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Does Thc Kill Brain Cells

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Studies On Cannabis Use And Brain Activity

Does Weed Kill Brain Cells?

Many of the cannabinoids in cannabis are actually neuroprotective, according to Rae. “That means they turn on healthy cellular processes like antioxidation, rather than stimulating the cellular processes that lead to cell death. Being neuroprotective is what makes cannabis and its derivatives attractive targets as therapies for degenerative brain disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, she said.

One 2020 literature review published in Molecular Neurobiology indicated that THC and CBD could potentially be therapeutic for individuals with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

A study performed on mice published in 2018 in Neurobiology of Aging showed that a very low dose of injected THC may trigger a reversal of age-related cognitive impairments. The positive effects lasted seven weeks.

On the other hand, one study published in 2020 in the journal Addiction Biology showed that the total size of the hippocampus, which is important for memory and learning, continues to get smaller with more frequent cannabis use Cannabis isn’t necessarily ‘killing’ brain cells, but there is clearly something that is not normal in the hippocampus of chronic cannabis users, according to Rae.

Cannabis Has Long Been Associated With Brain Damage But This Connection Is Complex Not Wholly Understood And Even Exaggerated

Theres plenty of myths surrounding cannabis. From killing brain cells to making people lazy, cannabis has been accredited with a lot of behaviors. Does weed actually make you dumber or is this just a prohibition-era concern?

Despite how widespread this stereotype is, theres little evidence out there to support or discredit this belief. Many think this started with the infamous fried egg commercial, which started airing in the 80s and depicted a fried egg as the encapsulation of your brain on drugs. While there are terrible drugs out there, the moderate use of cannabis does not fry your brain.

When it comes to scientific evidence, there is one study that shows a connection between a smaller hippocampus and chronic cannabis use. The hippocampus, important for memory and learning, isnt directly related to brain cells but it does show a negative connection between chronic cannabis use and an impaired brain.

RELATED: Is It Possible Marijuana Makes People Smarter?

Another study, conducted over a period of 38 years, linked cannabis use with cognitive decline. It showed 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 who quit later on in their lives didnt regain lost IQ points. On the other hand, adults who used cannabis heavily didnt lose any IQ points.


Our Research: Does Weed Actually Kill Brain Cells

Written by QuitNet January 8, 2021

Theres no shortage of solid evidence that proves alcohol destroys brain cells . Anti-marijuana activists say that marijuana has the same effect, but lets think for a second. If this is true, then how come alcohol is completely legal while marijuana is still illegal in many parts of the United States? If they both destroy your brain cells, why is one completely legit while weed continues to be either heavily regulated or completely criminal? How come marijuana-related products such as CBD oil continue to change lives every day? Does weed kill brain cells? What is the connection between weed and brain cells?

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How Does Thc Interact With Brain Cells

The primary active ingredient in Marijuana is THC. This compound stimulates receptors in the brain and facilitates the release of dopamine, the reward chemical. Receptors throughout the brain are able to bind with THC in order to achieve the psychological effects of a Marijuana high. Brain scans show that Marijuana primarily interacts with:

  • The Cerebral Cortex: higher order thinking
  • The Hippocampus: long-term memory, short-term memory, spatial memory
  • The Nucleus Accumbens: reward system
  • The Cerebellum: voluntary movement and sensory management

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

Does Cannabis Kill Brain Cells?

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

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Can Weed Enhance Your Brain

If youre a big Kool-Aid drinker when it comes to the claimed negative effects of marijuana, you might want to skip this section. It might just shatter your existing biases. Believe it or not, there is quite a bit of evidence that suggests;smoking pot can actually boost brain processes!

Weeds beneficial effects center on neurotoxins like aspartame and fluoride. These chemical compounds can cause your nerve cells to malfunction. Your nerves may not be able to convey the information they carry at peak efficiency and effectiveness.

There are certain compounds found in cannabis which helps protect the brain from neurotoxin damage. These compounds also called cannabinoids have also been shown to be chemical antioxidants. They help shield your brain cells from damage.

In a study released in 2015,;CBD;was shown to reduce the levels of a neurotoxin thats been linked to the onset of Parkinsons disease. This neurotoxin has been shown to act as some sort of trigger to a nervous breakdown .

Additional research suggests that THC can cut down on the buildup of amyloid plaque and reduce inflammation in the brain. These two processes often work hand in hand to produce Alzheimers disease .

