Take Note: Smoking High-Potency Of Marijuana Damages Connections In The Brain

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We have published some articles in the past urging for medical use of marijuana. Our goal is to let you know the health benefits of marijuana.

However, as we continue to do that, we are also monitoring closely the other side of using marijuana which could be harmful to your health as well.

And through our close monitoring, we have found that a new study published in November, 2015 has revealed that people who smoke high-potency of marijuana risk degrading connections in part of their brain that connects the two hemispheres in the brain.

The study was done by a team of European researchers. They concluded that there is an urgent need to educate the public, health professionals, and policymakers about the risks involved with using high potency marijuana, also known as “skunk.”

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According to the scientists from King’s College London and Sapienza University of Rome, “skunk-like” cannabis can damage the white matter (link is external) nerve fibers responsible for communication between the two brain hemispheres of the cerebrum (link is external) (Latin for “brain”).

The researchers examined people who smoked marijuana at varying levels of frequency and potency and found those who smoked the high-potency pot (with higher-than-normal concentrations of THC, weed’s most well-known active ingredient) had “altered microstructural integrity” in the part of the brain called the corpus callosum.

According to brain experts, the corpus callosum does not just physically connect the two halves of the brain but also serves as the information highway that passes messages between the right and left sides of the brain. While the whole right-brain-left-brain personalities thing is a myth and people can live with just half a brain, you still want to have that corpus callosum functioning properly if possible, especially if the particular changes in the brain structure may lead to psychosis.

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The researchers said they only took snapshots of people’s brains and asked them about their marijuana habits, including the type of marijuana they smoke.

The Guardian reports that this is the first time a study has exclusively looked at the effect of cannabis potency on the brain. Other studies in the past focused on frequency of use and age of first use by people.

The results of the study still need to be confirmed. But the researchers have warned against using high-strength weed. Lead author of the study, Paola Dazzan told the Guardian that the concern attached to drinking alcohol should also be attached to smoking marijuana.

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“When it comes to alcohol, we are used to thinking about how much people drink, and whether they are drinking wine, beer, or whisky. We should think of cannabis in a similar way, in terms of THC and the different contents cannabis can have, and potentially the effects on health will be different”, Dazzan said.

Another area of particular concern to brain researchers is whether marijuana causes psychosis. And the researchers said they believe their new findings will lead to further discoveries on that mental disorder. People who suffer from psychosis showed similar structural brain changes as people who use high potency marijuana.

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As it stands now, researchers are not sure how or if cannabis affects the brain in a way that leads to psychosis. What is available is hypothetical guess by practitioners.

For example, according to review in the journal Annual Reviews, there is some literature suggesting a connection between cannabis and psychosis, but no studies proving that long-term use of weed will lead to psychosis. But studies do find that starting smoking in adolescence is associated with greater chances of developing psychosis later in life, even if you stop smoking later on.

But all-in-all, the current study suggests one potential mechanism, assuming future research can establish that cause-and-effect relationship. But until that is done, we highly recommend that you check the type of marijuana you are using. Do not use the one that will give you health problems.


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33 COMMENTS

  1. This was not a controlled study, more research needs to happen. Also, I’ve taken high thc mmj for the last 4yrs, and not psychotic. This study seems botched, May be different in Europe, but here in US skunk weed is crap weed. There is no strain named skunk weed. They didn’t even specify whether it was indica or sativa or hybrid. I do know that it has helped me deal with my MS symptoms! I’m all for doing research on the effects of mmj, but to proclaim such wild claims sounds like gov’t propaganda. I hate when botched testing is passed as truth. The only side effects I’ve noticed is memory loss, munchies, and dry mouth. WE NEED MORE CONTROLLED STUDIES!

  2. It’s the heightened awareness of a fucked up world that fucks people up.I’ve done it myself ; gotten paranoid about my neighbours and hid things from myself as if i were two people but It’s not the pot !

  3. Im sorry Hiedi, but your comment is just as unscientific as you claim this study to be. The classification sativa/indica is really old and not up to date, there are strains sold on one side of the world as 100% sativa which are sold somwhere else as 100% indica. The best way to get the desired high is if you have a genetic print.

    Just because YOU didn’t experience any psychosis doesnt mean noone will. I sometimes even feel a little psychotic when smoking isolator or oil – its just temporary and a direct cause of the smoking, but i can imagine it might have a chronic effect on other people who have a different mindset.

    I am glad to hear that it helped you with your MS condition and it just shows that there are indeed beneficial effects but nevertheless you should be open to the idea that it might have serious side effects. As stated in the article it IS a difference if you drink wine, beer or schnaps and it just might so be that its the same with cannabis. I still believe that cannabis is one of the best medicaments for many diseases and symptoms, but you should still handle it with care as it is a psychedelic drug and those always come with a side effect.

