Archive for category Marijuana'

The Functions of Marijuana

For adolescents the heavy use and abuse of all drugs involves the significance of the act of taking the drug as well as the specific functions of a particular drug for the youngster. It is reasonable to assume that any adolescent behavior strongly disapproved of by parents, teachers, and community leaders will reflect certain “antiauthority” overtones; certainly this appeared true of the representative cases of marijuana abusers. At the same time, our research indicated that past emphasis on heavy marijuana use as part of a lifestyle choice involving role modeling and affiliation with proponents of alternative social values, attitudes, and mores is unidimensional and overly simplistic. These adolescents’ involvement with drug-abusing peers waxed and waned in accordance with their changing need to smoke large amounts of marijuana. This need, while expressed in interaction with drug-abusing peers, related essentially to the psychodynamics of the youngsters’ family relationships. Defiance and provocation With someone like Dave, who grew marijuana plants in his basement, and who fought constantly with his parents over his right to smoke as much marijuana as he pleased, the provocativeness is apparent. Marijuana Read more […]

Endocrine Effects of Marijuana in the Male: Preclinical Studies

The research efforts of many investigators in the recent past have made it abundantly clear that exposure to marijuana has significant effects upon the reproductive system and the effects of cannabinoid treatment are equally significant on both male and female reproductive systems. Among the effects of cannabinoid treatment on the male reproductive system that have been reported arc altered testicular function, in the form of depressed male hormone secretion, and changes in both the quantity and quality of the sperm produced by the seminiferous tubules. There have been changes reported in the weight and in certain of the enzymes associated with the reproductive organs. Much research effort focused on the ability of THC to depress the secretion of the gonadotropins from the pituitary that are responsible for stimulating testosterone production by the Leydig cells of the testis and the action on the hypothalamus to depress gonadotropic releasing hormone (GnRH). Maintenance and regulation of normal reproductive capacity in the male is a complex and highly integrated phenomenon. It requires proper nutritional and hormonal support, not only by the hormones directly involved in reproduction, hut also by the synergistic Read more […]

The effect of marijuana on gonadotropin releasing hormone

The hypothalamus contains neurosecretory neurons which are responsible for the synthesis and secretion of factors that regulate the release of the hormones elaborated by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. A single hypothalamic factor seems to be responsible for the release of both LH and FSH and this factor is gonadotropin releasing hormone. The secretion of GnRH is affected by a variety of factors including neural, chemical, sensory, hormonal, and various drug treatments of the animal. Normally, release of GnRH is regulated by the neural transmitters of the hypothalamus. Thus, factors which alter dopamine and norepinephrine concentrations also alter GnRH release. As a general rule, things which enhance the release of adrenergic or dopaminergic substances in the hypothalamus should stimulate the release of GnRH, and those substances, such as drugs, which antagonize adrenergic and dopaminergic release should inhibit the release of GnRH. Several studies have indicated that the pharmacological effect of THC on gonadotropin levels involves the alteration of gonadotropin releasing hormone. Smith et al. () using the overiectomized monkey, showed that administration of GnRH to monkeys that had received THC 6 hours Read more […]

Effect of marijuana on the testis and accessory reproductive organs

Roth crude marijuana extract (CME) and THC produced a decrease in the weight of the reproductive organs of rats when given over a prolonged period of time and over several dosage ranges. The greatest effects were reported for high dosages (15 and 75 mg/kg orally daily for 77 days). Fujimoto et al. () showed significant reduction in ventral prostate, seminal vesicles, and epididymal weight, which was correlated with a decrease in plasma testosterone levels and was accompanied by a reduced number of sperm in the fluids of the epididymus. Treatment of the rats for only 5 days produced none of these changes. The effects of the cannabinoids appeared to be reversible, because there was a return to control levels of organ weights 30 days after cessation of drug treatment. Similarly, Dixit and Lohiya () report that cannabis extract produced a marked reduction in the weights of seminal vesicles, ventral prostate, epididymus, and preputial glands of castrated adult male mice. Further, if cannabis extract was administered in combination with testosterone propionate, the growth stimulation produced by testosterone propionate alone was inhibited, indicating that cannabis extract may be antiandrogenic. However, there was no indication Read more […]

Effect of marijuana the adrenal gland

Cortical Hormones Exposure to stressful situations elicits a prompt secretion of adrenocortical steriods which help the organisms to counteract the stress. The adrenal cortex responds to acute cannabinoid treatment with a prompt rise in corticosterone levels in the plasma. Exposure to a wide range of dosages of THC ranging fran 2 to 50 mg/ kg body weight produced increased corticosterone levels in the plasm of both the rat and the mouse. Dewey et al. () showed that ascorbic acid, which is inversely correlated to adrenal cortical hormne secretion, was depleted fran the adrenal cortex of laboratory rats. Maier and Maitre () demonstrated that. the increased corticosterone in plasma of rats pretreated with THC was accompanied by a decrease in adrenal cortical cholesterol, a precursor to adrenal cortical hormones, and an increase in unesterified fatty acids; however, the rabbit did not respond to THC with a similar increase in wrtisol. Birmingham and Bartova () showed that the response of elevated plasma corticosterone to THC disappeared after 8 days of treatment with a dose of 3 mg/kg body weight. Pertwee () also showed that tolerance developed to the effect of THC on corticosterone levels in muse plasm and did so without Read more […]

