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Study: Marijuana eases traumatic memories
Seattle Times ^ | 08/01/02 | Faye Flam

Posted on 08/02/2002 1:19:14 PM PDT by bat-boy

PHILADELPHIA — Scientists have known for years that the brain makes substances almost identical to the active ingredient in marijuana, but the function of these "cannabinoids" remained mysterious. Researchers now say they help to extinguish traumatic memories.

"In certain situations, being able to forget is very important for emotional survival," said George Kunos, a neurobiologist at the National Institutes of Health.

The research, published today in the journal Nature, is not an endorsement for pot smoking, scientists said. Instead, the findings may help scientists develop new drugs to treat anxiety, post-traumatic-stress disorder and phobias.

"This paper is not saying you should go ahead and smoke marijuana," said Pankaj Sah, a neuroscientist at the Australian National University in Canberra who wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal. "It's saying that it's worth thinking about these specific actions of these compounds."

In the 1980s, scientists were surprised to find the brain has special receptors for the psychoactive elements in cannabis, Kunos said. An Israeli scientist named Rafael Mechoulam then found that the brain made its own versions of these cannabinoids.

To figure out why, authors of this latest study, from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, Germany, decided to examine mice that had been engineered genetically so that they lacked cannabinoid receptors.

Neuroscientist Beat Lutz said he and his colleagues conditioned the mice to associate a mild shock with the sound of a bell. Normal mice eventually lost the association between the bell and the shock. "They figure out that the tone is not dangerous anymore and say, 'I don't have to freeze,' " Lutz said.

But the mice lacking the cannabinoid system never readjust, always freezing in terror at the sound.

Researchers also found that normal mice produce the natural cannabinoids when they are extinguishing their traumatic association with the bell.

It's not clear whether the cannabinoid system helps the mice to forget the traumatic association of the bell and the shock, or just gives them enough mental flexibility to adjust to a new situation, Lutz said. It's possible that the cannabinoids are important for the ability to relearn and readjust in a number of situations.

Kunos, from the National Institutes of Health, said that the cannabinoids probably play other roles. Using similar methods to Lutz, he found that they help regulate appetite.

Sah, of the Australian National University, said the latest findings may explain why some people with psychiatric problems try to find relief with marijuana. Although experts often have labeled marijuana use as a contributor to these people's mental illness, he suggested that people with certain psychiatric problems perhaps are self-medicating in an attempt to help their brains extinguish some painful or traumatic memory or thought.

Lester Grinspoon, a pro-marijuana psychiatrist at Harvard University and author of the 1971 book "Marijuana Reconsidered," said he would like to see cannabis made into pills that could be prescribed, but said the drug is not patentable and therefore would be unattractive for drug companies to manufacture and market.

Lutz suggested that, instead of supplying extra cannabinoids, a drug might enhance the effects of natural ones.

He also suggested such a drug might need to be taken in conjunction with psychotherapy, during which patients would work on getting rid of fearful associations.

"Just smoking marijuana all day won't help," he said.

Copyright © 2002 The Seattle Times Company


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
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1 posted on 08/02/2002 1:19:14 PM PDT by bat-boy
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To: bat-boy
Typical liberal scientist and media spin. Real headline should be, "Marijuana causes memory loss."
2 posted on 08/02/2002 1:20:29 PM PDT by Thane_Banquo
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To: Thane_Banquo
Study results to be released tomorrow: "Despite numerous advances in biological science, human mortality rate remains steady at 100%"
3 posted on 08/02/2002 1:22:11 PM PDT by Frumanchu
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To: Thane_Banquo
Typical liberal scientist and media spin. Real headline should be, "Marijuana causes memory loss."

you beat me to it.

now where in the hell did i put my joints and roach clip...

