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Does Smoking Kill Brain Cells

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Effects Of Tobacco On The Brain

does smoking weed kill brain cells

Beyond how it works, it is also relevant to know some of its effects. In the short term and with the first consumptions, it is usual that the initial consumption of small doses can alleviate depressive symptoms and increase mood.

Activation of the locus coeruleus also facilitates activation, and increases in levels of wakefulness, ability to concentrate, and sense of coping may appear to occur. However, it can also cause palpitations, dizziness and respiratory problems.

However, as consumption becomes more frequent, worse and worse consequences are seen. In the first place, the progressive tolerance to nicotine has as a result that a dependence on the substance ends up, initially physical and later also psychic.

Lack of tobacco will lead to withdrawal, usually in the form of discomfort and anxiety. Increased appetite, listlessness, headaches, and sleep problems are also observed.

In abstinence, concentration problems can also appear. It also alters the capacity for olfactory and taste perception, damaging these senses.

The effect of nicotine on the neocortex has been observed, especially in the long term, as problematic and negative. Several studies suggest that tobacco use weakens and deteriorates the nerve cells in this part of the brain, causing a reduction in their thickness due to the higher mortality of nerve fibers.

Likewise, although in the initial moments it generated stimulation, in the long run it can generate problems such as depression.

Does Weed Kill Brain Cells

Despite a number of research projects that have investigated any possible links between smoking weed and permanent brain damage, there has not been any concrete, peer-reviewed evidence that smoking weed damages brain structure or function. Many indications show quite the opposite, in fact, and show a potentially neuroprotective function of some of the cannabinoids . This isnt to say that smoking weed is without danger, however.

Just like with many substances, there is a temporary effect on brain cells and some do die during consumption, but it is neither a consequential amount nor a permanent die-off. Nearly all of the harmful effects of weed come from the actual act of smoking. Smoking anything results in the combustion of the desired substance to consume the active compounds, and the creation of several other potentially toxic compounds such as carbon monoxide, tar, and more. Inhaling these compounds, as well as incredibly hot smoke, both displaces oxygen in the blood and brain, as well as kills off brain cells.

How to Get Help Before Weed Kills Your Brain Cells: Treatment Options for An Addiction

Even though weed might not permanently kill your brain cells, smoking weed can still have adverse or negative effects on the life and health of the user. If you believe you or someone you know may have a substance issue with weed, the first thing that should be done is reaching out to recovery professionals to begin planning the process of detox, withdrawal, and recovery.

Can You Get Help And Treatment For Marijuana Addiction

Currently, you can get treatment for marijuana addiction or a marijuana use disorder. It may not be common but there are those who seek and benefit from treatment for it. Treatment options right now are most often centered around things like binge use. Binge use is when you are using a lot of a substance, especially in a short period of time.

Treatment also focuses on things like withdrawal. Studies show that withdrawal from marijuana is possible and it can lead to an increase in the side effects and symptoms we listed above. Aside from these two main pieces, the treatment also often tries to help with the feelings of preoccupation with using.

Part of addiction is the intense need or craving to use a substance. Addiction to marijuana is no different and some of that impacts the effectiveness of treatment and the potential for relapse. This means it is critical that care focuses on that as well.

Less common is the potential of pharmacological treatments for it. This would be treatments for marijuana use disorder that rely on medications to be effective. For other drugs of use like opioids, this type of treatment has been thoroughly proven as safe and effective. It is called medication-assisted treatment and has been around for a long time. For marijuana, however, it is not used and studies are still being conducted to determine the safety and effectiveness of it.

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Getting High Does Not Equal Killing Brain Cells

While frequent, heavy cannabis use can cause a dependency or even addiction in some people, as well as the possible aforementioned symptoms, there is some good news. Using marijuana, no matter the frequency, cannot actually kill brain cells in adult users, says Dr. Sodhi.

Getting high is not synonymous with killing brain cells. The high is an altered state produced by the THC, a mild hallucinogen, he explains. Neither THC or cannabis kills brain cells in the traditional sense, so theres really no need to quantify damage to the brain.

The higher the dosefor example, the more smoke a person inhales and holds in the lungs, or how many THC-laced cookies he or she swallowswill create a more intense high for sure, but as Dr. Sodhi points out, this does not cause increased neurotoxicity in the brain it just makes a person more high.

Final Thoughts On Weed & Brain Cells

Does Smoking Cannabis Kill Your Brain Cells?

While many people believe that a psychoactive and illegal substance, with so much controversy surrounding it, must have the effect of killing off brain cells, the truth is quite the opposite. And the best part is, many studies have proven this. In fact, in some cases, cannabis could help the brain function. While there is concern surrounding the adolescent use of marijuana, studies have found that there is no long-term risk of brain damage in adults.

However, skeptics and anti-weed campaigners will always find information that suits their theory and use it to mislead the public. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to prevent the spreading of this misguided information, except sharing the truth, with the hope of spreading the incredible benefits that cannabis has to offer.


