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NESC 3237 (9)
Lecture

March 5th, 2013.docx

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Department
Neuroscience
Course
NESC 3237
Professor
Sean Barrett
Semester
Winter

Description
March 5th, 2013 March-05-13 2:31 PM Main points from conference articles  Acute effects of marijuana on cognitive function  Some of the long-term consequences of heavy marijuana use  Know nature of cognitive deficits associated with acute weed use  Know to what extent there are detectible decrements in cognitive performance after marijuana use, and for how long are they measurable for  Know how marijuana use is related to increased risk to psychosis, what type of users, the genotypes that make it more likely Medically useful effects  Reduces pressure of fluid in eyes for glaucoma o Probably most effective  Effective analgesic o Advantage over morphine is that there is no risk of opiate overdose  Also useful for movement type disorders (MS, epilepsy, spinal cord injury)  A good anti-nausea drug, and stimulates appetite o Very good for patients undergoing chemotherapy Why not use medical marijuana  There are many cognitive side-effects that are unwanted  There is a dose dependant relationship between therapeutic effects and psychological effects o Maybe because some of the systems they both act on overlap  Hard to study usefulness in treatment of disorders because of its legal status o No real scientific foundation for these claims o Also because there are a lot of differences in how individuals will respond to the same dose of marijuana (much like alcohol) Effects of marijuana  Sleep o Low dose - drowsiness, increased sleep time o High dose - restlessness, insomnia  Perception o Loss of sensitivity to pain o Perceptions keener, sensory effects more intense and enjoyable o Increases in subjective time rate (time seems to pass more quickly)  Mood o Almost always pleasant o Mood greatly affected by environment  Mood rating of others present is quite important  Memory o Impairs your ability to learn new material when you are subjectively high o Difficulty recalling already learned memory  May even lose track of current conversation  Could be because of the activity on CB1 receptors in hippocampus  Attention o Deficits on tasks requiring vigilance or sustained attention o Easily distractible  Driving o Has little effect on the ability to control a car o But it does impair their ability to attend to peripheral stimuli o So the driver may attend to internal stimuli more, and less to the external environment o Driving in real traffic, you're at an increased risk of getting in an accident because of decrease in ability to attend to peripheral stimuli o Tends to make drivers a little more cautious, less likely to speed o Impairment amplified significantly when mixed with alcohol Systematic studies of mood  Can have different affects on mood, some people are hyper, some mellow out o Causes a lot of inconsistencies to be seen in literature in terms of effects seen on mood  Many novice users report little effect o Cannabinoid receptors may need some degree of sensitization at first  May get the munchies at first, but as they become chronic users it doesn't happen as much Withdrawal  Much more minor form than most of the other drugs discussed in class  May experience inner unrest, unable to sleep  Symptoms: o Hot flashes, sweating, runny nose, loose stools, hiccups, loss of appetite  Symptoms may be minor because of the rate at which your body eliminates marijuana (slowly) Epidemiology  North Americans consume low amounts compared to India, Egypt, Greece, Jamaica o Use it daily often times in these places o 4fold lower in NA  Usage seems to decline with age o We are now seeing an increased level of use in older adults (once they're retired) Harmful effects  Reefer madness video suggests it turns you into a homicidal ma
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