Consequences of Prenatal Drug Exposure: Marijuana

Epidemiology of Marijuana Use in Pregnancy In a recent NIDA survey (1996) of the prevalence and patterns of substance use among pregnant women, 2.8 percent reported marijuana use during their first trimester of pregnancy. This indicates that marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug and, after alcohol and tobacco, the most commonly used drug during pregnancy. As Fried observed (), this makes the paucity of objective information on the relationship between marijuana use during pregnancy and the impact of such use upon the outcome of the child all the more striking. Growth Effects Of the longitudinal studies of marijuana use during pregnancy, most find few significant effects on growth parameters. Day and colleagues () obtained neonatal outcome data on more than 500 infants born prenatally exposed to varying amounts of marijuana in utero. There were few significant effects of marijuana use during pregnancy on birth weight, head or chest circumference, gestational age, or growth retardation. There was a small but significant negative effect of marijuana use during the first two months of pregnancy on birth length and a positive effect of marijuana use during the third trimester on birth weight. In a more recent Read more […]

Isomerization

Principles The final step in tetrahydrocannabinol biosynthesis in the living plant is the dehydration of cannabidiol to THC. This is catalyzed by a specific enzyme coded for by a single gene. In principle, it should be a simple matter to extract the cannabinoids using a wide variety or organic solvents and to perform dehydration on the mixture, converting any cannabidiol present into THC. In practice, this is, in fact, extremely easy to do since merely refluxing (heating with an apparatus for returning the cooled vapor to the reaction mixture) the organic extract with a small amount of an acid such as HCl or sulfuric acid is sufficient to isomerize the cannabidiol to cetrahydrocannabinol in a few minutes. The acid provides hydrogen ions (protons) which catalyze (speed up) the dehydration of cannabidiol to THC. Look at figure 1 where it is clear that a hydrogen atom has been transferred from an oxygen atom (CBD) to a carbon atom (THC). Procedure The general procedure and apparatus are identical to those already described for the extraction. The isomerization of cannabidiol to cetrahydrocannabinol is accomplished by refluxing with a small quantity of organic or inorganic acid, if alcohol is being used, add about 2 Read more […]

Variations in Content of Noncannabinoids

Essential Oils Inevitably, all chemical constituents of marijuana will vary with such factors as genetics, age, sex, and growth conditions. But little research has been done on compounds other than the cannabinoids. The relatively volatile, low molecular weight substances which give plants their characteristic odors can be steam distilled to yield a generally fragrant, oily mixture termed an essential (from essence) oil. About 10% of the contents of the glandular hairs which produce most of the cannabinoids is comprised of the terpene hydrocarbons which make up most of the essential oil. The presence of a high concentration of these compounds in the hairs is yet another bit of evidence to support the notion that they are the biogenetic precursors of the cannabinoids. However, they are likely to be found in significant amounts throughout the cells of the leaves. It should be kept in mind that just as only very small amounts of cannabinoids appear in the essential oil, so will the terpenoids vary in their volatility; that is, the percent of a given compound in the essential oil is not necessarily a precise indicator of its percent of the terpenoids in the intact leaf. The total yield of essential oil varies between Read more […]

Harvesting and Preparing Marijuana and Hashish

Scientific Foundations To obtain maximum potency, the timing of the harvest is critical. Sometime after the seed has become fully mature, the plant will begin to senesce and die. Cetrahydrocannabinol production begins to decrease and cetrahydrocannabinol begins to degrade into cannabinol (this happens in the living plant as well as after harvest). Unfortunately, a reliable, scientifically-proven method of determining exactly when to harvest in order to maximize cetrahydrocannabinol and minimize cannabidiol has yet to be developed. One approach is to harvest the plants continually by pinching off or pruning the flowering tops. Another is to cut them back severely to within a foot or so of the ground, leaving some leafy branches, which are removed several weeks later when the new branches have sprouted. Outdoor growers who have to deal with climatic fluctuations tend to harvest their whole crop as soon as it’s mature, but in areas where the climate remains mild, large outdoor crops can also be harvested continually for as long as six months. Farmers in Asia sometimes bend the stem of the plant near the base or cut it and insert a small stone or a piece of opium a few days before harvest. They believe that this Read more […]

Marijuana: Harvesting and Hashmaking in India

The terms charas, ganja and bhang are roughly equivalent to hashish, flowering tops and leaves, respectively. As will be seen, the preparation methods vary considerably. The manufacture of round ganja is not completed till the fourth day after the plants are cut. The plants are gathered somewhat later in the day and laid out under the open sky for the night. The sorting is done the next morning, a great deal more of the woody portion being rejected than in the case of flat ganja. The twigs are laid out in the sun till noon, when the men return to the “chator” and rolling is begun. A horizontal bar is lashed on to uprights about four feet from the ground, and mats are placed on the ground on each side of it. Bundles of twigs, either tied together by the stem ends or not, according to the skill of the treader, are set out on the mats. The men range themselves on each side of the bar, and, holding on to it for support, proceed to roll the bundles with their feet. One foot is used to hold the bundle and the other to roll it, working down from the stems to the flower heads. This process goes on for about ten minutes, and during it the bundles are taken up and shaken from time to time to get rid of leaf. The bundles are Read more […]