Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

More evidence of cannabis-induced psychosis

01.04.2005


Cannabis-based medicines given in a highly-controlled clinical environment unexpectedly lead to strong psychotic effects



Volunteers taking cannabis-based therapeutic drugs as part of a controlled trial, which had been approved by an ethics board as safe for the subjects, experienced psychotic effects just as strong as if they had smoked cannabis. These findings, highly unexpected in such a controlled environment, are published today in the peer-reviewed, Open Access journal BMC Psychiatry.

Dr Bernard Favrat and colleagues, from the Institut Universitaire de Medecine Legale in Switzerland, were conducting a clinical trial into the effects of orally administered delta-9-tetrahydrocannibol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis, when two of their male subjects experienced impaired psychomotor functions and severe anxiety typical of cannabis-induced psychosis.


When smoking cannabis, the effects of THC on psychomotor functions usually start once the concentration in the blood has reached 10ng/ml plasma. The trial should have been safe as the subjects were given low doses of THC and had much lower concentrations in their blood. However the two male subjects experienced their reactions with blood concentrations of 4.7ng/ml and 6.2 ng/ml, respectively.

Favrat and colleagues found that both subjects reported severe anxiety and impaired psychomotor functions. Other effects included transient symptoms of derealisation and depersonalisation, and paranoid delusions. They were described by one subject as worse than those experienced after smoking cannabis. One subject was given dronabinol, a synthetic THC that has been in medical use in the USA since 1985. The other subject was asked to drink a decoction of natural THC. The authors hypothesise that the effect may have been because the THC had been ingested, rather than inhaled; digesting THC may produce potent THC metabolites, which induce psychotic effects.

Research into designing THC-based medications has boomed in the last few years, due to the many therapeutic effects of THC. These drugs could be used to alleviate muscle spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients, restore appetite in AIDS patients and alleviate pain and nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Such research has to be approved to ensure that it is treating patients ethically and safely. Dr Favrat’s research had been approved, which makes the findings even more unexpected.

Favrat and colleagues’ report adds to the body of evidence that cannabis might be more harmful than previously thought. In the UK, cannabis was downgraded to class C early last year, but government officials have called for a review of the decision following a series of studies revealing that cannabis dramatically increases the risk of developing mental illnesses.

Juliette Savin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.biomedcentral.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>