HOW DOES MARIJUANA AFFECT THE BRAIN?

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Biology 202
2004 First Web Paper
On Serendip

HOW DOES MARIJUANA AFFECT THE BRAIN?

AKUDO EJELONU

Pot, weed, grass, ganja and skunk, are some of the common words used to describe the dried leaves drug known as marijuana. Marijuana is a cannabis plant that is "usually smoked or eaten to entice euphoria." (1). Throughout the years, there has been research on the negative and positive effects of marijuana on the human body and the brain. Marijuana is frequently beneficial to the treatment of AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain. However, researchers such as Jacques-Joseph Moreau have been working to explain how marijuana has harmful affects on the functions of central nervous system and hinders the memory and movement of the user's brain. The focus of my web paper is how the chemicals in marijuana, specifically cannabinoids and THC have an effect on the memory and emotions of a person's central nervous system.

Marijuana impinges on the central nervous system by attaching to brain's neurons and interfering with normal communication between the neurons. These nerves respond by altering their initial behavior. For example, if a nerve is suppose to assist one in retrieving short-term memory, cannabinoids receptors make them do the opposite. So if one has to remember what he did five minutes ago, after smoking a high dose of marijuana, he has trouble. Marijuana plant contains 400 chemicals and 60 of them are cannabinoids, which are psychoactive compounds that are produced inside the body after cannabis is metabolized or is extorted from the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids is an active ingredient of marijuana. The most psychoactive cannabinoids chemical in marijuana that has the biggest impact on the brain is tetrahydrocannibol, or THC. THC is the main active ingredient in marijuana because it affects the brain by binding to and activating specific receptors, known as cannabinoid receptors. "These receptors control memory, thought, concentration, time and depth, and coordinated movement. THC also affects the production, release or re-uptake (a regulating mechanism) of various neurotransmitters."(2) Neurotransmitters are chemical messenger molecules that carry signals between neurons. Some of these affects are personality disturbances, depression and chronic anxiety. Psychiatrists who treat schizophrenic patient advice them to not use this drug because marijuana can trigger severe mental disturbances and cause a relapse.

When one's memory is affected by high dose of marijuana, short-term memory is the first to be triggered. Marijuana's damage to short-term memory occurs because THC alters the way in which information is processed by the hippocampus, a brain area responsible for memory formation. "One region of the brain that contains a lot of THC receptors is the hippocampus, which processes memory."(3) Hippocampus is the part of the brain that is important for memory, learning, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivation. It also converts information into short-term memory. "Because it is a steroid, THC acts on the hippocampus and inhibits memory retrieval."(4) THC also alters the way in which sensory information is interpreted. "When THC attaches to receptors in the hippocampus, it weakness the short-term memory,"(5) and damages the nerve cells by creating structural changes to the hippocampus region of the brain. When a user has a high dose of marijuana, new information does not register into their brain and this may be lost from memory and they are not able to retrieve new information for more than a few minutes. There is also a decrease in the activity of nerve cells.

There are two types of memory behavior that is affected by marijuana, recognition memory and free cells. Recognition memory is the ability to recognize correct words. Users can usually recognize words that they previous saw before smoking but claim to recognize words that they did not previously see before smoking. This mistake is known as memory intrusions. Memory intrusions are also the consequence of THC affecting the free cell of the brain. "Marijuana disrupts the ability to freely recall words from a list that has been presented to an intoxicated subject."(6) For example, if a list of vocabulary words presented to the intoxicated subject and few minutes later, they have to recall the words that were on the list. The only words that they remember are the last group of words and not the words that are in the beginning of the list. This is an initiation that their memory storage has been affected. "The absence of an effect at short term delay times indicates that cannabinodis did not impair the ability to perform the basic task, but instead produce a selective learning and/or memory deficit."(7) I did a study with two college students (Student A and Student B) who both smoke marijuana every other week. This particular study was done an hour before, while and after they were under the influence of the drug. Student A was watching television before she smoked marijuana, was asked which advertisement was splayed before the show started and she got four out of five of her answers correct. After this first section, she smoked a small dose of marijuana twice within an hour. Fifteen minutes after she smoked her last blunt, she continued her regular activity of watching sitcoms. When a commercial would come on, I would ask her simple questions like what happened before the show went to a commercial break. Her responses would be macro-answers about what was going on but when I asked her what the main character was wearing, she did not remember. This was ironic because the protagonist wore a bright yellow suit that my friend commenting on earlier when the show began ten minutes ago. Her short-term memory is weakening because she was only able to remember big picture information and not small picture. Though the results are interesting, I know that I would have had different response on someone else because it depends on how often the user smokes and if they have good memory prior to smoking weed.

