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So-called 'synthetic marijuana' linked to serious health problems

SCBs are often sold as safe alternatives to marijuana that, because of their chemical structures, will not be discovered through standard drug screenings. This feature makes them popular among groups who want to elude detection, such as adolescents and military personnel. SCBs are also more potent than ?9-THC; "these are highly efficacious drugs; they tend to activate the CB1 receptor to a greater degree than we can ever get to with THC from marijuana," says William E. Fantegrossi, a behavioral pharmacologist at UAMS. As a result, some users turn to them to achieve a more intense high. A range of both acute and long-term adverse effects of SCB use are reported in clinical case studies, including seizures and convulsions, kidney injury, cardiotoxicity, strokes, anxiety, and psychosis in susceptible individuals, as well as tolerance, withdrawal, and dependence. Twenty deaths have also been linked to SCB use.

Cannabis increases the noise in your brain

"At doses roughly equivalent to half or a single joint, ∆9-THC produced psychosis-like effects and increased neural noise in humans," explained senior author Dr. Deepak Cyril D'Souza, a Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. "The dose-dependent and strong positive relationship between these two findings suggest that the psychosis-like effects of cannabis may be related to neural noise which disrupts the brain's normal information processing," added first author Dr. Jose Cortes-Briones, a Postdoctoral Associate in Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine.

Teen marijuana use not linked to later depression, psychotic symptoms or other health problems

Marijuana use has undergone intense scrutiny as several states and the District of Columbia have legalized the drug, prompting the researchers to examine whether teen marijuana use has long-term health consequences. Based on some prior studies, they expected to find a link between teen marijuana use and the later development of psychotic symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, etc.), cancer, asthma or respiratory problems, but they found none. The study also found no link between teen marijuana use and lifetime depression, anxiety, allergies, headaches or high blood pressure. This study is one of just a few studies on the long-term health effects of teen marijuana use that have tracked hundreds of participants for more than two decades of their lives, Bechtold said


During a typical week at his home in Steamboat Springs, Colo., Collins runs approximately 150 miles and consumes marijuana four or five times. He doesn’t smoke the plant; instead he eats marijuana-laced food, inhales it as water vapor and rubs a marijuana-infused balm onto his legs. Collins is no back-of-the-pack stoner. In 2014, his first year as a full-time professional runner, he won five ultramarathons. His third-place finish at the Fat Dog 120, a well-known 120-mile race in British Columbia, was the top American result. Collins says he doesn’t ingest the plant during competitions, though he says he has never been tested. He does train with the drug, on occasion. He says the marijuana balm numbs his leg muscles, and small doses of the plant keep his mind occupied during longer runs, he says. Collins says the miles and hours seem to tick off faster when he is running high. After a race, Collins eats marijuana candies or cookies to lower his heart rate and relax his muscles. “You’re running for 17 to 20 hours straight, and when you stop, sometimes your legs and your brain don’t just stop,” Collins said. “Sometimes [pot] is the only way I can fall asleep after racing.”

Scientists Have Figured Out Why Pot Causes the Munchies - Bloomberg Business

The findings are the first to show how marijuana may work in the brain to cause the munchies, Horvath said. The results may provide a way to help cancer patients who lose their appetite during treatment, he said.