Researchers report synthetic marijuana products, sold under names such as K2 or Spice, have serious side effects including psychosis, seizures and even death. Researchers warn they are not a safe substitute for cannabis.
Researchers have identified 35 genes associated with cannabis use. The study reports many of these genes are also associated with personality types, risk taking behavior, alcohol and tobacco use, and some psychiatric conditions.
Multiple sclerosis patients are nine times more likely to discuss the use of alternative medicines, including cannabis, with their neurologists as treatment options than they were in 2001. 81% of MS patients report the use of dietary supplements to help with disease management, and 39% report participating in mindfulness and other mind-body therapies. 30% of patients reported using marijuana to help treat their symptoms.
Examining the brains of frequent cannabis users, researchers have identified a pattern of connectivity related to craving the substance. The findings add weight to the idea that brain regions do not work in isolation, but via the connectivity of multiple networks that signal to each other depending on state and need. Brain connectivity during cannabis cravings is not static but has fluctuations in connection patterns between the central executive network and nucleus accumbens.
A study using rat models of depression reveals a single dose of the cannabis extract CBD can help to reduce symptoms of depression for up to one week. Researchers say cannabidiol appears to activate mechanisms that help repair neural circuitry in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, which get damaged as a result of depression.
A new study reveals long term alcohol use is much more damaging to the brain than marijuana. Researchers reveal long term alcohol use is linked to a decrease in both white and gray matter integrity in the hippocampus. However, no such decrease is associated with long term cannabis use.