Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Marijuana Shrinks Your Brain & Lowers Your IQ / University of Texas Center for Brain Health

Too bad this study didn’t come out before Oregon legalized recreational marijuana.  But, anyone who has spent time with a chronic marijuana user already knew this – that chronic use of marijuana shrinks your brain and lowers your IQ.  Maybe that recent study would have affected the vote in Oregon.  Ah, no, I don’t think so.

According to researchers at the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas – Dallas:

“Compared with a person who never smoked marijuana, someone who uses marijuana regularly has, on average, less gray matter in his orbital frontal cortex, a region that is a key node in the brain's reward, motivation, decision-making and addictive behaviors network.”  (Findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.)

What the researchers were unable to determine is whether or not the marijuana users’ brains were abnormal and IQs lower before they started using marijuana; which, of course, could have been the case.

However, it has actually been known for a long time that chronic use of marijuana has a detrimental effect on a brain, particularly in younger people.  But, not to worry MJ users – a loss of 8 to 10 points in your IQ is a small price to pay.

I guess what really interested me, in Oregon’s recent election, was the large turnout by young voters reportedly motivated by their opportunity to vote for legalized ‘pot.’

Also, counter to what one might suppose, demographic studies seem to have also indicated that most young voters voted for ‘package labeling regarding GMOs,’ genetically modified food products.  This measure, in spite of the youth vote, failed.  Nonetheless, young people are apparently concerned about what they put in their bodies – with the possible exception of marijuana – which they have determined is basically a harmless, fun thing.

Well, youngsters, you should know, according to the Mayo Clinic, that:
  • There are approximately 480 chemical components in marijuana – approximately 60 known to only exist in marijuana; and that most of those particular chemicals and their effect on the human body is, as yet, unknown.
  • THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is, of course, the main component and primarily responsible for the mind altering effect.  At least that is what scientists believe.
  • And last, but not least, marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco.  Furthermore, the manner in which marijuana is used – one inhales and holds the smoke for a period of time to maximize the effect – increases carcinogenic exposure and possible cell damage.

So, Bill Clinton was right.  Go ahead and use the marijuana, but just don’t inhale.

True Nelson
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