Cannabinoids are a collection of over 100 chemicals that are derived from the cannabis plant (cannabis sativa). Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of these chemicals and research has shown it has anti inflammatory effects when induced on animal cells, without unwanted psychoactive side effects.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another one of these chemicals that gives off a psychotropic effect in animals brains but has been linked to potential neurotherapies. Endogenous cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) are found in the endocannabinoid system and allow cannabinoids (THC & CBD) to bind and stimulate our bodies proteins and other molecules for different purposes.
The research this article is based upon is available here if you wish to download it.
Marijuana was originally the slang term used to negatively refer to cannabis that is used for smoking. The purpose of which was usually to “get high”. Today this term is changing and while it still refers to cannabis products or treatments we smoke it can also refer to cannabis based edibles like brownies. However, although there is a change in US culture towards marijuana it is still considered one of the worst prohibited drug substances worldwide leading to a wide range of health issues for the younger generation.
Understanding of the pharmacology of THC and the endocannabinoid system has advanced tremendously in the last decade or so. This in turn has led to new insights into the pathophysiology of dependence, possible medical applications of THC and other cannabinoid-like compounds, and how to design better treatments for our dependent patients.
These include better understanding of the cognitive effects of long-term use, better characterization of the withdrawal syndrome, more effective behavioral treatment interventions, and the discovery of promising pharmacological treatments. As far as the cognitive effects, there is no clear consensus on whether long-term cannabis use does or does not produce residual cognitive deficits.
If there are such effects, they are probably largely reversible and of little clinical relevance. However, it is clear that regular cannabis use, which produces daily acute intoxication with its related cognitive impairments, is associated with impaired functioning, by both objective measures such as education and income and by the subjective reports of the users themselves.
In addition, regular cannabis use results in a clear danger to society, increasing the risk of motor vehicle accidents and probably increasing the number of accidents and other types of negative events in the workplace. Further research should examine the impact of chronic, long-term cannabis use on raising children and on real-world job performance.