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PSYC62H3 (137)
Lecture 9

Lecture Nine

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Suzanne Erb

Lecture Nine - Page 1 of 8 Lecture Nine: Cannabis: The Ancient Plant of the Future Psychedelics and hallucinogens  Alters consciousness  A lot of drugs act in at least some way as hallucinogens  Today, they’re referred to collectively as hallucinogens  In the 60s, advocates of hallucinogen use referred to these drugs as psychedelics Ecstasy and LSD are two other members in the same family as cannabis What is Cannabis?  Plant – cannabis sativa, indica, rudaleris  Two classes: Industrial hemp and marijuana o Industrial Hemp  Stalks of plant  Not psychoactive  Cultivated for fibrous properties  Used for is structural properties not its properties. Emphasizes the fibers of the stalk rather than the leaves. Used for rope, etc o Marijuana  Leaves and buds  Psychoactive  Cultivated for recreational properties  Emphasize its leaves and buds; grows shorter and..?  Hashish o Refers to the leaves o Oily resin on leaves o Potently psychoactive Ancient History of Cannabis  Originally harvested for fiber  First evidence of being used as a psychoactive plant for medicine was in 2800 BCE China, then India, Middle East, Africa  Revered, often religious plant  Europeans used it in the 1600s Modern Day Cannabis  Hemp used widely in 17-19 century in NA  Psychoactive form made its way in the US from Mexico in the early 1900s o Propagandized to suppress Mexican immigrants o Became prominent in New Orleans Jazz Culture Lecture Nine - Page 2 of 8  Harry J. Anslinger – US Drug Czar (1930-60s)  Was in charge of US drug policies  Fathered ‘war on drugs’  1961: single convention on Narcotic Drugs  Reefer Madness - 1936 Cannabis in Canada  Hemp was first Canadian-European crop o Farmers taxed for inadequate production  Racist history of Cannabis Legislation o Judge and White supremacist Emily F. Murphy o Spewed propaganda inking non-white populations with ‘menacing weed’  Cannabis made illegal in 1923 with Opium and Narcotic Drug Act  Current law o Industrial hemp legal with permit o Marijuana use/possession illegal except for medical purposes Cannabis Statistics  Prevalence o 3.9% of world population use cannabis o 16.8% of Canadians are users o Other countries:  Papua new guinea – 29%  Ghana – 21.5%  Jamaica – 16.1%  USA – 12.6% o 4 most widely used drug  1. Alcohol 2. Nicotine 3. Caffeine  Drug Trade o CDN trade worth 7.5 billion/year  Cultivation o NA produces 35% of world supply Methods of Use  Oral Ingestion o Ancient India o Hash Brownies  Smoking o Most common/effective o Typically in cigarette form o Rapid but Shorter lasting effects Lecture Nine - Page 3 of 8  Vapourization o Relatively novel o Safer (?) mode of ingestion o Heating marijuana to release active components in vapor – less harmful than smoking  NOT injection o Hydrophobic – not water soluble Short-Term Effects  Physiological o Increased appetite (i.e., munchies) o Increased heart rate o Pupil dilation o Vasodilation (red eyes) o Dry eyes/mouth o Nausea (‘greening out’) - Large amounts cause nausea and skin has a green tinge  Behavioural o Easily amused o Rapid/slurred speech o Slowed reaction time o Impaired motor coordination  Psychological o Altered sense of time o Intensified senses/emotion – sound, colour, etc. o Analgesia (mild) o Impaired short term memory o Enhanced creativity and insight o Euphoria and sense of well-being o Sedation and relaxation o Anxiety and disorientation o Amotivational state o Delusions and hallucinations  Psychological effects are what makes it known as a hallucinogen  All psychological effects are impacted by dose, environment, mental set o Low doses – euphoric effects o High doses – o Reduces nausea at low doses, induces it at high o Different high if they’re with friends vs alone o Past experiences will affect type of psychological effect Psychoactive Plant Ingredients  Four on the outside have nitrogen while others don’t. the middle one also has a chain at the end Lecture Nine - Page 4 of 8 o Outside ones are alkaloids  Clockwise - nicotine, opium, cocaine, caffeine Psychoactive Plant Ingredients HydrophilicALKALOIDS CANNABINOID Lipophilic Active Ingredients of Cannabis  Delta (9) Tetrahydrocannabinol o Discovered in 1964 by Raphael Mechoulam  Mechoulam of Isreal Injected dogs with different components of cannabis and found that Delta 9 THC was the most likely to cause an inability to walk o Primary psychoactive component o Hemp: low (<0.5%) o Marijuana: high (3-20%)  60+ other ‘Cannabinoids’ identified in cannabis o Ex. Cannabidiol (CBD) o Largely thought to be non-psychoactive o May modulate effects of delta 9 THC Pharmokinetics of Delta 9 THC  Can be taken into lungs, liver, testes, etc  THC is very oil like and readily absorbed into cell membrane and fatty tissues which is what probably makes it such a non-toxic drug – quickly reduces the dose  If you inject rats with THC for a period of time and then stop and stress it out, THC levels will increase causing intoxication  Lipophilic (oil in pure form) o Readily absorbed into fatty tissue o Resistance to toxicity – high therapeutic index o Released from fat during stress? Le
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