Marijuana also impairs emotions. When smoking marijuana, the user may have uncontrollable laughter one minute and paranoia the next. This instant change in emotions has to do with the way that THC affects the brain's limbic system. The limbic system is another region of the brain that governs one's behavior and emotions. It also "coordinates activities between the visceral base-brain and the rest of the nervous system."(8) I am now going to use Students B to describe how emotions are affected by marijuana. Students B is an articulate and well spoken young woman who has a troublesome relationship with her best friends which gets her upset and tense up. But after she smoked one high dose weed, her body was relaxed however, she had trouble formulating her thoughts clearly and would talk in pieces and was jubilant. It has been researched that a person needs to have high dose of marijuana would be in the state of euphoria. High dose of marijuana is measured as "15mg of THC can cause increased heart rate, gross motor disturbances, and can lead to panic attacks."(9) Thankfully, Student A did not experience any of these extreme examples.

College students usually smoke marijuana because they are stressed over schoolwork and feel that marijuana can help them unwind. I have encountered marijuana smokers who are chilled and have no worries in the world but after the effect of the drug wears off, they're sometimes capable to tacking their problem or at the original state that they were in before the drug. The effects of happiness that marijuana usually cause to the user is not a lasting effect because even though a user smokes weed to get away from the troubles of his/her own life, they still have to face these problems after the effects of the drug wears-off. In a survey with college student, an organization called, parents: the Anti-Drug interviewed college students and found that "compared to the light users, heavy marijuana users made more errors and had more difficulty sustaining attention."(10) This was evident through my second experiment with Student B but not everyone who smoke high doses of marijuana experience the same affect.

The chemicals in marijuana bring cognitive impairment and troubles with learning for the user. "Smoking [marijuana] causes some changes in the brain that are like those caused but cocaine, heroin, and alcohol. Some researchers believe that has changes may put a person more at risk of becoming addicted to other drugs such a cocaine and heroin."(11) To prevent such harm, one must be cautious of their actions. Those who do not do drugs do not risk harm. So please the next day you light up, remember you that you central nervous system and brain will be at risk.

1)Online Dictionary

2)Marijuana: The Brain's Response to Drugs, A Good Web Source

3)Mind Over Matter: Marijuana Series, A Good Web Source

4)Alcohol Addiction & The Limbic System, A Good Web Source

5)Marijuana: The Brain's Response to Drugs, A Good Web Source

6)Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Learning and Memory Impairments Produced by Cannabinoids, A Good Web Source

7)Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Learning and Memory Impairments Produced by Cannabinoids, A Good Web Source

8)Marijuana and the Brain by John Gettman. High Times, March, 1995, A Good Web Source

9)Alcohol Addiction & The Limbic System, A Good Web Source

10)Parents. The Anti-Drug. -- Drug Information, A Good Web Source

11)Marijuana: Marijuana Brain Effects, A Good Web Source

 

 

Comments made prior to 2007

I smoked pot straight now since I was 13 years old Im 25 now I smoke it everyday literally through a Bong. I do not smoke well im at work but as soon as im off and for the remainder of the evening till I end up going to bed I do smoke. Now I read your page about the effects pot has on short term memory and brain function, Since I started smoking pot my asthma has vanished my grades went up in school my mind learns at quicker rates and my short term memory is far from gone There isnt much I forget about, unless it is because of my selective memory. Were the people that you tested on already marijuana smokers and also there are diff things to be taken into consideration when testing a substance for example the way it was grown marijuana has to be grown with nutrients and fertalizers to become potent enough to smoke for a high but when people use these fertilizers and such they sometimes do not leech the foods out from the plants which could lead to all kinds of bad side effects Im wondering if this kind of inforamtion is taken into consideration when giving test subjects marijuana to smoke or ingest.

