Casual Marijuana Use linked with (Young Adult) Brain Abnormalities, Study finds


#1

For the first time, researchers at Northwestern University have analyzed the relationship between casual use of marijuana and brain changes – and found that young adults (18 to 25) who used cannabis just once or twice a week showed significant abnormalities in two important brain structures.

The study’s findings, to be published Wednesday in the Journal of Neuroscience, are similar to those of past research linking chronic, long-term marijuana use with mental illness and changes in brain development.

Dr. Hans Breiter, co-senior study author, said he was inspired to look at the effects of casual marijuana use after previous work in his lab found that heavy cannabis use caused similar brain abnormalities to those seen in patients with schizophrenia.

foxnews.com/health/2014/04/15/casual-marijuana-use-linked-with-brain-abnormalities-study-finds/

The Downside of High–Nature of Things Science Program

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=713618

Let the Young Marijuana Smoker Beware.

You can watch The Downside of High–Nature of Things Science Program on LiveLeak:

liveleak.com/view?i=ac3_1337879058


#2

Now, did the brain abnormalities happen because they smoked marijuana, or did they smoke marijuana because they already had brain abnormalities?

(Full disclosure: The only thing I smoke is incense, at a distance.)


#3

Wow, finally a study neurologically confirming what common observation of users always showed.


#4

Wasn’t there some other studies a while back that proved that listening to Fox News lowers your IQ?

And they used more than 40 subjects… :rolleyes:


#5

If you would have bothered to go to the link instead of just spouting off your anti-Fox quip, you would have seen that the study was from a university and the results are being published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The studies were not done by Fox News, so no need to kill the messenger.

Unfortunately, there will always be those that will find their own studies to support their use of weed and tell people it is harmless.


#6

If I didn’t read the article, how did i find out that there was 40 test subjects involved one would wonder… :rolleyes: I have seen Fox news highlight much more convincing “studies” from sources much more impressive than the “Journal of Neuroscience” that would indicate that everyone on this earth already should have cancer by now. And mind you, the stuides I mentioned are not about “my” use of weed. (what use? :confused:)

Unfortunately, there will always be those that blindy accept anything they read without any critical thinking and are passive aggresive about it :rolleyes:


#7

That’s probably the most pertinent question. It is widely known that people with undiagnosed mental disorders self-medicate. If they see similarities in smokers to brains that are mentally ill, could it not be because the person IS mentally ill? I wonder what the MRIs looked like before the study? Probably exactly the same as the end, so there’d be no way to tell the source of the abnormal brain bits.

Also, will there be full disclosure as to when these smokers started smoking, or is it possible these 20 people have been smoking since their early teens? Remember, even alcohol is not recommended for developing brains. When can we expect the studies on the human brain with regard to people who have been boozing since they were in 7th grade?

Like you, I’ve never smoked anything.


#8

I fixed your post for you. See above.

If alcohol weren’t already legal you would have a much greater stigma against it compared with marijuana. Aside from the official stats which clearly show the sauce to be much more harmful (cost of life and of property etc), just consider your own experiences with drinks versus weed smokers. Drunks are loud, obnoxious, belligerent, rapey (you know what I mean), and violent. Smokers are mellow and smell bad.

Btw, this from the article (that neither phalanx or I read)

Although Breiter’s team members did not examine the patients’ cognitive symptoms, they do believe that the brain abnormalities seen in their study could lead to substantial effects on brain development and behavior, especially given the young ages of the participants. *Breiter also acknowledged the problems of analyzing a very small study sample – but said that their findings should still serve as a wake-up call to others.


#9

Yes, it can be harmful. But does that mean we should attempt to forcefully prevent adults from harming themselves?

Tobacco, alcohol, wood fires, and plenty of other things are bad for one’s health too. Should we ban those as well?


#10

People can dispute this study, but this study is one of many that has found negative linkages, so to speak, with use of marijuana. Are they all flawed?

