Mental Effects of Cannabis

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Introduction to md 4002 dissertation: Grant Aitken
Is cannabis use an independent risk factor for the development of psychosis?

Cannabis or marijuana is an annual flowering herb of the Cannabaceae family, containing 3 major species C.Indica C.Sativa and C.Ruderalis. The two former species are of principal interest to those discussing Cannabis use due, to their widespread illicit usage. Cannabis has been cultivated from at least 6000BCE in what is now China. However the Cannabis plant was most likely as a textile when it became used as an intoxicant is less clear [1]. The first indisputable reference to Cannabis’ psychoactive uses come in Herodotus’ ‘Researches’ in 450 BCE where he describes that the “Scythians thew Cannabis on the stones, producing smoke, which they inhaled”[2].
Cannabis when consumed recreationally is generally smoked, vaporized or eaten to achieve the desired effect. The principal active ingredients are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) CBD (cannabidiol). However, there are over 400 individual compounds that reside within said plant [3]. THC as the principal psychoactive component acts at CB1 receptors throughout the body but principally within the brain [4] to inhibit adenylate cyclase [5]. It is through the effects on adenylate cyclase that THC increases dopamine release in the striatum indirectly. This is responsible for the subsequent high experienced by the user and these findings suggest that THC could potentially be addictive [6].
Despite widespread ritualistic use throughout the ancient world the British government had no official report on the effects of Cannabis use until the ‘1894 Indian Hemp Commission [7]’. Concluded on the effects of marijuana use in 3 separate grounds Physical Mental and Moral (Morali...

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Hypotheses on the relationship between Cannabis and Psychotic illness.

These 4 preselected hypotheses are included here so that later evidence as discussed in the studies can refer back to these concise hypotheses to better identify which if any concepts describing the relationship between Cannabis and Schizophrenia are correct[45].
1 that there is a causal link between Cannabis and psychosis.[45]
2 Cannabis worsens prognosis in patients who already have psychotic illness.[45]
3 Cannabis use merely precipitates Psychosis in vulnerable individuals[45]
4 Cannabis is merely more commonly used in psychotic individuals, possibly as a form of self-medication.[45]
By the end of this review there will be a clear picture of which hypothesis provides the best answer to the review question: Is Cannabis an independent risk factor for psychosis?

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