David Casarett, MD

When Weed Is The Cure: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana  
July 14, 2015
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/07/14/422876973/when-weed-is-the-cure-a-doctors-case-for-medical-marijuana

Dr. David Casarett, is the director of hospice and palliative care at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

I found it though, at least for me, at the cost of most of the most common side effects of acute use of medical marijuana — confusion, hallucinations. I think — mostly because the dose I gave myself, being relatively unfamiliar with marijuana and very unfamiliar with the strength of what I managed to obtain — [I] was really blindsided by some of the acute side effects like confusion and hallucinations, which I honestly should have expected, but didn’t. …

[I heard] air traffic controllers vectoring flights into and out of the Phoenix airport — those voices were coming from my living room, where there really weren’t any air traffic controllers.

CASARETT: The acute cognitive side effects, meaning what we all experience in the first two to six hours after being exposed to medical marijuana, are fairly well-described.
They tend to be fairly short-term. They tend to be predictable.
As long as you know what the dose is that you’re getting.
I think what makes me a little bit nervous, and something that we don’t quite understand from the research that’s been done yet, but there’s been enough research done to make many of us worry that long-term cognitive effects for somebody who smokes half a joint a day for 10, 20, 30 years, there have been several studies now that have found some combination of a decrease in neuropsychological function, often decreases or changes in thinking and memory, also changes in brain structure, decreases in the volume of certain areas of the brain, like the cortex or the amygdala, that are associated with thinking and memory.

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