health

Casual pot use causes brain abnormalities in the young: study

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I'm not pro-marijuana, but reading this "research" I'd like to point out that nearly every substance we use affects the brain. Sugar produces changes in the brain, so does protein, etc.

Again, I'd love a citation to the actual paper because I cannot believe that anyone competent to do research in this area would come up with such a profoundly meaningless conclusion. It would be like someone writing a paper saying, "Balls roll downhill". The body is a chemical engine, and what you put in affects the processes inside.

I strongly suspect that whatever reporter was assigned the task of reporting on this research just plain didn't understand the paper. I'll look for the original paper later today or tomorrow when I have time.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Alcohol is worse...

In the end... make your own choices...

Teach your kids what's right and wrong.. Don't worry about what the other people on the internet are doing...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'd like to point out that nearly every substance we use affects the brain. Sugar produces changes in the brain, so does protein, etc.

We're not talking about mere chemical changes, such as the rush from caffeine or sugar, here. We're talking about actual structural changes to the human brain.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

They've observed changes in the brain structure of the amygdala with casual pot smokers? Fair enough. What's unreasonable is the assumption that this change is harmful. I'd say based on my observation of casual pot-smokers that if anything the change is beneficial! However given the fact that marijuana prohibition is based on politics not science, it is highly unlikely that a finding these changes are positive would be made public. A big reason for enforcing prohibition was the fear on the part of the authorities that marijuana use by the young was turning them into pacifists, and the reason they were refusing to fight in the Vietnam War. If so, why is that a bad thing? The world would be a much better place without war, there might even be a future for the human race on a peaceful planet.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What's unreasonable is the assumption that this change is harmful

The human body is a pretty fine-tuned machine. Abnormalities are exceptionally rarely a good thing, especially in the brain.

I'd say based on my observation of casual pot-smokers that if anything the change is beneficial!

I'll see your anecdote and raise you mine: Pot-smoking turns otherwise tolerable people into douchebags. Your move.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@bfg4987

+1 excusing pot so in vogue, people have stopped thinking rationally about it.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The article is interesting but it is still a very preliminary study, again they prove correlation but not causation. The most they can conclude is that there are apparent differences between the two groups but they need a different study to show why those differences appear.

Somebody could argue that people with a certain brain structure could find the experience of pot smoking much more gratifying than the rest and the results would support that hypothesis.

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bfg4987Apr. 18, 2014 - 12:39PM JST We're not talking about mere chemical changes, such as the rush from caffeine or sugar, here. We're talking about actual structural changes to the human brain.

So does sugar. Continued use produces long-term changes in brain structure and plasticity.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

As pot becomes a more widely accepted part of our lifestyles, the question of how using it can affect our health becomes more relevant. It's a question that doctors and scientists are still exploring therefore it is not as simple as categorizing it into a good or bad category. It's an evolving field of study because the serious neutral study of marijuana consumption is still a relatively new field and the information incomplete. The most powerful and successful argument that marijuana advocates have made so far is that it can be realistically considered a medicinal drug as well as a recreational one. Nobody knows how the laws may change in the future, but marijuana use should become more integrated into our society.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This study isn't worth much. The number of participants in the study was only 40. 20 in the pot smokers group and 20 in the non-pot smokers group. A very small sample size.

Here's a link to The Journal of Neuroscience where the paper was published.

http://jn.sfn.org/press/April-16-2014-Issue/zns01614005529.pdf

This quote is from an article on my facebook feed about the same study. "These data therefore suggest that recreational marijuana use in young adults may lead to alterations in the core reward structures. It's important to remember, however, that correlation does not imply causation- the study can infer an association but not a definitive cause. The number of participants was also small and the study did not investigate whether cannabis use affected cognition as well as brain morphology."

Number of participants incredibly small. Causation isn't proven. "Abnormalities" not shown to be negative in any way.

Seems to me that since America is currently riding a tide of legalization the number of anti-pot articles is starting to increase. I wonder who funded this study?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

not going to be worth it to legalize if the label reads 30 years or older on it. Marijuana isn't alcohol, and we're going to have to respect that at some point

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Speaking to the funding of this study...we see the first three sources of funding listed are organizations with a strong anti-cannabis bias. Doesn't prove the scientists themselves did anything wrong, but it doesn't exactly shine a light of impartiality over the study, does it?

Quoted from the paper itself.

"This work was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse ..., the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center,... and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health. H.C.B. was also supported by the Warren Wright Adolescent Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University, Chicago. J.M.G.was supported by a Harvard Medical School Norman E. Zinberg Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry Research"

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