The study notes that “these effects on IQ were only found in the small proportion of cannabis users who initiated in adolescence and persisted in daily use throughout their 20s and into their 30s.” Those who started smoking marijuana as adults did not show notable IQ declines. 3 A Rise in Marijuana’s THC Levels The amount of THC in marijuana has been increasing steadily over the past few decades. 4  For a new user, this may mean exposure to higher THC levels with a greater chance of a harmful reaction. According to a 1995 review prepared for the World Health Organization, “There are no recorded cases of overdose fatalities attributed to cannabis, and the estimated lethal dose for humans extrapolated from animal studies is so high that it cannot be achieved by ... users.” Evidence of marijuana’s efficacy in treating severe and intractable pain is particularly impressive. It has an active ingredient called THC that makes you feel high. Many of these patients and their physicians are now discussing this issue for the first time and are seeking guidance on whether the therapeutic use of cannabis may or may not be advisable. However, scientific study of the chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids, has led to two FDA-approved medications that contain cannabinoid chemicals in pill form. More people are using marijuana extracts that provide stronger doses, and therefore stronger effects, of THC see “ Marijuana Extracts “.

In December 2014, Congress added an amendment to a spending bill directing the Justice Department to not interfere with states' medical marijuana laws. Finally, in May, federal prosecutors dropped a misguided lawsuit against the Harborside dispensaries in Oakland and San Jose. After four years of litigation, Harborside climbed out from under legal threat. Then, last week, ruling in cases from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington state, the 9th Circuit ordered an end to federal prosecutions of growers and sellers operating legally under state laws. The ruling is long overdue. However, it's uncertain whether the Justice Department will finally throw in the towel and move on to important cases. Earlier this month, the DEA once again refused to back down from that position. The agency says there is inadequate data showing marijuana is safe and effective for medicinal use. But the feds have tightly controlled the supply of marijuana available for use in research. The University of Mississippi has been the only federally authorized grower of pot for medical studies. The good news is that the FDA this month announced it will finally relax that, allowing other universities to apply to grow marijuana.

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A 2010 review by researchers in Germany reports that since 2005 there have been 37 controlled studies assessing the safety and efficacy of marijuana and its naturally occurring compounds in a total of 2,563 subjects. Another danger is in preparing these extracts, which usually involves butane lighter fluid. Encouraging an open dialogue with adolescents about their drug use and paying attention to their behaviour during the teen years are better prevention tools toward the future development of mental illness than to simply blame marijuana. 5 Fact: Marijuana use is not associated with elevated cancer risk as shown in preclinical studies. For example, when marijuana use rates have increased, there have been no increases in schizophrenia diagnoses. One study demonstrated that psychotic symptoms predict later use of marijuana, suggesting that people might turn to the plant for help rather than become ill after use. Thus, the legal supply is a poor vehicle for studying the approximately 60 cannabinoids that might have medical applications. In addition to potentially lower IQ, the review also suggests that cannabis use is strongly associated with the use of other illicit drugs. 5. I'll continue to closely follow marijuana studies moving forward, but I have no intention of investing in the space any time soon. This system has unintended, almost comic, consequences. A newly popular method of use is smoking or eating different forms of THC-rich resins see “ Marijuana Extracts “.

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