by Jeff Minerd, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today May 20, 2015
— Study adds to evidence for developmental abnormalities with teen marijuana use
The investigators compared height; weight; and levels of luteinizing hormone, testosterone, growth hormone, and cortisol in 220 marijuana-addicted and 217 nonpot-smoking boys.
“The mechanism underlying the stimulation of reproductive function by marijuana in pubertal boys needs to be examined in detail. Furthermore, the suppressive effect of cortisol on growth directly through inhibition of growth at the cellular level by depletion of nutrients or indirectly through inhibition of growth hormone secretion needs to be further studied,” Rizvi said via email to MedPage Today.
At the moment, there’s not enough research to say for sure if smoking marijuana is any more helpful than taking THC or other cannabinoids as a pill. Scientists are still studying this.
Criminal charges. Marijuana laws can be confusing. Some states are changing their laws to make it legal to have small amounts of marijuana in some situations (like when it’s prescribed for medical use). Some have even made recreational use of marijuana by adults (over 21) legal. But there are conflicting federal laws against using, growing, or selling marijuana — and people caught with it could face charges, including jail time.
The main active chemical in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). When someone smokes marijuana, THC goes from the lungs into the bloodstream. From there, it ends up in the brain and other organs.
Marijuana is a shredded, green-brown mix of dried flowers, stems, and leaves from the plant Cannabis sativa. A stronger form of marijuana, called hashish (hash), looks like brown or black cakes or balls. The amount of THC (the active ingredient) in marijuana and marijuana products has increased greatly over the years.
Medical Use of Marijuana
These side effects are temporary, but they can make it dangerous to do things like drive while under the influence of marijuana.
People also might notice other short-term side effects of using marijuana, such as:
THC also connects with receptors on nerve cells in other parts of the brain that affect thinking, memory, coordination, and concentration. This can cause unwanted side effects, including:
There is also “synthetic marijuana” — manmade drugs that are chemically similar to THC — that can be dangerously strong. Names for these drugs include “K2,” “Spice,” and “Herbal Incense.” They can be so potent that overdose deaths have happened.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved pills containing THC or other cannabinoids (chemicals similar to THC) as a way to help relieve pain, nausea, muscle stiffness, or problems with movement. There’s still a lot of discussion about the medical use of marijuana, though. THC and other cannabinoid pills are only available in some states and require a doctor’s prescription.