4 posted on 08/02/2002 1:25:01 PM PDT by mlocher
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To: Thane_Banquo
I don't think memory loss would be correct. I think the phrase "eases all memor..."...what was I talking about?
5 posted on 08/02/2002 1:25:15 PM PDT by RobRoy
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To: bat-boy
Makes you stupid, too.
6 posted on 08/02/2002 1:30:44 PM PDT by WriteOn
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To: bat-boy
Reduces traumatic memories, like that of a users first drug bust I guess? LOL

Come to think of it, it reduces all memories, doesn't it?

I don't know how we get pro-illegal-drug crowds here at FR.

Is this now the choice of all pushers and drug lords?

I'm just amazed how hard a few push the illegal drugs here. It seems an un-Godly vice. I don't see a conservative connection to drugs at all.

Is this being done in some bent version of a warped view of freedom? If so, how sad!
7 posted on 08/02/2002 1:39:31 PM PDT by A CA Guy
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To: A CA Guy
I post these articles because I get a kick out of pissing off jerk-offs like you.

This bud's for you....

8 posted on 08/02/2002 1:44:51 PM PDT by bat-boy
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To: A CA Guy
Excuse me, genius, but could you explain to me what would motivate a drug pusher to want drugs to be legalized? Their entire profit is contigent on drugs being illegal. Did Al Capone ever demand that prohibition be repealed?
9 posted on 08/02/2002 1:46:26 PM PDT by Dakmar
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To: bat-boy
lol
10 posted on 08/02/2002 1:47:03 PM PDT by Dakmar
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To: Dakmar
True, I'm not into the drug issue with as great a lust as you!
11 posted on 08/02/2002 1:48:09 PM PDT by A CA Guy
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To: bat-boy
How immature of you then I guess!

Well, enjoy yourself.
12 posted on 08/02/2002 1:49:14 PM PDT by A CA Guy
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To: Dakmar
Did Al Capone ever demand that prohibition be repealed?

Well, I have heard the bootleggers fought against the repeal of prohibition.

13 posted on 08/02/2002 1:52:45 PM PDT by gracie1
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To: Dakmar
I was going to say something but now I forget what it was.
14 posted on 08/02/2002 1:56:32 PM PDT by Khepera
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Memory loss is most profound in the presence of police.

"Wh . . . how'd that weed get in muh pocket?"

15 posted on 08/02/2002 2:00:10 PM PDT by Conagher
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To: A CA Guy
You apparently aren't into logic at all. See, if drugs were legal, they would be sold by legal businesses, requiring licenses, bonds, insurance, accountants, and all those things that your average crack dealer really can't comprehend. Prohibition is the only thing making their small, poorly run business profitable.
16 posted on 08/02/2002 2:00:31 PM PDT by Dakmar
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To: bat-boy
I'm just amazed how hard a few push the illegal drugs here. It seems an un-Godly vice. I don't see a conservative connection to drugs at all.

While it may seem to be an un-Godly vice to many, so is tobacco and alchohol. Funny how people want to the gummit intruding on some peoples activities but not others when basicly it's no worse an activity.

17 posted on 08/02/2002 2:00:39 PM PDT by gracie1
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To: Khepera
Have a few beers, you'll think of something to say.
18 posted on 08/02/2002 2:03:00 PM PDT by Dakmar
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To: bat-boy
" It's possible that the cannabinoids are important for the ability to relearn and readjust in a number of situations. "

I think this is an important find. When I first smoked weed, I was in college and it seemed to help me understand the world around me. It also helped me understand calculus. I loved doing calculus when I was stoned.

Now It makes a little more since. Weed helped me readjust to my new life away from home and to relearn mathematical theories studied but not understood in HS.
19 posted on 08/02/2002 2:05:57 PM PDT by Chess
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To: bat-boy; Dakmar
*sigh*

The pro-weed folks are at it again. It's such a pain to have to dodge the cops and go down to your local dealer to get weed, isn't it? Let's legalize it so you folks won't be pariahs any more. But then the lustre of being anti-establishment would be gone, wouldn't it?

Some people just never grow up.