I have no side effects other than a burnt out feeling after smoking all nite, and in teh morning of course but no brain problems like teh ones your website describes ... Chris, 7 July 2006

 

 

Yeah...i disagree on a lot of things that you have to say about this. Like for one some of the things you mentioned only happen while you're high, but after the high goes away those things do as well. Marijuana is not addicting like other hard drugs or alcohol. Also marijuana helps people with ADD, makes them focus better, and sometimes learn better. Sometimes when you smoke your nerves are more dull, but sometimes they can be more alive, so to speak. You need to know that everybody reacts to marijuana differently. So these test that your doing don't go for everybody. You need to let people know that or else thats kind of false information. Something that really got to me is when you were talking about how people do it to relax and get their mind of things and once the highs gone all the problems come back. Well once again everybody reacts differently to marijuana. A lot of people when there high talk a lot about there problems and life in general. What I'm getting at here is that while their high they can figure out there problems because being high brings you into a new type of world and you think about everything more carefully. It's like it opens up your brain and lets you think more into your thoughts and about whats going on. A lot of times they can solve their problems like that, especially when there is someone there with them to talk to. Marijuana also brings people together. I know someone who hated a bunch of people, but then one day ended up smoking with them. Next thing she knew, they were all the best of friends. I know a group of people and within that group you've got your "gangster" type, Punk type, goth type, preppy type, hick type, and the list just keeps going. All of them probably wouldn't even talk if it wasn't for marijuana bringing them together. I have a lot more to say but, I'm not going to because I have pretty much proved my point. Also marijuana brings the creativeness out in people. Some of the greatest authors, poets, music artist, painters, and so on, get their great ideas or create there masterpieces by being high.

 

P.S I would also like to add that I am a chronic user and I could remember your whole entire report on it. I also have excellent grades in school, in fact better than when I didn't smoke. I also would just like to add one more thing: You will not understand or ever be able to know how or what marijuana does to you unless you do it yourself. Trust me I once was all anti-marijuana and always said that it does all these bad things to you and blah blah blah. Well now I actually know how it really does make people feel because I have experienced it and everything there is in that type of world.

 

P.S.S I do agree with a few things that you had to say ... Jen, 9 November 2006

 

 

Hi, I really found this information very useful because it IS a misconvention among most of the college/university goers that marijuana increases concentration and increases the work capacity of an individual. I personally believe that it DOES increase the work capacity of the abuser to some extent, that's when the drug abuser is not in a "stoned" state of mind, but then too, what is at stake is the brain and central nervous system malfunctioning, which degrades the intellectual, job and social skills. So in my opinion, it's not a good deal ... Ankur Gupta, 25 February 2007

 

 

allright tell me something if you say a list of say 20-30 vocabulary words and you were asked to read them over, then you were asked say 5 minutes later to remember as many of those words as you can, do you really think you'll be able to do that? no i bet if you asked 100 people to do that that around 90% of them wouldnt be able to do it.

 

also riddle me this batman, how many people die each year from drunk driving accidents? now dont im pretty sure you've been drunk, and maybe once smoked pot in your life right? well which had a more sever affect the weed or the alcohol? yeah the alcohol!

 

im a stoner i will proudly say that. but if i have the choice between alcohol and weed i'd take weed anyday. i've driven high that isnt a problem. when im high i drive a little slower then normal and im lookin for the nearest 7-11.

 

weed isnt a drug it has no addictive characteristics what so ever!!! ciggaretes kill more people then alchol,guns,and pissed off husbands who come home early.

 

now weed doesnt lead to other drugs what so ever, i've been smokin the stuff everyday for the past 4 years and i have yet to even think about trying other drugs. if mother nature didnt want us to smoke it she wouldnt have put it here!

