Psychosis Associated With Medical Marijuana: Risk vs. Benefits of Medicinal Cannabis Use

American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 12.3). 05/2010; 167(5):598-9. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2010.09121762
Source: PubMed

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    • "Major studies, which have reviewed available data on neuroimaging, show a high degree of heterogeneity across studies. Most studies report no evidence of cerebral atrophy or regional changes in tissue volumes, although some studies did not find cannabis use-related changes in brain morphology and others do suggest that long-term heavy cannabis use may lead to structural brain changes.[7374] Functional neuroimaging studies have reported increases in neural activity in regions that may be related with cannabis intoxication or mood change effects (orbital and medial frontal lobes, insula, and anterior cingulate cortex), and decreases in activity of regions related with cognitive functions impaired during acute intoxication.[75] "
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    ABSTRACT: Cannabis is a known risk factor for schizophrenia, although the exact neurobiological process through which the effects on psychosis occur is not well-understood. In this review, we attempt to develop and discuss a possible pathway for the development of psychosis. We examine the neurobiological changes due to cannabis to see if these changes are similar to those seen in schizophrenic patients the findings show similarities; however, these mere similarities cannot establish a 'cause-effect' relationship as a number of people with similar changes do not develop schizophrenia. Therefore, the 'transition-to-psychosis' due to cannabis, despite being a strong risk factor, remains uncertain based upon neurobiological changes. It appears that other multiple factors might be involved in these processes which are beyond neurobiological factors. Major advances have been made in understanding the underpinning of marijuana dependence, and the role of the cannabinoid system, which is a major area for targeting medications to treat marijuana withdrawal and dependence, as well as other addictions is of now, it is clear that some of the similarities in the neurobiology of cannabis and schizophrenia may indicate a mechanism for the development of psychosis, but its trajectories are undetermined.
    Indian Journal of Psychiatry 03/2014; 56(1):8-16. DOI:10.4103/0019-5545.124708

  • Schizophrenia Research 05/2011; 130(1-3):285-6. DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2011.04.022 · 3.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Cannabis sativa (cannabis, marijuana) is a drug of abuse with well known psychoactive effects and therapeutic potential. A large number of cannabinoids chemically similar to Δ9-THC, the main active metabolite of marijuana, were synthesized in an attempt to exclude or minimize the psychotropic effects, maintaining the therapeutic potential. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this work was to review of the use of synthetic cannabinoids as emerging drugs of abuse, especially in the form of spice or herbal blends. METHODS: A bibliographic search was performed in PubMed employing the terms "synthetic cannabinoids", "spice", "legal highs", "herbal blends", "psychosis cannabis" and cross references. RESULTS: A number of synthetic cannabinoids can be found in Spice products, confirming that herbal incense emerged as new drugs of abuse. DISCUSSION: It is unclear whether the use of synthetic cannabinoids and Spice is a fad or will be established as common practice in our society. However, the phenomenon of designer drugs, especially synthetic cannabinoids, will remain a challenge to health authorities in the globalized world, requiring additional clinical and forensic research.
    Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica 12/2011; 39(4):142-148. DOI:10.1590/S0101-60832012000400005 · 0.52 Impact Factor
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