As for the what seems like regular comparison to alcohol, where is the evidence that a joint is equal too in terms of intoxication or side effects to a glass of alcohol? Alcohol probably kills more people than marijuana does, but that is not a reason to legalise marijuana. There are all kinds of harmful plants and manmade chemicals that may not kill as many as alcohol, but would people think to legalise them? People make comparisons between the number of alcohol related deaths and marijuana related deaths, but do they look not just at direct deaths caused by the substance, but deaths caused by the brain being impared with that substance? How many are killed by people who are driving a car while intoxicated with marijuana and that marijuana contributing directly to the intoxication level of the driver which causes him/her to be involved in a fatal crash?

“Currently, one of nine drivers involved in fatal crashes would test positive for marijuana,” said co-author Dr. Guohua Li, director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia. “If this trend continues, in five or six years non-alcohol drugs will overtake alcohol to become the most common substance involved in deaths related to impaired driving.”

philly.com/philly/health/topics/HealthDay684515_20140204_Fatal_Car_Crashes_Involving_Pot_Use_Have_Tripled_in_U_S___Study_Finds.html

Were the people involved in fatal crashes only intoxicated with marijuana and not other substances? I do not know, but what is known is that marijuana does have psychoactive effects.


#11

The “for the first time” is misleading. This may be the first time researchers at Northwestern discovered this link, but there have been multiple studies indicating a strong causal effect between THC use and permanent brain damage and psychosis (notably schizophrenia). The link has been know for decades, later studies typically show an even stronger effect, possibly because THC concentration in cannabis today is 20x what it was when cannabis use was first seriously studied earlier in the 20th century. Psychiatric Times published a review article on all this a couple years ago.

Though I don’t think anyone should use it I would personally be in favor of legalizing the recreational use of cannabis, just as the personal use of all naturally-growing things put on this Earth by our Creator ought to be left to individual human reason and not arbitrary laws. I believe it is not possible to use cannabis recreationally without abusing it, even if the user does not believe he is abusing it. As a Catholic I believe drug abuse is a sin. However as a Catholic I believe the struggle against temptation to sin is something that is up to the individual and the grace of the Holy Spirit. We certainly ought not to encourage it and we ought to do what we can peacefully to discourage it, such as by not supporting companies that benefit from drug paraphanalia or art. However it is immoral and against Catholic teaching to use violent force to deny a responsibly adult the opportunity to resist temptation on their own, and the force of law is ultimately violence. (This is why we say it is wrong to incarcerate someone on suspicion that they might in the future engage in criminal activity, no matter how strong our suspicion.) Thus even though I disapprove of recreational cannabis use I believe it ought to be legal. If God is not willing to infringe someone’s free will in order to save them, then we certainly are obligated to respect their freedom of choice as well. (Catholics ought to be legitimately pro-choice. The “pro choice” lie promoting infantice/abortion is of course a lie, since the infant’s choice is neither sought after nor respected. As a side note, it is imperative that we reclaim the language of debate from those who falsely pretend to defend “choice” while they promote murder and the removal of all choice for an infant life.)

However I can’t support legalization of recreational cannabis at this time because the proponents of cannabis legalization have so blatantly and objectively lied about the effects of its use. They claim that alcohol is legal and so thus too cannabis ought to be. But everyone knows that alcohol has serious side-effects and can cause permanent brain damage. The proponents of cannabis either outright lie or severely misrepresent the truth about the effects of the drug. (Or are themselves ignorant of these and are thus guilty of irresponsibly promoting a drug they do not understand.) They pretend that THC is safe, when it is a fact that the chemical effects of THC on the brain are far more dangerous and far more likely to produce permanent deleterious effect.

Medical cannabis use is of course a different story. As with almost all therapeutic drugs, cannabis has both legitimate medical use and deleterious side effects. The potentially harmful side effects are no reason to ban the medical use of the drug. Chemotherapy treatments are extremely harmful and even potentially fatal, but in some obvious cases the risk-reward tradeoff is worth it. Unfortunately the legitimate promotion of medical cannabis has been completely taken over by liars and charlatans who pretend to defend a “medical drug” while ostentatiously promoting irresponsible recreational drug use. There are many who honestly and legitimately support responsible medical use of the drug, but their voices have been drowned out by those who prowl about the earth seeking the ruin of souls.