    • Man you must have some crap laced with mesc or something man. I have smoked isolated thc acetates for years, from numerous diff strains with no pychosis. Same with everyone I know, the majority of which have been smoking for 15-20 years. Whole this is purely anecdotal so is this study, no control or specifics mentioned. I call BS.

  4. The English will do anything to hold on to prohibition. They’ve gone the “one toke and you’re a lifel-ong schizo” for so many years no one, except the ignorant fall for it every time. I’ve smoked high THC cannabis for over two decades without any desire to kill, rape or rob. On the other hand the mere sight of Kevin Sabet, the hypocrite in charge of “Smart Approaches To Marijuana” is enough to cause a nervous breakdown in any number of people, it has been asserted by impartial experts.

  5. Very well written article, but the link to the study was not included. For those of us within the Neuroscience field of study, please link it so we may either accept or refute the research.

  6. As it stands now, researchers are not sure how or if cannabis affects the brain in a way that leads to psychosis. What is available is hypothetical guess by practitioners.

  7. Whatever the health hazards of cannabis might truly be, if the overall effects of the drug were helpful to our self-styled elites it would be legalized without delay. Curiously, as things arem we are approaching the time when natural foodstuffs are also to be effectively made illegal in spite of the fact that there is little evidence to suggest that inhaling cauliflower smoke can lead to subversive activities.

  8. Skunk is indeed a strain, though not a current one. It was a strain in the 80-90’s that had an increased psychotropic effect over other strains. It was known for its possible mild hallucinations and skunk odor.

    • Skunk #1? Yeah, it’s 10,000 years old.

      No, there isn’t anything special about it, in fact it weighs in about 15% THC so isn’t even a heavy hitter.

      The scare is just British people being total idiots.

  9. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!!!

    Yeah, sure, which is why Willie Nelson is still walking around like a 20 year old and is a very enlightened dude.

    Yeah, well, if this is the true case, then all of Holland must be filled with Psycho’s and damaged people too.

    Those who go for the Cannabis cup, must also be stupendously brain damaged.

    Yeah,

    I call bullshit!
    Don’t believe it, anonymous, this is just yet another distraction from what is really going on.

    There’s a lot more info out there from a guy named Rick Simpson, than from a few unnamed scientists from harvard or where ever else.
    Ever since David Cameron gave a dead pigs head a blowey, i do not trust any scientists, government paid or otherwise. You want a legit study? Hire some hippies.

    Thanks.

    Stay Vigilant.

  10. Originial Skunk isn’t a potent plant… they buy punshed weed and street dealers call it skunk because it taste and smells that diffrent..

  11. I’ve been a daily, heavy smoker for 12 years and am fully functional. I have an advanced degree and have a good job. I call bullshit on this “research.”

  12. Been smoking very high strain and extracts for three years. Before that I was addicted to painkillers. My pain level is so much lower now and have had any crazy thought processes like I did on painkillers. I would have murdered my dogs or sold my mother for pills. I turn down weed on a regular basis now. My mother is happy and safe and so are my dogs. I am much happier, healthier and lost 75 lbs in a year after I started smoking pot. It all in the person and why you are smoking. THC is a mild mild mild hallucinogenic and hallucinogenics alter the way your thought processes happen literally the chemical process to make thoughts happen and action occur changes chemically. Allows you to see the world in a different light then you could have before when limited by your experiences and opinions. Some people cannot handle the experience. It also makes you question yourself and who are you what you are and what do you want. As for psychosis I would say that my mental state has improved since using marijuana. But a crazy person usually won’t accept that they are crazy so who knows? I very well may have lost my mind. I do know that marijuana has made it impossible to ignore the state of the world and be a blind sheep sounds like something the elites wouldn’t want but thats just my paranoid viewpoint.

  13. Look who did the study.. Psychiatrists. Can anyone think of any vested interest psychiatrists may have in keeping Marijuana illegal?

  14. THE PROBLEM IS THAT TO MANY PEOPLE THAT DON’T NEED IT MEDICALLY WANT HIGH POTENCY WEED AND THAT PEOPLE THAT NEED IT MEDICALLY WILL HAVE A REACTION TO THE HIGH POTENCY WEED. WE NEED TO SEE IF SOMEONE ISN’T PUTTING THE ANTI-CURE IN THE WEED TO MAKE IT HIGH POTENCY. I NEED IT MEDICALLY. SO PLEASE DO THIS RESEARCH.

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