fruit." In Malaysia, it is known in Malay as durianbelanda and in East Malaysia, specifically among the Dusun people of Sabah,it is locally known as lampun. Popularly, it is eaten raw when itripens, or used as one of the ingredients in Ais Kacang or Ais BatuCampur. Usually the fruits are taken from the tree when they mature andleft to ripen in a dark corner, whereby they will be eaten when they are fullyripe. It has a white flower with a very pleasing scent, especially in themorning. While for people in Brunei Darussalam this fruit is popularly known as"Durian Salat", widely available and easily planted.

 

HealthThe fruit contains significant amounts of vitamin C,vitamin B1 and vitamin B2.

Preliminary in vitro laboratory researchsuggests that Graviola may have potential to treat some infections.   “Inmany countries, people use the bark, leaves, root, and fruit  of this treefor traditional remedies.  The active ingredient is thought to be a typeof plant compound (phytochemical) called annonaceous acetogenins.

 

“People in African and South American countries have used graviola to treatinfections with viruses or parasites, rheumatism, arthritis, depression, andsickness.  We know from research that some graviola extracts can help totreat these conditions. The antimicrobial properties of Soursop can also killbeneficial bacteria on the skin, in the vagina and gut, which can lead toinfections in long term use.

Possible Adverse Effects ofGraviolaResearch carried out in theCaribbean has suggested a connection between consumption of soursop andatypical forms of Parkinson's disease which is due to the very highconcentration of annonacin. Graviola also has few other side effects likelowering the blood pressure, so it should not be taken by people with lowblood pressure or heart complications.

 

All parts of the graviola tree are used in natural medicine in the tropics,including the bark, leaves, roots, fruit, and fruit seeds. Different propertiesand uses are attributed to the different parts of the tree. Generally, thefruit and fruit juice are taken for worms and parasites, to cool fevers, toincrease mother's milk after childbirth, and as an astringent for diarrhea anddysentery. The crushed seeds are used against internal and external parasites,head lice, and worms. The bark, leaves, and roots are considered sedative,antispasmodic, hypotensive, and nervine, and a tea is made for variousdisorders toward those effects.

 

Graviola has a long, rich history of use in herbal medicine as well as alengthy recorded indigenous use. In the Peruvian Andes, a leaf tea is used forcatarrh (inflammation of mucous membranes) and the crushed seed is used to killparasites. In the Peruvian Amazon the bark, roots, and leaves are used fordiabetes and as a sedative and antispasmodic. Indigenous tribes in Guyana use aleaf and/or bark tea as a sedative and heart tonic. In the Brazilian Amazon aleaf tea is used for liver problems, and the oil of the leaves and unripe fruitis mixed with olive oil and used externally for neuralgia, rheumatism, andarthritis pain. In Jamaica, Haiti, and the West Indies the fruit and/or fruitjuice is used for fevers, parasites and diarrhea; the bark or leaf is used asan antispasmodic, sedative, and nervine for heart conditions, coughs, flu,difficult childbirth, asthma, hypertension, and parasites.

 


PlantChemicals

 

Many active compounds and chemicals have been found in graviola, as scientistshave been studying its properties since the 1940s. Most of the research ongraviola focuses on a novel set of chemicals called Annonaceous acetogenins.Graviola produces these natural compounds in its leaf and stem, bark, and fruitseeds. Three separate research groups have confirmed that these chemicals havesignificant antitumorous properties and selective toxicity against varioustypes of cancer cells (without harming healthy cells) publishing eight clinicalstudies on their findings. Many of the acetogenins have demonstrated selectivetoxicity to tumor cells at very low dosages—as little as 1 part per million.Four studies were published in 1998 which further specify the chemicals andacetogenins in graviola which are demonstrating the strongest anticancerous,antitumorous, and antiviral properties. In a 1997 clinical study, novelalkaloids found in graviola fruit exhibited antidepressive effects in animals.

Annonaceous acetogenins are onlyfound in the Annonaceae family (to which graviola belongs). These chemicals ingeneral have been documented with antitumorous, antiparasitic, insecticidal,and antimicrobial activities. Mode of action studies in three separatelaboratories have recently determined that these acetogenins are superbinhibitors of enzyme processes that are only found in the membranes ofcancerous tumor cells. This is why they are toxic to cancer cells but have notoxicity to healthy cells.Purdue University, in WestLafayette, Indiana, has conducted a great deal of the research on theacetogenins, much of which, has been funded by The National Cancer Instituteand/or the National Institute of Health (NIH). Thus far, Purdue Universityand/or its staff have filed at least nine U.S. and/or international patents ontheir work around the antitumorous and insecticidal properties and uses ofthese acetogenins.

 

In 1997, Purdue University published information with promising news thatseveral of the Annonaceous acetogenins were " . . . not only are effectivein killing tumors that have proven resistant to anti-cancer agents, but alsoseem to have a special affinity for such resistant cells." In severalinterviews after this information was publicized, the head pharmacologist inPurdue's research explained how this worked. As he explains it, cancer cellsthat survive chemotherapy can develop resistance to the agent originally usedas well as to other, even unrelated, drugs. This phenomenon is called multi-drugresistance (MDR). One of the main ways that cancer cells develop resistance tochemotherapy drugs is by creating an intercellular pump which is capable ofpushing anticancer agents out of the cell before they can kill it. On average, only about twopercent of the cancer cells in any given person might develop this pump—butthey are the two percent that can eventually grow and expand to createmulti-drug-resistant tumors. Some of the latest research on acetogeninsreported that they were capable of shutting down these intercellular pumps,thereby killing multi-drug-resistant tumors. Purdue researchers reported thatthe acetogenins preferentially killed multi-drug-resistant cancer cells byblocking the transfer of ATP—the chief source of cellular energy—into them. Atumor cell needs energy to grow and reproduce, and a great deal more to run itspump and expel attacking agents. By inhibiting energy to the cell , it can nolonger run its pump. When acetogenins block ATP to the tumor cell over time, thecell no longer has enough energy to operate sustaining processes—and it dies.Normal cells seldom develop such a pump; therefore, they don't require largeamounts of energy to run a pump and, generally, are not adversely affected byATP inhibitors. Purdue researchers reported that 14 different acetogeninstested thus far demonstrate potent ATP-blocking properties (including severalfound only in graviola). They also reported that 13 of these 14 acetogeninstested were more potent against MDR breast cancer cells than all three of thestandard drugs (adriamycin, vincristine, and vinblastine) they used ascontrols.

 

The Annonaceous acetogenins discovered in graviola thus far include:annocatalin, annohexocin, annomonicin, annomontacin, annomuricatin A & B, annomuricinA thru E, annomutacin, annonacin, annonacinone, annopentocin A thru C,cis-annonacin, cis-corossolone, cohibin A thru D, corepoxylone, coronin,corossolin, corossolone, donhexocin, epomuricenin A & B, gigantetrocin,gigantetrocin A & B, gigantetrocinone, gigantetronenin, goniothalamicin,iso-annonacin, javoricin, montanacin, montecristin, muracin A thru G,muricapentocin, muricatalicin, muricatalin, muri-catenol, muricatetrocin A& B muricatin D, muricatocin A thru C muricin H, muricin I, muricoreacin,murihexocin 3, murihexocin A thru C, murihexol, murisolin, robustocin,rolliniastatin 1 & 2, saba-delin, solamin, uvariamicin I & IV,xylomaticin


Biological Activites and Clinical Research

 

In an 1976 plant screening program by the National Cancer Institute, graviolaleaves and stem showed active toxicity against cancer cells and researchershave been following up on these findings since. Thus far, specific acetogeninsin graviola and/or extracts of graviola have been reported to be selectively toxicin vitro to these types of tumor cells: lung carcinoma cell lines; human breastsolid tumor lines; prostate adenocarcinoma; pancreatic carcinoma cell lines;colon adenocarcinoma cell lines; liver cancer cell lines; human lymphoma celllines; and multi-drug resistant human breast adenocarcinoma.Researchers in Taiwan reported in2003 that the main graviola acetogenin, annonacin, was highly toxic to ovarian,cervical, breast, bladder and skin cancer cell lines at very low dosagessaying; “. . . annonacin is a promising anti-cancer agent and worthy of furtheranimal studies and, we would hope, clinical trials.”

An interesting in vivo study was published in March of 2002 by researchers inJapan, who were studying various acetogenins found in several species ofplants. They inoculated mice with lung cancer cells. One third received nothing(the control group), one third received the chemotherapy drug adriamycin, andone third received the main graviola acetogenin, annonacin (at a dosage of 10mg/kg). At the end of two weeks, five of the six in the untreated control groupwere still alive and lung tumor sizes were then measured. The adriamycin groupshowed a 54.6% reduction of tumor mass over the control group—but 50% of theanimals had died from toxicity (three of six). The mice receiving annonacin wereall still alive, and the tumors were inhibited by 57.9%—slightly better thanadriamycin—and without toxicity. This led the researchers to summarize; “Thissuggested that annonacin was less toxic in mice. On considering the antitumoractivity and toxicity, annonacin might be used as a lead to develop a potentialanticancer agent.”


Current Practical Uses and Cancer research

 

Cancer research is ongoing on these important Annona plants and plantchemicals, as several pharmaceutical companies and universities continue toresearch, test, patent, and attempt to synthesize these chemicals into newchemotherapeutic drugs.In fact, graviola seems to befollowing the same path as another well known cancer drug – Taxol. From thetime researchers first discovered an antitumorous effect in the bark of thepacific yew tree and a novel chemical called taxol was discovered in its bark -it took thirty years of research by numerous pharmaceutical companies,universities, and government agencies before the first FDA-approved Taxol drugwas sold to a cancer patient (which was based on the natural taxol chemicalthey found in the tree bark). With graviola, it has takenresearchers almost 10 years to successfully synthesize (chemically reproduce)the main antitumorous chemical, annonacin. These acetogenin chemicals have aunique waxy center and other unique molecular energy properties which thwartedearlier attempts, and at least one major pharmaceutical company gave up in theprocess (despite knowing how active the natural chemical was against tumors).Now that scientists have the ability to recreate this chemical and severalother active acetogenins in the laboratory, the next step is to change thechemical just enough (without losing any of the antitumorous actions in theprocess) to become a novel chemical which can be patented and turned into a newpatented cancer drug. (Naturally-occurring plant chemicals cannot be patented.)Thus far, scientists seem to be thwarted again—every time they change the chemicalenough to be patentable, they lose much of the antitumorous actions. Like thedevelopment of taxol, it may well take government agenies like the NationalCancer Institute and the National Institute of Health to step forward andlaunch full-scale human cancer research on the synthesized unpatentable naturalplant chemical (which will allow any pharmaceutical company to develop a cancerdrug utilizing the research as happened with taxol) to be able to make thispromising therapy available to cancer patients in a timely fashion.

