Saturday, 28 November 2015

Cannabis Is Not Created Equal. Skunk Weed Can Lead to Brain Matter Changes

Cannabis is not created equal. Some of them like the skunk weed can cause changes in the white matter of the brain.


Skunk weed is a strain of cannabis that earned its name from its strong smell, which makes one remember the scent the skunk emits. However, it's not only its smell that is strong-it's also one of the most potent types of marijuana. It's so strong that it can disrupt the normal structure of the brain's white matter, the one that's found in between the organ's two hemispheres. The change may then lead to problems in the way these two sections communicate with each other.
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Cannabis Is Not Created Equal. Skunk Weed Can Lead to Brain Matter Changes
For the study, neurobiologist Paola Dazzan of King's College London Institute of Psychiatry, and her colleagues recruited more than 90 people, including 56 people who had already experienced their first psychotic episode. Their brains were scanned using two imaging techniques, namely, diffusion tensor and magnetic resonance.

Upon analyzing the images, they learned that those who consumed highly potent cannabis like skunk weed regularly have a change of corpus callosum called mean diffusivity by at least 2% compared to those who had not taken any marijuana or those who consumed less-potent drug.

The study didn't dwell on the specific effects of the brain structure to a person. It also didn't say that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient found in marijuana, caused the changes of the brain matter, although corpus callosum is highly receptive of the chemical. However, it's been known that potent drugs can contain as much as 14% of THC, way higher than the 4% of less-potent ones.

Nevertheless, they think that with this research, health workers should implement a different approach on treating cannabis addiction including noting that certain types can have various effects on the user. For instance, they may take note not only on the frequency of use of marijuana but also the type of cannabis that's being preferred.

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