Talk:Study finds marijuana use leads to brain development in rats

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NPOV[edit]

This article is very unbalanced, and reports only on the findings of a single study. The context, especially, is lacking. No mention is made, for example, of the many studies which show in humans the debilitation of short-term memory on a permanent basis related to regular cannabis use. NPOV requires a balanced reporting - in this case it should show what the prevailing opinion is in the scientific community and why the finding is surprising. - Amgine / talk 17:05, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

The finding is "surprising" only if you make unwarranted assumptions about the types of chemicals that might promote neurogenesis.
"show what the prevailing opinion is in the scientific community" - If this is to be a requirement that must be satisfied in order for Wikinews to "publish" this news article, then someone needs to better define this requirement. "prevailing opinion" about what? --JWSchmidt 17:42, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
The article is just reporting on a single study, and that is all it claims to report on. In the context of the study itself, it isn't an unbalanced perspective. It doesn't claim that this is a perfetly verified scientific fact, but the context of the article doesn't require it to. I think we should give the wikinews readership enough credit to assume they know the difference between a siinglle study and a solid fact. I say remove the tag.
It's very simple to include additional material (even a quick overview) about the negative aspects as well. There's no real reason I can see to avoid doing so. --Wolfrider 18:05, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
From [[1]]

"In the brain, THC connects to specific sites called cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells and influences the activity of those cells. Some brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors; others have few or none. Many cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement(5).

The short-term effects of marijuana can include problems with memory and learning; distorted perception; difficulty in thinking and problem solving; loss of coordination; and increased heart rate. Research findings for long-term marijuana use indicate some changes in the brain similar to those seen after long-term use of other major drugs of abuse. For example, cannabinoid (THC or synthetic forms of THC) withdrawal in chronically exposed animals leads to an increase in the activation of the stress-response system(6) and changes in the activity of nerve cells containing dopamine(7). Dopamine neurons are involved in the regulation of motivation and reward, and are directly or indirectly affected by all drugs of abuse."

The POV problem here is that the article asserts (perhaps unintetionally) that marijuana is "good for you". The key to a NPOV is to never make any such assertion. To avoid that, provide information relating to the negative affects of cannabis use as well as the information regarding this new study. The reader can take from it what he wants. --Wolfrider 17:51, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

<nod> Also, the surprising element in this study, for me, is that there is reported neurogenisis at all, since cannabis is the only drug of abuse which has this reported. It will be interesting to see who repeats the experiment and what their findings will be. - Amgine / talk 18:16, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

article title[edit]

I think that the title "Lab study shows marijuana may be good for the brain" is a problem. The research article shows that one specific canabinoid stimulates the production of new neurons in a part of the rat brain and has "anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effect" in certain behavioral tests performed on rats. I think the title should specify "in rats". The research article is not about marijuana; the title of the Wikinews article should mention marijuana only if done with care. "May be good for the brain" is vague and has not really been addressed by the Saskatchewan group's research. They conclude the article with this statement:

"The opposing effects of high doses of acute and chronic cannabinoids, together with the anxiolytic-like effects caused by a low dose of cannabinoids, may finally explain discrepancies in the clinical study literature regarding the effects of cannabinoid on anxiety and depression."

I'm still reading the research article, but I do not think even the authors would claim that their results mean that "marijuana may be good for the brain" --JWSchmidt 18:25, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Good points. Feel free to rename the article, anyone logged in may. - Amgine / talk 18:33, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
Can we publish this now? --Wolfrider 18:47, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm done editing the article; I think it should be published. "Long term studies about cannabis use tend to be controversial as the data is seen to be biased or flawed." <-- This is true, but I think it ignores the possibility of reporting what is in the medical literature, which can be done even if people still argue about what the available results mean. --JWSchmidt 20:13, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

question about nausea[edit]

Are these contradictory? --JWSchmidt 19:30, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