 

In the meantime, many cancer patients and health practitioners are not waiting…they are adding the natural leaf and stem of graviola (with over 40 documentednaturally-occurring acetogenins including annonacin) as a complementary therapyto their cancer protocols. After all, graviola has a long history of safe useas a herbal remedy for other conditions for many years, and research indicatesthat the antitumorous acetogenins are selectively toxic to just cancer cellsand not healthy cells—and in miniscule amounts. While research confirms thatthese antitumorous acetogenins also occur in high amounts in the fruit seedsand roots of graviola, different alkaloid chemicals in the seeds and roots haveshown some preliminary in vitro neurotoxic effects. Researchers have suggestedthat these alkaloids might be linked to atypical Parkinson’s disease incountries where the seeds are employed as a common herbal parasite remedy.Therefore, using the seeds and root of graviola is not recommended at thistime.

 

The therapuetic dosage of graviola leaf, (which offers just as high of anamount of acetogenins as the root and almost as much as the seed) is reportedto be 2-3 grams taken 3 or 4 times daily. Graviola products (capsules andtinctures) are becoming more widely available in the U.S. market, and nowoffered under several different manufacturer’s labels in health food stores. Asone of graviola’s mechanisms of action is to deplete ATP energy to cancercells, combining it with other supplements and natural products which increaseor enhance cellular ATP may reduce the effect of graviola. The main supplement whichincreases ATP is a common antioxidant called Coenzyme Q10 and for this reason,it should be avoided when taking graviola.

 

Graviola is certainly a promising natural remedy and one that again emphasizesthe importance of preserving our remaining rainforest ecosystems. Perhaps—ifenough people believe that the possible cure for cancer truly is locked away ina rainforest plant—we will take the steps needed to protect our remainingrainforests from destruction. One researcher studying graviola summarized thisidea eloquently: “At the time of preparation of this current review, over 350Annonaceous acetogenins have been isolated from 37 species. Our preliminaryefforts show that about 50%, of over 80 Annonaceous species screened, aresignificantly bioactive and are worthy of fractionation; thus, this class ofcompounds can be expected to continue to grow at an exponential rate in the future,provided that financial support for such research efforts can be found. Withthe demise of the world’s tropical rain forests, such work is compelling beforethe great chemical diversity, contained within these endangered species, islost.”According to Cancer Research UK, "there is noevidence to show that graviola works as a cure for cancer" andconsequently they do not support its use as a treatment for cancer. A courtcase relating to the sale in the UK of Triamazon, a graviola product, resultedin convictions on four counts related to selling an unlicensed medical product.

The judge said that the drug had not been tested onhuman beings, was not licenced for use in UK markets and could cause symptomssimilar to Parkinson’s Disease.

 

Here’s a short article posted on  the CancerResearch UK’s website on the use of soursop to help cure cancer:

 

“Graviola (soursop) is something that comes from a tree in the rain forests ofAfrica, South America, and Southeast Asia.  Its scientific name is Annonamuricata. It is also known as cherimoya, guanabana and soursop.

 

  “In many countries, people use the bark, leaves, root, and fruit of this tree for traditional remedies.  The active ingredient is thoughtto be a type of plant compound (phytochemical) called annonaceous acetogenins.

 

“People in African and South American countries have used graviola to treatinfections with viruses or parasites, rheumatism, arthritis, depression, andsickness.  We know from research that some graviola extracts can help totreat these conditions.

 

“In laboratory studies, graviola extracts can kill some types of liver andbreast cancer cells that are resistant to particular chemotherapy drugs.  

 

But there haven’t been any large scale studies in humans. So we don’t know yetwhether it can work as a cancer treatment or not. 

 

“Overall, there is no evidence to show that graviola works as a cure forcancer. Many sites on the internet advertise and promote graviola capsules as acancer cure, but none of them are supported by any reputable scientific cancerorganisations.

 

“We know a little about how graviola affects the body. We do know, for example,that it can cause nerve changes, bringing on symptoms similar to Parkinson’s.So it may have harmful side effects for some people.

 

 “We do not support the use of graviola to treat cancer. Our advice is tobe very cautious about believing information or paying for any type ofalternative cancer therapy on the internet.  You may find it useful toread our section on searching for information on the internet.

 

“Whatever you read and have been recommended by well-meaning family members andfriends, do a quick check, especially on reliable sites. Get to know the fullpicture before you think the majority should be right”.

The Federal Trade Commission in the United Statesdetermined that there was "no credible scientific evidence" that theextract of soursop sold by Bioque Technologies "can prevent, cure, ortreat cancer of any kind."


Toxicology

 

Annonacinis a neurotoxin found in soursop seeds

The compound annonacin contained in the seeds ofsoursop is a neurotoxin and it seems to be the cause of a neurodegenerativedisease. The only group of people known to be affected live on the Caribbeanisland of Guadeloupe and the problem presumably occurs with the excessiveconsumption of plants containing annonacin. The disorder is a so-called tauopathyassociated with a pathologic accumulation of tau protein in the brain.Experimental results demonstrated for the first time that the plant neurotoxinannonacin is responsible for this accumulation.

“From my research, Graviola substances can helpwith cancer in the beginning stages by promoting the process of apoptosis.They work because they reduce the production of ATP which results, so thetheory goes, in the death of fast growing cells that require a lot ofATP - preferably cancer cells.  However, the alternative theory ofcancer, that it is a protection mechanism for cells that are under certainstresses, holds that this apoptosis period is relatively short and that thecancer cells have their own ways of overcoming it. Apoptosis requiresthat the mitochondrial membranes remain permeable to Calcium ions. In cancercells, these membranes get locked very quickly, especially after the cancerhas metastasized. Oleander and NAC, unlike paw-paw, Graviola, etc, act tonormalize the levels of glutathione in the body. This, in turn, unlocks themitochondrial membranes and reverts the mitochondria to normalcy. The assumptionis, of course, that the stresses which caused the problems in the first place,are also addressed. Thus the reason for the protocols.

Conclusion

Therefore, the message saying thatGraviola, i.e Soursop is 10,000 times more effective cancer killer than chemois a hoax. However, you can find thousands of websites online selling it as amiracle fruit. We advise people not to believe them blindly, but consult adoctor or oncologist before using it.

References1.      ^ "Graviola (Soursop)". Blackherbals.Retrieved 30 January 2012.[unreliable source?]

2.      ^ http/www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/soursop.html

3.      ^ Morton, Julia F. (1987). "Soursop (Annonamuricata)". Fruits of warm climates.Purdue University. pp. 75–80.Retrieved 28 October 2012.

4.      ^ Oberlies, NH; Chang, CJ; McLaughlin, JL (1997)."Structure-activity relationships of diverse Annonaceous acetogeninsagainst multidrug resistant human mammary adenocarcinoma (MCF-7/Adr)cells". Journal of Medical Chemistry 40 (13): 2102–6. doi:10.1021/jm9700169. PMID 9207950.

5.      ^ Jaramillo, MC; Arango, GJ; González, MC; Robledo, SM; Velez, ID(2000). "Cytotoxicity and antileishmanial activity of Annona muricatapericarp". Fitoterapia 71 (2): 183–6. doi:10.1016/S0367-326X(99)00138-0. PMID 10727816.

6.      ^ Padma, P; Pramod, NP; Thyagarajan, SP; Khosa, RL (199."Effect of the extract of Annona muricata and Petunia nyctaginiflora onHerpes simplex virus". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 61 (1):81–3. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(900013-0. PMID 9687085.

7.      ^ Dai, Y; Hogan, S; Schmelz, EM; Ju, YH; Canning, C; Zhou, K(2011). "Selective growth inhibition of human breast cancer cells bygraviola fruit extract in vitro and in vivo involving downregulation of EGFRexpression". Nutrition and cancer 63 (5): 795–801. doi:10.1080/01635581.2011.563027. PMID 21767082.

8.      ^ Liaw, CC; Chang, FR; Lin, CY; Chou, CJ; Chiu, HF; Wu, MJ; Wu, YC(2002). "New cytotoxic monotetrahydrofuran annonaceous acetogenins fromAnnona muricata". Journal of Natural Products 65 (4): 470–5.PMID 11975482.

9.      ^Lannuzel, A; Michel, P.P; Höglinger, G.U; Champy, P;Jousset, A; Medja, F; Lombès, A; Darios, F et al. (2003). "Themitochondrial complex i inhibitor annonacin is toxic to mesencephalicdopaminergic neurons by impairment of energy metabolism". Neuroscience121 (2): 287–96. doi:10.1016/S0306-4522(03)00441-X. PMID 14521988.

10.  ^ Champy, Pierre; Melot, Alice; Guérineau Eng, Vincent; Gleye,Christophe; Fall, Djibril; Höglinger, Gunter U.; Ruberg, Merle; Lannuzel, Annieet al. (2005). "Quantification of acetogenins inAnnona muricata linked toatypical parkinsonism in guadeloupe". Movement Disorders 20(12): 1629–33. doi:10.1002/mds.20632. PMID 16078200.

11.  ^ Lannuzel, A.; Höglinger, G. U.; Champy, P.; Michel, P. P.;Hirsch, E. C.; Ruberg, M. (2006). "Is atypical parkinsonism in theCaribbean caused by the consumption of Annonacae?". Journal of NeuralTransmission. Supplementa 70 (70): 153–7. doi:10.1007/978-3-211-45295-0_24. ISBN 978-3-211-28927-3. PMID 17017523.

12.  ^ Caparros-Lefebvre, Dominique; Elbaz, Alexis (1999)."Possible relation of atypical parkinsonism in the French West Indies withconsumption of tropical plants: A case-control study". The Lancet 354(9175): 281–6. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(910166-6. PMID 10440304.

13.  ^ a b"Cangraviola cure cancer?". Cancer Research UK.

14.  ^ Bell, Jessica (September 29, 2010). "Suspendedsentence for 'miracle cure' cancer drug man Andrew Harris from Partington". Messenger.

15.  ^ "FTC Sweep StopsPeddlers of Bogus Cancer Cures". FTC. 18september 2008.

16.  ^ "Tauopathie durchpflanzliches Nervengift: Junior Award für Marburger Doktorandin" (in German) (Press release). Thilo Körkel. May 4, 2007. Retrieved October 29, 2012.

