Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Cannabis Related Abstracts

5 Prevalence and Effect of Substance Use and Psychological Co-Morbidities in Medical and Dental Students of a Medical University of Nepal

Authors: Nidesh Sapkota, Garima Pudasaini, Dikshya Agrawal, Binav Baral, Umesh Bhagat, Dharanidhar Baral


Background: Medical and Dental students are vulnerable to higher levels of Psychological distress than other age matched peers. Many studies reveals that there is high prevalence of psychoactive substance use and Psychiatric co-morbidities among them. Objectives: -To study the prevalence of substance use among medical and dental students of a Medical University. -To study the prevalence of depression and anxiety in medical and dental students of a Medical University. Materials and Method: A cross-sectional descriptive study in which simple random sampling was done. Semi-structured questionnaire, AUDIT for alcohol use, Fagerstrom test for Nicotine dependence, Cannabis screening test (CAST), Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck’s Anxiety Inventory (BAI) were used for the assessment. Results: Total sample size was 588 in which the mean age of participants was 22±2years. Among them the prevalence of alcohol users was 47.75%(281) in which 32%(90) were harmful users. Among 19.55%(115) nicotine users 56.5%(65), 37.4%(43), 6.1%(7) had low, low to moderate and moderate dependence respectively. The prevalence of cannabis users was 9%(53) with 45.3%(24), 18.9%(10) having low and high addiction respectively. Depressive symptoms were recorded in 25.3%(149) out of which 12.6%(74), 6.5%(38), 5.3%(31), 0.5%(3), 0.5%(3) had mild, borderline, moderate, severe and extreme depressive symptoms respectively. Similarly anxiety was recorded among 7.8%(46) students with 42 having moderate and 4 having severe anxiety symptoms. Among them 6.3%(37) had suicidal thoughts and 4(0.7%) of them had suicide attempt in last one year. Statistically significant association was noted with harmful alcohol users, Depression and suicidal attempts. Similar association was noted between Depression and suicide with moderate use of nicotine. Conclusion: There is high prevalence of Psychoactive substance use and psychiatric co-morbidities noted in the studies sample. Statistically significant association was noted with Psychiatric co-morbidities and substance use.

Keywords: Depression, Alcohol, Cannabis, medical students, dependence

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4 Monitoring of Cannabis Cultivation with High-Resolution Images

Authors: Levent Basayigit, Sinan Demir, Burhan Kara, Yusuf Ucar


Cannabis is mostly used for drug production. In some countries, an excessive amount of illegal cannabis is cultivated and sold. Most of the illegal cannabis cultivation occurs on the lands far from settlements. In farmlands, it is cultivated with other crops. In this method, cannabis is surrounded by tall plants like corn and sunflower. It is also cultivated with tall crops as the mixed culture. The common method of the determination of the illegal cultivation areas is to investigate the information obtained from people. This method is not sufficient for the determination of illegal cultivation in remote areas. For this reason, more effective methods are needed for the determination of illegal cultivation. Remote Sensing is one of the most important technologies to monitor the plant growth on the land. The aim of this study is to monitor cannabis cultivation area using satellite imagery. The main purpose of this study was to develop an applicable method for monitoring the cannabis cultivation. For this purpose, cannabis was grown as single or surrounded by the corn and sunflower in plots. The morphological characteristics of cannabis were recorded two times per month during the vegetation period. The spectral signature library was created with the spectroradiometer. The parcels were monitored with high-resolution satellite imagery. With the processing of satellite imagery, the cultivation areas of cannabis were classified. To separate the Cannabis plots from the other plants, the multiresolution segmentation algorithm was found to be the most successful for classification. WorldView Improved Vegetative Index (WV-VI) classification was the most accurate method for monitoring the plant density. As a result, an object-based classification method and vegetation indices were sufficient for monitoring the cannabis cultivation in multi-temporal Earthwiev images.

Keywords: Remote Sensing, Drug, Cannabis, Object-Based Classification

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3 Preliminary Analysis on the Distribution of Elements in Cannabis

