Continued from my last post:
Summary of Chapter 3: 'Acute and subacute psychomimetic effects of cannabis in humans'
means producing effects that resemble the symptoms of psychosis, such as paranoid delusions or hallucinations.Self-reported effects
Marijuana and Madness (pg 43) wrote:
In a large British study of 2794 cannabis users (Atha and Blanchard, 1997), nearly 60% reported positive effects, including relaxation and relief from stress (26%), insight and personal development (9%) and a positive effect on mood (5%) or sociability (2%). Again, adverse effects were common (21% overall) and included impairment of memory (6%), paranoia (6%), apathy/laziness (5%) and anxiety/panic (2%).
The study they citied is:
Atha, M.J. and Blanchard, S. (1997). Regular Users. Self-Reported Consumption Patterns and Attitudes Towards Drugs Among 1333 Regular Cannabis Users. London, UK: Independent Drug Monitoring Unit.
Note that all that info is self-reported by users. This should help explain more clearly (beyond 'to get high') as to why someone would want to take this drug. Subjective reports by 12 medical volunteers
Marijuana and Madness (pg 44) wrote:
- Disturbance of consciousness: this was described as a 'constriction of the field of awareness' with enhanced 'self observation'
- Disordered time perception, with a prolongation of the sense of the passage of time such that minutes 'seemed like an eternity' and subjects' estimate of time was later than actual time
- Impaired immediate recall, experienced as a 'fragmentation of thought' and apparent to observers as a disjointed speech
- Mood disturbance, encompassing euphoria and often uncontrollable mirth, sometimes followed by short-lived depression
- A detachment from reality, probably best understood as depersonalization/derealization
The study quoted here is Ames, F.R. (1958). A clinical and metabolic study of acute intoxication with Cannabis sativa and its role in the model psychoses. J. Mental Sci., 104, 972-999
This results are more detailed and specific than the first study, since the users were asked to describe the effects of marijuana while using the drug.On Pot use and Anxiety
I don't want to say too much here, except that it is noted that a paradoxical effect of marijuana use, as reported by users, is that it both causes and relieves anxiety. Anxiety seems to be more common with higher doses and with less experienced users. (pg 45-46)The 'motivational' syndrome
Theres alot of info here discussing different studies, so I'll just paraphrase it here then post their conclusion paragraph.
This is still considerable debate about whether the amotivational syndrome (ie does marijuana make users lazy?) really exists or not. The components of the syndrome are said to be a loss of interest in life, loss of desire to work, loss of energy, moodiness and irritability, impaired concentration, lack of concern for hygiene, and a preoccupation with obtaining and using marijuana. Many studies into this syndrome have been flawed, either through a bias in subject selection (for example picking subjects from a group in whom it is likely that users and non-users alike will have this symptoms) or through bad controls (picking non-users for comparison who differ from the users in important ways beyond marijuana use). Some studies have also not been careful assessing how much marijuana people are using, which seems to be an important factor for the syndrome. (pg 48-50)
Marijuana and Madness (pg 48) wrote:Thus, the issue of whether the amotivational syndrome is a true entity remains controversial. In reviewing this area, Castle and Ames (1996) concluded that it is probable that prolonged heavy use of cannabis can have 'amotivational' effects, but that these might reflect a subacute encephalopathy[disease of the brain], consequent upon chronic intoxication with cannabis (being high lipophilic, it is stored in fat cells for weeks) and reversible upon discontinuation. Hall and Solowij (1998) argue that there is a therefore no need to invoke a syndrome - poor motivation may merely be symptomatic of chronic intoxication.
So very likely 'the amotivational syndrome' is just being high all the time.
I can post more if people are interested. I would recommend the book to anyone; you need a background in science to understand it, probably a high school science course or two would be enough. My own background is physics/mechanical engineering and I understood it well enough, although many of the details elude me. I hope some find it interesting, and I would love to hear comments or criticism of any of the above.
EDIT: Grammer, etc