 

 


Improving human immunity to malaria

Posted by Maddalena Frau on April 2, 2013 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)


The deadliest form of malaria is caused the protozoan Plasmodium falciparum. During its life-cycle in human blood, the parasite P. falciparum expresses unique proteins on the surface on infected blood cells.

Antibodies to these proteins are associated with protection from malaria, however, the identity of surface protein(s) that elicit the strongest immune response is unknown.Dr. James Beeson and colleagues at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Victoria, Australia have developed novel assays with transgenic P. falciparum expressing modified surface proteins, allowing the researchers to quantify serum antibodies to surface proteins among malaria-exposed children and adults.

They found that most of the human antibody response to the surface proteins targets a parasite protein known as PfEMP1.Moreover, the showed that people with PfEMP1-specific antibodies had a reduced risk of malaria symptoms, whereas antibodies to other surface antigens were not associated with protective immunity.

These findings suggest antibodies against PfEMP mediate human immunity to malaria and have implications for future malaria vaccine development.More information: Targets of antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in malaria immunity,


Provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation

 


 

 

Marijuana Quiz

Posted by Maddalena Frau on February 9, 2013 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Marijuana Quiz

(Must get 20 correct to pass)


 

 

1. Marijuana has a major active chemical called

a. delta cannibinoid

b. androus delta 9

c. delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol

d. none of the above

2. In 2004, 16 percent of 8th graders had tried marijuana.

True ___ False___

3. Marijuana is frequently combined with other drugs, often without the user being aware, such as crack cocaine, PCP, formaldehyde and codeine cough syrup.

True ___ False___

4. THC passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical to all organs in the body, including the brain. Marijuana affects the brain in the following ways (circle all that apply).

a. THC connects to specific sites called cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells and it then influences the activity of those cells.

b. Many cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and time perception and coordination.

c. The THC is water soluble and only stays in the brain a short time.

d. Once the euphoria and pleasant sensations pass, the user may feel sleepy, depressed, anxious, fearful or distrustful.

5. Heavy marijuana use impairs a person’s ability to form memories, remember events and shifts the person’s attention from one thing to another.

True ___ False___

6. Cancer of the respiratory tract and lungs may be promoted by marijuana smoke, which is usually inhaled more deeply than tobacco smoke.

True ___ False___

7. Marijuana’s use on the job causes the worker to out-perform his/her co-workers in productivity and other important job functions.

True___ False ___

8. One study of 129 college students found that among heavy users of marijuana (people who had smoked it 27 out of the preceding 30 days) those individuals had more trouble keeping and shifting their attention, and were functioning at a reduced intellectual level.

True ___ False___

9. Marijuana users report (circle the one that is not true) 

a. That heavy use negatively affected their thinking ability, career achievement, social lives and physical and mental health in negative ways.

b. That the pleasure they received from marijuana use was worth the other negative consequences.

c. Poor outcomes on a variety of measures of life satisfaction and achievement.

10. Research has shown that some babies born to women who used marijuana during their pregnancies displayed poor performance on tasks involving attention and memory during their pre-school years.

True ___ False___

11. Can marijuana use become addictive?

Yes ___ No___

12. Early marijuana use (before age 17) has been shown to increase the risk of later drug problems.

True___ False___

13. There are a number of medications available to treat marijuana abuse.

True___ False___

14. Even after long-term, heavy marijuana use, some thinking and reasoning abilities may be recovered.

True ___ False___

15. Which of the following is not true? (Please circle)

a. The ingredient THC in marijuana impairs the immune system’s ability

to fight off infectious diseases and cancer.

b. A person’s risk of a heart attack during the first hour after smoking

marijuana is four times his or her usual risk.

c. Long-term marijuana use causes blackouts.

16. The marijuana available today can be five times more

potent than the marijuana available in the 1970’s.

True___ False___

17. Marijuana use has fewer side effects if the user has first

eaten a full meal.

True ___ False___

18. The more a person uses marijuana, the more likely they

are to fall behind in accumulating intellectual, job and social

skills.

True ___ False ___

19. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, with more than 94 million people over age 12 having tried it at least once.

True___ False ___

20. Many cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the

brain that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentra-

tion, sensory and time perception and coordinated move-

ment.

True ___ False___

21. When marijuana is smoked, its effects begin immediately after the drug enters the brain and lasts from 1 to 3 hours.

True___ False___

22. THC enters the brain and causes a user to feel euphoric or “high” by acting in the brain’s reward system.

True___ False___

23. When the euphoria passes: ( circle all that are true)

a. A user may feel sleepy or depressed.

b. A user may feel energized and clear-headed.

c. a. only

d. b. only

e. neither a nor b

24. THC can be used in an oral medication to treat nausea in cancer chemotherapy patients.

True ___ False ___

25. Marijuana can be used to brew tea.

True ___ False ___

26. In males, heavy marijuana use over time can cause gynecomastia (enlarged breasts)

True___ False___





MARIJUANA QUIZ -- SCORING KEY

 

1.   C.

2.   True

3.   True

4.   a. b. d.

5.   True

6.   True

7.   False

8.   True

9.    B.

10. True

11. Yes

12. True

13. False

14. True

15. C.

16. True

17. False

18. True

19. True

20. True

21. True

22. True

23. C.

24. True

25. True

26. True



 

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL SCREENING QUESTIONNAIRE

Posted by Maddalena Frau on February 9, 2013 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)


ARE YOU CHEMICALLY DEPENDENT?


Ask yourself the following questions and answer them as honestly as you can.

Do you lose time from work due to alcohol/drug usage?

Is alcohol/drug usage making your home life unhappy?

Do you drink/use drugs because you are shy with other people?

Is alcohol/drug usage affecting your reputation?

Have you ever felt remorse after alcohol/drug usage?

Have you ever gotten into financial difficulties as a result of alcohol/drug usage?

Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when drinking/using drugs?

Does your drinking/drug usage make you careless of your family's welfare?

Has your ambition decreased since drinking/using drugs?

Do you crave a drink or other drugs at a definite time daily?

Do you want a drink or other drugs the next morning?

Does drinking/drug usage cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?

Has your efficiency decreased since drinking/using drugs?

Is drinking/drug usage jeopardizing your job or business?

Do you drink/use drugs to escape from worries or trouble?

Do you drink/use drugs alone?

Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking/using drugs?

Has your physician ever treated you for drinking/drug usage?

Do you drink/use drugs to build up your self-confidence?

Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of your drinking/drug usage?


If you have answered YES to any one of the questions, there is a definite warning that you may be chemically dependent.

If you answered YES to any two, the chances are that you are chemically dependent.

If you have answered YES to three or more, you are definitely chemically dependent.

Note:  The above test questions are derived from a questionnaire used by Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland in deciding whether or not a patient is alcoholic.

 

Long-term cannabis users may have structural brain abnormalities

Posted by Maddalena Frau on October 9, 2012 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)


Long-term, heavy cannabis use may be associated with structural abnormalities in areas of the brain known as the hippocampus and amygdala, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Conflicting evidence exists regarding the long-term effects of cannabis use, according to background information in the article.

"Although growing literature suggests that long-term cannabis use is associated with a wide range of adverse health consequences, many people in the community, as well as cannabis users themselves, believe that cannabis is relatively harmless and should be legally available," the authors write. "With nearly 15 million Americans using cannabis in a given month, 3.4 million using cannabis daily for 12 months or more and 2.1 million commencing use every year, there is a clear need to conduct robust investigations that elucidate the long-term sequelae of long-term cannabis use."Murat Yücel, Ph.D., M.A.P.S., of ORYGEN

Research Centre and the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues from the University of Wollongong performed high-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging on 15 men (average age 39.8 years) who smoked more than five joints daily for more than 10 years.

Their results were then compared with images from 16 individuals (average age 36.4) who were not cannabis users. All participants also took a verbal memory test and were assessed for subthreshold (below the standard of disease diagnosis) symptoms of psychotic disorders, which include schizophrenia and mania.

The hippocampus, thought to regulate emotion and memory, and the amygdala, involved with fear and aggression, tended to be smaller in cannabis users than in controls (volume was reduced by an average of 12 percent in the hippocampus and 7.1 percent in the amygdala).

Cannabis use also was associated with sub-threshold symptoms of psychotic disorders. "Although cannabis users performed significantly worse than controls on verbal learning, this did not correlate with regional brain volumes in either group," the authors write.Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

 


 


Cannabis withdrawal symptoms might have clinical importance

Posted by Maddalena Frau on October 9, 2012 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)


Cannabis users have a greater chance of relapse to cannabis use when they experience certain withdrawal symptoms, according to research published Sep. 26 in the open access journal PLOS ONE led by David Allsop of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC) at the University of New South Wales.

The authors tested a group of dependent cannabis users over a two week period of abstinence for impairment related to their withdrawal symptoms.

Findings were correlated with the probability of relapse to cannabis use during the abstinence period, and the level of use one month later.

They found that in more dependent users, certain withdrawal symptoms, such as physical tension, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, mood swings and loss of appetite, were more strongly associated with relapse than other symptoms, such as hot flashes, fatigue, or night sweats.

Participants with greater dependence before the abstinence attempt reported more severe impairment from the withdrawal. Participants with greater impairment from cannabis withdrawal consumed more cannabis during the month following the abstinence attempt.If these results extend to treatment seeking cannabis users seeking treatment for withdrawal, the research may help improve counseling and treatment strategies for those looking for support.

"Tailoring treatments to target withdrawal symptoms contributing to functional impairment during a quit attempt may improve treatment outcomes" says Allsop.

 


More information: Allsop DJ, Copeland J, Norberg MM, Fu S, Molnar A, et al. (2012) Quantifying the Clinical Significance of Cannabis Withdrawal. PLOS ONE 7(9): e44864. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044864

 



 

Medical Marijuana

Posted by Maddalena Frau on September 10, 2012 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)



Clinical studies focused on conditions identified by many researcher for which cannabis have therapeutic effects, I am not opposed to using cannabis as a therapy, actually I think it is very useful for many diseases, but in order to evaluate various hypotheses concerning the potential utility of marijuana in various therapeutic areas, more and better studies would be needed because all psychotropic substance that induce dependency must be use carefully.

I know there are many records: books, articles, ancientherbals, researches and scientific publications, volunteer experiences, etc..

We know that all matter is just energy  and everything has its own vibration, mind, body, spirit, food and especially herbs and all natural medicine, even cannabis as a medical herb has a high vibration and  cure many diseases but like all medical herb use in medicine must be taken undercontrol.