  1. "Medically, it appears to relieve convulsion, inflammation, anxiety, and nausea." (source: wikipedia article on cannabinoids)
  2. "Previous studies examining the affects of cannabis have highlighted negative aspects of the drug's use, such as short term memory difficulties, increased heart rate, nausea..." (source: the article)
Not necessairily. It is a drug, so its effects would vary depending on the user. Also, I got the information from Wikipedia's article. I've also been around those who use marijuana and can attest to it occassionally causing nausea. Not that I'm a legitimate source for Wikinews. ^.~ --Wolfrider 19:31, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
I think cannabinoids could cause nausea under "normal" conditions and limit nausea under special conditions such as cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea. --JWSchmidt 19:50, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
  • "Some first-time users report negative effects like headaches,nausea, fainting, mental confusion.."
  • "In 2000, a NSW Government report concluded that cannabis could be useful for certain medical conditions... The report suggested that cannabis may be most useful for the following conditions:... nausea and vomiting, particularly in people having chemotherapy for cancer..."
I'll add the source to the article. --Wolfrider 20:16, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
Nausea can result from mixing with other drugs - such as alcohol. I think the article is pretty well balanced now and would like to see the dispute tag taken off. There's some good work here, it's interesting, says the jury is out on whether cannabis is good bad or indifferent, and doesn't say "go start smoking this stuff". The only thing I'd question is the lethal dose bit. Sure, people are likely to pass out before ingesting a LD via smoking, but is there actually a lethal dose you can take by eating the stuff? I've - jokingly - been told the lethal dose is one kilogram dropped on the head from a great height. Brianmc 20:26, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
i never knew anyone to get nausea from pot; has anybody else? I think that is just one of the "reefer madness" lies. Neutralizer 12:37, 16 October 2005 (UTC)
I knew a girl who would occasionally get nausea and other unpleasant symptoms from smoking. it was strange, but that's someone ;) --CGW 12:29, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

See also[edit]

Here are some wikipedia resources that can be used to help develop the article. --JWSchmidt 17:42, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Funny image[edit]

Okay, I absolutely love that image at the bottom, but should we remove it for the sake of the story? --Wolfrider 22:35, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

I don't know how to go about introducing cartoons at this site. I loaded the image to make a stab at it. Perhaps this is a poor way to solicit input. -Edbrown05 22:56, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
A picture is worth a thousand words. People have been using this "weed" for thousands (millions?) of years. Some people have claimed to benefit cognitively from casual marijuana use while clinical studies suggest that heavy use can be addictive, damaging and unsatisfying. The "poor" laboratory animals are caught in the middle as scientists try to figure out what goes on in the brain. I say leave the "silly" image in, it "says it all". --JWSchmidt 22:57, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree, I think it's hilarious. Good job. :-) --Wolfrider 22:59, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
Since cartoons are sort of an editorial, and since the image can't be easily changed by other contributors, I put it back in as an 'External link'. -Edbrown05 06:12, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

Drug companies(including beer & booze makers/dealers) can't make money off of Marijuana[edit]

It's too easy to grow at home(like a "weed"). That's why it's illegal; it would be a cheap substitute for all the headache pills ,sleeping pills, anti-depression pills and the #1 contributor to domestic violence/child abuse...alcohol. That's reality; marijuana is only harmful when it's being sold by drug dealers who might lace it or use it as an entry level product and then switch kids to something more profitable (& easier to hide) like "e" or meth. Just another business/government scam; keeping it illegal; but an exceptionally nasty scam.Neutralizer 23:29, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

In terms of harm done to people, it is hard to explain why ethanol is legal and marijuana is illegal. You could probably argue that the marketing of sucrose is more harmful to health in Western societies than than legal marijuana would be. However, it is not clear to me that the benefits of legal marijuana would be greater than the harm done by the likely increase in over-use of marijuana that would happen if it were legalized. --JWSchmidt 23:57, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
I think widespread availability would dramatically reduce alcohol related problems. I suppose we could compare domestic violence rates in Amsterdam to those in London or New York? (waiting for the pre-result rationalization as to why that wouldn't be relevant...anyone?...anyone?). Neutralizer 12:50, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

Title is wrong[edit]

Marijuana does not contain the cannabinoid which was SYNTHESIZED for use in this study, therefore we can not conclude that marijuana is good for the brains of rats, only that the synthetic cannabinoid shows some benefits for the brains of rats. unsigned comments by 66.82.9.71

In addition to the synthetic cannabinoid, the study also did experiments using one naturally-occuring cannabinoid. But your point is still valid and was raised during the development of this Wikinews article. Since the main cannabinoid of marijuana acts on the same cannabinoid receptor that probably caused that effects described in the study, it may be a safe inference that marijuana would have the same effect on neurogenesis as do the two tested cannabinoids. I let the story go out with "marijuana" in the title in an attempt to make use of the "name recognition" of "marijuana" and included this disclaimer in the article: "Marijuana contains a complex mixture of chemicals including cannabinoids and may have somewhat different behavioral effects than the purified cannabinoids tested so far." --JWSchmidt 14:17, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
Can I just say, your contribution to the article has been incredible. --Wolfrider 14:21, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
Wolfrider: Thank you for adding things like: "I don't really don't know yet if our findings apply to humans." It is great to have a quote from the senior scientist making clear the limitations of applying exerimental results from lab animals to humans. --JWSchmidt 03:16, 19 October 2005 (UTC)