The war on drugs, especially the war on Marijuana, is more a political war than anything else. When Prohibition in the United States was enacted, an entire Federal force was established to root out moonshiners and bootleggers. But when Prohibition was repealed, that force didn’t want to give up their cushy jobs and power, so they needed to find another “habit” to outlaw. Since, at that time, Marijuana was mostly a drug used by “people of color”, that became the new boogeyman.

Although the Pharma industry has lobbied hard to keep Marijuana and it’s benefits in the dark , we are starting to see more and more information coming out, as the author has pointed out here.


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All About Marijuana And Brain Health: The Good And The Bad

Lets start by covering the basics. Most of us know by now that marijuana is a plant that occurs naturally. It is actually a plant known as cannabis. As is the case with most plants, cannabis can come in a couple of different types. The two main types of cannabis are Cannabis sativa and Cannabis sativa L.

Cannabis sativa L is the non-psychotropic, or non-mind altering, type. It is most commonly used in the materials industry. It can be used to produce oils, materials for clothes, rope, and much more. Its commonly referred to as hemp. More now than ever before, it can also be found within a variety of beauty products like lotions and shampoos. Some crafting kits even boast the inclusion of hemp string for friendship bracelets.

Part of this major uptick in the use of hemp is due to its small environmental impact compared to most synthetic materials. This actually is part of what draws people to using marijuana as well for things like anxiety or pain instead of pharmaceutical options.

Reddit Will Smoking Pot Really Kill My Brain Cells

there was a study done where they found brain damage in monkeys that were blasted with weed smoke though a face mask. what the people doing the study failed to mention was that those monkeys were not receiving oxygen. suffocation causes brain damage, but instead they attributed it to pot. heres a link for some other stuff since i couldn’t find info on what i was just talking about

Depending upon your age, it can be harmful to the development of your brain’s neural network. The younger you are, the worse an idea it is.

No. That was a myth started by the US government in the 70s. They forced moneys to smoke a bunch of weed through gas masks with no fresh air and claimed that it demonstrated that weed kills brain cells. Alcohol also doesn’t kill brain cells btw. That’s another common misconception.

A lack of oxygen kills brain cells so if you live in a room that is constantly filled smoke, eventually, a few cells will die out. But it could be any kind of smoke and there would need to be a lot of it.

God damn, look at all these unsupported, joking, anecdotal answers. What was the point of asking this on AskReddit instead of AskScience?

Good point sir! Will do..

No it doesn’t. If you’re really interested, try reading some work by Jack Herer, Mitch Earlywine, or Lester Grinspoon. There is also a documentary that has become the go to for many cannabis advocates called ‘The Union: The Business Behind Getting High.’ It’s worth a viewing.

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Synthetic Alternatives To Marijuana Are More Dangerous To The Brain Than We Realize

Synthetic marijuana is a man-made hallucinogenic substance that is typically sprayed onto plant material. These products that make up synthetic marijuana are commonly known as herbal or liquid incense and can often be found in e-cigarettes and other types of devices. Truthfully, it is not safe for human consumption but has become popular in recent years.

Also known as fake weed, K2, or spice it produces mind-altering effects and can cause the individual to act in an odd manner. Since the main ingredients in it are chemicals that impact the cannabinoid receptors, just as THC can, they are often known as fake weed and synthetic marijuana. Often it is advertised as a more powerful, safe, and legal alternative to cannabis.

Synthetic marijuana is illegal and may have toxic ingredients that can cause increased heart rate, unexplained bleeding, and vomiting. According to government sites, it is part of a new category of drugs known as new psychoactive substances or NPS.

Synthetic marijuana may cause the brain and body to experience:

  • memory loss
  • violent behavior
  • kidney and brain damage

In addition to the above symptoms, synthetic marijuana can be addictive to individuals who take it. Regular users trying to quit may have the following withdrawal symptoms if they have been using things like spice:

  • headaches
  • depression
  • Irritability

How Does Marijuana Affect The Brain

Does Smoking Kill Brain Cells?

As recreational Marijuana use becomes legalized throughout the US, many people now wonder how affects the brain and whether or not it kills brain cells. Just as years of heavy alcohol, Meth, and Heroin use can cause some irreversible brain damage, prolonged Marijuana abuse can affect the ability of brain cells to convey messages . Using Marijuana can cause damage to brain cells that results in a number of concurrent symptoms throughout the body.

Like other drugs, components of Marijuana bind with specific receptors in the brain. Tetrahydrocannabinol is Marijuanas primary Psychoactive ingredient, and it attaches to the brains Cannabinoid receptors . These receptors connect to nerves in the brain which govern memory, appetite, pain regulation, and mood.

When a person smokes Marijuana, they may notice they struggle with staying focused or recalling important details. This can worsen with prolonged Marijuana use, resulting in problems like poor memory and concentration. Motor skills can also be affected by the drug. If users decide to drive while high, they can endanger their lives and the lives of others.

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Origins Of The Myth Of Marijuana Killing Brain Cells

The age of prohibition in the twentieth century coincided with some wild misconceptions about smoking weed and its effects on consumers. The two most prominent contributors to ongoing misconceptions about marijuana harming the brain are Reefer Madness and the fried egg campaign.

