Effects Of Pot

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The Health Effects of Marijuana on Humans

Tim Murphy


Marijuana has been used as a drug since the beginning of

time, yet there are still many mysteries about its health

effects on humans. Marijuana, or cannabis sativa, is a

preparation of the crushed flowers and buds of female hempGood Paper. 4 pages long B+

plant. The existence of the plant has been reported as

early as 1500-1200 BC. in China, and cannabis has been

described as an analgesic as early as 200 AD .

Since then, an overwhelming number of studies have attempted

to explain the physical and psychological effects ofGood Paper. 4 pages long B+

cannabis on humans.

Physical Effects

Physically, cannabis is relatively harmless. Studies

have observed interesting results, including that it causes

structural changes in the brain, depresses male sperm

counts, causes chromosome damage, lowers testosterone

levels, and damages the lungs. Most of these claims,

however, have been unreplicated in humans or have been

contradicted by other work.

This section will address each

of these reported negative side-effects.

Various studies have claimed that cannabis destroys brain

cells. However, several other studies found no structural

or neurochemical atrophy in the brain at all. Furthermore, it

should be noted that Heath's work was sharply criticized for

avoiding safeguards of bias and reporting 'changes' that

occur normally in the mammalian brain.

Wu et al. found a correlation between cannabis use

and low sperm counts in human males. This is misleading

because a decrease in sperm count has not been shown to have

a negative effect on fertility and because the sperm count

returns to normal after cannabis use has stopped..

Another claim made was that cannabis causes chromosome

breakage. The primary source for this are studies that were

conducted by Dr. Gabriel Nahas in the early 1980s.