Lecture November 12
Different abuse potentials and different risk profiles. Not just homeless. Esp. rich people like
Elvis, Beetles. Joe Schwartz interviewed them for McGill daily in 1963 when Beetles came to
Montreal. Apparently smelt like pot in interview room. Too stoned to put a sentence together.
Cns stimulants-cocaine, amphetamines
Cns depressants-barbiturates, valium
Anticholinergics-belladonna, jimson weed
Designer drugs (made in law with no medical use. Made for recreation. Illegal)-fentanyl
Cigarettes-12% regular users, 35% never tried in high school. This has decreased over years
due to antismoking campaigns. Alcohol 35% regular users (2 drinks per week min) and 14%
never tried. Cocaine, lsd, pcp, heroin low since need money.
Marijuana-from cannabis plant (ridges on side and easy to grow indoors and out. Quebec’s
main cash crop field esp in Eastern Townships next to corn since corn high and plant low)=
active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol. Same plant is used to make hemp rope (strong). Also
used as hemp oil and seeds which are quite healthy (high omega 3) but low THC. Smoking
marijuana has same damage to lungs but don’t do as often as cigarettes. Hash oil on plant-
compact it to form hashish which is most concentrated form of THC and usually smoked in pipe.
History: Shen Nung dynasty (long before Christ), ancient greek threw seeds onto fire, middle
ages (story of Hassan- professional assasan- got ppl to do his biddings with promise of heaven
where smoke hash all day- hashish comes from this name). Introduced into Europe by
Napolean. Became popular in France. Author of Monte Cristo in charge of club where smoked
it. Drank absinth with this. Canabis extract was used as appetite stimulant (true) and menstrual
cramps (useless for that). New Orleans is a port city so there is a lot of crime. Population urged
action against this- marijuana claimed to be associated with crime and banned it. Marijuana is
not a narcotic and doesn’t kill. Realized that marijuana plant used to make bird seeds so
needed to make an exception for this. Made seed with low THC.
Medical use of marijuana used as appetite stimulant in those with aid. Marijuana not afrodesiac. THC fits in Anandamide receptors in body which regulates mood. Downside to marijuana is that
it impairs reaction time. Insurance companies very aware of this. Higher risk of car accident.
Sterility, impotence, chromosome damage, lung damage, lowered resistance, brain damage,
etc. evidence in large users but not sure. Heart attack risk up five-fold after smoking marijuana
(might be Co2).
Conclusion: no significant impairment or benefit in marijuana as long as not abused (taken
Benefits: anti-nausea effect, appetite stimulant, anticonvulsive, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma
(first time marijuana prescribed for medical use-2% THC).
Sativex (THC and cannabidiol) for symptomatic relief of neuropathic pain in MS and as
adjunctive analgesic treatment in patients with advanced cancer who experience moderate to
severe pain during the highest tolerated dose of strong opioid therapy. Some say smoking
better since compound goes directly to system.
1.3$billion a year in police and prosecution costs. 1.5$million ppl smoke recreationally.
600000canadians have criminal record from possession.
In july 2001 Canada became the first country in the world to legalize the use of marijuana by ppl
suffering from terminal illnesses and and chronic conditions. US very critical of this, but now
has joined Canada in allowing its medical use.
Fine of up to 250$ for youths and 400$ for adults caught with up to 15g. Police will have
discretion for fine or criminal charge for possession of 15-30g. Max sentence for illegal growers
boosted from 7 to 14 years. Current max penalty of life imprisonment for trafficking is retained.
Rhode Island death penalty.
Note-nicotine used as insecticide.
Stimulants: most popular coffee/ about 100mg of caffeine per cup. Red bull 250mg.
Strychnine- extract from nuts/seeds from trees. Classic rat poison. Smaller doses stimulant.
Cocaine- comes from plant. Difficult to grow. Needs specific semi tropical environment (central
America ex. Columbia). In cultures chew plant, but effect low since cocaine not very soluble.