Reefer Madness is a 1936 film that experienced a resurgence in the 1970s and depicted excessively violent events linked to marijuana use. The melodramatic scenes show young adult cannabis smokers descending into various forms of madness and hallucinations until the dire advisory flashes on the screen at the end, “TELL YOUR CHILDREN.”

Cannabis And Reducing Stress

Probably the most significant long-term benefit of smoking pot is the reduction of stress.

Stress leads to a wide and varying range of health issues both physically and mentally. It can lead to ulcers, indigestion, anxiety, depression, and many other things.

Stress actually re-wires the brain over a long period of time. Which is difficult to pinpoint as a factor in many health issues. Nevertheless, medical professionals agree that any kind of reduction of stress is more beneficial than negative for a patient.

Users of marijuana know that the plant can reduce the effects of high-stress levels significantly. Note that it does not remove stress from the user. It only reduces the potentially serious symptoms.

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Recovery Is Tough But So Are You And Were Here To Help

When it comes to getting treatment for addiction of any kind it can be intimidating, and there can be some hesitancy. For marijuana specifically, approximately half of the people who enter treatment for a marijuana use disorder are under 25 years old.

Aside from being young, most of these individuals also report other problems and even some risky behaviors. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, commonly known as the DSM, 4.3 percent of Americans have been dependent on marijuana.

Also, 9% of those who try marijuana develop dependence. Compared to the 15% of cocaine users who develop addictions and 24% of those who use heroin, this may not seem like a lot. However, remember how many more people regularly use cannabis. This makes cannabis dependence more common than other types. Yet, we know most people never seek treatment for it. Were here to help.

Get Help With Vertava Health And Live Your Best Life

If you or someone you love is struggling with cannabis addiction, Vertava Health is here to help. We offer comprehensive and compassionate treatment for all types of addictions and can help guide you through the difficult portions, like withdrawal and detox.

Theres one specific thing we use to help you, something unique: we use your strength. Your own dedication and strength are key ingredients in your own recovery. It might not feel like it, but were confident you have the power to change your life. Call us at , and we can chat about how.

Smoking Linked To Damage In The Brain

Does Weed Kill Brain Cells?

Cigarette use thins key area for memory, thinking skills and language

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Feb. 13, 2015 — Smoking may damage part of the brain by causing thinning in a crucial area, new research shows.

The study included more than 500 male and female smokers, former smokers and nonsmokers who were an average of 73 years old.

Brain scans revealed that current and former smokers had a thinner cortex than those who never smoked. The cortex is where important thought processes such as memory, language and perception occur.

The researchers also found that stopping smoking leads to partial restoration of the cortex’s thickness, but the process is slow and incomplete. Heavy ex-smokers who hadn’t smoked for more than 25 years still had a thinner cortex than nonsmokers, the researchers found.

The cortex grows thinner with age, but smoking appears to speed that thinning. And, a thinner cortex is associated with mental decline, the researchers noted.

The study was published online Feb. 10 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

“Smokers should be informed that cigarettes could hasten the thinning of the brain’s cortex, which could lead to . Cortical thinning seems to persist for many years after someone stops smoking,” lead author Dr. Sherif Karama, an assistant professor of psychiatry at McGill University in Montreal, said in a university news release.

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How Synthetic Marijuana Affects The Brain

Similar to natural marijuana, synthetic marijuana affects the brain by attaching to the cannabinoid receptor type 1 found in the central and peripheral nervous systems of the body. However, synthetic marijuana binds more strongly compared to normal weed, making its effects up to 100 times more potent.

Because CB1 receptors are found spread throughout the brain, the effects it has on the consumer are far more intense and dangerous.

Synthetic marijuana may cause severe brain damage and compromise the brain and bodys functionality. Some of these effects include:

  • Intense memory loss
  • Severe kidney damage
  • Severe brain damage

Aside from the above, synthetic weed can become addictive to those who take it. When the consumer is addicted to synthetic weed, these symptoms will become chronic or recurring and could thus cause rapid deterioration of the brain and the body.

Prolonged synthetic marijuana use can cause a steep decline in brain cell activity, causing permanent and irreversible damage to the consumer.

The Truth About Marijuana & Brain Cells

There have been many studies conducted over the years that investigated the effects of weed-use on the brain. And most of these studies have failed to prove any permanent damage to the brain of long-term cannabis users.

As Dr. Perry Solomon, chief officer at, and a retired anesthesiologist put it Every study shows that it just doesnt kill brain cells. But, while studies have shown that cannabis use doesnt lead to permanent brain damage, there is the possibility of temporary negative effects for those who use the substance.

Specifically, cannabis is known to interfere with aspects of memory, and learning, but only on a short-term basis. This was demonstrated in a study done by researchers at Harvard University in 2001. They looked into the cognitive performance of people while they were using pot, and after they quit.

As part of the study, volunteers were tasked with completing various learning, memory, intelligence, and attention tests during a time when they didnt consume marijuana. The study found that heavy weed-users had a far lower score in their memory tests, during the first week after quitting. But, their scores returned to normal within a month, and thus the study concluded that marijuana doesnt cause irreversible mental deficits.

It seems as though all recent studies are indicating that there is no apparent relation between cannabis use and long-term effects on the brain.

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