In Reply to: Re: here's some NEW research posted by Perry on June 08, 2005 at 17:21:24:
My experience in working with those who have substance misuse problems - I'm talking here about those with severe problems, not recreational use, is that cannabis can be very problemmatic.
It can cause extreme paranoia and for those who use it to self medicate for mental health problems it can become psychologically very addictive. Johns Hopkins publish some research a few years back concerning this. Don't have the paper to hand - so can't give the reference.
I admit to a prejudice, as I have worked with those harmed by cannabis use, especially those who are more vulnerable to the negative effects because of mental health problems. It can also be the trigger for a psychotic illness in someone who has predisposition to develop one.
I have known of folk who have to be hospitalised because of such extreme paranoia that they were a risk to themselves - and perhaps others, caused maybe, or exacerbated by cannabis use. I can't say that the cannabis caused this - but it certainly didn't help.
Also, because of the manner of use - smoking usually, it brings all the problems associated with smoking - but because the smoke is held within the lungs for longer it has a higher incidence of lung disorders.
I am not saying that all use of cannabis causes physical or mental health problems, just that it can be highly associated with problems, mental health in those vulnerable and physical when used in the form and manner it is most often used in.
The British Government has commissioned drugs trials to identify whether and what the agents within cannabis that are beneficial to health - for MS sufferers, pain relief and so forth. The trials, I believe, are showing positive results.
It's also illegal in many places and the emotional stress of obtaining something illegal, can add to the problem.
I would suggest that the talking therapies would be a better bet, with a damn good therapist, of course!