Sunday, April 21, 2013

Effects of Marijuana on driving skills

In general, the use of marijuana can alter the perceptual functions although does not cause changes in sensory functions . The alteration of perceptual ability and difficulty concentrating or maintaining attention to their use of cannabinoids have been confirmed by simulation studies and real driving test. In these studies it was also found that subjects under the influence of these substances are aware of their state of alteration and tend to compensate by driving at low speeds, following distances to the vehicles that precede them, avoiding overtaking. Cannabis is the main illegal substance found in injuries from motor vehicle accidents, and frequently it is found associated in combination with alcohol or other drugs of abuse.

The drivers tested positive for marijuana with THC concentrations in the blood of more than 5 ng / mL were responsible for incidents at a rate significantly higher than the drivers test negative. Cannabis is eliminated very slowly by the body, in a study of regular smokers of cannabis were found measurable concentrations of THC even after a week of abstinence from smoking, and some of the subjects still had problems in the tests of driving ability. In a study of habitual heavy smokers, the presence of THC in the blood for an extended period thus seems to lead to cognitive deficits even after a long period of abstinence from smoking. 

Effects of Marijuana on driving

The effects are divided into acute and chronic. The acute effects are associated with the recruitment of a single dose of drug, while those chronic derive from the use of a substance for a long period of time. These effects are amplified in the case of association of cannabis with alcohol or other psychoactive substances.

Effects on driving skills : 

Slowed reaction
Reduced perception to light stimuli peripheral
Reduced oculomotor control
Space-time distortion
Difficulty with coordination
Poor speed control, braking and acceleration errors
Minor judgement, risky overtaking manoeuvres
Impairment of attention, especially to perform multiple actions simultaneously
Reduction of the short-term memory

The acute effects
The acute effects of cannabis affect psychomotor functions needed to control and reduce intensely motor control, psychomotor speed, executive functions, the short-term memory and working memory (reaction time and accuracy). In general, the effect of cannabis - the phase "high" - lasts up to 2 hours after ingestion, although many studies highlight the continuing negative effects on cognitive and motor functions up to 10 hours after use.

Chronic Effects
The chronic use of cannabis may lead to a deterioration of memory processes, attention, manual dexterity, executive function and psychomotor speed. These effects may persist beyond the period of intoxication and worsen depending on the duration and frequency of use of the substance. These deficits are for the most part reversible through abstinence prolonged in time. However, many of these can be permanent.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Marijuana : Harm to the Fetus

THC, the psychoactive principle of cannabis, is a lipophilic molecule and this can easily cross the placental barrier. Specifically, one-third of THC present in the plasma can cross the placenta interfere with normal development of the fetus. In addition, it is likely that the overstimulation of this system during the critical stage of neuronal development of the fetus damages the nervous system functions. This is especially true in view of the evidence indicating that the activation of CB1 receptors by THC can induce neuronal cell death (apoptosis)  and the fact that the THC may affect the synthesis and release of endogenous cannabinoids.

Cannabis use in pregnancy: severely compromised fetal development

The cannabis use during pregnancy increases the risk of having a child under weight or premature labor. Some studies have noted that intrauterine exposure to cannabis causes serious problems in the development of the newborn with neurological and behavioral effects that include severe tremors, mental retardation and intellectual problems. In a study conducted by El Marroun (2010) on a sample of 7,452 women, we examined the relationship between cannabis use by the mother and the developing fetus. The results showed that among all the pregnant women examined, 245 women (3.3%) had used cannabis only before pregnancy and 214 women (2.9%) had smoked marijuana before and during the period of gestation. Among these, 173 (81%) had discontinued use early in pregnancy, while 41 (19%) had continued during all nine months. After an analysis of epidemiological and clinical data, the researchers came to the conclusion that cannabis, even if taken for a short period during pregnancy can adversely affect the growth and development of the fetus.

Weed Effect

Cell Death

It can be assumed that when the immature brain is exposed to phytocannabinoids (exogenous cannabinoids) through the intake of marijuana by the mother, aberrant activation of signaling pathways of cell death may have marked effects on the development and differentiation of the nervous system fetal central . Exposure to cannabis in fact, sovrafisiologica induces a modulation of the endocannabinoid system and damages the temporal precision of the communication mechanisms of the system. This increases the likelihood of altering the genesis of synapses and the development of certain neuronal circuits.

Genetics, social deficits and cognitive impairment

The impact of pathogenic phytocannabinoids on the Central Nervous System (CNS) has been highlighted by a number of important epidemiological and clinical studies that document the impulsive behaviour  social deficits, cognitive damage, the consumption of drugs of abuse and psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression and anxiety, in adult individuals who had been exposed to cannabis in utero and early adolescence.

Neuro-behavioral alteration of the child

A study carried out in an animal model (rodent) has shown that prenatal exposure to cannabis may harm the fetus. From the results it was found that the cannabinoid compounds are neuroteratogeni and are able, therefore, to induce long-lasting neuro-behavioral abnormalities in the offspring exposed to cannabis. The study also argues that several pre-clinical results are examined in line with clinical studies of reference related to hyperactivity, cognitive disorders and altered emotionality in humans exposed to cannabis prenatally.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Marijuana in Pregnancy

Because the false belief of harmlessness of marijuana, this is the most widely used illicit drug during pregnancy.

So far there is no evidence that marijuana use increases the risk of malformations, miscarriages or premature births. However, in patients who smoke more than six marijuana cigarettes a week, have the children from 2 years of age, the lower verbal ability and less memory capacity than other children. These children are also at increased risk of hyperactivity and depression. There are also studies that show an increased risk of leukaemia in children whose mothers smoked regular cigarettes and marijuana during pregnancy.


Marijuana effects on Cardiac frequency and Arterial Pressure

Recent results indicate that the practice of smoking marijuana and inject cocaine at the same time can cause a marked increase in the frequency and voltage a cardiac artery. Each drug alone produced cardiovascular effects, when combined, these effects were intensified and lasted longer. A cardiac frequency of the study subjects. Marijuana augments 29 beats per minute and cocaine 32 beats per minute. When given together, a cardiac frequency increase at 49 beats per minute, and this increase persisted, for longer. The drugs were administered to subjects while they were at rest. Normally, a person may smoke marijuana and inject cocaine and then do something that causes Infections which can greatly increase the risk of overloading the cardiovascular system.

Research indicates that THC impairs the immune system of the body, which can cause a wide variety of health problems. One study found that marijuana inhibited the actions of diseases that prevent key immune cells. Another study found that THC increased the risk of developing bacterial infections and tumours.