Authors: E. Zafeiraki, P. Nisianakis, K. Machera


Cannabis plant contains 113 cannabinoids and it is commonly known for its psychoactive substance tetrahydrocannabinol or as a source of narcotic substances. The recent years’ cannabis cultivation also increases due to its wide use both for medical and industrial purposes as well as for uses as para-pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food commodities. Depending on the final product, different parts of the plant are utilized, with the leaves and bud (seeds) being the most frequently used. Cannabis can accumulate various contaminants, including heavy metals, both from the soil and the water in which the plant grows. More specifically, metals may occur naturally in the soil and water, or they can enter into the environment through fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides that are commonly applied to crops. The high probability of metals accumulation in cannabis, combined with the latter growing use, raise concerns about the potential health effects in humans and consequently lead to the need for the implementation of safety measures for cannabis products, such as guidelines for regulating contaminants, including metals, and especially the ones characterized by high toxicity in cannabis. Acknowledging the above, the aim of the current study was first to investigate metals contamination in cannabis samples collected from Greece, and secondly to examine potential differences in metals accumulation among the different parts of the plant. To our best knowledge, this is the first study presenting information on elements in cannabis cultivated in Greece, and also on the distribution pattern of the former in the plant body. To this end, the leaves and the seeds of all the samples were initially separated and dried and then digested with Nitric acid (HNO₃) and Hydrochloric acid (HCl). For the analysis of these samples, an Inductive Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) method was developed, able to quantify 28 elements. Internal standards were added at a constant rate and concentration to all calibration standards and unknown samples, while two certified reference materials were analyzed in every batch to ensure the accuracy of the measurements. The repeatability of the method and the background contamination were controlled by the analysis of quality control (QC) standards and blank samples in every sequence, respectively. According to the results, essential metals, such as Ca, Zn and Mg, were detected at high levels. On the contrary, the concentration of high toxicity metals, like As (average: 0.10ppm), Pb (average: 0.36ppm), Cd (average: 0.04ppm), and Hg (average: 0.012ppm) were very low in all the samples, indicating that no harmful effects on human health can be caused by the analyzed samples. Moreover, it appears that the pattern of contamination of metals is very similar in all the analyzed samples, which could be attributed to the same origin of the analyzed cannabis, i.e., the common soil composition, use of fertilizers, pesticides, etc. Finally, as far as the distribution pattern between the different parts of the plant is concerned, it was revealed that leaves present a higher concentration in comparison to seeds for all metals examined.

Keywords: Heavy Metals, Cannabis, elements, ICP-MS, leaves and seeds

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2 Prevailing Clinical Evidence on Medicinal Hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.)

Authors: Siti Hajar Muhamad Rosli, Xin Yi Lim, Terence Yew Chin Tan, Muhammad nor Farhan Sa’At, Syazwani Sirdar Ali, Ami Fazlin Syed Mohamed


A growing interest on therapeutic benefits of hemp (Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa) is evident in the pharmaceutical market, attributed to its lower levels of psychoactive constituent delta-9-tetrahydronannabidiol (THC). Deemed as a legal and safer alternative to its counterpart marijuana, the use of medicinal hemp is highly debatable as current scientific evidence on the efficacy for clinical use is yet to be established This study was aimed to provide an overview of the current landscape of hemp research, through recent clinical findings specific to the pharmacological properties of the hemp plant and its derived compounds. A systematic search was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis-ScR (PRISMA) checklist on electronic databases (MEDLINE, OVID, Cochrane Library Central, and for articles published from 2009 to 2019. With predetermined inclusion criteria, all human trials with hemp intervention were included. A total of 18 human trials were identified, investigating therapeutic effects on the neuronal, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal and immune system, with sample sizes ranging from one to 194 subjects. Three randomised controlled trials showed hempseed pills (in Traditional Chinese Medicine formulation MaZiRenWan) consumption significantly improved spontaneous bowel movement in functional constipation. The use of commercial cannabidiol (CBD) sourced from hemp suggested benefits in cannabis dependence, epilepsy, and anxiety disorders. However, there was insufficient evidence to suggest analgesic or anxiolytics effects of hemp being equivalent to marijuana. All clinical trials reviewed varied in terms of test item formulation and standardisation, which made it challenging to confirm overall efficacy for a specific disease or condition. Published efficacy data on hemp are still at a preliminary level, with limited high quality clinical evidence for any specific therapeutic indication. With multiple variants of this plant having different phytochemical and bioactive compounds, future empirical research should focus on uniformity in experimental designs to further strengthen the notion of using medicinal hemp.

Keywords: Cannabis, Herbal Medicine, complementary medicine, hemp

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1 Preclinical Evidence of Pharmacological Effect from Medicinal Hemp

Authors: Muhammad nor Farhan Sa'At, Xin Y. Lim, Terence Y. C. Tan, Siti Hajar M. Rosli, Syazwani S. Ali, Ami F. Syed Mohamed


INTRODUCTION: Hemp (Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa), commonly used for industrial purposes, differs from marijuana by containing lower levels of delta-9-tetrahydronannabidiol- the principal psychoactive constituent in cannabis. Due to its non-psychoactive nature, there has been growing interest in hemp’s therapeutic potential, which has been investigated through pre-clinical and clinical study modalities. OBJECTIVE: To provide an overview of the current landscape of hemp research, through recent scientific findings specific to the pharmacological effects of the medicinal hemp plant and its derived compounds. METHODS: This review was conducted through a systematic search strategy according to the preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis-ScR (PRISMA-ScR) checklist on electronic databases including MEDLINE, OVID (OVFT, APC Journal Club, EBM Reviews), Cochrane Library Central and RESULTS: From 65 primary articles reviewed, there were 47 pre-clinical studies related to medicinal hemp. Interestingly, the hemp derivatives showed several potential activities such as anti-oxidative, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-neuroinflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-acne, and anti-microbial activities. Renal protective effects and estrogenic properties were also exhibited in vitro. CONCLUSION: Medicinal hemp possesses various pharmacological effects tested in vitro and in vivo. Information provided in this review could be used as tool to strengthen the study design of future clinical trial research.

Keywords: Cannabis, Herbal Medicine, hemp, preclinical

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