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Effects Of Pot Marijuana has been used as a drug since the beginning oftime yet there are still many mysteries about its healtheffects on humans Marijuana or cannabis sativa is apreparation of the crushed flowers and buds of female hempplant The existence of the plant has been reported asearly as 1500-1200 BC in China and cannabis has beendescribed as an analgesic as early as 200 AD Since then an overwhelming number of studies have attemptedto explain the physical and psychological effects ofcannabis on humans Physical Effects Physically cannabis is relatively harmless Studieshave observed interesting results including that it causesstructural changes in the brain depresses male spermcounts causes chromosome damage lowers testosteronelevels and damages the lungs Most of these claimshowever have been unreplicated in humans or have beencontradicted by other work This section will address eachof these reported negative side-effects Various studies have claimed that cannabis destroys braincells However several other studies found no structuralor neurochemical atrophy in the brain at all Furthermore itshould be noted that Heaths work was sharply criticized foravoiding safeguards of bias and reporting changes thatoccur normally in the mammalian brain Wu et al found a correlation between cannabis useand low sperm counts in human males This is misleadingbecause a decrease in sperm count has not been shown to havea negative effect on fertility and because the sperm countreturns to normal after cannabis use has stopped Another claim made was that cannabis causes chromosomebreakage The primary source for this are studies that wereconducted by Dr Gabriel Nahas in the early 1980s Nahasobserved abnormalities in somatic not sex cells of rhesusmonkeys in vitro ie in test tubes and petri dishes andthen made the unjustified conclusion that these changeswould occur in human bodies in vivo in the body Nahaswork was criticized by his colleagues and in 1983 hebacked away from his own conclusions A widely held claim
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