07-03-2003, 12:16 PM #1
Heavy Marijuana Use Doesn't Damage Brain
Check it out. Even more evidence that it's not that bad for you. I like the last paragraph best.
Heavy Marijuana Use Doesn't Damage Brain
Analysis of Studies Finds Little Effect From Long-Term Use
By Sid Kirchheimer
Reviewed By Michael Smith, MD
on Tuesday, July 01, 2003
WebMD Medical News
July 1, 2003 -- Long-term and even daily marijuana use doesn't appear to cause permanent brain damage, adding to evidence that it can be a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of diseases, say researchers.
The researchers found only a "very small" impairment in memory and learning among long-term marijuana users. Otherwise, scores on thinking tests were similar to those who don't smoke marijuana, according to a new analysis of 15 previous studies.
In those studies, some 700 regular marijuana users were compared with 484 non-users on various aspects of brain function -- including reaction time, language and motor skills, reasoning ability, memory, and the ability to learn new information.
"We were somewhat surprised by our finding, especially since there's been a controversy for some years on whether long-term cannabis use causes brain damage," says lead researcher and psychiatrist Igor Grant, MD.
"I suppose we expected to see some differences in people who were heavy users, but in fact the differences were very minimal."
The marijuana users in those 15 studies -- which lasted between three months to more than 13 years -- had smoked marijuana several times a week or month or daily. Still, researchers say impairments were less than what is typically found from using alcohol or other drugs.
"All study participants were adults," says Grant, professor of psychiatry and director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research Center at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.
"However, there might be a different set of circumstances to a 12-year-old whose nervous system is still developing."
10 States OK Marijuana Use
Grant's analysis, published in the July issue of the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, comes as many states consider laws allowing marijuana to be used to treat certain medical conditions. Earlier this year, Maryland became the 10th state to allow marijuana use to relieve pain and other symptoms of AIDS, multiple sclerosis, cancer, glaucoma, and other conditions -- joining Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
Medicinal marijuana is available by prescription in the Netherlands and a new marijuana drug is expected to be released in Great Britain later this year. In the U.S. and elsewhere, Marinol, a drug that is a synthetic form of marijuana and contains its active ingredient, THC, is available by prescription to treat loss of appetite associated with weight loss in AIDS patients.
Grant says he did the analysis to help determine long-term toxicity from long-term and frequent marijuana use. His center is currently conducting 11 studies to determine its safety and efficacy in treating several diseases.
"This finding enables us to see a marginal level of safety, if those studies prove that cannabis can be effective," Grant tells WebMD. "If we barely find this effect in long-term heavy users, then we are unlikely to see deleterious side effects in individuals who receive cannabis for a short time in a medical setting, which would be safer than what is practiced by street users."
Grant's findings come as no surprise to Tod Mikuriya, MD, former director of non-classified marijuana research for the National Institute of Mental Health Center for Narcotics and Drug Abuse Studies and author of The Marijuana Medical Handbook: A Guide to Therapeutic Use. He is currently president of the California Cannabis Medical Group, which has treated some 20,000 patients with medicinal marijuana and Marinol.
'Highly Effective Medicine'
"I just re-published a paper of the first survey for marijuana toxicity done in 1863 by the British government in India that was the most exhaustive medical study of its time in regards to possible difficulties and toxicity of cannabis. And it reached the same conclusion as Grant," Mikuriya tells WebMD.
"This is merely confirming what was known over 100 years ago, as well as what was learned by various government findings doing similar research -- marijuana is not toxic, but it is a highly effective medicine."
In fact, marijuana was available as a medicinal treatment in the U.S. until the 1930s.
Lester Grinspoon, MD, a retired Harvard Medical School psychiatrist who studied medicinal marijuana use since the 1960s and wrote two books on the topic, says that while Grant's finding provides more evidence on its safety, "it's nothing that those of us who have been studying this haven't known for a very long time.
"Marijuana is a remarkably safe and non-toxic drug that can effectively treat about 30 different conditions," he tells WebMD. "I predict it will become the aspirin of the 21st century, as more people recognize this."
07-03-2003, 12:23 PM #2
Like, totally tubular man...
uhhh, what were we talking about again?!?
07-03-2003, 12:51 PM #3Banned
Originally Posted by ripped4fsu
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
lmao...hey ripped, hows your glacoma doing?
07-03-2003, 12:59 PM #4Originally Posted by Valmont
07-04-2003, 12:43 AM #5
It causes brain damage,Your just too stoned to relize it.