20 posted on 08/02/2002 2:11:43 PM PDT by Conagher
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To: Conagher
If you want to continue letting the government roughshod over the rights of peaceful hardworking Americans, spending billions of dollars a year on a futile dog-and-pony show, and carry on a program rooted in racism, socialism, and New Deal politics, that is your God given right. I am simply exercising my First amendment rights to free speech by calling them on it. Do you have a problem with that?
21 posted on 08/02/2002 2:18:50 PM PDT by Dakmar
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To: bat-boy
Honestly, there are things I wish I could forget. Things that produce nightmares. If further research could identify a chemical "tag" for stressful memories, and thereby produce a treatment for culling them out, I would take it in a heartbeat, even if it meant having to re-learn a lot of stuff. I post a lot of flippant things on FR, but I am certainly not joking here.

By the way, I really get a kick at all the knee-jerk reactions I see here on FR to any post at all concerning any drug (legal or not). Obviously, if you post anything to do with a drug, you MUST be a pot-smokin', 60's lovin', Godless drug crazed hippie (or worse, a "Libertarian").

I'll go on the record with the following:

(1) I never have, nor will I ever take any drugs for recreational purposes. It seems wasteful and dangerous to me. I would advise anyone asking me to avoid doing so as well.

(2) As long as you do not bother me, my family, or my livelihood, I don't care if you lock yourself up in your basement and get as high as a kite. Commit a crime against me or mine, whether you are high or not, then you get my attention in a most negative fashion.

(3) The "Legalize Drugs and the Profit will Disappear" argument would only work IF (and this is a BIG IF) the companies producing and supplying the drugs to the consumers were FREE FROM LAWSUITS. Sure, coke would be cheap to grow and refine, but the cost would still be very high (no pun intended) if the price had to include the cost of defending against lawsuits of unhappy customers or their families. Just look at the lawsuits now against Cigarette makers and even fast food joints. (Sorry, used the word "joint", I must be a pot smoker to some of you now)

(4) The theraputic effects of many substances are discovered either by accident, trial and error, or by some studies such as this. Inital use of opiates as pain relivers led to much better drugs later. You can't just dismiss basic research on it's face, just because it is looking at something you don't approve of.

Well, there, I'm off my rant.

-Rebel Ace
22 posted on 08/02/2002 2:21:05 PM PDT by Rebel_Ace
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To: Conagher
Why should adults be told what to ingest, in the privacy of their own home? Why shouldn't they be allowed a safe escape from this dangerous, stressful world?

Alcohol, you say?

Alcohol will kill you. It is much stronger than weed and much more dangerous. It tends to make people violent.

Anyway, I have an ulcer. ;)
23 posted on 08/02/2002 2:21:09 PM PDT by Chess
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To: Chess
I guess you prefer risky moves "Chess"!
24 posted on 08/02/2002 2:22:51 PM PDT by A CA Guy
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To: Rebel_Ace
Well, that was spoken like the Rebel you call yourself. You are honest and anyone can appreciate that Ace!

Have a good day.
25 posted on 08/02/2002 2:23:52 PM PDT by A CA Guy
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To: Dakmar
I'm so sorry that you don't have the right to do absolutely everything you possibly want to do whenever and wherever you choose, regardless of the effect upon others and the societal fabric in general.

< /sarcasm>

If you don't mind, we're trying to run a society here.

26 posted on 08/02/2002 2:26:08 PM PDT by Conagher
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To: Dakmar
If you don't like a representative Republic, have you thought of moving to an island and forming your own country?

You can take your interpretation of the Constitution there and see if it causes all to thrive or stall in drug use.
27 posted on 08/02/2002 2:26:34 PM PDT by A CA Guy
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To: Chess
If one's only refuge from the world comes from chemicals, he has bigger problems than which ones are legal.
28 posted on 08/02/2002 2:28:35 PM PDT by Conagher
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To: All
Have a great day and week-end.