 

its as simple as that!! ... Reader on the web, 21 July 2007

 

 

Hello, I was told about this site as a friend of mine was completing a research paper. As I looked over it, there seems to be lots of misinformation involved, and my friend has abandoned this site. I wouldn't mind if you read through all of my message carefully. To start off, the following statement is not backed by any scientific evidence what so ever. "Marijuana impinges on the central nervous system by attaching to brain's neurons and interfering with normal communication between the neurons." This has been proven to be false on multiple occasions since the 1970's. Cannabinoids to not not impinge on the nervous system what so ever, this isn't lysergic acid we're dealing with. "Marijuana plant contains 400 chemicals and 60 of them are cannabinoids" This quote right here is misleading. Every plant is comprised of hundreds of chemicals. In fact, they're not even chemicals, they're just substances that comprise the plants' structure. Also, the majority of cannabinoids that are also found in cannabis are produced by the body naturally. Also regarding cannabinoid receptors. "These receptors control memory, thought, concentration, time and depth, and coordinated movement. THC also affects the production, release or re-uptake (a regulating mechanism) of various neurotransmitters." This is simply false, I do not know where this source came from. Your brain does not use cannabinoid receptors for memory, thought, or concentration. Next,saying that "When one's memory is affected by high dose of marijuana, short-term memory is the first to be triggered." is also blatantly false. Marijuana does not directly impact memory, but short term memory only when high off of THC or CBD is affected because the user may be 'distracted' if you will from the plant it self. Also, referring to a 'high dose' of marijuana is ridiculous. There is no such thing as a high dose of Cannabis because there is no possible way to overdose. It is strictly impossible. The most obnoxious quote that i've read from this site is, "Marijuana also impairs emotions. When smoking marijuana, the user may have uncontrollable laughter one minute and paranoia the next." I cannot believe that this would even be published. MARIJUANA DOES NOT CHANGE A USERS STATE OF MIND. PEOPLE CAN MAKE THE SAME RATIONAL DECISIONS AS THEY WOULD WHEN NOT USING THE PLANT. PERIOD. I am actually appalled by what I've read here, and I'm even more appalled by the sources you've used. Unlike true informational sites, you've only used web sources. That is completely absurd. If you look at any reasonable fact site about Cannabis you will see that the sources that are used are mainly from published books and factual citations. Please realize that much of what is on this web page is completely false and misleading. I wouldn't mind hearing a response soon to defend your case ... Spiros Thomas, 7 November 2007

Comments

me's picture

weeeeeeed

It really depends on the person to clarify if weed is a drug or not. Some people are affected so bad by weed they can't handle it. Other people need it to focus, or in other words they can handle it. I personally smoke everynight before bed. I smoke a bowl, watch tv, laugh my ass off, and fall asleep. Nothing wrong with that!!!! Legalize it!!!! You people that think soo bad of weed, obviosuly fall into the category of people that either never tried it, or can't handle it, and might I say...SUCKS FOR YOU!

Anonymous's picture

i agree its mor just for fun

i agree its mor just for fun

Anonymous's picture

Legalize Marijuana.

I agree completely. I also believe alcohol should remain legal. There are rehabs for alcoholics, and there should be more for people who can't handle their weed, and their addiction.
I'm concerned about the young people, ie: under age 22, who use weed regularly. This is a bad time in life to risk losing some of your brain and motor skills.
So far, there is no eveidence of older adults ie: 30 or over, as having permanant damge. There are studies that do show permanant damage for young adults and children.

Anonymous's picture

Ok well marijuana being

Ok well marijuana being illegal is stupid because its a plant......i live in canada and drug paraphanilia is LEGAL where i live and why can you buy the seeds but you cant plant em....like you can buy the seeds, bongs, pipes and posters promoting weed but you still cant own or smoke any of it. I think that if God put on the earth that we should be able to smoke or at least grow it....i mean mabye they should legalize it but you have to buy it at pharmacies but only a certain amount at a time and make a legal age limit, 16 or so.....So ther i left my 2 cents about it....comment and let me know what you think.

