This just in: Hallucinogen causes hallucinations

My reason for starting this thread is to dispell my ignorance about a couple of studies being reported on. As the title suggests, I’m skeptical.

The article starts out with "New findings on marijuana’s damaging effect on the brain show the drug triggers temporary psychotic symptoms in some people, including hallucinations and paranoid delusions, doctors say. " Well, if it’s damaging, I don’t think the effects would be temporary. Also, saying that marijuana causes hallucinations and paranoid delusions is, AFAICT, a big “duh.”

A second study cited says that Yale University researchers have found that marijuana somehow makes schizophrenics worse, but the patients themselves report that it makes them feel better.

I’m not a user of the stuff, but this all sounds fishy to me. It seems like research conducted with the aim of making the entity that has funded, and/or allowed, the research happy. Does anybody have any knowledge of these studies?

I don’t see a problem here - personally, I’d rate the findings of the researchers just a *leetle *more trustworthy than the testimony of the schizophrenics.

Seems like the patients might have some insight into their disease, don’t you think?

I wouldn’t have thought so, no. Schizophrenia is characterised by impairment of perception, difficulty relating to reality, delusion, cognitive problems, etc. Pretty far down the list of reliable observers, I’d say.

I never thought of pot as a hallucinogen. Is it?

From my years of intensive, um, research, I’d say that marijuana use also shares that characteristic.

Depends who you ask, and where you are in time. When I was in school, it was considered one by a lot of people.

Look, my point isn’t whether marijuana is a mind-altering substance. I actually know the answer to that. My question has to do with the nature of the research. Is it responsible research, or is it a loaded deck? There’s research that suggests that marijuana is clinically useful. The government has decided it isn’t. Etc.

Perhaps it varies with the individual. I’ve taken LSD and other “hallucinogens” several times and never had a visual or auditory hallucination, though my friends did. :frowning: (It’s like there’s a circuit missing in my brain or something . . .)

But WRT pot – I’ve never even heard of somebody hallucinating on pot! And I’ve known a great many potheads.

It depends. Are the researchers basing their findings on some objective evidence? Or is it just a matter of “my professional opinion is worth more than your first-person opinion.”

“You’re obviously feeling depressed.”
“Actually, I feel happy.”
“No, you only think you’re happy.”
“Well if I think I’m happy, isn’t that the same as being happy?”
“Listen, I’m the doctor here and I say you’re depressed.”
“I’m not depressed.”
“Well, you will be soon. You’re very ill.”
“I’m getting better.”
“No you’re not, you’ll be suicidal in a moment.”
“I think I’ll go for a walk.”
“You’re not fooling anyone, you know.”

I work in medical publishing. Personally I’m suspicious when researchers present their results via press release rather than in a medical journal.

Without more information, it’s impossible to assess the value of this study. I would say that a study with only 15 subjects does not really warrant the headline “Doctors: Pot triggers psychotic symptoms.” That said, Little Nemo isn’t far off:

In other words, they’re happy but they’re making everyone else miserable.

I think the same can be said of alcohol. I’ve seen a lot of drunks display psychotic symptoms. It’s not clear how this “damaging effect on the brain” is being assessed – weird behavior and hallucinations aren’t damage. Anyway, there’s this little thing called set and setting: I can see a lot of people reacting rather poorly to a healthy dose of THC and then being made to sit in a metal chair under fluorescent lights while a bunch of PhDs ask you inane questions.

I’ve kinda had hallucinations on pot, but not since when I first started smoking it. I recall one time, back in high school, my friend and I took my dog for a walk at night and smoked a joint on the way. Coming back, I very clearly saw some sort of elf or goblin standing in the middle of the sidewalk, but only for an instant. I blinked, and realized I was just looking at a pattern of shadows cast by the streetlight shining through a bush. It was wierd, but I’ve had similar experiences when I was sober but very tired or distracted.

From eMedicine, which is part of WebMD:

Sounds about right to me.

Actually, Miller, that elf was real. (Don’t ask me how I know; I’ve already said too much.)

Well, I’ve had visual semi-hallucinations a few times when I’ve been very tired. One time after all night of driving I started to see animals running across the road. Not clearly…just out of the corner of my eye, then when I tried to focus on them they disappeared. I pulled off to the side of the road to sleep.

I tried LSD back in my youth, and I never had any literal hallucinations off that. My perceptions were distorted, but I never saw anything that wasn’t there.

I think pot’s effects are best categorized as hallucinogenic.

Because it makes you think you’re happy? :wink:

(I heard some standup comic on Comedy Central, not long ago, point out a fairly obvious fact: “If weed goes up against Prozac, Prozac is gonna lose!”)

I heard some researcher who had a theory about tobacco triggering schizophrenia in some smokers claim that both marijuana and tobacco smokers had elevated levels of schizophrenia. (I have no idea if that’s true)

He said this was explained by most researchers as marijuana causing schizophrenia in previously well users - but by schizophrenic non-smokers turning to tobacco to “self-medicate” because it temporarily relieved their symptoms (or at least made them feel better)
He, on the other hand, was trying to prove that the same mechanism(s) were acting in both cases

I have no idea if he was right, but I do know Diet Coke must be a cause of obesity, because I only see fat people drink it

How do you know it was LSD?

What kind of hallucinations did you experience on pot?

But other than that, what’s your objection?

I remember in high school they used to show all these anti-drug movies. And I’ll never forget one that claimed that marijuana didn’t make you feel good…it just made you THINK you felt good.