Skip to comments.Marijuana Use Causes Brain Damage Confirmed
Posted on 11/23/2012 7:07:00 AM PST by lbryce
Scientists have confirmed the long-held suspicion that frequent heavy marijuana use damages the brain's memory and learning capacity.
"Our results suggest that long-term cannabis use is hazardous to white matter in the developing brain. This was especially true for those who had started in adolescence, as we know the brain is still developing during this time," Lead researcher Dr. Marc Seal, from Melbournes Murdoch Children's Research Institute said in a university release.
Scientists from MCRI, Melbourne University and Wollongong University compared MRI scans of the brain for 59 people who had been using marijuana for an average of 15 years to 33 healthy people who had never used the drug.
After measuring changes to the volume, strength and integrity of white matter in the brains of all participants, researchers found that long-term heavy cannabis users had disruptions in their white matter fibers.
The brain's white matter is responsible for information passed between different areas of grey matter within the nervous system, and unlike grey matter, which are the brain's thinking areas that peaks at age eight, white matter continues to develop as people age.
Seal and his team found that there was more than 80 percent reduction of white matter in the brains of users.
Additionally, researchers found that the average age of participants in the study started using cannabis when they were 16 years old, participants who started using the drug at a younger age like 10 or 11 had even more severe brain damage.
"This is the first study to demonstrate the age at which regular cannabis use begins is a key factor in determining the severity of the brain damage," Seal said, according to AAP.
He explained that marijuana interferes with naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors in the brain and by introducing external cannabinoids into a person's system it stops their white matter from maturing.
Researchers linked the significant changes in the white matter in the brain's hippocampus and commissural fibers, suggesting that long-term marijuana use may lead to memory impairment and deficits in learning and concentration ability.
"These people can have trouble learning new things and they are going to have trouble remembering things," Seal said.
"We don't know if the changes are irreversible but we do know that these changes are quite significant," he added.
Researchers said that the findings could not be explained by recreational drug and alcohol use. Researchers will monitor participants for the next two years to detect any further changes.
The latest findings add to results from previous smaller studies that showed that the brain's memory center, the hippocampus, shrunk in heavy marijuana users.
Pot Heads: Another valuable part of the Democrats’ winning coalition.
Based on voting record and lack of work ethic, crack cocaine obviously has the same effect on the Black population.
Just look at President Trainwreck as a prime example of why marijuana should never be legalized. I am not talking about LEGITIMATE medical prescriptions.
"Well you see, Norm, it's like this... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo and when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive drinking of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers."
Works for me with beer. Not so sure about pot?
I continued a lot of that drug use after getting out.
I met Jesus in 1981 and stopped smoking reefer after about 15 years of late teens to early thirties usage.
I will attest and affirm that what this article is saying is true.
I have CRS disease and
I have CRS disease and ...
I have ...
Ever wonder why up to 20% of kids are now classified autistic,neurologically impaired, various learning disorders etc. and why we are spending huge amounts of money trying in a futile attempt to educate them? Maybe someone should have the nerve to ask their mothers just what their habits were like? American decadence results in social rot. In a democracy you get leaders like Obama that reflect the culture’s prevailing values. The rest of us ought to become familiar with the concept of the “faithful remnant.”
Nice work. We knew this back in high school.
To translate: We don't really know, but give us more money to study it. It's "for the chilrun..."..
Ultimatly, the left’s ideology will come ‘round and bite them from behind when it’s disocovered that that “be all you can be” is not a personal aspiration, but a debt you owe the “collective”.
“Our results suggest that long-term cannabis use is hazardous to white matter...”
White matter? That’s just racist.
Al Sharpton to spotlight this on MSNBC. “Why Minorities Deserve To Have Brain Matter Named After Them And Why The Government Should Provide Financial Remuneration To Minorities For Said Discrimination”...tonight at 6pm.
You’re dealing with the lexicon of so called scientists who
are forced to employ “weasel words” to cover their rear-ends
but in reality they know the truth but can’t have it said in a non-irrefutable way. just in case.
I can attest to... wait... what?
IOW, what they say is not necessarily correct, but they are happy for the check. As a long time MJ smoker in a former life, I have had no memory problems, and no health related problems. I believe MJ is not the problem, but is made unpopular by a willing alcohol tolerant society. It is tough competition. I hate the 'drunk' feeling, personally! My lungs are clear, and my mind is ... what was I talking about?
... and by the way, anthropomorphic global warming is fact! /sarc
photo: Dan Coyro / Santa Cruz, Calif., Sentinel via AP
A cloud of smoke rises above University Santa Cruz students and non-students Monday as they gather on the school's campus in Santa Cruz, Calif., to celebrate "420," in which marijuana smokers gather each April 20 to smoke pot at 4:20 p.m.