Thanks

james m rakke's picture

please comment if you agree with my thought on pot/weed /mj what

Hi im james m rakke im am 15 and i think that pot is not a drug a drug is something that can kill you pot is a drug that will help people and dose help people it dosnt screw up ur memory . to me it has helped me allot and i have become a better student . im called a stoner cuz i say dude well us (stoner) stick together and dont fight or start crap we think about what we do and for thoz who say it leads to crack and myth are wrong.....

ps im a proud stoner

jack's picture

Response to James

I am also 15 and smoke 3 or 4 times a month. It does help me with school work and my grades have improved since ive started using and im a lot less depressed now a days. i guess it is somewhat addictive because it would be very difficult for me to never smoke it again, but i could quit if i really wanted too. i also sleep alot better at night and stuff like that. i dont see any major problems with smoking weed as long as u dont over use it and depend on it to much. thats my opinion

james m rakke's picture

i agree

thank you, If people could just see what i see then people would all feel much better so thank you very much for replying

michael DiFi's picture

personal observation of that stanky stanky

first off, the reason they say weed is a gateway drug and leads to harder drugs is simple. weed is illigal so in order to get it you must go to a drug dealer and almost all drug dealers sale more then one drug and what they try to do is, "hey man if you think that weed was good then you gotta try this blow, crack, meth, etc. it will get you way super higher." it doesent "make you" wanna do other drugs just that you will have axcess to other drugs because of how you have to get the drugs in the first place. and as far as i know a "drug" must be chemically engineered and weed is %100 natural "unless ofcourse it is laised, god forbide". I do have to say tho weed does have a effect on your mind, but its almost impossiable to compile real prove about anything said because it deff effects everyone differently because everyone has different bodies and different mentalities which is what is effected when smoking, but also it depends on the amount inhailed and of what grade it is to. There are so many variablies it would be like trying to win a game of chest in one move and and eliminating all the pieces at the same time. personally i love to smoke because pretty much all of my greatest thoughts, inventions, songs, poems, buisness ideas, life decisions, religious thoughts and everything else come to me when im "high". which proves it effects your brain frequency, mentality and self. and i personally think the reason its still illegal is because the govt knows how much money can be made off it and the govt wants us to stay broke and struggling so they can keep all that oil money and laugh at our expence because we have no choice but to take it. back to point tho, no doubt weed effects you, but i would rather smoke then drink anyday and i enjoy drinking. weed cant kill you but dont get it confused you can still get any form of lung cancer from it because it is smoke going into your lungs, but not nearly as sever as tabaccoo. to summ things up, either you smoke because you understand and enjoy what haeens when you get high, or you dont like it and dont do it again. everybody wins...

Cora 's picture

It's not the best deal you can make

Time will come when everybody realize that getting high every day will make your life miserable - long term speaking. You will miss the time when you could go to sleep without smoking any joints or when you just simply didn't feel the necessity of getting into a whatsoever state of mind. Haha had anybody gotten paranoid about seeing a cop when you've been sober plus haven't gotten any weed either? I had. It is ridiculous and aweful.
Being engaged with the grass is a dangerous game, because sooner or later you will get bored of it but then you are already committed which will make your life more complicated...

amber's picture

Marijuana...

What is there to say about Marijuana. I am sixteen years old and a junior in high school. I have taken the time to read some of the more interesting titled coments posted on this page. I have to say I strongly disagree with some of these comments and insinuations made about "pot". Marijuana is what you make it, if you smoke weed and you do not enjoy the side effects or become sketchy DONT SMOKE. Simple as that. Myself, personally have been smoking since I was eleven years old. I still get honor roll and awards. My grades are outstanding and some of the best papers or assignments I have turned in were done while I was high. Weed expands the mind and allows personal growth. I prefer smoking weed to drinking actually. I am in complete control and have just as great of a time. I understand the side effects or the long term effects Marijuana holds, but it is all personal choice or belief. I believe also that legalizing marijuana will help with our initial what 12.7 trillion dollar debt. Anyway, my point is I love marijuana, to those who do not know or dont care to learn do not preach to us about your non-smoking saints minded non-sense you do not know our experiences. In fact imma go smoke a bowl right now after this class and i bet ill still ace my test next period.
Peace.Love.Weed.
LEGALIZE IT! :D

