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 Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>