Schaffer Library of Drug Policy

Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding

Marijuana -- Factors Influencing Psychopharmacological Effect - Dose-Time Relationship

US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse

Table of Contents
I. Marihuana and the Problem of Marihuana
Origins of the Marihuana Problem
The Need for Perspective
Formulating Marihuana Policy
The Report
II. Marihuana Use and Its Effects
The Marihuana User
Profiles of Users
Becoming a Marihuana User
Becoming a Multidrug User
Effects of Marihuana on the User
Effects Related to Pattern Use
Immediate Drug Effects
ShortTerm Effects
Long Term Effects
Very Long Term Effects
III. Social Impact of Marihuana Use
IV. Social Response to Marihuana Use
V. Marihuana and Social Policy
Drugs in a Free Society
A Social Control Policy for Marihuana
Implementing the Discouragement Policy
A Final Comment
Ancillary Recommendations
Legal and Law Enforcement Recommendations
Medical Recommendations
Other Recommendations
Letter of Transmittal
Members and Staff
History of Marihuana Use: Medical and Intoxicant
II. Biological Effects of Marihuana
Botanical and Chemical Considerations
Factors Influencing Psychopharmacological Effect
Acute Effects of Marihuana (Delta 9 THC)
Effects of Short-Term or Subacute Use
Effects of Long-Term Cannabis Use
Investigations of Very Heavy Very Long-Term Cannabis Users
III. Marihuana and Public Safety
Marihuana and Crime
Marihuana and Driving
Marihuana - Public Health and Welfare
Assessment of Perceived Risks
Preventive Public Health Concerns
Marihuana and the Dominant Social Order
The World of Youth
Why Society Feels Threatened
The Changing Social Scene
Problems in Assessing the Effects of Marihuana
Marihuana and Violence
Marihuana and (Non-Violent) Crime
Summary and Conclusions: Marihuana and Crime
Marihuana and Driving
History of Marihuana Legislation
History of Alcohol Prohibition
History of Tobacco Regulation
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Factors Influencing Psychopharmacological Effect


Similar time-action curves have been demonstrated for smoked Delta 9 THC and equivalent quantities of smoked marihuana (Hollister et al.,1968; Isbell et al., 1967 Renault et ai., 1971 Kiplinger et al., 1971). Symptoms began almost immediately after smoking (2-3 minutes). At lower doses, the peak effect is seen at 10 to 20 minutes and the duration of effect is 90 minutes to two hours. At higher doses, symptoms persist for three to four hours.

Therefore, as with most drugs, the larger the dose taken, the longer the action. The subjective symptoms experienced by the subject appear to parallel in time the subjective effects and some physiological indices such as pulse rate (Isbell et al., 1967; Hollister, 1968 - Renault and Schuster, 1971; Kiplinger et al., 1971; Galanter et al., 1972; Lemberger et al., 1971). Others such as reddening of the eyes have a delayed peak response and longer duration (Kiplinger et al., 1971).

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