1) Casual cannabis use has just recently been linked to brain abnormalities in adults, according to a recent study by Northwestern Medicine® and Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School. The authors concluded: “The more joints a person smoked, the more abnormal the shape, volume and density of the brain regions. Some of these people only used marijuana to get high once or twice a week. People think a little recreational use shouldn’t cause a problem, if someone is doing OK with work or school. Our data directly says this is not the case.” One of the authors is concerned: “With the findings of these two papers. I’ve developed a severe worry about whether we should be allowing anybody under age 30 to use pot unless they have a terminal illness and need it for pain.” http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2014/04/casual-marijuana-use-linked-to-brain-abnormalities-in-students.html
2) There is overwhelming evidence that pot does permanently damage teen’s developing brains, when neural connections are in the process of being refined. The latest research from neuroscience has come to definitive conclusions:
“Persistent cannabis use was associated with neuropsychological decline broadly across domains of functioning, even after controlling for years of education. Informants also reported noticing more cognitive problems for persistent cannabis users. Impairment was concentrated among adolescent-onset cannabis users, with more persistent use associated with greater decline. Further, cessation of cannabis use did not fully restore neuropsychological functioning among adolescent-onset cannabis users. Findings are suggestive of a neurotoxic effect of cannabis on the adolescent brain and highlight the importance of prevention and policy efforts targeting adolescents.” http://www.pnas.org/content/109/40/E2657.abstract
3) The human brain already contains its own cannabis. Technically they’re called CB1 receptors and directly affect sensations of pleasure, appetite, concentration, memory, pain and numerous other brain functions. When marijuana hits the receptors, the effects are euphoric and enhance cognitive flexibility. A recent study in the medical journal Neuro-psychopharmacology noted the effects of cannabis on brain structure: "We demonstrate that regular cannabis use is associated with reduced gray matter volume in regions rich in cannabinoid CB1 receptors that are functionally linked to motivational, emotional, and affective processing. We complete our findings by showing that the magnitude of changes in these regions correlates with the frequency of cannabis use."
http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v39/n9/full/npp201467a.html Regular cannabis use reduces the brain’s natural CB1 receptors, causing a dependence on artificial stimulation. The natural receptors are hijacked and replaced with an addictive need for weed.
4) Heart problems have been linked to young cannabis users. The April 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association reports: “Increased reporting of cardiovascular complications related to cannabis and their extreme seriousness (with a death rate of 25.6%) indicate cannabis as a possible risk factor for cardiovascular disease in young adults, in line with previous findings … Practitioners should be aware that cannabis may be a potential triggering factor for cardiovascular complications in young people.” http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/3/2/e000638.short
5) A marijuana high doubles a motorist’s likelihood of crashing. According to a 2012 study in the British Medical Journal: “Acute cannabis consumption nearly doubles the risk of a collision resulting in serious injury or death; this increase was most evident for studies of high quality, case-control studies, and studies of fatal collisions.” http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e536
6) In the US in 2010, there were 461,028 emergency room visits due to the abuse and misuse of marijuana. http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2k12/DAWN096/SR096EDHighlights2010.pdf
7) For many users, once they start, it is difficult to stop: “They continue to smoke the drug despite social, psychological, and physical impairments, commonly citing consequences such as relationship and family problems, guilt associated with use of the drug, financial difficulties, low energy and self-esteem, dissatisfaction with productivity levels, sleep and memory problems, and low life satisfaction. Most perceive themselves as unable to stop, and most experience a withdrawal syndrome upon cessation.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2797098/#b20-ascp-04-1-4
8) Marijuana doesn’t just affect memory and learning: “Marijuana use is associated with increased prevalence of depression, schizophrenia and psychosis. It remains unclear whether marijuana triggers the onset of these illnesses only in vulnerable people or whether it can cause them in people who would not have developed them otherwise.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2424288/
9) Another study published in the May 2014 issue of Addictive Behaviors contends that there are some harmful cognitive effects for adult cannabis users. Dr. April Thames of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA writes: “It’s generally known that the acute effects are there. The question is, do these reverse over time?” The study concludes: “Our results support the widespread adverse effects of cannabis use on neurocognitive functioning. Although some of these adverse effects appear to attenuate with abstinence, past users' neurocognitive functioning was consistently lower than non-users.” http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306460314000203
10) According to the same UCLA study, negative effects of cannabis disappeared when users abstained for 30 days. However, “a person’s ability to plan and make complicated decisions was still impaired a month out.”
11) Colorado’s liberal cannabis laws have unintentionally led to an increasing number of children under 12 admitted to emergency rooms for acute cannabis intoxication, according to a study in the July 2013 JAMA Pediatrics. The researchers concluded: “The consequences of unintentional marijuana exposure in children should be part of the ongoing debate on legalizing marijuana.” http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1691416
12) Marijuana that is eaten (in candy and cake) takes longer to reach the bloodstream. This has caused many impatient users to take far more than they planned, not getting the high as soon as anticipated. https://www.sciencenews.org/article/legalization-trend-forces-review-marijuana%E2%80%99s-dangers
Photo: Wikipedia.org CC
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?
Synthetic Marijuana Harmful To Teenagers
Driving While High is a Growing Danger Where Marijuana is Legal
Colorado's Pot Legalization, Six Months Later