Everything testifies in cannabis’s favor,  in the treatment of disorders ranging from musculoskeletal pain, glaucoma, from anorexia and depression to diseases such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis tremendous, I must mention the valuable help in relieving the side effects of chemotherapy in cancer, such as nausea and vomiting, and debilitating in the state of the Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and even recent studies have demonstrated that cannabis has analgesic effects in pain conditions secondary to injury (e.g. spinal cord injury) or disease (e.g. HIV disease, HIV drug therapy) of the nervous system ...

This suggests that cannabis may provide a treatment option for those individuals who do not respond or respond inadequately to currently available therapies. The efficacy of cannabis in treatment-refractory patients also may suggest a novel mechanism of action not fully exploited by current therapies.

In addition to nerve pain, CMCR has also supported a study on muscle spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Such spasticity can be painful and disabling, and some patients do not benefit optimally from existing treatments. it is also is right to point that there is not only THC, this is undoubtedlythe most famous and the most presentin the plant, but there are over 60 cannabinoids different from each other.

At present not much is known about the properties ofthese cannabinoids except that they seem to be devoid of psychoactive effects and / or psychotropic drugs on the brain. So the hypothesis that also positively influencethe therapeutic effects of cannabison human behavior without interferingis not to be discarded.

The health benefits of Medical Marijuana include the placebo effect, is a phenomenon where a patient’s belief in the treatment or medicine will change his/her condition. When the patient’s condition improves,we can then say that the treatment or medicine had a therapeutic effect.

 


Marijuana Observation

Posted by Maddalena Frau on September 10, 2012 at 1:35 AM Comments comments (0)



The concept that we must abandon is the distinction betweenso called soft drugs and heavy drugs, that distinction does not correspond towhat is found in the scientific evidence and thoughts and behaviors of consumers of such drugs.

Should not be ignored in particular a simple as dramatic epidemiological observation that cannabis is the drug that for more than 95% of drug addicts is responsible for the initiation of many young people.

Of course the passage is not automatic for all individuals, but from the latest scientific research we are able to determinethat there are many particularly vulnerable individuals able to transform into"escalator" (climbers towards increasingly powerful drugs) in a fewmonths since the beginning of the called drugs intakes "easy".

"Easy" also for high social tolerance whichexists and particularly for  thefascination factor, especially for the younger generations (but not only)regardless of superficial ideological considerations, this subject is notrefraining at any moralistic positions that do not belong to our research.

We noted that the cannabis market today is very different from that of 10 years ago. It is cultivated with methods that allow to obtainfinal products 4/5 times higher in terms of concentration of the activeingredient than before, creating effects far more relevant than you mightsuspect, besides the fact that often to grow crops more luxuriant (andprofitable) use pesticides harmful to health as carcinogenic and outlawed,which are then marketed drugs even more concentrated and highly dangerous.

Contrary to a commonly and erroneously believed thissubstance is able to create a State of dependence which manifests itself mainlywith psychic symptoms such as a strong and constant desire to take thesubstance, demotivational crisis, strong increase aggressiveness and irritability, anddisorders in the judgment. The existence of dependency has been proven throughthe use of specific antagonists of THC (the active ingredient of cannabis) andhigh affinity for the cannabinoid receptors, endogenous and exogenous(administered under experimental conditions in animals) have caused an acute syndrome of abstinence, demonstrating the existence of aState of dependency.

Now we know that in the human brain there is also a complex system of brain cannabinoid substancescalled "natural cannabinoid " (substances cannabis-like) theendocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body by humans and animals) that isa constituent to experience the satisfaction and feel "fulfilled".Some human brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors. The highest density of cannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that influence pleasure,memory, thinking, concentrating, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement.

Cannabis introduced from outside interferes deeply andnegatively with this system (like heroine that interferes with the normal endorphin system)because no longer uses its internal components and natural (endogenouscannabinoids) but only the external ones, altering the physiologicalfunctioning.

It thus produces a biochemical dysfunction that leads tothe downfall of the motivation, retention mechanisms alteration and impairmentof ability to address the problems of life. This endogenous cannabinoid systemhas also a very delicate and complex and sophisticated level details brainstructures (limbic frontal cortex and hippocampus), which control memory,personality and relationship with people.

To understand the harm of cannabis, try to think for amoment what it means and what can cause this in the brain of a teenager ingrowth that is developing its own very sensitive psychic functioningmechanisms.

Cannabis reduces the sensitivity and the euphoria for the results achieved: afterreaching an objective the enthusiasm is reduced (or completely absent) remainonly dissatisfied, and anxiety, like if not achieved anything. A delay inadolescent brain development is common when drugs usage begins at a young age.Basically, the teenage brain stops developing. “Some frequent users feel a lack of initiative and concern about the future, find it hard to become or staymotivated, and think things will take care of themselves.” (Wapner, Roger,1995) As a result, the normal maturation process is interrupted. Development ofcoping skills, a code of ethics, acceptance of responsibility, and other signsof maturity frequently cease or regress. As a result, many milestones of life maybe missed.

All this for a guy growing and searching for his identitycan be psychologically devastating and lose the right direction for a harmoniousmental development and mental progress, causing stress  and all we know the deleterious effects ofstress on physical and mental health have been consistently documented (Brown, 1993; Dohrenwend,1998;Kessler,1997).A well-developed literature has identified the negative physiological effectsof stress, particularly dysregulation in the neuro endocrine and immunesystems, that represent biological mechanisms linking stress to disease

By the time it was known that cannabis increases the lossof cerebral neurons deputies to short-term memory and focus on essentialconcepts. From a standpoint of physical health has also been tried cannabisinhibits immune cells appointed to defense from infections and cancers. Usersof cannabis are more exposed to develop pulmonary infections, cancer andmyocardial infarction.

 

The effects on memory and on nerve motivation cells arestrong and can over time change the personality and psychic functioningmechanisms of people who are exposing them to an increased risk ofschizophrenia, depression and anxiety. Finally have been documented severeneuro developmental damage of children born to mothers who smoke cannabis.

We also highlighted and raised the alarm on thesignificant increase of the early appearance of psychiatric disorders andpsychopathology in youth bands that is occurring unexpectedly in these years.All this highlights the close relation to the greater diffusion and use ofdrugs at a young age.

For years these evidences are aware of scientificcommunity (but also political) around the worldand even now these truths must be accepted by the multitude of young people whotoo often fall into easy and superficial risk behavior for the unclearinformation. 

The hoax that as been done and continues to be widespread, it cannot be accepted by those  involved with public health, istime for all those persons who think that use drugs is one inviolable righ tand must to be guarantee even with the laws ofthe State. (maintain our health and health of others, might be considered a "duty" and a responsibility for all of us).

We must take a more active and determined attitude by making explicit and sending the right information’s to the younger generationsand to all those who might be victims of drugs.

The first instance therefore is to recognize the existence of damage of cannabis and send the information to the knowledge ofyoung people to create awareness and empowerment this must be against allsubstances (not necessarily drugs) potentially suspected of being harmful tohealth and/or compromising civil behavior.

Young people and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of cannabis and must be therefore also protected.

We must recognize that taking drugs is injurious tohealth, dangerous even for the group ( family, school, friend etc…) who are incontact with these people, (example is the consequences of driving skills andjudgment of the danger).

The best prevention is not use drugs of any kind (bothlegal and illegal), and recognizing these behaviors as negative, to avoid andblame the system that places the individual more vulnerable to being protectedand simultaneously stimulated to an awareness and awareness for mature andresponsible behaviors’ to uncertain themselves and be really "free"of any substance and ideological conditioning.


 

Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products

Posted by Maddalena Frau on July 11, 2012 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)

The health effects of tobacco are the circumstances, mechanisms, and factors of tobacco consumption on human health. Epidemiological research has been focused primarily on cigarette tobacco smoking,[1] which has been studied more extensively than any other form of consumption


The health effects of tobacco are the circumstances, mechanisms, and factors of tobacco consumption on human health. Epidemiological research has been focused primarily on cigarette tobacco smoking, which has been studied more extensively than any other form of consumption.


Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death.

Thus, for every one person who dies from smoking, 20 more suffer from at least one serious tobacco-related illness.

The harmful effects of smoking extend far beyond the smoker.

Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause serious diseases and death.

Each year, million of peaple  are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke and almost 50 thousand non smokers die from diseases caused by secondhand smoke exposure.

Tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable death globally.

Tobacco use leads most commonly to diseases affecting the heart and lungs, with smoking being a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (including emphysema and chronic bronchitis), and cancer (particularly lung cancer, cancers of the larynx and mouth, and pancreatic cancer). It also causes peripheral vascular disease and hypertension.

The effects depend on the number of years that a person smokes and on how much the person smokes. Starting smoking earlier in life and smoking cigarettes higher in tar increases the risk of these diseases.

Also, environmental tobacco smoke, or secondhand smoke, has been shown to cause adverse health effects in people of all ages.

Cigarettes sold in underdeveloped countries tend to have higher tar content, and are less likely to be filtered, potentially increasing vulnerability to tobacco-related disease in these regions

How Does Tobacco Affect the Brain?

Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco—including cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, and chewing tobacco—contain the addictive drug nicotine.

Nicotine is readily absorbed into the bloodstream when a tobacco product is chewed, inhaled, or smoked. A typical smoker will take 10 puffs on a cigarette over a period of 5 minutes that the cigarette is lit. Thus, a person who smokes about 1 1/2 packs (30 cigarettes) daily gets 300 “hits” of nicotine each day.

Upon entering the bloodstream, nicotine immediately stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline).

Epinephrine stimulates the central nervous system and increases blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate.

Glucose is released into the blood while nicotine suppresses insulin output from the pancreas, which means that smokers have chronically elevated blood sugar levels.

Like cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, nicotine increases levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which affects the brain pathways that control reward and pleasure.

For many tobacco users, long-term brain changes induced by continued nicotine exposure result in addiction—a condition of compulsive drug seeking and use, even in the face of negative consequences.

Studies suggest that additional compounds in tobacco smoke, such as acetaldehyde, may enhance nicotine’s effects on the brain.

A number of studies indicate that adolescents are especially vulnerable to these effects and may be more likely than adults to develop an addiction to tobacco.

When an addicted user tries to quit, he or she experiences withdrawal symptoms including irritability, attention difficulties, sleep disturbances, increased appetite, and powerful cravings for tobacco.

Treatments can help smokers manage these symptoms and improve the likelihood of successfully quitting.

