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Psychology 2020A/B
Riley Hinson

CANNABIS Marijuana is the street name for the leaves of the plant. Cannabis contains several hundred chemical agents and 60-80 are called cannabinoids and are unique to the plant. History - 10000 years ago: for use of the fiber and not a source of drug - China around 2800 BC: both, used for clothes and psychoactive drug - Middle east: climate was particularly conducive to plants (hot and dry) - Europe early 1800: result of the British colonization of India and Napoleon’s Egyptian expeditions o J.J Moreau de Tours wrote about it - 1830: hashish was a romantic rage in Europe o Le club des Hachicins by Gautier (kind of meat and after eat it) - Canada in 1606: introduced by the British o 1929: classified as a narcotic - America in 1611: introduced by royal order o Half of the clothes in American Revolution were made of hemp o During the period of alcohol prohibition in the US: placed called “tea-rooms” o 1920-1930: Harry Anslinger, campaign against drug use o Justified marijuana laws on the fact that the drug was being used by certain racial minorities (Africans Americans and Mexicans) o 1936: all the states had prohibited marijuana and imposed taxes (Marijuana tax act) Percentage in Canada - 45% of Canadian reported using cannabis in their life time - 14% of Canadian indicated having used cannabis during the last year - Canadian undergraduate: lifetime (51%), past year (32%), 30 day (17%) - Grade 7-12 was 22% with no difference between males and females THC - Active ingredient: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol - THC synthesized in 1964 - Joint is about 1.5 grams with 60 mg of THC (lower in 1970) - About $10 per gram, an ounce of marijuana in street is around $250-300 - Hashish or charas refers to the dried resin of the flowers and leaves of the plant - THC content of hash around 10% - THC in hash oil (boiling hashish in solvent which extracts the cannabinols) around 40% Administration: inhalation - THC smoked in joint or reefer - May use “bong” = pipelike in which the smoke passes through water before being inhaled - Blunt: marijuana tobacco mixture - Less than 50% of THC is available for absorption - Less than 100% is actually absorbed (around 5-10 mg) - First time user and non-smoker: inefficient in extracting the THC (but better with practice) Effects by inhalation - Onset within seconds - Peak blood concentration: 10 minutes - Peak effects: 30-60 minutes (and during 2-4 hours) - Half-life of THC: 30 hours - Cannabinoids are very lipid-soluble, easily cross the blood brain and placenta barriers - Low level in THC and metabolites are detectable several weeks after (long half-life and because THC stays in the fatty tissue and reenters the circulation) - Positive test can also appear as a results of second hand smoke Administration: orally - May be taken orally, cooked condiment - But cannabinoids are slowly and poorly absorbed from the digestive tract (only 20%) - Have to take 3 times the amount of inhaled dose to see the same effect Effects (orally) - Peak effect: 1-3 hours post ingestion (until 5 hours) General effects - A quarter of a joint produces mild euphoria and peacefulness - 1 joint (moderate dose) produces perceptual and time distortions, drowsiness but difficulties to fall asleep. THC interferes with REM sleep - 2 joints (high dose) produces hallucinations, delusions and distortions - Physiological effect: o Bloodshot eyes o No effect of pupil dilatation o Slight drooping in eyelids o Dry mouth and thirst o Hunger and overeating Balanced placebo design: Metrik et al. - 2x2 factorial study - Participants are told or not versus what is the actual content of the drug - Result: large expectancy on ratings strength, taste, smell, satisfaction and hebaviour THC: aphrodisiac - Low doses THC: brief rise of testosterone (increase libido) - Higher doses THC: depressed testosterone=> impotence - Men who smoke marijuana daily have four times more troubles to reach orgasm THC and medical conditions - Several oral and spray form of THC o Oral spray: sativex (multiple sclerosis) o Reduce nausea (chemotherapy) - THC available in a sesame oil suspension (generic name: dronabinol, trade name: marinol) - Also in a synthetic form (generic name nabilone, trade name: cesamet) THC and cognitive function - Debilitating effect on cognitive and motor performance - Impair driving ability o Ramaekers et al. “effects of marijuana on driving task” - Reduction in memory, divided and sustained attention, reaction time, tracking and motor function - Impairment is higher during the 1 hour and declined over the 3-4 hours - Memory: particularly short term and working memory and fewer effect on long term or reference memory o Reference memory: information relevant to the general performance of an activity or task (rules of the card) => stay intact o Working memory: using information necessary for completion of the current version (remember each bids of each players) => stop after the task Study of reference and working memory in rat: the 8-arm radial maze task - One version food is placed at the end of a consistent set of 4 arms - Before rats are trained in the radial maze, they are trained to simply walk down a straight board to retrieve the milk at the end. - During spatial training, the same 4 arms are always baited so that the rat learn which arms to visit (no need to revisit) - Working memory error: visited baited arm - Reference memory error: rat visited one of the never baited arms - Animal
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