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Long Term Effects Of Marijuana On The Brain Revealed!

cannabis-brainThere’s a lot of talk about pros and cons of long term marijuana use. Well there’s no need to guess anymore, as University of Texas just published their research into the long-term effects of marijuana on the brain.

With a drug war against marijuana still raging in more countries than not, the question of how long-term marijuana use effects the human brain is a pivotal question in its legalization.  Although alcohol remains legal despite heaps of evidence to the dangers of long-term use, the fight to make marijuana available both with regard to its medical properties (especially in selectively killing cancer cells) and non-medical uses has frequently hinged on the various claims made about marijuana’s effects on the recreational user.

Luckily, the debate can finally move out from the realm of opinion into scientific evidence as researchers from the University of Texas just published their research into the long-term effects of marijuana use on the brain in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).

The researcher helped dispel the dying myth that marijuana use lowers IQ, and actually provides more evidence to marijuana’s potential role in fighting Alzheimer’s. The research revealed that earlier onset of regular marijuana use leads to greater structural and functional connectivity in the brain. The most significant increases in connectivity appear as an individual begins using marijuana, with results showing that the severity of use is directly correlated to greater connectivity.

Although these results will need to be confirmed with a larger sample (this was based on roughly 100 participants), the preliminary results do seem promising. More research will need to be done in order to see if these differences are caused by, or simply associated with, long term marijuana use. They also found reduced gray matter in the OFC (orbitofrontalcortex) in long-term users (which is a brain region associated with addiction). It is unclear whether this region is simply smaller in regular users (explaining their regular use) or if the use actually contributed to structural brain changes. These results will also need to be contrasted with other researcher showing that cannabinoids actually promote brain cell growth (neurogensis) even in adults.

Source – http://earthweareone.com/marijuanas-long-term-effects-on-the-brain-finally-revealed/

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  • cornishfaerie

    “Well there’s no need to guess anymore, as University of Texas just published their research into the long-term effects of marijuana on the brain.”

    It isn’t about guessing. It is about control. Nothing else. Only peons will deny this. That includes politicians although sadly a different kind of peon (or perhaps that is, there is more to it than that, with them). The countries spending so much money (and US is a big one here what with how aggressive they are in this way and have been since it was deemed necessary by a politician, a politician that missed many things here although I suppose that isn’t so different from other politicians but that’s not my point) – it really is hilarious because what do they do ? Whine about the black market. Whine about the associated organised crime, whine whine whine like little brats. They created it and they’re whining about it because it can NEVER BE THEIR FAULT. The hell it isn’t their fault! Much of their problems is their fault, they’re just too arrogant to admit it! So no, it isn’t about long-term effects or this or that, it is simply controlling. But I’ll humour you because this is an interesting piece (in some ways…).

    “Luckily, the debate can finally move out from the realm of opinion into scientific evidence as …”

    Yes because other things that are in this category (with much longer history, with much larger sample size, with much more backing it) are declared and agreed by everyone, as science, right? If that makes you feel better, then sure. But it isn’t reality. Even then, see above. It is about control in this case: controlling due to fear, controlling due to ignorance, controlling simply because they can. And if no other reason, the fear (which ignorance tends to fuel) is strong enough to influence things, significantly. There is no other reason that is remotely sound simply because prohibition failed long before this issue came in to light (yes, the pun is intended). Of course, government and sound logic don’t mix but never mind that. There’s plenty of other things that are the source of constant bickering by two or more parties. It’ll not end and you know it.

    “The researcher helped dispel the dying myth that marijuana use lowers IQ, and actually provides more evidence to marijuana’s potential role in fighting Alzheimer’s. The research revealed that earlier onset of regular marijuana use leads to greater structural and functional connectivity in the brain.”

    No, they added something that could – and yes, it is intended – defuse the flame, but certainly the fire is far too large to simply die. Surely you know this?

    “The most significant increases in connectivity appear as an individual
    begins using marijuana, with results showing that the severity of use is
    directly correlated to greater connectivity.”

    Because less use of anything would be linked to more implications of use, right (perhaps I am interpreting that wrong but it isn’t really what I’m heading towards)? I’m not convinced it helps prevent Alzheimer’s though. We know a lot about the brain but what we also know is that there is far more about the brain that we do NOT know. This includes dementia in general. The fact is, diseases that are much older (in sense of being known) are still lacking in enough understanding. Yes, brain diseases. But indeed we keep learning. But the point is (and I’ll get back to this later) even if it does ‘help’ it certainly isn’t conclusive. Did they check other factors? You know, sense it has numerous
    suspected causes (like many other diseases of the brain), if they didn’t look in to that (which I’m not suggesting one way or another) then there is something lacking. Perhaps that something would be they forgot (…) to check in to it. They also forgot something else though, something that statisticians tend to frown upon if neglected:

    “Although these results will need to be confirmed with a larger sample
    (this was based on roughly 100 participants), the preliminary results do
    seem promising. More research will need to be done in order to see if
    these differences are caused by, or simply associated with, long term
    marijuana use.”

    There. ~100 sample size. Fine if you weren’t suggesting it
    dispels myths. Unfortunately such a small sample size hardly does
    anything of the sort to anyone who understands basic science and basic
    statistics (who does not know that sample size counts?). To be fair to you, for once you get this and you specifically remark on how they’ll need a higher sample, but still, it doesn’t dispel much of anything at this time (and even then it is like most things, so much more much later and many things aren’t considered, see next bit).

    I’m going to ignore the grey matter issue entirely because at least in
    what you write, there is quite some vagueness (and never mind some other
    points I already referred to that do change things).

    Next bit: keep in mind if you aren’t looking for something you are less likely to see it. That means the study might miss some things because they are looking for something else. Isn’t necessarily always the case but it is definitely something that happens. That’s why things are learned over the long term. Asbestos anyone?

    Oh, and for the record: ever since I had the ability to know what it means, I’ve been against the war on drugs. It is stupid, misguided and harmful. But that doesn’t mean that some drugs only have good because they all have something negative (even things people might not be aware of). Yes, there’s some bad with marijuana, too. That’s how everything is – bad and good come together.

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  • KatBigbyKid

    This is a complete crock of BS. I can attest that I lost the ability to type fast as well as spell many words while using marijuana. It completely ruined my genius for quiet sometime.