Drug threads don't deserve any more time.
29 posted on 08/02/2002 2:28:49 PM PDT by A CA Guy
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To: A CA Guy
Hear, hear.

The same tired ol' arguments for legalizing drugs are just as unpersuasive as they've ever been.

30 posted on 08/02/2002 2:30:37 PM PDT by Conagher
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To: Conagher
If I choose to smoke pot in my home it affects no one but myself. Why should the government be involved? It's perfectly legal to go home and get drunk on alcohol, which dramatically increases the likelihood of my harming others, so why is one legal and the other illegal?
31 posted on 08/02/2002 2:33:06 PM PDT by Dakmar
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To: A CA Guy
I can't wait to hear what you learn in next weeks DARE class.
32 posted on 08/02/2002 2:33:49 PM PDT by Dakmar
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To: Conagher
But then the lustre of being anti-establishment would be gone, wouldn't it?

Don’t worry about it, just legalize it, too soon the democrats will be back in power and we can all be anti-establishment right?

33 posted on 08/02/2002 2:40:43 PM PDT by TightSqueeze
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To: A CA Guy
Wow, I haven't seen you for a while. Haven't missed you a bit. However, since you are here, taking up space and breathing my air, answer a question for me. Since the war on drugs started back in the 1910's and 1930's as methods of controlling one group or another and (in the '30s) keeping prohibition agents employed, liars like Harry Anslinger, and had NOTHING WHATEVER to do with any medical problems seen, the whole thing was built on lies, half-truths and distortions... Marijuana was touted as being used by jazz musicians and negroes and caused white women to seek sexual relations with negroes and mexicans and the like, according to Anslinger. So my question for you is, why should we KEEP a prohibition which has no Constitutional underpinnings but was based on deception and a desire to control others? You always want someone to justify getting rid of it. I want you, based on how it came into being, to justify KEEPING it. Can you do it, factually and responsibly?

Got the stones to take a stab at actually answering me? Please do try to stay focused and on point.
34 posted on 08/02/2002 3:15:32 PM PDT by dcwusmc
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To: bat-boy
Last statistic I read was that a shot of booze destroys a couple million brain cells

Alcoholics have a term called Wet Brain
35 posted on 08/02/2002 3:21:51 PM PDT by uncbob
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To: A CA Guy
A "vice," eh? Since when are your ooglies about someone else's vice -- be it smoking (whatever plant), drinking, or beating off five times times a day -- justification for the application of government force and coercion in a futile effort to stamp out that vice?
36 posted on 08/02/2002 4:11:51 PM PDT by mvpel
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To: A CA Guy
actually you cannot take the constitution anywhere... it was printed on grass... cannibas... hemp... whatever... and it weighs more than the legal limit. It is in fact, a controlled substance.

Nice try though.
37 posted on 08/02/2002 5:36:16 PM PDT by Robert_Paulson2
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To: gracie1
true prohibituion made them rich... and they knew it.
38 posted on 08/02/2002 5:40:26 PM PDT by Robert_Paulson2
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To: bat-boy
"In certain situations, being able to forget is very important for emotional survival," said George Kunos, a neurobiologist at the National Institutes of Health.


Hence the popularity among Viet Nam vets.



39 posted on 08/02/2002 6:07:05 PM PDT by unitedwestand
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To: dcwusmc; A CA Guy
Your silence is deafening.... and most telling. Are you as hypocritical in every OTHER part of your life?
40 posted on 08/02/2002 6:13:22 PM PDT by dcwusmc
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To: Conagher; Wolfie; headsonpikes; WyldKard; WindMinstrel; FreeTally; tacticalogic; Xenalyte; EBUCK; ..
If you don't mind, we're trying to run a society here.

Perhaps you should let society run itself. It's been chuggin' along for thousands of years before you came along.

41 posted on 08/02/2002 6:21:27 PM PDT by Dakmar
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To: bat-boy
Stupidity and lies reach new high-water marks.

