Exhibit A: The Infamous Iq Test Study
Youre unlikely to meet a proponent of the weed kills brain cells theory that doesnt cite the following study. It was conducted in New Zealand and published in 2012, and it followed the lives of over 1,000 people and compared their IQ at the age of 13 to their IQ at the age of 38. All 1,036 subjects were actually followed from birth in what became known as the Dunedin Study.
The subjects were interviewed aged 18, 21, 26, 32, and 38, and asked about their level of cannabis use each time. The study found that the IQ of people who regularly used weed fell by 8 points on average. Pretty much everyone who hates cannabis will say, See! Theres your proof! As usual, however, they fail to dig any deeper.
As it transpired, the study had a number of flaws which prevented it from being an accurate measurement of how weed impacts the brain. For example the drop in IQ was only apparent in chronic users who had a physical dependence on the drug before the age of 18. Overall, only 38 people showed the steep drop in IQ and remember, they were using cannabis at least four days a week for over 20 years.
Furthermore, the possibility that differences in socioeconomic status could have accounted for the IQ disparity was never investigated. In other words, did these individuals drop out of school? Did they have a rough family life? Well never know.
Does Smoking Marijuana Kill Brain Cells
Marijuana usage has gone up over the past couple years due to things such as media coverage, and its legalization for recreational and medical use in our country. However, Ive heard before that smoking weed kills braincells and lowers your IQ. A study was done in New Zealand on 1000 people from the ages of 13-38. The study found that chronic users of the plant that used it before the age of 18 had their IQ points drop about 8 points before the user turned the age of 38.
While this does seem worrisome, it should be noted that there are several studies that make this study a little less easy to believe. For one, the people who were affected was only a small percent of the original 1000 . Secondly, during the study the individuals were smoking 4 times a week, more then the average smoker smokes. Finally, this study had been going on for 20 years which is above the average amount a time a person usually smokes marijuana. Although this experiment shows that your IQ may go down as a result of smoking marijuana, the likelihood of it happening to an average user remains uncertain. Click here to watch asapSCIENCE explain more effects of marijuana on your brain and the rest of your body.
Does Cannabis Kill Brain Cells
Another study , this one conducted over 38 years, has linked cannabis use with cognitive decline. Findings indicated that adolescents who heavily used cannabis and continued to do so as adults lost six to eight IQ points by the time they reached midlife.
Those who used heavily and quit later on in their lives didnt regain lost IQ points. But adults who used cannabis heavily didnt lose any IQ points.
Other studies show the opposite. A study conducted on mice indicates that low dosages of THC can reverse age-related cognitive impairments .
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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.
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.
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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.
What Can You Do About Marijuana Dependence
Though marijuana can create a distorted sense of euphoria when consumed, this temporary state is not worth the adverse effects it entails. When abused, marijuana can become very harmful.
Stopping marijuana use may be a difficult challenge, but it is not impossible. By undergoing proper treatment and counseling, you or your loved one can live a healthier life.
When abused, marijuana can cause negatively affect the brain, causing a lot of adverse effects in both the short-term and long-term. Constant usage of marijuana can promote both brain and body deterioration.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, dont hesitate to seek help. Visit Roots Through Recovery addiction treatment center in Long Beach, CA located at 3939 Atlantic Ave, Suite 102 Long Beach, CA 90807 or call .
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Can Weed Make You Stupid
The idea that weed makes you stupid likely originates from observation of the acute effects of large doses of pot smoke. Large doses can cause extreme sedation and couchlock. It can cause perceptual disturbances and make you slur your words. When viewing someone under the effects of extreme intoxication, it can certainly look like they have gotten really dumb. They may lose coordination and begin stumbling or experience ataxia. This is the result of the way cannabis affects cannabinoid receptors throughout the nervous system. Cannabis plants contain cannabinoids, a chemical substance that can bind to the nervous system. This substance affects several functions such as movement, pain perception, and anxiety levels. When cannabinoids enter the nervous system, it causes many symptoms attributed to the behaviors of someone with a low IQ. Symptoms such as high pain tolerance, sedation, and movement inhibition may make it seem like the intoxicated individual has less than desirable mental capacity. The anticholinergic effect is notorious for causing lapses in memory. While the symptoms may appear inherent to the individual, they are only temporary and are not the result of damaged brain cells.Figure 2.
Does Weed Destroy Brain Cells The Takeaway
Despite what War on Drugs campaigns of yesteryear might have you believe, weed does not destroy brain cells. At lower doses, studies even seem to show THC and other cannabinoids may be beneficial for the health of your brain, stimulating processes like anti-oxidation to improve brain function.
But, like many things in life, problems occur when you start to go beyond moderation. Chronic cannabis use seems to be associated with having less grey matter in important regions of the brain.
This isnt weed killing brain cells. Yet its certainly a sign that heavy daily use of marijuana is probably best avoided. This is especially true if you are younger than 22 years old and have a brain that isnt fully formed yet.
This means that taking steps towards moderating your use of cannabis can be a smart move if you are a heavy, regular user. You might try slowly reducing your overall consumption levels, swapping your joint for a vape, or choosing a lower-THC strain as potential ways to help you do this.
