New Study Finally Reveals Marijuana’s Long Term Effects On The Brain. Wow!
The age of Reefer Madness may still be upon us. That’s right, weed is still looking like the bad guy, despite all the moves towards legalization. Which is weird, seeing as alcohol still kills more people every year than weed does. It is legit to question the potential effects of a drug, however, seeing as we’re making it more and more available to the every day consumer.
Instead of bickering over all this, however, we can finally turn to some real science. Over at the University of Texas, they decided to run an experiment to check out the long-term effects of marijuana use on the brain. Which resulted in a few interesting facts…
According to the research, people who use do not have a decrease in their IQ, and might actually be fending off Alzheimer’s. If users are starting earlier, they’re actually setting their brain up right—apparently, weed can lead to a greater connectivity in brain cells, and a stronger “structural” capacity. The more you use, the more that connectivity increases.
These are pretty amazing results, but will need to be confirmed with a larger body of participants. Only drawing from 100, the U of Texas study isn’t conclusive by any means. There wasn’t any clear connection between the differences registered in the brain and marijuana use–it could simply be an association. There was a reduction in gray matter, however, especially in the orbitofrontalcortex, which is the region associated with addiction. Again, however, no clear line is being connected in the study.
One follow up study that was released by the Journal of Neuroscience, found that there was no real difference in brain structure between those who used weed and those who didn’t. This does kind of pull the rug out from under the other study, but again, the results were’t conclusive.
Researchers will probably continue to seek out answers the more that weed is decriminalized. Whether or not it grows cells, it seems that marijuana may just be suffering from a mean case of memory hangover—we still remember what our parents taught us about weed, and none of it was good. But when did we start listening to our parents about what we should be doing? Perhaps if we give science a bigger chance, we’ll be able to give the proverbial ol’ middle finger to those who have said we were killing our brain cells with that joint.