I worked with combat VN-Vets for 20 years who used marijuana heavily and daily for decades, only to come into treatment because by 1989, 1969 was like yesterday.

The brain is designed for endogenous OPIOIDS, not cannabinoids. This is the bald-faced lie part.

Unless pot-freaks are willing to admit their "benign" pot is really the same as heroin after all.
42 posted on 08/02/2002 7:27:38 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Dakmar
If I'm "your average crack dealer," I don't need to buy licenses, bonds, hire accountants, pay insurance, and taxes.

And you think those who do, are going to put me out of business.

Who needs lessons in logic?
43 posted on 08/02/2002 7:33:16 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: hinckley buzzard
If I'm "your average crack dealer," I don't need to buy licenses, bonds, hire accountants, pay insurance, and taxes.

Yes, you have yet another advantage over more traditional small businesses - you're clientele has no interest in whether or not you are legit, because they know you are running an illegal business from the get-go, that's why they're there AFAICT.

And you think those who do, are going to put me out of business.

Damn right they won't - they're the ones spending money on insurance, salaries, and all that other happy stuff that keep businesses running. Criminals don't have such expenses, that's why no one likes them

Who needs lessons in logic?

I'll bet you will get ticked off if I answer that with : "you?", so how could I resist?

44 posted on 08/02/2002 8:01:33 PM PDT by Dakmar
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To: Thane_Banquo
Bill & Hillary swore under oath they couldn't remember several hundred times. Would have been worse had he inhaled.
45 posted on 08/02/2002 8:05:29 PM PDT by gitmo
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To: A CA Guy

I don't know how we get pro-illegal-drug crowds here at FR.

Who is the "we" you speak of if not your collectivist fabrication. And you speak of "here at FR" (FreeRepublic), when Jim Robison owns the forum and he is against the WOD. So the valid question is: how are you allowed on this forum? I suspect Jim thought opposition would make for balanced discussion/debate. Anytime you want to partake in an honest debate without using ad hominems, without using rhetoric and without using hyperbole just let the people on the thread know that and I'm sure a good discussion/debate will follow.

46 posted on 08/02/2002 8:13:44 PM PDT by Zon
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To: A CA Guy

I don't know how we get pro-illegal-drug crowds here at FR.

Who is the "we" you speak of if not your collectivist fabrication. And you speak of "here at FR" (FreeRepublic), when Jim Robison owns the forum and he is against the WOD. So the valid question is: how are you allowed on this forum? I suspect Jim thought opposition would make for balanced discussion/debate. Anytime you want to partake in an honest debate without using ad hominems, without using rhetoric and without using hyperbole just let the people on the thread know that and I'm sure a good discussion/debate will follow.

47 posted on 08/02/2002 8:14:33 PM PDT by Zon
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To: RobRoy
ha. Actually the scientists started a study to see if the wicked weed had medicinal qualities, but halfway through they got the munchies and forgot what the study was about.
48 posted on 08/02/2002 8:17:25 PM PDT by patriot5186
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To: Conagher
Nice to see that your comments and arguments against drug legalisation smack of 'Just say NO!' Keep up the good work. You're really convincing!
49 posted on 08/02/2002 11:06:25 PM PDT by JediGirl
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To: JediGirl; Conagher
Nice to see that your comments and arguments against drug legalisation smack of 'Just say NO!' Keep up the good work. You're really convincing!

From the web page, The White House, President George W. Bush:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/firstladies/nr40.html

Now living in retirement with her husband in California, [Nancy Reagan] continues to work on her campaign to teach children to "just say no" to drugs, though her husband and her home remain her first priority. In her book My Turn, published in 1989, she gives her own account of her life in the White House. Through the joys and sorrows of those days, including the assassination attempt on her husband, Nancy Reagan held fast to her belief in love, honesty, and selflessness. "The ideals have endured because they are right and are no less right today than yesterday."

God bless the Reagans, and God bless America.

50 posted on 08/02/2002 11:57:45 PM PDT by gg188
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