Anonymous's picture

To make things clear

I have read alot of these comments and I have to say that many of these things are true yet some are false. I will not get long winded and throw too many facts and personal experiences at you....rather open your mind to whats really going on. Everthing in life has to be done in moderation. that includes "Weed", "Drank", and other "Made-Drugs". So of course if you smoke too much it will have bad affects on you. If you had to find out about what "It" is from your friends, 90% of the time you do not absolutely need "It". Unless you were born with a medical problem you basically have what you need already.(omit food, water,exercise...)what im trying to say is, yes, weed is the most safe mind-altering substance we know but at the same time we need to find out, in our personal lives, how much is enough. Looking at someone elses comments to determine what to do is stupid. If you feel as though you do not get all of your work done or are losing a grip on reality then cut back and take notice to whats going on. To be more on topic about weed however, laws of science do not just fade away and something that messes with your head that much has to do something to you. But, if you dont abuse weed then you should not have anything to worry about. I am a weed smoker but I have recently learned more about life and moderation..........I can promise every weedhead that if you search your heart you will see what im saying is true. From me to you...."live through life, dont let life live through you".....

Devin Smokey 's picture

now i smoke weed every other

now i smoke weed every other day im the best athlete in my grade (8th) at a 4A school in the heart of Texas. my grades have gone up i focus more, i run track play A-team footbal defense, offense, and special teams. this whole web site is a lie man weed is the best thing to step that game up baby! I'm not forgetful at all man.

P.S. like pineapple express it makes everything in life better! :) legilize it today!!!

ernnie's picture

I wish i knew the benefits of marijuana long time a go

I wish I knew the benefits of marijuana long time a go
I grew up in a very conservative Religious and block mind it Family.
I grow up epileptic and had my first seizure at 5 then at 12 then I start taking pills three times a Day for 30 years.
Alcohol was on my family and later on me.
I'm 50 years old start smoking marijuana couple of years a go because my alcohol problem, 30 years of epilepsy 5 surgeries and chronic pain, insomnia
If I started using marijuana long long time a go with a professional guide I wouldn't be in so much trouble in life and in to my body.
I smoked marijuana once in high school and it was bad at the moment because the cough I didn't do it again and also my family but that day I slept like an angel for 4 hours or five that was a good feeling and all the stress out, I already have insomnia and didn't know but family make me stay in bed at 8 or 9 and sometimes I sleep 3 hours only and wake up at 6am no matter what..........
Now 50 years old smoke marijuana I love it kills every problem I have and only take one pill at night for chronic pain and insomnia I have no seizures no more not even an advice that I’m going to have on I can Drive better more careful because the paranoia is good for me and the anti anxiety...It has everything to balance me is incredible.... Love it! i love to see it grow I love to have it close to me I take care like my babies and my life saver.
If I ever die by marijuana I will never regret it ...I used to be with fear always to have a seizure it can happened any time any where no matter how good you sleep or eat or take care...Now no more fear it is gone.
Thanks

Anonymous's picture

I have mixed feelings.

I am not an adamant smoker, i smoke maybe twice a month at the most. i am a sophmore in high school, so i dont really know much. I do belive in legalizing it for medical reasons. or at least having an age limit. I dont think 12 year olds should make the decision to smoke weed or not. Some people benifit from smoking weed, but not everyone who makes that decison do.

Anonymous's picture

pot is Ok if it isnt abused

ok mj has been and always be against the law for personal use but it well be legalized for medical usage i disagree with this allot i have smoked pot i think it fine but at this moment its illegal

jooeediee's picture

weed?

weed will not always be illegal an
ithink the whole world will use it one day
an once it is legal, many people will take weed to their advantage an use it with respect

no one important's picture

America

you people are killing our founding principles

james m rakke's picture

?

what do you mean by this

Anonymous's picture

All's to his/her own...

All's to his/her own...