What Other Adverse Effects Does Tobacco Have on Health?

Cigarette smoking accounts for about one-third of all cancers, including 90 percent of lung cancer cases. Smokeless tobacco (such as chewing tobacco and snuff) also increases the risk of cancer, especially oral cancers.

In addition to cancer, smoking causes lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and increases the risk of heart disease, including stroke, heart attack, vascular disease, and aneurysm. Smoking has also been linked to leukemia, cataracts, and pneumonia.

On average, adults who smoke die 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.

Although nicotine is addictive and can be toxic if ingested in high doses, it does not cause cancer—other chemicals are responsible for most of the severe health consequences of tobacco use.

Tobacco smoke is a complex mixture of chemicals such as carbon monoxide, tar, formaldehyde, cyanide, and ammonia—many of which are known carcinogens. Carbon monoxide increases the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Tar exposes the user to an increased risk of lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchial disorders.

Pregnant women who smoke cigarettes run an increased risk of miscarriage, stillborn or premature infants, or infants with low birthweight.

Maternal smoking may also be associated with learning and behavioral problems in children. Smoking more than one pack of cigarettes per day during pregnancy nearly doubles the risk that the affected child will become addicted to tobacco if that child starts smoking.6

While we often think of medical consequences that result from direct use of tobacco products, passive or secondary smoke also increases the risk for many diseases. Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke, consists of exhaled smoke and smoke given off by the burning end of tobacco products.

Non smokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent7 and lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent.2 In addition, second hand smoke causes respiratory problems, such as coughing, over production of phlegm, and reduced lung function and respiratory infections, including pneumonia and bronchitis, in both adults and children.

In fact, each year about 150,000 – 300,000 children younger than 18 months old experience respiratory tract infections caused by secondhand smoke.4 Children exposed to secondhand smoking are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, ear problems, and severe asthma.

Furthermore, children who grow up with parents who smoke are more likely to become smokers, thus placing themselves (and their future families) at risk for the same health problems as their parents when they become adults.

Although quitting can be difficult, the health benefits of smoking cessation are immediate and substantial—including reduced risk for cancers, heart disease, and stroke. A 35-year-old man who quits smoking will, on average, increase his life expectancy by 5 years.8

Are There Effective Treatments for Tobacco Addiction?

Tobacco addiction is a chronic disease that often requires multiple attempts to quit. Although some smokers are able to quit without help, many others need assistance.

Generally, rates of relapse for smoking cessation are highest in the first few weeks and months and diminish considerably after about 3 months.

Both behavioral interventions (counseling) and medication can help smokers quit; but the combination of medication with counseling is more effective than either alone.

Behavioral TreatmentsBehavioral treatments employ a variety of methods to assist smokers in quitting, ranging from self-help materials to individual counseling.

Nicotine Replacement Treatments

Nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), such as nicotine gum and the nicotine patch, were the first pharmacological treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in smoking cessation therapy.

NRTs deliver a controlled dose of nicotine to a smoker in order to relieve withdrawal symptoms during the smoking cessation process.

They are most successful when used in combination with behavioral treatments. Current FDA-approved NRT products include nicotine chewing gum, the nicotine transdermal patch, nasal sprays, inhalers, and lozenges.

Other MedicationsBupropion and varenicline are two FDA-approved non-nicotine medications that effectively increase rates of long-term abstinence from smoking. Bupropion, a medication that goes by the trade name Zyban, was approved by the FDA in 1997 for use in smoking cessation.

Varenicline tartrate (trade name: Chantix) targets nicotine receptors in the brain, easing withdrawal symptoms and blocking the effects of nicotine if people resume smoking.

Current Treatment ResearchScientists are currently pursuing many other avenues of research to develop new smoking cessation therapies.

One promising intervention is a vaccine called NicVax that works by targeting nicotine in the bloodstream, blocking its access to the brain and thereby preventing its reinforcing effects.

Preliminary trials of this vaccine have yielded promising results, with vaccinated smokers achieving higher quit rates and longer term abstinence compared to smokers given placebo. NicVax is now being evaluated in Phase III clinical trials; successful completion will bring NicVax closer to final approval by the FDA.

How Widespread Is Tobacco Use? Monitoring the Future Survey*Current smoking rates among 8th- and 12th-grade students reached an all-time low in 2009. According to the Monitoring the Future survey, 6.5 percent of 8th-graders and 20.1 percent of 12th-graders reported they had used cigarettes in the past month.

Current smoking also decreased among 10th-graders, to about 13 percent in 2009. Although unacceptably high numbers of youth continue to smoke, these numbers represent a significant decrease from peak smoking rates (21 percent in 8th-graders, 30 percent in 10th-graders and 36 percent in 12th-graders) that were reached in the late 1990s.

The decrease in smoking rates among young Americans corresponds to several years in which increased proportions of teens said they believed there was a “great” health risk associated with cigarette smoking and expressed disapproval of smoking one or more packs of cigarettes per day.

Students’ personal disapproval of smoking has risen for some years; for example, the percentage of 12th-graders reporting disapproval of smoking one or more packs of cigarettes per day increased from 68.8 percent in 1998 to 81.8 percent in 2009.

During the same period, the percentage of 8th-graders who said it was “very easy” or “fairly easy” to obtain cigarettes declined from 73.6 percent in 1998 to 55.3 percent in 2009.

Current use of smokeless tobacco remained steady among 8th-graders and 12th-graders in 2009 (3.7 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively); however, current smokeless tobacco use among 10th-grade students increased significantly from 5.0 percent in 2008 to 6.5 percent in 2009.

For more information on how to quit smoking, please visit www.smokefree.gov.

Data Sources* These data are from the 2009 Monitoring the Future survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, and conducted annually by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.

The survey has tracked 12th-graders’ illicit drug use and related attitudes since 1975; in 1991, 8th- and 10th-graders were added to the study.



References


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: What It Means to You, 2004. Available at: http/www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/2004/pdfs/whatitmeanstoyou.pdf (PDF, 1.1MB).

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, Department of Health and Human Services. Smoking and Tobacco Use—Fact Sheet: Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking. Updated January 2008. Available at: http/www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm.

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, Department of Health and Human Services. Tobacco Use: Targeting the Nation’s Leading Killer—At a Glance 2009. Available at: http/www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/pdf/tobacco.pdf (PDF, 3.5MB).

4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health. Department of Health and Human Services. Smoking & Tobacco Use, Fast Facts. Available at: http/www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/index.htm#toll. Accessed 7/22/2010.

5 Belluzzi JD, Wang R, Leslie FM. Acetaldehyde enhances acquisition of nicotine self-administration in adolescent rats. Neuropsychopharmacology 30:705–712, 2005.

6 Buka SL, Shenassa ED, Niaura R. Elevated risk of tobacco dependence among offspring of mothers who smoked during pregnancy: A 30-year prospective study. Am J Psychiatry 160:1978–1984, 2003.

7 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Smoking and Tobacco Use—Fact Sheet: Secondhand Smoke Causes Heart Disease. Updated May 2007. Available at: http/www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand_smoke/health_effects/#heart.

8 Office of the Surgeon General, Office of Public Health and Science, Office of the Secretary, Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Benefits of Smoking Cessation: A Report of the Surgeon General. Available at: http/profiles.nlm.nih.gov/NN/B/B/C/T/.


 Health Center international research


DrugFacts: Spice (Synthetic Marijuana)

Posted by Maddalena Frau on July 11, 2012 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

 

http/www.drugabuse.gov


“Spice” refers to a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana (cannabis) and that are marketed as “safe,” legal alternatives to that drug. Sold under many names, including K2, fake weed, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks, and others—and labeled “not for human consumption”—these products contain dried, shredded plant material and chemical additives that are responsible for their psychoactive (mind-altering) effects.


False Advertising

Labels on Spice products often claim that they contain “natural” psycho-active material taken from a variety of plants. Spice products do contain dried plant material, but chemical analyses show that their active ingredients are synthetic (or designer) cannabinoid compounds.

For several years, Spice mixtures have been easy to purchase in head shops and gas stations and via the Internet.

Because the chemicals used in Spice have a high potential for abuse and no medical benefit, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has designated the five active chemicals most frequently found in Spice as Schedule I controlled substances, making it illegal to sell, buy, or possess them.

Manufacturers of Spice products attempt to evade these legal restrictions by substituting different chemicals in their mixtures, while the DEA continues to monitor the situation and evaluate the need for updating the list of banned cannabinoids.

Spice products are popular among young people; of the illicit drugs most used by high-school seniors, they are second only to marijuana.



Easy access and the misperception that Spice products are “natural” and therefore harmless have likely contributed to their popularity. Another selling point is that the chemicals used in Spice are not easily detected in standard drug tests.

 

How Is Spice Abused?

Some Spice products are sold as “incense,” but they more closely resemble potpourri. Like marijuana, Spice is abused mainly by smoking. Sometimes Spice is mixed with marijuana or is prepared as an herbal infusion for drinking.

 

How Does Spice Affect the Brain?Spice users report experiences similar to those produced by marijuana—elevated mood, relaxation, and altered perception—and in some cases the effects are even stronger than those of marijuana.

Some users report psychotic effects like extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations.

So far, there have been no scientific studies of Spice’s effects on the human brain, but we do know that the cannabinoid compounds found in Spice products act on the same cell receptors as THC, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.

Some of the compounds found in Spice, however, bind more strongly to those receptors, which could lead to a much more powerful and unpredictable effect.

Because the chemical composition of many products sold as Spice is unknown, it is likely that some varieties also contain substances that could cause dramatically different effects than the user might expect.

What Are the Other Health Effects of Spice?

Spice abusers who have been taken to Poison Control Centers report symptoms that include rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion, and hallucinations.

Spice can also raise blood pressure and cause reduced blood supply to the heart (myocardial ischemia), and in a few cases it has been associated with heart attacks. Regular users may experience withdrawal and addiction symptoms.

We still do not know all the ways Spice may affect human health or how toxic it may be, but one public health concern is that there may be harmful heavy metal residues in Spice mixtures. Without further analyses, it is difficult to determine whether this concern is justified.

Learn More

For more information on Spice,  (PDF, 253KB)

 


 

The Scienceof Medical Marijuana

Posted by Maddalena Frau on July 11, 2012 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)




The potential medicinal properties of marijuana have been the subject of substantive research and heated debate. Scientists have confirmed that the cannabis plant contains active ingredients with therapeutic potential forrelieving pain, controlling nausea, stimulating appetite, and decreasing ocular pressure.