Finally, this same study showed that pot compounds may help promote the regeneration of brain cells by reducing the effect of neurotoxins.

Could It Maybe Be That Cannabis Preserves Brain Cells

We know now that the Heath/Tulane study that made headlines in 1974 and went on to fuel one of the biggest criticisms of cannabis use was extremely flawed. Further research into the area has also failed to prove that cannabis kills brain cells.

A 2003 literary review of 15 previous studies on marijuana and cognitive function, concluded that cannabis didnt seem to produce any permanent brain defects.

The study analyzed results from over 1,000 test subjects . It concluded that, while cannabis users are more likely to experience issues with memory and learning, these effects were only temporary.

Research from the University of Colorado also produced similar results. Researchers from the university analyzed brain image scans of marijuana users and non-users, looking for any physical changes or abnormalities. The study, published in 2015, showed that cannabis users didnt show any physical changes in major areas of the brain.

In fact, new research has even shown that, instead of causing brain damage or changing brain anatomy, certain compounds in cannabis may actually help stimulate the growth of brain cells.

In 2005, researchers from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, turned the age-old claim that weed kills brain cells upside down. They found that the administration of synthetic cannabinoids could actually stimulate brain cell growth.

Since 2005, many more studies have surfaced producing similar results and hypothesis.

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What’s Worse For Your Brain Alcohol Or Marijuana

16 February 2018

Alcohol may take a greater toll on the brain than marijuana does, especially for teens, a new study finds.

Specifically, researchers found that chronic alcohol use is linked to decreases in the brain’s gray matter which consists of brain cell bodies and synapses in both teens and adults. In adults, alcohol use was also linked to declines in the integrity of the brain’s white matter, which is made primarily of the long nerve fibers that zip messages through the nervous system. Cannabis use, on the other hand, was not associated with either gray- or white-matter declines.

“The difference between the alcohol and the cannabis is pretty dramatic,” said lead study author Kent Hutchison, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The study was published in the .

Cannabis Does Not Kill Brain Cells It Protects Them

does smoking weed kill brain cells

Executive VP-American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine/Certified Cannabinoid Medicine Specialist

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Identifying the biggest lie told about cannabis is similar to trying to name Donald Trumps most outrageous statement; its impossible. But by far, one of the most pervasive lies about cannabis is that it kills brain cells, and few things could be more wrong.

There are more than 5.3 million people in the U.S. living with disabilities related to traumatic brain injury . Every year, there are nearly 56,000 deaths and approximately 80,000 cases of severe disability related to traumatic brain injuries in the United States. Because cannabis and cannabinoids are neuroprotective, their use could decrease the incidence of both TBI and stroke from traumatic brain injury. That is because cannabinoids can prevent neuronal cell death.

That bears repeating; cannabinoids prevent neuronal cell death.

This is important both because there is no effective pharmaceutical drug that treats traumatic brain injury to decrease the size of the damage caused by stroke or TBI. If it is administered within three hours of a TBI, tPA can dissolve blood clots involved in stroke. Having cannabis on board can limit damage from blood loss, but there still may be brain damage.

Glutamate, stress and the calcium that causes the damage

Glutamate toxicity can be reduced by antioxidants

How Cannabinoids Work to Protect the Brain

Thank you for reading!

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So How Does Marijuana Affect Your Brain

More research is needed to accurately answer this question. There is evidence that cannabis depresses functionality in the developing brains of children and adolescents. Nevertheless, more studies are needed to clarify whether brain impairment also occurs in those who avoid THC before adulthood.

More research is also needed to assess the effects of more potent marijuana strains and new cannabis products such as edibles.

Does marijuana really kill brain cells? It might, and it might not. Either way, youre putting your brain at risk. If youre worried about using too much weed, we can help.Contact Harmony Place in Woodland Hills, California, for more information.

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.

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Can Weed Cause Psychosis

The biggest risk of weed is that it will cause the onset of psychosis in susceptible individuals. Some people have a type of mind and of developmental trauma such that they are just on the edge of developing a schizophrenic type of mind. Many studies have shown that weed can be the trigger that pushes them over the edge into full-blown schizophrenia with attendant hallucinations. This claim is however controversial because its not clear if the weed is causing schizophrenia or if the person is trying to medicate symptoms that are already present by smoking weed and also cigarettes.