I can attest to... wait... what?
I can attest to... wait... what?
And getting a “good” education doesn't seem to help. I saw a picture here on FR of a college senior carrying a sign saying she couldn't find a job in her “feild”. Feild? Feild?$40,000 paid out for instruction and she can't spell?
Hundreds of tons of pot being smoked each year is not without effect on society.
Just don’t bogart!
Like, wow, that 420 thing is SO damn clever, only why don't they do it at 4:20 a.m.? And 420 degrees is the temperature at which zig-zag paper ignites. And there were 420 people there, too. And next year they are going to have "421" and "422" and "423" and a whole bunch of other ones.
marijuana ,Brain Food for Liberals
Based on his pot-addled brain, obama should be removed from office for medical reasons and replaced with pot- and alcohol-addled Joe Biden.
It’s why I stick to Tequila and Wild Turkey, as it make me feel smarter, more alert, refreshed and makes me more aware when I drive. In fact, I feel wide awake in the morning, and no longer have the urge to drink coffee. Instead I just have a couple cups of Wild Turkey and I’m ready for the day! It’s good for the brain.
There is good evidence as well that emotional memories are hardest hit. The laying down of such memory traces is, of course, a key step in the process of emotional learning, ie emotional maturation, ie growing up.
This is evident in the myriad adults who began their MJ habit in their mid teens, and are emotionally stuck there decades later.
It is also the reason why, if a patient comes to me (a shrink) and wants psychotherapy/counseling, and is smoking even a little bit of MJ, I tell them they can have psychotherapy or they can have psychotherapy (emotional learning), but they cannot have both, at least not from me. For me as a doctor, it’s not not at all a legal or even a moral issue - the two are simply incompatible. Psychotherapy simply won’t work in someone using MJ. It also presents a complicating factor if I prescribe meds. In private practice, I have the luxury (at least for now) of selecting who I will and who I will not work with, and if a patient is using MJ and won’t stop, I simply refer them on.
Well, that certainly helps explain why my two uber lib brothers think and act the way they do. I put down the herb in 1971, but they’re still ‘bogarting that joint’.
The ninth grade sounds like a good place to learn second or third grade reading. What did they learn in second or third grade?
Sex ed and why I have two mommies.
I think the “Great Election of 2012” proved this.
The picture of Obama draggin on weed should have been the GOP campaign poster - but then, that probably would have just gotten him MORE votes with the upstanding citizens we have.
In the 1930s into the 1950s the only people who smoked pot were some blacks, some Mexicans, and some jazz musicians. Pot is a 3rd world intoxicant and suitable for the 3rd world where it is natively from. You should smoke pot if you want to have a 3rd world mentality. If you want to participate in traditional European civilization that advances in science and technology then alcohol is your intoxicant plus it has a history going back to the Hebrews and the Bible. Where wine is often mentioned but (so so sad is it not?) marijuana is never.
By way of contrast, hashish smoking has been common is many Muslim cultures, helped along by the Koranic ban on alcohol
So short term infrequent use is just fine and has been found it "may" increase your IQ by 7.83%...
MaryJane will always be safer than alcohol ever was...no matter how strong it gets.
I’m sure there are conservatives who smoke dope, but the only people who’ve admitted to me that they were heavy dopers when they were young are all strong libs. So it’s a chicken or the egg thing: does smoking dope lead to liberalism or does liberalism lead to smoking dope? Nevertheless, the facts are pretty much indisputable: smoking dope causes brain damage. Most brain damaged people i.e. current or ex-heavy dopers vote for Dems. You make the call.
The Libertarians and Dems are fighting over these chumps. The recent election, many states just made medical marijuana legal, a real joke the way this has turned out in California so look for more of the same. I see this medical marijuana dude (notice his derby and pigtail hair) on TV a lot
We already knew this. Go to any Ron Paul gathering.
Are you saying that psychotherapy is ineffective only against those actively using MJ, but works fine in cases of practicing alcoholics or others actively using licit or illicit drugs?
The truth is that being addicted to any drug arrests emotional development and this effect is not limited to just MJ.
What’s funny is how potheads always claim that pot has no affect on them and claim they are normal but it is almost always obvious they smoke the ganja.
They’ll know how to do sex even if they can’t spell it. Ain’t that just wonderful.
Well I don’t use any drugs, BUT heavy long term use of any drug will cause brain damage.
See the effect of a couple of six packs a day will do to the brain of a user after 20 years.
Unfortunately, this gives some credence to the number of people who are now on social security due to mental issues.
The cost of pot use to this country is enormous. We need public service campaigns to dispel the myth that pot is not dangerous.