As a result, a 1990 Institute of Medicine report concluded thatfurther clinical research on cannabinoid drugs and safe delivery systems was warranted.

At that time, dronabinol (Marinol®) and nabilone (Cesamet®) were the only FDA-approved, marijuana-based medications that doctors could prescribe for thetreatment of nausea in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy and to stimulateappetite in patients with wasting syndrome due to AIDS. These pills contained synthetic versions of THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana.

Today, 25 years after their approval, the development of Sativex® marks the arrival ofthe second generation of cannabis-based medications. This new product(currently available in the United Kingdom and Canada) is a chemically pure mixture of plant-derived THC and Cannabidiol, formulated as a mouth spray and approved for the relief of cancer-associated pain and spasticity and neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis.

Scientists continue to investigate the medicinal properties of THC and other cannabinoids to better evaluate and harness their ability to help patients suffering from abroad range of conditions, while avoiding the adverse effects of smokedmarijuana.

These efforts are bound to improve our understanding of the cannabinoid system and help us bring to market a new generation of safe and effective medications.

RESEARCH

Clinical studies focused on conditions identified by many researcher for which cannabis have therapeutic effects, I am not opposed to using cannabis as a therapy, actually I thinkit is very useful for many diseases, but in order to evaluate various hypotheses concerning the potential utility of marijuana in various therapeutic areas, more and bette rstudies would be needed because all psychotropic substance that induce dependency must be use carefully.

I know there are many records: books, articles, ancientherbals, researches and scientific publications, volunteer experiences, etc..

All matter is just energy  and everything has its own vibration, mind, body, spirit, food and especially herbs and all naturalmedicine, even cannabis as a medical herb has a high vibration and may curemany diseases but like all medical herb use in medicine must be taken undercontrol.

Everything testifiesin cannabis’s favor,  in the treatment ofdisorders ranging from musculoskeletal pain, glaucoma, from anorexia anddepression to diseases such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis tremendous, notto mention the valuable help in relieving the side effects of chemotherapy in cancer, such as nausea and vomiting, and debilitating in the state of theImmune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and even recent studies have demonstratedthat cannabis has analgesic effects in pain conditions secondary to injury(e.g. spinal cord injury) or disease (e.g. HIV disease, HIV drug therapy) ofthe nervous system ...

This suggeststhat cannabis may provide a treatment option for those individuals who do notrespond or respond inadequately to currently available therapies. The efficacyof cannabis in treatment-refractory patients also may suggest a novel mechanismof action not fully exploited by current therapies.

In addition tonerve pain, CMCR has also supported a study on muscle spasticity in MultipleSclerosis (MS). Such spasticity can be painful and disabling, and some patientsdo not benefit optimally from existing treatments. itis also is right to point that there isnot only THC, this is undoubtedlythe most famous and the most presentin the plant, but there are over 60cannabinoids different from each other.

At present not much is known about the properties ofthese cannabinoids except that they seem to be devoid of psychoactive effects and / or psychotropic drugs on the brain. So the hypothesis that also positively influence the therapeutic effects of cannabison human behavior without interferingis not to be discarded.

The health benefits of Medical Marijuana include theplacebo effect, is a phenomenon where a patient’s belief in the treatment ormedicine will change his/her condition. When the patient’s condition improves,we can then say that the treatment or medicine had a therapeutic effect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

GiovanniSerpelloni

(direttore Dipartimento dipendenze Ulss 20 )

http://www.molecularlab.it/news/view.asp?n=13

 

HealthCenter I.R.

http://healthcenterinternationalresearches.webs.com/ ;

 

http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana

Universityof California's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR).

http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/index.php

 

 (medical cannabis - clinical studies)

http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/54

 


Marijuana Observation

Posted by Maddalena Frau on July 11, 2012 at 5:20 AM


 

 

The concept that we must abandon is the distinction betweenso called soft drugs and heavy drugs/, that distinction does not correspond towhat is found in the scientific evidence and thoughts and behaviors ofconsumers of such drugs.

Should not be ignored in particular a simple as dramatic epidemiological observation that cannabis is the drug that for more than 95% ofheroin addicts is responsible for the initiation of many young people to drugs..

Of course the passage is not automatic for allindividuals, but from the latest scientific research we are able to determinethat there are many particularly vulnerable individuals able to transform into"escalator" (climbers towards increasingly powerful drugs) in a fewmonths since the beginning of the called drugs intakes "easy".

"Easy" also for high social tolerance whichexists and particularly for  the fascination factor, especially for the younger generations (but not only) regardless of superficial ideological considerations, this subject is not refraining at any moralistic positions that do not belong to our research.

We noted that the cannabis market today is very differentfrom that of 10 years ago. It is cultivated with methods that allow to obtainfinal products 4/5 times higher in terms of concentration of the activeingredient than before, creating effects far more relevant than you mightsuspect, besides the fact that often to grow crops more luxuriant (andprofitable) use pesticides harmful to health as carcinogenic and outlawed,which are then marketed drugs even more concentrated and highly dangerous.

Contrary to a commonly and erroneously believed this substance is able to create a State of dependence which manifests itself mainly with psychic symptoms such as a strong and constant desire to take the substance, demotivational crisis, strong increase aggressivenessand irritability, and disorders in the judgment.

The existence of dependencyhas been proven through the use of specific antagonists of THC (the activeingredient of cannabis) and high affinity for the cannabinoid receptors,endogenous and exogenous (administered under experimental conditions inanimals) have caused an acute syndrome of abstinence,demonstrating the existence of a State of dependency.

Now we know that in the human brain there is also acomplex system of brain cannabinoid substancescalled "natural cannabinoid " (substances cannabis-like) the endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body by humans and animals) that isa constituent to experience the satisfaction and feel "fulfilled".Some human brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors.

The highest density ofcannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that influence pleasure,memory, thinking, concentrating, sensory and time perception, and coordinatedmovement.

Cannabis introduced from outside interferes deeply andnegatively with this system (like heroine that interferes with the normal endorphin system) because no longer uses its internal components and natural (endogenouscannabinoids) but only the external ones, altering the physiological functioning.

It thus produces a biochemical dysfunction that leads tothe downfall of the motivation, retention mechanisms alteration and impairmentof ability to address the problems of life.

This endogenous cannabinoid systemhas also a very delicate and complex and sophisticated level details brain structures (limbic frontal cortex and hippocampus), which control memory,personality and relationship with people.

To understand the harm of cannabis, try to think for amoment what it means and what can cause this in the brain of a teenager ingrowth that is developing its own very sensitive psychic functioning mechanisms.

Cannabis reduces the sensitivity and the euphoria for the results achieved: after reaching an objective the enthusiasm is reduced (or completely absent) remainonly dissatisfied, and anxiety, like if not achieved anything. A delay in adolescent brain development is common when drugs usage begins at a young age.

Basically, the teenage brain stops developing. “Some frequent users feel a lackof initiative and concern about the future, find it hard to become or stay motivated, and think things will take care of themselves.” (Wapner, Roger,1995)

As a result, the normal maturation process is interrupted. Development ofcoping skills, a code of ethics, acceptance of responsibility, and other signs of maturity frequently cease or regress. As a result, many milestones of life maybe missed.

All this for a guy growing and searching for his identitycan be psychologically devastating and lose the right direction for a harmonious mental development and mental progress, causing stress  and all we know the deleterious effects of stress on physical and mental health have been consistently documented (Brown, 1993; Dohrenwend,1998;Kessler,1997).A well-developed literature has identified the negative physiological effectsof stress, particularly dysregulation in the neuro endocrine and immune systems, that represent biological mechanisms linking stress to disease

By the time it was known that cannabis increases the lossof cerebral neurons deputies to short-term memory and focus on essentialconcepts. From a standpoint of physical health has also been tried cannabis inhibits immune cells appointed to defense from infections and cancers. Users of cannabis are more exposed to develop pulmonary infections, cancer and myocardial infarction.

 

The effects on memory and on nerve motivation cells arestrong and can over time change the personality and psychic functioningmechanisms of people who are exposing them to an increased risk of schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. 

Finally have been documented severeneuro developmental damage of children born to mothers who smoke cannabis.

We also highlighted and raised the alarm on thesignificant increase of the early appearance of psychiatric disorders and psychopathology in youth bands that is occurring unexpectedly in these years.All this highlights the close relation to the greater diffusion and use of drugs at a young age.

For years these evidences are aware of scientific community (but also political) around the world and even now these truths must be accepted by the multitude of young people who too often fall into easy and superficial risk behavior for the unclear information. 

The hoax that has been done and continues to be wide spread, it cannot be accepted by those  involved with public health, is time for all those persons who think that use drugs is one inviolable right and must to be guarantee even with the laws ofthe State. (maintainour health and health of others, might be considered a "duty" and a responsibility for all of us).

We must take a more active and determined attitude by making explicit and sending the right information’s to the younger generation sand to all those who might be victims of drugs.

The first instance therefore is to recognize the existence of damage of cannabis and send the information to the knowledge of young people to create awareness and empowerment this must be against all substances (not necessarily drugs) potentially suspected of being harmful to health and/or compromising civil behavior.

Young people and adolescents are particularly vulnerableto the adverse effects of cannabis and must be therefore  protected.

We must recognize that taking drugs is injurious to health, dangerous even for the group ( family, school, friend etc…who are in contact with these people, (example is the consequences of driving skills and judgment of the danger).

The best prevention is not use drugs of any kind (both legal and illegal), and recognizing these behaviors as negative, to avoid and blame the system that places the individual more vulnerable to being protectedand simultaneously stimulated to an awareness and awareness for mature and responsible behaviors’ to uncertain themselves and be really "free"of any substance and ideological conditioning.

 

 

Marijuanais the most commonly used illegal drug. It is made up of dried parts of the Cannabis sativa hemp plant.

What is marijuana?

Marijuana—often called pot,grass, reefer, weed, herb, Mary Jane, or MJ—is a greenish-graymixture of the dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of Cannabissativa—the hemp plant.

Most users smoke marijuana in hand-rolled cigarettescalled joints, among other names; some use pipes or water pipes called bongs

.Marijuana cigars, or blunts, are also popular. To make blunts, usersslice open cigars, remove some of the tobacco, and mix the remainder withmarijuana (Timberlake 2009). Marijuana also is used to brew tea and sometimes is mixed into foods.

 

How does marijuana produce its effects?