Get cocaine by chemical treatment- brew leaves in hCl. Can also then reconvert to cocaine with
sodium chloride and smoked. It causes euphoria-alertness, sense of well being and reduced
anxiety. Used to think that coca cola contained cocaine- but not true only extract from coco leaf
for flavor. Used as anaesthetic in eye surgery if allergic to others. Used by Sherlock and Freud.
Used to be used regularly in medicine.
Cocaine not addictive in sense that doesn’t cause withdrawal symptoms but ppl will not give it
up and go to point of getting involved in criminal activities to get it. Freebase cocaine- not water soluble but much lower melting point so can smoke it. Ex. Richard
Pryor made freebase (last step extract ether) and caught fire burning him.=> crack cocaine
since when put in pipe makes cracking sound. Faster effect and greater risk- causes irregular
heartrates. Can also cause seizures, psychiatric disturbances, stroke, cardiac arrhythmia. This
can happen in first use.
Cocaine blocks reuptake up dopamine.
Amphetamines also stimulant. Introduced as bronchodilator for asthma but too much cardiac
dilator. Amphetamines force dopamine out of storage vesicles (treatment for parkinsons?). Has
similar structure as methamphetamine (Ch3 group- larger effect) and ephedrine (OH)- basis in
Crystal Meth lab. Pseudoephedrine (pharmacy- why found in back of counter) with Li/NH3 to get
METH. Liquid ammonia in farms. Need to protect it cause stolen.
Opiates. Opium is white resin out of poppy. Variety that produces opium grow in Afghanistan.
Smoked in Ancient China. Opium Wars. Classic ingredient in 1800s medication.
Morphine named after Morpheus- god of sleep. First high then go to sleep. Therapeutic
window not very wide. 1806- William Serturner isolated morphine from poppy. Structure
unknown until twentieth century. Cooking morhphine in acetic acid/vinegar to give heroin
(believed to perform heroically though didn’t and more addictive- before this known very
advertised together with aspirin (bayer)). Heroin is no longer on market. No medical use, only
illegal use. Problem of needles (infectious disease such as HIV and overdose).
Hallucinogens- Peyote cactus that grows in South of US and Mexico. Active ingredient is
mesculin which is chemically similar to dopamine (happiness drug). Mesculin easy to
Serotonin psychedelics- psilocybin (British Columbia) is active ingredient in magic mushroom.
Befetenine- sugarcane toad. From Hawaii. Sugar cane beetle infesting crop in Australia so
introduced toads to eat beetles. They didn’t because farmers in Australia had lights that killed
flies- toads could just eat those. They overmultiplied and caused problems. Licking toads-
LSD- does NOT occur in natural. Lasurgic acid, a close relative, does grow in nature (ergot
fungus-1692 salem witch trials- ate rye bread with fungus and since). Ololiuqui plant in South
America also has this acid and has been abused. Not always a pleasent experience.
Albert Hoffman took lasurgic acid and turned it to lacurgic dilufidamid (LSD)- extreme
hallucinogenic effect but no medical use. LSD is similar in structure to serotonin. Lucy in the
sky with diamonds might be about this.
Timothy Leary was prof of psych at Harvard telling students to take it to stimulate imagination
and open mind- not true. LSD- causes feeling of flying. not all that readily available. PCP also called angel dust. No
medical use (used to be used as anaesthetic) and far more dangerous than LSD. Sold on
Belladonna- Atropine is active ingredient and is anticholinergic (block ach= hallucinations).
Witches used it during celebrations, rub on broomsticks, absorbed into skin and felt like they
Angel’s trumpet plant also produces atropine. Illegal to grow since ppl would steal it.
Solvents- readily available (liquid paper, glue vapors, white board marker, spray cans of pam-
put in garbage bag, put over head until get high= suffocation). Solvent abuse is quite common
because of this availability.
Designer drugs- drugs made generally by ppl