Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Does Smoking Pot Kill Brain Cells

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Marijuana Kills Brain Cells Myth

does smoking weed kill brain cells

I guess you can tell where I stand on this issue just by looking at the subheading above. The idea that weed kills brain cells originated in the 1970s and 1980s. The pseudoscience making the rounds at that time, however, traced a lot of their origins from the fake research conclusions popularized in the 1930s.

The 1970s was a crucial time in terms of American marijuana policy because this was the beginning of Americas war on drugs . As anybody with more than two brain cells can tell, the war was a very expensive failure. It ended up with a lot of people going to jail, and the drug problem remaining uncontrolled and unabated.

Since that time, anti-marijuana activists kept repeating the idea that weed irreparably harms the human brain. While marijuana does produce effects that are very noticeable in the short-term, when compared to alcohol or other drugs, it doesnt have the same negative long-term effects. Unfortunately, websites like the Drug-Free World continue to spread the lie that weed destroys brain cells .

We also wanted to let you know about CBD. If you didnt know already, CBD products allow you to enjoy the medicinal benefits of marijuana without the head high, bloodshot eyes or lazy stoner sensation.

Lets go back to the topic of smoking marijuana.

Myths About Cannabis Series: Does Cannabis Kill Brain Cells

This will be the first article in a new series, “Myths About Cannabis,” aimed at dispelling and providing context to the many social stigmas and misconceptions about cannabis that, sadly, still prevail to this day. First and foremost, the first piece in this series will address one of the most demonstrable myths surrounding cannabis use: cannabis kills brain cells.

This myth has been one of the most detrimental to the social stigma and acceptance of cannabis. It was during the Reagan administration that this smear campaign really took place, including the infamous “this is your brain on drugs” public service announcement with the egg being fried in a cooking pan.

The basis of this myth stems from a study on monkeys conducted by Dr. Robert Heath. The study, supposedly, found that structural changes were observed in brain cells of animals exposed to high doses of cannabis however, the study does not actually report cell death, as is often alleged.

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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A Rise In Marijuanas Thc Levels

The amount of THC in marijuana has been increasing steadily over the past few decades.7 For a person who’s new to marijuana use, this may mean exposure to higher THC levels with a greater chance of a harmful reaction. Higher THC levels may explain the rise in emergency room visits involving marijuana use.

The popularity of edibles also increases the chance of harmful reactions. Edibles take longer to digest and produce a high. Therefore, people may consume more to feel the effects faster, leading to dangerous results.

Higher THC levels may also mean a greater risk for addiction if people are regularly exposing themselves to high doses.

Long Term Effects Of Weed On The Brain


There may be some long-term effects of weed on the brain. According to Healthline, the following may be long term effects of weed use:

  • Memory problems
  • Increased risk of substance abuse disorders

A study on long term effects of weed on the brain

A study titled Long-term effects of frequent cannabis use on working memory and attention: an fMRI study didnt find any long-term effect on working memory and attention. The study says, No evidence was found for long-term deficits in working memory and selective attention in frequent cannabis users after 1 week of abstinence. However, the researchers also concluded that frequent cannabis use could still affect brain function. The study says, frequent cannabis use may affect brain function, as indicated by altered neurophysiological dynamics in the left superior parietal cortex during working memory processing.

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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.

Can Weed Help Your Brain

Reefer Madness advocates look away now, because there is evidence that using marijuana can actually help your brain! There are concerns over neurotoxins such as fluoride and aspartame. These toxins cause the malfunction of nerve cells, but certain compounds in cannabis prevent the damage to the brain caused by neurotoxins. Also, cannabinoids are excellent antioxidants which also fight back against brain cell damage.

In a 2015 study, it was discovered that CBD can reduce a neurotoxin known to trigger Parkinsons disease. Further research shows that THC could reduce the inflammation and amyloid plaque build-up that results in Alzheimers disease. Finally, there are cannabis compounds that promote neurogenesis, which means promoting the growth of new brain cells.

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Does Smoking Pot Really Kill Brain Cells

In the 1970s, the anti-drug war caused all kinds of conflicting information to be published about the effects of smoking marijuana. Most campaigns promoted abstinence of the substance due to the fact that it supposedly killed brain cells.

Is this true, though? Are pot smokers significantly damaging their brains functioning ability?

In the modern day, there have been many studies that prove brain damage is not actually a side effect of pot use. As marijuana becomes more and more socially acceptable, common citizens are starting to wonder just what kind of effects the substance truly causes.

This article outlines the true, mostly positive, effects of smoking pot for the average user. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know to answer the question about whether or not smoking marijuana does indeed kill brain cells.

Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells

ATTENTION WEED SMOKERS – Does Smoking Marijuana KILL Brain Cells or Cause Lung Cancer?

There is also a lot more focus on researching potential medical uses for marijuana, but despite this interest, there are still potential risks or side effects that can come with the use of marijuana.

So what about marijuana and the brain? Does marijuana kill brain cells?

Below is information and things to know about marijuana and the brain.