Jon10's picture

Marijuana in MY EYES

Marijuana is not bad too smoke when controlled properly. But i know plenty of people that abuse weed. YES, MJ is addicting, almost any object or action is addicting...food,tv,sex etc. I have a close family member that cant stop becase he doesnt know how to live without it he what is know as a stoner. I myself use to smoke ever single day. Yes I still smoke it from time to time just to relex after a hard days work but im letting something like this control me. Friends of mine would just smoke and watch tv and movies all night and say "that was a fun night", to me it alright but i rather be out to clubs,parties or movies etc. In someways it slowed me down but in someways it made me more productive. When i smoked crappy zone(a-z) i was very sluggish and hated the after effect but when i smoked a correct amount of bud i was very productive and thought about a lot of things. Another reason ive stopped was because its a sin. I know yall probably thinking "o what a pussy", well when in heaven whos going to be the pussy sreaming from the pain of hell...anyways lol i got sytracted...Its a sin not to follow your contries laws so by smoking marijana im breaking the law which is sinning. BUT if they ever legalize weed im going to be the first to smoke it...but this doesnt mean im going to use it because im probably better off without it..saves money,clearer mind more prodctive.

Be The Change's picture

To whom it may concern: I

To whom it may concern:
I grew up in a drug free home, in a good neighborhood with loving parents and a younger sister. My father has experienced the drug scene since he was 8 and cannabis is the one he has preferred. My mother on the other hand is what I like to call, “a closed minded saint” and hasn’t touched much of anything in her life besides a cigarette. When I was three my Dad made the wise decision to stop smoking weed to better himself but his family as well, and hasn’t touched it since (except for the occasional toke every now and then maybe once every five years if he’s lucky). Because of the wonderful gene pull I have been graciously damned with having ADHD and slight bipolar tendencies. Both my father and my grandfather have it as well. Throughout my childhood I struggled in school. I couldn’t focus. Reading was out of the question, hand writing was like chicken scratch, and I rushed to get anything done, arguing with my parents over small things that would blow up to huge arguments, and not getting along with anyone, it was just pure hell. I was also tested several times for ADHD but never came to the conclusion of having it until my JR year in high school, because it is harder to detect in boys than girls. After being put on that wonderful little pink pill called Adderal my family had seen a drastic change in the way I performed in school but also in the way I handled life. I hated being on Adderall because of the speeding it makes you feel, the shaking, the irritability, the OCD that comes out when you take it, the constant need to clean, the list could go on. So, when my Dad had told me that he didn’t like me taking Adderall either because of the mood change and the harmful effect it has on my body, he jokingly said, “I’d rather you take a toke then take that pill”, being who I am, I took that to heart. After taking my first hit when I was 16 I realized the benefits to smoking weed while having ADHD and some Bipolar tendencies.( Before I explain the benefits let it be known that I am not condoling it by any means and I am not disagreeing to the harmful effects it has on the body.) Smoking weed without taking my prescribed medication had better effects for me than the medication given. It takes my racing mind and slows it down, without speeding it up so fast that it slows down like Adderall does. (Adderall in my opinion is a legal form of Crack and shouldn’t ever be abused.) It also aloud me the capability to sleep at night. Adderall didn’t keep me up at night. I kept me up at night when I didn’t take it. And I didn’t like taking it so I smoked weed instead. I smoked every day before and after school from my Jr. and Sr. year. Granted the Adderall helped with my grades at first. It even helped me slow down and change the way my handwriting looked. As well as Weed did. (I have examples saved for those who find this hard to believe) Weed helped me do all the things that Adderall did without the speeding, OCD, shakes, irritability, and harmful chemicals being released in my body.
The down side to smoking pot personally: I disappointed my Mom. (But she’s gotten over it.)
I’ve spent a lot of money on weed. (But, it has always been the money I have worked for, and I have never been broke.)
That’s about it.
Once I came out and told my parents how I felt and the Mom got over her own issues with it, I have become more close to them then I was ever before for being honest. My dad and his buddies joke about taking tokes like they would joke about the fact that I’ve backed in to his truck once or twice (not while under the influence let it be noted, that teens with ADHD have a higher tendency to get in to car accidents and have more traffic violations than teens without it. Accordingly, I have been pulled over 7 times for various traffic violations without being under the influence of marijuana.)

