Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Skunk cannabis smokers seven times more likely to suffer from psychosis

This is a very weak study as it could be that mad people are more likely to use drugs. They are certainly known to smoke (tobacco) more

Ultra-potent skunk cannabis is seven times more likely to trigger psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia than traditional hash, a study has warned. The research, by the highly-respected Institute of Psychiatry in London, will deepen concerns over the safety of cannabis amid political controversy over its criminal status.

Dr Marta Di Forti, who led the research, said: 'Our study is the first to demonstrate the risk of psychosis is much greater among frequent cannabis users, especially among those using skunk, rather than among occasional users of traditional hash. 'Psychosis was associated with more frequent and longer use of cannabis. Our most striking finding is that patients with a first episode of psychosis preferentially used high-potency cannabis preparations of the skunk variety.'

Skunk contains high levels of the psychoactive ingredient delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, which can trigger psychotic symptoms.

In South-East London, where the study was carried out, the THC content of hash is less than 4 per cent but in skunk it is 18 per cent. In the past two years skunk has come to dominate the cannabis market, with its price dropping to under £5 a gram. Some experts believe skunk is so potent it should be treated differently from other types of cannabis and put on a par with Class A drugs such as cocaine and Ecstasy.

Last month Professor David Nutt was forced to step down as chairman of the Government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs after criticising the decision to push cannabis back into the more serious Class B after a period of downgrading. Its downgrading from B to C had been increasingly controversial as concern grew over its effects. The sacking of Professor Nutt, who claimed the drug was less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, caused a revolt among members of the advisory council with several resigning.

The number of under-25s smoking cannabis was almost one in five last year, even though use has been falling since 2001.

This latest study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, involved 280 patients aged 18 to 65 attending a South London hospital with a first episode of psychosis, compared with 174 healthy people. Those with psychosis were twice as likely to have used cannabis for longer than five years, and more than six times likely to take it every day.

Significantly cannabis users who smoked skunk were 6.8 times more at risk of being treated for a psychosis than those who took hash. Other studies show hash users are at double the risk of suffering psychosis compared with those who never use the drug.

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, said: 'Those of us on the front line, including psychiatrists, police and families, know that skunk cannabis can be particularly dangerous for the significant minority of people vulnerable to mental illness. 'We need to give out an uncompromising warning about the specific links between skunk and mental illness.'

Drug charity Turning Point welcomed the findings. Spokesman Harry Walker said: 'We now have confirmation of what many suspected and it is important that we act on these findings.'


How a daily walk wards off prostate cancer AND can keep colds at bay (?)

The usual crap. It is probably middle-class men who walk for their health and middle class people are healthier anyway

A daily walk lowers the risk of prostate cancer, say researchers reporting in the latest issue of the journal Urology. Men who walked around three to six hours a week were two-thirds less likely to be diagnosed with the disease than couch potato counterparts. Men who did one to three hours a week were also 86 per cent less likely to have an aggressive, fast-growing tumour, the study found.

Previous research has shown exercise lowers blood levels of testosterone and other hormones linked to the growth of prostate tumours. Activity is also known to boost the immune system and reduce the risk of cancer.

Researchers at the American College of Sports Medicine found that people who exercise for at least 45 minutes for four days a week take up to 50 per cent less time off sick during winter.

Professor David Nieman, an exercise physiologist at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, says: 'The reduction in winter illness from exercise far exceeds anything a drug or pill can offer and walking is the best thing you can do.'

Exercising when you have a cold can help you fight it off faster. But Professor Nieman warns: If you have chesty, flu-like symptoms, take a couple of weeks off the exercise.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Same as eating lots of tomato`s will ward off prostate problems. No chance. Raider580