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Remember: Weed Hasnt Made You Stupider

If after blazing for years, decades even, you cant remember where you left your keys or what you had for breakfast yesterday, its not dead brain cells from smoking weed thats caused that forgetfulness.

Want to keep up to date on whats happening in the world of cannabis? to the Cannabis Post newsletter for weekly insights into the industry, what insiders will be talking about and content from across the Postmedia Network.

Does Smoking Weed Kill A Persons Brain Cells

Theres not a whole lot of evidence out there to either support or discredit the perception.

Theres plenty of myths surrounding cannabis. From killing brain cells to making people lazy, cannabis has been attributed to a lot of things. Does weed actually make a person dumber or is this simply a prohibition-era concern?

Despite how widespread the stereotype is, theres not a whole lot of evidence out there to either support or discredit the perception. Some believe this may have started with that infamous fried egg commercial, which started airing in the 1980s and depicted a fried egg as the encapsulation of a persons brain on drugs. Clearly, moderate use of cannabis will not fry the brain.

When it comes to evidence, there is a study that shows a connection between a smaller hippocampus and chronic cannabis use. Important for memory and learning, the hippocampus isnt directly related to brain cells, but it does show a negative connection between chronic cannabis use and an some impairment.

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How Does Marijuana Affect The Brain

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.

Why Is Weed Bad For Your Brain


Memory deficits associated with marijuana may result from how THC impacts the hippocampus. That part of your brain governs memory formation and determines how you process information. Most of the evidence supporting this theory comes from animal studies.

Rats who ingested THC prior to birth, soon after birth, or during adolescence developed marked difficulties with learning and memory tasks later in life. Deficits in cognition that appear in adult rats are thought to be a function of hippocampal damage caused by THC usage in adolescence.

The hippocampus may lose neurons as people age. That, in turn, reduces a persons ability to integrate new information. Chronic use of THC may speed up the loss of hippocampal neurons over time.

In another study, rats received a daily dose of cannabis for eight months. Thats about one-third of a rats total lifespan. These animals exhibited marked nerve cell damage when they were about 12 months old. The amount of damage was equal to that of rats who were twice as old as the experimental animals.

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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 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.

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Can A Person Overdose On Marijuana

An overdose occurs when a person uses enough of the drug to produce life-threatening symptoms or death. There are no reports of teens or adults dying from marijuana alone. However, some people who use marijuana can feel some very uncomfortable side effects, especially when using marijuana products with high THC levels. People have reported symptoms such as anxiety and paranoia, and in rare cases, an extreme psychotic reaction that can lead them to seek treatment in an emergency room.

While a psychotic reaction can occur following any method of use, emergency room responders have seen an increasing number of cases involving marijuana edibles. Some people who know very little about edibles don’t realize that it takes longer for the body to feel marijuanas effects when eaten rather than smoked. So they consume more of the edible, trying to get high faster or thinking they haven’t taken enough. In addition, some babies and toddlers have been seriously ill after ingesting marijuana or marijuana edibles left around the house.

How Does Weed Affect The Brain

Does Weed Kill Brain Cells?

Weed affects the brain in a number of ways. When you smoke weed, tetrahydrocannabinol , binds to receptors in the brain known as endocannabinoid receptors. The main ones are CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are predominately found in the central nervous system while CB2 receptors are found predominantly in the peripheral nervous system.

To provide some context, according to Healthline, the endocannabinoid system is said to be responsible for sleep, appetite, memory, reproduction, and fertility as well as mood.

Chemically, THC is pretty similar to anandamide. Therefore, according to National Institute on Drug Abuse, Similarity in structure allows drugs to be recognized by the body and to alter normal brain communication.

When cannabinoids bind to the receptors you may have various experiences. For example, when THC binds to the endocannabinoid receptor you may feel high. You can also thank a similar interaction for getting the munchies or sleeping better.

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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.

Does Smoking Weed Kill Brain Cells

Original Post: Merry Jane: Does Smoking Weed Kill Brain Cells?

Ill pretend Im Jamaican, man, said Jim Breuer, the fairly Caucasian and very-not-Jamaican character in the iconic weed comedy Half Baked.

You have smoked yourself retarded, replied his buddy, Thurgood Jenkins , with a grimace.

Ableist slurs aside, Chapelles line illustrates a persistent and much-too-prevalent myth in our society: that smoking weed makes us stupid. Or, as some folks spin it, weed kills brain cells.

Is it true? No. If that was the case, most of you reading this would probably be drooling vegetables by now.

The human-vegetable example may not work on relatives, supervisors, or college professors who view your intellect with gross disdain simply because you puff on occasion .

Thankfully, we got some real, solid science you can cite next time your marriage to mary jane is called into question by some strait-laced square.

History Time: The Bogus Rhesus Monkey Experiment

Back in the day, haters didnt think tokers were necessarily unintelligent. But from the late 1800s to the 1930s, weed smokers were instead considered insane or psychotic by the Western medical community.

The brain-damage thing gained traction in the 70s after President Richard Nixon determined to crush the herb-loving, anti-warBlack Power Movement and its white hippie allies rigged federal research to show, with scientific evidence, that smoking weed kills brain cells.


What the Science Really Says

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