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)is the main active ingredient in marijuana, responsible for many of its knowneffects. When marijuana is smoked, its effects begin almost immediately. THCrapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the chemicalto organs throughout the body, including the brain. The effects of smokedmarijuana can last from 1 to 3 hours. If marijuana is consumed in foods orbeverages, the effects appear later—usually in 30 minutes to 1 hour—but canlast up to 4 hours. Smoking marijuana delivers significantly more THC into thebloodstream than eating or drinking the drug.

 

Chart describing marijuana's effectson the brain

Scientists have learned a great dealabout how THC acts in the brain. THC binds to specific sites called cannabinoidreceptors (CBRs) located on the surface of nerve cells. These receptors arefound in high-density in areas of the brain that influence pleasure, memory,thinking, concentration, movement, coordination, and sensory and timeperception. CBRs are part of a vast communication network known as the endocannabinoidsystem, which plays a critical role in normal brain development and function.In fact, THC effects are similar to those produced by naturally occurringchemicals found in the brain (and body) called endogenous cannabinoids.These chemicals help control many of the same mental and physical functionsthat may be disrupted by marijuana use.

 

When someone smokes marijuana, THC stimulates the CBRs artificially, disrupting function of the natural, orendogenous, cannabinoids.

An overstimulation of these receptors in key brainareas produces the marijuana "high," as well as other effects onmental processes. Over time, this overstimulation can alter the function ofCBRs, which, along with other changes in the brain, can lead to addiction andto withdrawal symptoms when drug use stops.

The THC content or potency ofmarijuana, as detected in confiscated samples over the past 30+ years (PotencyMonitoring Project, University of Mississippi), has been steadily increasing.This increase raises concerns that the consequences of marijuana use could beworse than in the past, particularly among new users, or in young people, whosebrains are still developing.

We still do not know, however, whether cannabisusers adjust for the increase in potency by using less or by smoking itdifferently. We also do not know all the consequences to the brain and bodywhen exposed to higher concentrations of THC.

How does marijuana use affect your brain andbody?Effects on the BrainAsTHC enters the brain, it causes the user to feel euphoric—or high—by acting onthe brain's reward system, which is made up of regions that govern the responseto pleasurable things like sex and chocolate, as well as to most drugs ofabuse.

THC activates the reward system in the same way that nearly all drugs ofabuse do: by stimulating brain cells to release the chemical dopamine.

Alongwith euphoria, relaxation is another frequently reported effect in humanstudies. Other effects, which vary dramatically among different users, includeheightened sensory perception (e.g., brighter colors), laughter, alteredperception of time, and increased appetite.

After a while, the euphoriasubsides, and the user may feel sleepy or depressed. Occasionally, marijuanause may produce anxiety, fear, distrust, or panic.

Marijuanause impairs a person's ability to form new memories and to shift focus. THCalso disrupts coordination and balance by binding to receptors in thecerebellum and basal ganglia—parts of the brain that regulate balance, posture,coordination, and reaction time. Therefore, learning, doing complicated tasks,participating in athletics, and driving are also affected.

 

Marijuanausers who have taken large doses of the drug may experience an acute psychosis,which includes hallucinations, delusions, and a loss of the sense of personalidentity. Although the specific causes of these symptoms remain unknown, theyappear to occur more frequently when a high dose of cannabis is consumed infood or drink rather than smoked.

Such short-term psychotic reactions to highconcentrations of THC are distinct from longer-lasting, schizophrenia-likedisorders that have been associated with the use of cannabis in vulnerableindividuals.

Ourunderstanding of marijuana's long-term brain effects is limited. Researchfindings on how chronic cannabis use affects brain structure, for example, have beeninconsistent. It may be that the effects are too subtle for reliable detectionby current techniques.

A similar challenge arises in studies of the effects of chronic marijuana use on brain function.

Although imaging studies (functional MRI; fMRI) in chronic users do show some consistent alterations, the relation of these changes to cognitive functioning is less clear.

This uncertainty may stem from confounding factors such as other drug use, residual drug effects (which can occur for at least 24 hours inchronic users), or with drawal symptoms in long-term chronic users.

     

   

Marijuana, Memory, and the Hippocampus Memoryimpairment from marijuana use occurs because THC alters how information isprocessed in the hippocampus, a brain area responsible for memory formation.

 

Distribution of cannabinoid receptors in the rat brain. Brain image revealshigh levels (shown in orange and yellow) of cannabinoid receptors in manyareas, including the cortex, hippocampus, cerebellum, and nucleus accumbens(ventral striatum).

Mostof the evidence supporting this assertion comes from animal studies. For example, rats exposed to THC in utero, soon after birth, or during adolescence,show notable problems with specific learning/memory tasks later in life. Moreover, cognitive impairment in adult rats is associated with structural andfunctional changes in the hippocampus from THC exposure during adolescence.

Aspeople age, they lose neurons in the hippocampus, which decreases their abilityto learn new information. Chronic THC exposure may hasten age-related loss ofhippocampal neurons. In one study, rats exposed to THC every day for 8 months(approximately 30 percent of their life-span) showed a level of nerve cell loss(at 11 to 12 months of age) that equaled that of unexposed animals twice theirage.

Anenduring question in the field is whether individuals who quit marijuana, evenafter long-term, heavy use, can recover some of their cognitive abilities. One study reports that the ability of long-term heavy marijuana users to recallwords from a list was still impaired 1 week after they quit using, but returnedto normal by 4 weeks.

However, another study found that marijuana's effects onthe brain can build up and deteriorate critical life skills over time. Sucheffects may be worse in those with other mental disorders, or simply by virtueof the normal aging process.

Effects on General Physical Health

Within a few minutes after inhaling marijuana smoke, an individual's heart ratespeeds up, the bronchial passages relax and become enlarged, and blood vesselsin the eyes expand, making the eyes look red.

The heart rate—normally 70 to 80beats per minute—may increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute, or may even doublein some cases. Taking other drugs with marijuana can amplify this effect.

Limited evidence suggests that a person's risk of heart attack during the first hourafter smoking marijuana is four times his or her usual risk. This observation could be partly explained by marijuana raising blood pressure (in some cases)and heart rate and reducing the blood's capacity to carry oxygen.

Such possibilities need to be examined more closely, particularly since current marijuana users include adults from the baby boomer generation, who may haveother cardiovascular risks that may increase their vulnerability.

 

 Consequencesof Marijuana Abuse Acute (present during intoxication) Impairs short-term memory Impairs attention, judgment, and other cognitive functionsImpairs coordination and balanceIncreases heart ratePsychotic episodes Persistent (lasting longer than intoxication, but may not bepermanent)Impairs memory and learning skills Sleep impairmen tLong-term (cumulative effects of chronic abuse)

Can lead to addiction Increases risk of chronic cough, bronchitis Increases risk of schizophrenia in vulnerable individualsMay increase risk of anxiety, depression, and amotivational syndrome1 

The smoke of marijuana, like that of tobacco, consists of a toxic mixture of gasesand particulates, many of which are known to be harmful to the lungs.

Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers do, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illnesses, and a greater risk of lung infections.

Even in frequent marijuana use can cause burning and stinging of the mouth andthroat, often accompanied by a heavy cough. One study found that extra sickdays used by frequent marijuana smokers were often because of respiratory illnesses (Polen et al. 1993).

Inaddition, marijuana has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract becauseit contains irritants and carcinogens—up to 70 percent more than tobacco smoke.It also induces high levels of an enzyme that converts certain hydrocarbonsinto their cancer-causing form, which could accelerate the changes thatultimately produce malignant cells.

And since marijuana smokers generallyinhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers, the lungsare exposed longer to carcinogenic smoke.

However, while several lines ofevidence have suggested that marijuana use may lead to lung cancer, thesupporting evidence is inconclusive (Hashibe et al. 2006).

The presence of anunidentified active ingredient in cannabis smoke having protective properties—if corroborated and properly characterized—could help explain the inconsistenciesand modest findings.

Within a few minutes after inhaling marijuana smoke, an individual's heart ratespeeds up, the bronchial passages relax and become enlarged, and blood vesselsin the eyes expand, making the eyes look red.

Asignificant body of research demonstrates negative effects of THC on thefunction of various immune cells, both in vitro in cells and in vivo with testanimals. However, no studies to date connect marijuana's suspected immunesystem suppression with greater incidence of infections or immune disorders inhumans.

One short (3-week) study found marijuana smoking to be associated witha few statistically significant negative effects on the immune function of AIDS patients; a second small study of college students also suggested thepossibility of marijuana having adverse effects on immune system functioning.

Thus, the combined evidence from animal studies plus the limited human dataavailable, seem to warrant additional research on the impact of marijuana onthe immune system.

Is there a link between marijuana use and mental illness?

Research in the past decade hasfocused on whether marijuana use actually causes other mental illnesses. The strongest evidence to date suggests a link between cannabis use and psychosis(Hall and Degenhardt 2009).

For example, a series of large prospective studies that followed a group of people over time showed a relationship between marijuana use and later development of psychosis. Marijuana use also worsensthe course of illness in patients with schizophrenia and can produce a brief psychotic reaction in some users that fades as the drug wears off.

The amount of drug used, the age at first use, and genetic vulnerability can all influence this relationship.

One example is a study  that found an increased risk ofpsychosis among adults who had used marijuana in adolescence and whoalso carried a specific variant of the gene for catechol-O-methyltransferase(COMT) (Caspi et al. 2005), an enzyme that degrades neurotransmitters such asdopamine and norepinephrine.

In addition to the observed links between marijuana use and schizophrenia, other less consistent associationshave been reported between marijuana use and depression, anxiety, suicidalthoughts among adolescents, and personality disturbances.

One of the most frequently cited, albeit still controversial, is an amotivational syndrome,defined as a diminished or absent drive to engage in typically rewarding activities.

Because of the role of the endocannabinoid system in regulating mood, these associations make a certain amount of sense; however, more researchis needed to confirm and better understand these linkages.

 

Adapted from Caspi et al., Biol Psychiatry, May 2005.

 

 

The influence of adolescent marijuana use on adult psychosis is affected bygenetic variables. This figure shows that variations in a gene can affect thelikelihood of developing psychosis in adulthood, following exposure to cannabisin adolescence.

The COMT gene governs an enzyme that breaks down dopamine, abrain chemical involved in schizophrenia. It comes in two forms:"Met" and "Val." Individuals with one or two copies of theVal variant have a higher risk of developing schizophrenic-type disorders ifthey used cannabis during adolescence (dark bars). Those with only the Metvariant were unaffected by cannabis use.

 

Is marijuana addictive?

