Sunday, January 13, 2008

Marijuana is good medicine

By Libby

The prohibition profiteers lie to you when they tell you that pot has no medicinal value. A new study just out shows marijuana increases brain cell growth.

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld — Supporters of marijuana may finally have an excuse to smoke weed every day. A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests that smoking pot can make the brain grow.

Though most drugs inhibit the growth of new brain cells, injections of a synthetic cannibinoid have had the opposite effect in mice in a study performed at the University of Saskatchewan. ...

The researchers found that rats treated with HU-210 on a regular basis showed neurogenesis — the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus. A current hypothesis suggests depression may be triggered when the hippocampus grows insufficient numbers of new brain cells. If true, HU-210 could offer a treatment for such mood disorders by stimulating this growth.
Now cannabis is a complex plant and the research was conducted with only two of a multitude of elements it contains so this study isn't really a license to smoke pot, but this could explain why so many people who suffer from depressive disorders self-medicate with marijuana. Taken in moderation, it works better than Zoloft with a lot less dangerous side effects.

Meanwhile, I have mixed feelings about this research. It's good to establish that cannabinoids are useful as medicine but the focus on using synthentic compounds suggests to me that prohibitionists want to profit from marijuana without having to give up their equally lucrative war on the natural plant. [via]