07-04-2003, 12:59 AM #6
For some reason I would rather take a stacker and workout that smoke the doobie it just makes me tired and I hate being tired
07-04-2003, 02:59 AM #7
Below is an excerpt I took from the Mayo Clinic:
Short-term memory. In doses as small as 7.5 mg, THC impairs your ability to perform tasks that require short-term memory, such as recalling words from a list seen 20 minutes earlier.
Driving ability. Cannabinoids impair driving ability to a manner similar to that of alcohol. Australian researchers who tested driving skills reported effects similar to those associated with a blood alcohol level of 0.07 percent to 0.10 percent. As with alcohol, driving problems increased with the quantity used. Accuracy and perceptual motor speed are impaired immediately after cannabis use.
Attention span. Starting regular use of marijuana before age 16 may result in permanent changes in your ability to pay attention. In a study of 99 cannabis users and 49 nonusers, those who began using the drug early showed difficulties on tests that involve visual scanning, divided attention, flexibility and working memory. Those who start using marijuana later in adolescence showed no statistical differences from nonusers.
Lasting effect. Even after a day of not using marijuana, adverse cognitive effects — such as problems paying attention — can still be detected in heavy users of marijuana. It's not clear whether the deficit results from a marijuana residue in the brain, a possible toxicity of marijuana or withdrawal from the drug.
Schizophrenia. Frequent use of marijuana may promote a recurrence of schizophrenia in people who are vulnerable to this condition.
Withdrawal. Regular users of products that contain THC go through withdrawal when they quit. Abstaining from THC used at 80 to 120 mg a day for 4 days produced disruptions in mood, sleep and food intake in both men and women, according to a 1999 study in the journal Psychopharmacology. Participants reported increases in anxiety, depression, irritability and restlessness.
Heart rate. Whether taken orally or in smoked marijuana, THC increases your heart rate. How much faster your heart contracts depends on how much THC is consumed. THC taken regularly may cause your heart rate to become lower than usual. Changes in heart rate may be unsafe for some older adults or in people with certain other medical conditions.
Blood pressure. THC also affects blood pressure. Blood pressure stays the same or increases slightly after a single dose of THC. If THC is taken regularly, blood pressure drops below its level prior to THC use. This drop in blood pressure may make you feel dizzy or affect your ability to exercise.
Immune system. Immune system cells — including the lymphocytes and natural killer cells, and their products, cytokines — are less active in protecting your body after cannabinoids have been smoked or injected. As a result, you may get infections more easily or be more susceptible to disease than nonusers.
Newborns. Marijuana use may affect newborn infant health. In a study that used urinalysis to identify pregnant women who used marijuana, babies born to marijuana users were smaller and weighed less than infants born to nonusers. However, effects on infant size were not reported in some other studies.
Children. Children who were exposed to marijuana while in the womb show deficiencies in memory, the ability to sustain attention and some thinking (cognitive) skills when tested between 4 and 9 years of age.
Reproduction. Chronic doses of THC lowered testosterone production and reduced sperm production, motility and viability in animals. It also disrupts ovulation. It's not known whether these effects occur in people who take THC over long periods of time.
In summary, even when cannabinoids are taken to treat a condition, they may create other health problems. When another drug can be used to treat a condition, that may well be a healthier option.
07-04-2003, 03:03 AM #8
I was just looking around, and found an excellent site, which provides excellent factual evidence on the advers effects of marijuana. Advocates of marijuana will keep trying to prove its "medicinal abilities" as well as that its not "that bad" of a drug. However, when push comes to shove, its addictive, and causes serious problems...
07-04-2003, 08:01 PM #9
And as a rebuttal to these studies a present the most convincing evidence that marijuana does in fact damage brain cells or at least alter them in a substantial way: Nathan.
07-05-2003, 11:52 AM #10
HeartDoc states a good point..Marijuana use does in fact cause adverse effects..And if you read the first study posted you will realize it was based off of people that were users for medicinal purposes, not your average "Pot head"..Advocates of marijuana use are always going to be reaching for reasons to justify their use..
07-05-2003, 12:53 PM #11
Marijuana Does Not Cause Brain Damage?
Take a look at Ozzy Osborne and tell me that again. LOL
07-06-2003, 03:04 PM #12
ozzy did not limit himself to pot.... if you believe that than you're naive and misinformed. personally, i think a few bowls to the face before sleeping at night is fine. or before a movie, or church, or hopping on AR, or for an amusement park, a baseball game, shower, class. whatever. damnit. i am not a pothead. i just like to relax.
but in all seriousness, pot is less damaging than either cigarettes or alcohol. im for decriminalization with legalization in certain areas, much like the way gambling is looked at today. a poker game in your basement isnt going to get you arrested, and if you really want to go to all out, theres always AC or Vegas...
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