Long-termmarijuana use can lead to addiction; that is, people have difficulty controlling their drug use and cannot stop even though it interferes with manyaspects of their lives. It is estimated that 9 percent of people who usemarijuana will become dependent on it.

The number goes up to about 1 in 6 inthose who start using young (in their teens) and to 25-50 percent among dailyusers.

Moreover, a study of over 300 fraternal and identical twin pairs found that the twin who had used marijuana before the age of 17 had elevated rates ofother drug use and drug problems later on, compared with their twin who did notuse before age 17.

Marijuana addiction is also linked to a with drawal syndrome similar to that of nicotine withdrawal, which can make it hard toquit. 

People trying to quit report irritability, sleeping difficulties,craving, and anxiety. They also show increased aggression on psychological tests, peaking approximately 1 week after they last used the drug.

 

How does marijuana use affect school, work, and sociallife?

Research has shown that marijuana's negative effects on attention, memory, and learning can last for days or weeksafter the acute effects of the drug wear off (Schweinsburg et al. 2000.

Consequently, someone who smokes marijuana daily may be functioning at areduced intellectual level most or all of the time.

Not surprisingly, evidencesuggests that, compared with their nonsmoking peers, students who smokemarijuana tend to get lower grades and are more likely to drop out of highschool (Fergusson and Boden 2000.

A meta-analysis of 48 relevant studies—oneof the most thorough performed to date—found cannabis use to be associatedconsistently with reduced educational attainment (e.g., grades and chances ofgraduating) (Macleod et al. 2004).

However, a causal relationship is notyet proven between cannabis use by young people and psychosocial harm.

That said, marijuana usersthemselves report poor outcomes on a variety of life satisfaction andachievement measures. One study compared current and former long-term heavyusers of marijuana with a control group who reported smoking cannabis at leastonce in their lives but not more than 50 times.

Despite similar education and income backgrounds, significant differences were found in educational attainment: fewer of the heavy users of cannabis completed college, and morehad yearly household incomes of less than $30,000.

When asked how marijuana affected their cognitive abilities, career achievements, social lives, and physical and mental health, the majority of heavy cannabis users reported the drug's negative effects on all of these measures.

In addition, several studies have linked workers' marijuana smoking with increased absences, tardiness,accidents, workers' compensation claims, and job turnover.

For example, a studyamong postal workers found that employees who tested positive for marijuana ona pre-employment urine drug test had 55 percent more industrial accidents, 85percent more injuries, and a 75-percent increase in absenteeism compared withthose who tested negative for marijuana use.

 

Does marijuana use affect driving?

Because marijuana impairs judgmentand motor coordination and slows reaction time, an intoxicated person has anincreased chance of being involved in and being responsible for an accident(O'Malley and Johnston 2007; Richer and Bergeron 2009).

According to theNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drugs other than alcohol (e.g.,marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18 percent of motor vehicle driverdeaths.

A recent survey found that 6.8 percent of drivers, mostly under 35, whowere involved in accidents tested positive for THC; alcohol levels above the legal limit were found in 21 percent of such drivers.

 Can marijuana use during pregnancy harm the baby?

Animal research suggests that the body's endocannabinoid system plays a role in the control of brain maturation, particularly in the development of emotional responses.

It is conceivable that even low concentrations of THC, whenadministered during the perinatal period, could have profound and long-lastingconsequences for both brain and behavior (Trezza et al. 2000.

Research hasshown that some babies born to women who used marijuana during theirpregnancies display altered responses to visual stimuli, increasedtremulousness, and a high-pitched cry, which could indicate problems withneurological development.

In school, marijuana-exposed children are more likelyto show gaps in problem solving skills, memory, and the ability to remainattentive. More research is needed, however, to disentangle the drug-specificfactors from the environmental ones (Schempf and Strobino 2008).

  Available treatments for marijuana usedisordersMarijuanadependence appears to be very similar to other substance dependence disorders,although the long-term clinical outcomes may be less severe.

On average, adultsseeking treatment for marijuana abuse or dependence have used marijuana nearlyevery day for more than 10 years and have attempted to quit more than sixtimes.

It is important to note that marijuana dependence is most prevalentamong patients suffering from other psychiatric disorders, particularly amongadolescent and young adult populations (Gouzoulis-Mayfrank 2000.

Also,marijuana abuse or dependence typically co-occurs with use of other drugs, suchas cocaine and alcohol.

Available studies indicate that effectively treatingthe mental health disorder with standard treatments involving medications andbehavioral therapies may help reduce cannabis use, particularly among heavyusers and those with more chronic mental disorders. Behavioral treatments, suchas motivational enhancement therapy (MET), group or individualcognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and contingency management (CM), as well asfamily-based treatments, have shown promise.

Unfortunately,the success rates of treatment are rather modest. Even with the most effectivetreatment for adults, only about 50 percent of enrollees achieve an initial2-week period of abstinence, and among those who do, approximately half willresume use within a year. Across studies, 1-year abstinence rates have rangedbetween 10 and 30 percent for the various behavioral approaches.

As with otheraddictions, these data suggest that a chronic care model should be consideredfor marijuana addiction, with treatment intensity stepped up or down based onneed, comorbid addictions or other mental disorders, and the availability offamily and other supports.

Currently,no medications are available to treat marijuana abuse, but research is activein this area. Most of the studies to date have targeted the marijuanawithdrawal syndrome.

For example, a recent human laboratory study showed that acombination of a cannabinoid agonist medication with lofexidine (a medication approved in the United Kingdom for the treatment of opioid withdrawal) produced more robust improvements in sleep and decreased marijuana withdrawal, craving,and relapse in daily marijuana smokers relative to either medication alone.

Recent discoveries about the inner workings of the endogenous cannabinoidsystem raise the future possibility of a medication able to block THC'sintoxicating effects, which could help prevent relapse by reducing oreliminating marijuana's appeal.


The Science of Medical Marijuana

The potential medicinal properties of marijuana have been the subject of substantive research and heated debate. Scientists have confirmed that the cannabis plant contains active ingredients with therapeutic potential for relieving pain, controlling nausea, stimulating appetite, and decreasing ocularpressure. As a result, a 1990 Institute of Medicine report concluded thatfurther clinical research on cannabinoid drugs and safe delivery systems waswarranted.

Atthat time, dronabinol (Marinol® and nabilone (Cesamet® were the onlyFDA-approved, marijuana-based medications that doctors could prescribe for thetreatment of nausea in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy and to stimulateappetite in patients with wasting syndrome due to AIDS.

These pills containedsynthetic versions of THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana. Today, 25years after their approval, the development of Sativex® marks the arrival ofthe second generation of cannabis-based medications.

This new product(currently available in the United Kingdom and Canada) is a chemically pure mixture of plant-derived THC and Cannabidiol, formulated as a mouth spray and approved for the relief of cancer-associated pain and spasticity andneuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis.

Scientistscontinue to investigate the medicinal properties of THC and other cannabinoidsto better evaluate and harness their ability to help patients suffering from abroad range of conditions, while avoiding the adverse effects of smokedmarijuana.

These efforts are bound to improve our understanding of thecannabinoid system and help us bring to market a new generation of safe andeffective medications.

 

 

RESEARCH

 

Clinical studies focused on conditions identified by many researcher for which cannabis have therapeutic effects, I am notopposed to usingcannabis as a therapy, actually I thinkit is very useful for many diseases, but in order to evaluate various hypotheses concerning the potential utility of marijuana in various therapeutic areas, more and betterstudies would be needed because all psychotropic substance that induce dependency must be use carefully.

I know there are many records: books, articles, ancientherbals, researches and scientific publications, volunteer experiences, etc..

My pointof view as a researcher in Quantum Medicine is that,

I realized that all matter is just energy  and everything has its ownvibration, mind, body, spirit, food and especially herbs and all naturalmedicine, even cannabis as a medical herb has a high vibration and may curemany diseases but like all medical herb use in medicine must be taken under control.

Everything testifiesin cannabis’s favor,  in the treatment of disorders ranging from musculoskeletal pain, glaucoma, from anorexia and depression to diseases such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis tremendous, notto mention the valuable help in relieving the side effects of chemotherapy incancer, such as nausea and vomiting, and debilitating in the state of the Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and even recent studies have demonstrated that cannabis has analgesic effects in pain conditions secondary to injury(e.g. spinal cord injury) or disease (e.g. HIV disease, HIV drug therapy) ofthe nervous system ...

This suggests that cannabis may provide a treatment option for those individuals who do not respond or respond inadequately to currently available therapies. The efficacy of cannabis in treatment-refractory patients also may suggest a novel mechanism of action not fully exploited by current therapies.

In addition tonerve pain, CMCR has also supported a study on muscle spasticity in MultipleSclerosis (MS).

Such spasticity can be painful and disabling, and some patientsdo not benefit optimally from existing treatments. itis also is right to point that there isnot only THC, this is undoubtedlythe most famous and the most presentin the plant, but there are over 60cannabinoids different from each other.

At present not much is known about the properties ofthese cannabinoids except that they seem to be devoid of psychoactive effects and / or psychotropic drugs on the brain. So the hypothesis that also positively influence the therapeutic effects of cannabison human behavior without interferingis not to be discarded.

The health benefits of Medical Marijuana include the placebo effect, is a phenomenon where a patient’s belief in the treatment or medicine will change his/her condition. When the patient’s condition improves,we can then say that the treatment or medicine had a therapeutic effect.

Reference

GiovanniSerpelloni

(direttore Dipartimento dipendenze Ulss 20 )

http/www.molecularlab.it/news/view.asp?n=13

 

HealthCenter I.R.

http/healthcenterinternationalresearches.webs.com/ 

 

http/www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/marijuana

Universityof California's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR).

http/www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/index.php

 

 (medical cannabis - clinical studies)

http/drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/54

 



 


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Maddalena Frau

 Transpersonal Psychologist, Quantum Medicine, 

Psycho Vibrational Therapy *PVT*  .

Researcher, Scio Therapist, Nutrition.

Immune Internationally Licensed Therapist

Maddalena is a researcher of Integrative and Quantum Medicine in Kenya, where all of her energy is dedicated to consolidating her knowledge of conventional medicine, natural medicine, nutrition, quantum physics and advanced biofeedback into a model of Integrative Medicine. She has dedicated her life to the promotion of natural health and the prevention of disease, and to bringing depth and understanding to the field of Integrative Medicine. She has researched new approaches to medicine and she an ardent promoter of innovative methods of evaluation as a way to integrate quantum consciousness into the art of healing.

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