Because, as weve learned, while the histrionic drug education campaigns of forty years ago were pretty nonsensical and weed does not kill brain cells, you still want to be aiming for moderation in your cannabis consumption if you want to stay happy and healthy.
Cannabis Research Reportwhat Are Marijuana’s Long
Substantial evidence from animal research and a growing number of studies in humans indicate that marijuana exposure during development can cause long-term or possibly permanent adverse changes in the brain. Rats exposed to THC before birth, soon after birth, or during adolescence show notable problems with specific learning and memory tasks later in life.3234 Cognitive impairments in adult rats exposed to THC during adolescence are associated with structural and functional changes in the hippocampus.3537 Studies in rats also show that adolescent exposure to THC is associated with an altered reward system, increasing the likelihood that an animal will self-administer other drugs when given an opportunity .
Imaging studies of marijuanas impact on brain structure in humans have shown conflicting results. Some studies suggest regular marijuana use in adolescence is associated with altered connectivity and reduced volume of specific brain regions involved in a broad range of executive functions such as memory, learning, and impulse control compared to people who do not use.38,39 Other studies have not found significant structural differences between the brains of people who do and do not use the drug.40
More research will be needed to answer definitively whether marijuana use causes long-term IQ losses and whether factors that werent measured in the prior research, such as the increasing amounts of THC in cannabis and the emergence of new cannabis products, are relevant.
Cognitive Effects Of Long
Studies on the cognitive effects of long-term marijuana use are ongoing. However, some things are still known.
It appears that heavy, regular marijuana use may hinder your ability to think and concentrate. It can also weaken your memory and judgment. However, neither of these activities kills your brain cells.
Regardless, its significant to note that not everyone who smokes marijuana will experience these adverse effects. Furthermore, most people who use cannabis dont seem to suffer any long-term consequences.
Finally, its also worth mentioning that many of the cognitive impairments associated with marijuana use may be reversible once you stop using the drug.
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Smoking Pot May Go To Your Head
Researchers say there is conflicting evidence regarding the long-term effects of marijuana use on the brain.
“Although growing literature suggests that long-term cannabis use is associated with a wide range of adverse health consequences, many people in the community, as well as cannabis users themselves, believe that cannabis is relatively harmless and should be legally available,” writes researcher Murat Yucel, PhD, of ORYGEN Research Centre the University of Melbourne in Australia, and colleagues in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
“With nearly 15 million Americans using cannabis in a given month, 3.4 million using cannabis daily for 12 months or more and 2.1 million commencing use every year, there is a clear need to conduct robust investigations that elucidate the long-term sequelae of long-term cannabis use,” they write.
In the study, researchers used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging to compare the brain structure of 15 men who smoked more than five joints of marijuana daily for more than 10 years with images from 16 men who did not smoke pot.
The participants also took a verbal memory test and were evaluated for symptoms of mental disorders.
The results showed men who smoked pot regularly had significantly lower brain tissue volumes in the hippocampus and amygdala areas, as well as more symptoms of mental disorders.
The Truth About Marijuana & Brain Cells
Research shows that there are temporary negative effects on the brain after using marijuana. For instance, weed can interfere with learning and memory for a short period. A 2001 study by Harvard University researchers looked at the cognitive performance of people while they were using pot, and after they quit.
The volunteers completed various intelligence, learning, memory, and attention tests during a period where they didnt use marijuana, and results showed that heavy weed users scored far lower in memory tests during their first week after quitting. However, their score returned to normal within a month, which means that cannabis does not produce irreversible mental deficits.
Over the last 20 years, a large number of studies has shown that marijuana users have nothing to fear in terms of dropping IQ. In 2003, a team of researchers analyzed 15 previous studies which looked at marijuanas long-term effects on the brain. They concluded that over a long period, marijuana users showed only a minor level of impairment in learning and memory. Speaking at the time, lead researcher Igor Grant expressed his surprise: I suppose we expected to see some difference in people who were heavy users, but in fact, the differences were very minimal.
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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, , 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.”
Disadvantages Of Smoking Weed
Although the studies weve described above all show that weed is not going to significantly change adult brains, the same cannot be said when it comes to adolescent users.
Please understand that at the adolescence stage of brain development, the brain has not yet fully matured. This means that excessive teenage weed smoking is not a very good idea. Although the verdict is still out regarding marijuanas long-term effects on juvenile brains, it doesnt make much sense to consume marijuana if your brain hasnt fully developed. This can lead to potential harm later on. You might just be exposing yourself to unnecessary risk.
For this reason, we fully agree with current regulations in the few states that have gone ahead and decriminalized marijuana that weed should be restricted to adults. You only need to look at the Dunedin study to see the wisdom of this. The people who experienced significant drops in IQ scores were the ones who started smoking pot when they were teenagers.
Its also important to note that smoking anything can have a negative effect on your brain. It doesnt matter whether youre smoking tobacco or marijuana. When you smoke, theres a chance that certain parts of your brain will not get the oxygen it needs. Your brain is actually the most oxygen-dependent organ in your whole body .
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