#12

Correction on my part – I smoked tobacco for 10-ish years, but not since 1973. I also smoked marijuana once and hashish twice in 1970. Decided I preferred to be in charge of my own mind.


#13

Anybody who knows stoners of any age has known this for a long time.


#14

Are brain abnormalities always bad??? It could be that pot use destroys those primitive parts of the brain responsible for anger and rage, as experienced when most people smoke pot?

LOVE! :heart:


#15

Actually, not all are. It’s very dependent on ethnicity, and for a physiological reason. People of Mediterranean extraction, for example, typically just slowly anaesthetize with excessive alcohol consumption. People from other parts of the world are highly stimulated by it. That’s particularly true of those places or groups whose names begin with “Gal—”; Galatea, Galicia, Galizia and “Gaels” wherever found. Even Julius Caesar remarked about that in his commentaries on the Gallic wars.

I doubt anyone has ever studied whether there are differences in the effects of marijuana on various populations.


#16

Local Colorado news this morning. Man murders his wife in front of their kids while she was on phone with dispatcher. She said he may have eaten ingestible marijuana, that he was hallucinating, and that he was scaring the kids. People who knew him are shocked and said this was a freak occurrence, and that he was a happy-go-lucky, religious man. He had a former DUI, I guess alcohol-related.

9news.com/story/news/crime/2014/04/16/richard-kirk-court-appearance/7781099/


#17

One recalls that the word “assassin” came from the word “hashish”. A subcult of Islam, ruled by a man called the “Old Man of the Mountain” would get young men, feed them a hash-laden drink until they lost consciousness, then move them to a special garden full of lovely maidens. When they awoke, they were told they were in heaven. They were somewhat out of it, and After a bit they would again be heavily drugged and when they awoke, they were no longer in the garden. They were told that the Old Man of the Mountain had taken them to heaven, and that to return eventually, they had to do his bidding, mostly murdering and robbing others.

They were eventually wiped out by the Mongol invaders of the Middle East.

But hashish is nothing but a derivative of marijuana.


#18

Interesting. Do you have a link to the results? (Not doubting you, just curious)


#19

I’m not necessarily disputing the results of this study, however, 20 people is a small sample size. The main point that I’ve tried to make is that alcohol has deleterious effects, too, and is linked with a much greater number of harmful events, yet is legal.

Alcohol probably kills more people than marijuana does, but that is not a reason to legalise marijuana.

But it is a very good reason to reconsider prohibition of alcohol.

There are all kinds of harmful plants and manmade chemicals that may not kill as many as alcohol, but would people think to legalise them? People make comparisons between the number of alcohol related deaths and marijuana related deaths, but do they look not just at direct deaths caused by the substance, but deaths caused by the brain being impared with that substance? How many are killed by people who are driving a car while intoxicated with marijuana and that marijuana contributing directly to the intoxication level of the driver which causes him/her to be involved in a fatal crash?

Yes, these deaths are considered often. Alcohol related vehicle accidents are way more common than those associated with marijuana. Also, you can overdose on alcohol and die, something I’ve heard you can’t do with pot. Look, if you wanna outlaw one of these substances for its ill effects on human health and on society any honest person would have to choose the booze. Alcohol greatly increases risk taking behaviors, unlike marijuana.

Were the people involved in fatal crashes only intoxicated with marijuana and not other substances? I do not know, but what is known is that marijuana does have psychoactive effects.

The stated figure, 1 in 9 MVAs, is misleading because the pot stays in your system for as long as a month. You could be in an accident today and not have smoked in a month, yet it could be claimed, for the sake of a useless and trumped up statistic, that marijuana was somehow involved.


#20

Another story that proves… absolutely nothing. Maybe we should wait for the lab results. Also, what pharmaceuticals was he taking? Sounds more like his psych meds messed him up, but in any event, American news reporting is so lousy, incomplete, and biased on just about all issues, I doubt we’ll ever hear what really happened.

RIP


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