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Benefits of Marijuana Research

by Johnny Hash 5 years ago in health / strains / vintage

It has never been more important to study and explain the benefits of marijuana research.

The first reliable study of human behavioral effects among marijuana users was done in 1968 under the direction of Andrew Weil in Boston. Among Weil's findings were:

  1. The reverse tolerance phenomenon.
  2. Marijuana high is likely the result of both psychological and physiological effects and that a user, in other words, has to learn how to get high.
  3. The main effects of the drug seemed to be feeling euphoria, enhanced or distorted perceptions, and such things as over-estimation of time.

Weil also believed that subjects attention spans were not affected and that a marijuana high apparently could be turned of more easy an alcohol high. He found, no evidence of personality changes in high subjects nor any of the aggressive behavior many feared with drugs.

Behavioral effect or personality deterioration was more often characterized by lack of motion. A survey 650 students at this university showed slightly low grades for users than non-users. Students who smoked it occasionally did slightly better than average. All in all users were prone to a sociological not a biochemical problem.

Marijuana Personality Profiles

Psychological research of the sort done by Dr. Andrew Weil was a difficult area for providing definitive results. Drug researchers however, were having some success in applying their findings to certain personal files. Personality profiles, or character types, are like "handles. They let searchers get a grip on the hazy line that separates drug-caused behavior from organic biological behavior. These character types have served as foundational data for todays contemporary studies.

Marijuana apparently causes some forms of behavioral changes and simply lowers inhibition to a point where it releases endorphins that act like a catalyst. Researchers are sure that certain personality types behave distinctively different under the influence of marijuana and get into trouble with even the most innocuous substances. This is called an addictive personality.

A more positive side to marijuana research is to be found in studies of the therapeutic value of the drug. It has already been mentioned that marijuana is a mild but effective pain killer and that there's reason to believe it has a primary place in the therapeutic treatment of eye, ear and skin disorders. But at the beginning of marijuana research, scientists were limited to tests done with animals.

Marijuana Animal Testing

A study by five psychiatrists at McGill University in Montreal during the early days of marijuana research, found marijuana effective in reducing hypertension in mice. The key sentence in a synopsis of their report which appeared in Science News, was, "This type of tension is thought to be similar to that most common among humans." Modern research today, on humans, has confirmed what these scientists found in lab mice.

These experiments and others were criticized for decades because there was strong disagreement over how success/failure in animal experiments could be fairly transferred to the human species. It's an old problem, "is what's good for the rat good for the man?" But in the case of marijuana it was not a question easily answered when research for health benefits was rejected by a puritanical political environment that saw weed as counter culture and a danger to society. Because of the hazy line between drug-caused and drug-release behaviors the long term effects of marijuana were highly speculative.

President's National Commission on Marijuana

One marijuana researcher, however, had suggested that as far as the animals themselves are concerned, marijuana might be a healthy substitute for growth stimulants and tranquilizers. He reasoned that a relaxed milk cow or a relaxed chicken is a better producer than an uptight cow or an uptight chicken. The theory, he said had been practiced in India for hundreds years.

The two most important American research effort with regard to marijuana, at least in terms of the public exposure was the President's National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Mental Health's Report on Marijuana and Health, sent to Congress in February, 1972. The President's Commission, reporting on a year of hearings and surveys and the results of more than 50 projects, concluded that marijuana was relatively harmless. They stated that its psychological and physiological effects were mild, but reported that in a small percentage of predisposed individuals heavy marijuana use can cause psychotic reactions. It took over four decades to sink in. But there is no question that today the tide has changed and the more research that can be done, the healthier an unregulated society of marijuana users we will be.


Johnny Hash

Born in Kingsland, Arkansas. Spent way too much time watching TV. Daily toker. Still in Kingsland, Arkansas.

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