A meta-analysis was undertaken to try to answer this question. Published in JAMA in 2011, scouring many studies and using analytical methods to data-mine and combine the implications of each study, they concluded that smoking marijuana in childhood did contribute to the later development of psychotic disorders. These are disorders marked by the presence of hallucinations which may be auditory or visual.

However, for the average adult user of cannabis, this is not a concern. Adults should make sure children are not using marijuana or marijuana products.

Is It True That Smoking Weed Kills Brain Cells

Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells?

Studies suggest that can cause cognitive deficits in adults who have used marijuana in childhood. However, the extent of impairment seems to depend on when you started using, how long youve used, and how much youre using now.

According to the NIH National Institute of Drug Abuse, researchers who study the link between marijuana and reduced IQ scores do not always get the same results. Therefore, their findings to date are inconclusive.

Its difficult to prove that marijuana causes IQ score deficiency when so many variables come into play. A host of other factors can reduce IQ scores just as easily as marijuana.

Lower scores can result from early childhood trauma, poor quality of education, genetics, age of initial cannabis use, and duration of use to name just a few.

Although there may be a correlation between lower IQ scores and marijuana use, theres just not enough information at this time to reliably ascertain whether marijuana lowers childrens IQ scores or not.

Read Also: What Meth Does To Your Brain

Take Action & Empower Yourself


While the conclusions of new research may differ, they agree that overuse of Marijuana, or any drug, is not healthy. While moderation applies to everything in life, drugs require slightly more moderation because of their tendency to cause adverse health effects. Results seem to suggest that moderate use even during development may have no detrimental effects, but waiting until a less sensitive time in mental development is advisable.

Bottom Line On Weed And Your Brain

While studies have shown negative effects on the brains of frequent cannabis consumers, lower doses of THC may be beneficial.;;

Because the endocannabinoid system is so involved in all of our cognitive and homeostatic processes, it’s wise to use cannabis moderately and/or take regular breaks, Rae said. She recommends at least 48 hours of abstinence at least once a month.

This advice, however, is for adult consumers, not those whose brains are still developing. There are definitely developmental effects of cannabis on the developing brain, whether a person is in utero or in high school. The safest thing for brain health is to wait until the brain is fully developed, around age 22, before using cannabis,” said Rae.

It would seem that, when it comes to cannabis consumption and brain health, less truly is more.;

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Fact: Cannabis Does Not Kill Brain Cells

Its not often that we get to be certain about something in the cannabis world. After all, while it seems that a lot of research is going into understanding the cannabis plant better, were only just beginning to scratch the surface.

However, while our knowledge of cannabis is far from complete, it is safe to say that cannabis doesnt seem to kill brain cells. In fact, the study that essentially gave way to this argument has been discredited as extremely flawed.

How Does Marijuana Compare To Tobacco And Alcohol Regarding Its Effects On Neurons

Does Cannabis Kill Brain Cells? – Weedwise

Marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol affect different neurological systems. One key difference is that alcohol and tobacco are well-known to have neurotoxic effects on the brain, meaning they can cause brain damage. For marijuana, no such connection has been firmly established yet.

One thing they do have in common though is that their effects are much more prominent in the younger demographic, and thus more likely to be harmful.

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Can Weed Actually Kill Brain Cells Heres What Science Has To Say

Most of the scientific research regarding cell death in marijuana users has been primarily focused on the effects that THC produces. There isnt an abundance of studies, though, and the results from current research data on this topic are conflicting.;

The clinical studies done up to now have been focused either on the effects of marijuana on adults or on adolescents and young adults. Lets see what we know so far.

Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells

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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How Exactly Does Marijuana Affect The Brain

Like most drugs and abused substances, certain chemical compounds found in marijuana bind with specific receptors in the brain. These receptors connect to nerves that affect a persons mood, memory, appetite, and pain tolerance among other things.

When smoking marijuana, the smoker may experience a general lack of focus and an inability to recall specific details. The smoker may also experience impeded motor skills, which can endanger the life of the smoker as well as those they are around. These symptoms may worsen with prolonged marijuana abuse.;

Currently, scientists are not fully aware of the long-term effects of marijuana on the consumers brain. However, there a correlation was found between minors who regularly use marijuana and having a lower IQ versus their non-smoking peers.

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