My point is that Weed affects people differently.
That there is nothing in this world that has to do with medical use that doesn’t have some kind of harmful side effects to it. Headache medication – if taken enough is harmful.
Anything taken enough is harmful. That is why in my personal opinion nothing should be taken for granted.
Ps. Today I am drug free.
Tomorrow might be another story.
Legalize it.

Anonymous's picture

Info

Interesting comments from everyone! Check out the documentary "The Union".
It is full of up to date facts about hemp, marijuana, the laws, the money, etc.

Anonymous's picture

Has not harmed my university so far

I've been smoking "weed" since I was 14 (daily since 18) and I'm 27 now. I've currently just finished my masters off with a 50 page astrophysics essay and will continue on to doctrinal studies all aided by Marijuana. I would like some citation as to where your sources comes from. The CNS idea has been de-bunked for quite a while and we know full well what pathyways and cells are being stimulated when consuming THC in any form and it's far from harmful. Again, some citation or any indication that what you are saying is proveable and true.

Anonymous's picture

I started smoking cannabis

I started smoking cannabis when i was 13 years old and now 25 i have decided to give it up. At first there were no effects mentally or physically until i reached 21 and this is when i started to notice the damage. I agree that an individual can act and feel differently when getting high but here's how it made me feel and the downsides of smoking it everyday:

It made me very anxious to a point where i didn't want to leave my house, although i only felt this way after i had smoked a joint.

Memory completely deteriorates i have trouble remembering a 6 digit phone number. Sentences became difficult because i couldn't find words, it felt like my brain had been completely fried and to think this was never a problem before smoking.

Confidence goes but i suppose that would all fit in with anxiety. I hated being in crowds of people it made me very nervous even hanging out with friends when stoned made me anxious.

I spent about £60 - £80 a week on weed (£20 a bag). As soon as i woke i needed to smoke and if i didn't i felt very miserable. What a depressing life, so yes now i have stopped.

Please be careful not to over do cannabis, i don't care who you are you are still a human being too much cannabis will damage your brain FACT

Anonymous's picture

Thank you for writing a

Thank you for writing a properly phrased response.

Not these rediculous run-on's. Drives me crazy.

meme fultz's picture

weed

Man.......im only 15 ive been blowing bagg since i was 13 everyday.I dont forget much only when im chopped (high)< but my lost memories come back when im sober when im high n driving i focus on nothin but the rode.But when im high and drunk my mind be lost i be about 2 crash all the time but somehow manage to make it to my destination just try the shit if you dont like it you can just stop when you want to. My momma tried it once and she never tried it again but me and all my silblins smoke together it's calming i just like it builds confidence like a movie is bascially what i feel like im in when im blowed............!!!!

Julia from California's picture

If you smoke weed you will die!

Stoners choose to talk " unintellegently" to lessen intimidation. Stoners mean no harm and they should not be looked down on as stupid. In fact, they are brilliant. They think at the margin, share memories and stories of the past without being self conscious,very open-minded and receptive, have creative ideas for business projects and marketing strategies. We all have met the typical stoner "dude", but not all stoners use "dude" vocabulary on daily basis. It depends on your age and education level, not how much weed is causing you to forget the proper English. Yes, we can all be sofisticated like Britain. But what's the whole fun in that? I also believe that weed brings people together no matter what level of education achieved, race, religious and political views. I've never seen stoners try to fight, they seem to be the type of people that would " talk it out". Also, most canibas users are deeply involved in their communities,true hippies, that stand up for human rights and peace thoughout the world.I'm sure the slogan, "Make love not War," is a powerful back-up for anti-war movement/ drug nation back in the 60's. Maybe it is the low self-confident people that start to use it in high school and college, but those poeple obviously do not discriminate against anyone. They hang out with everyone and try to spread love and comfort. Now I do believe that a stoner can be brilliant and "late" at the same time. Marijuana users, by observation, tend to loose track of time easier, misplace keys and other small subjects, have a slower response (only when they are high and not paying attention), and they do forget more often than they remember. Marijuana makes people procrastinate on their daily tasks, but when the job is done, it is done with great detail and carefulness. Marijuana makes people have a very precise understanding of the world around, makes people have some type of moral values (if they were not raised with religion to guide them) through psychological practice of common sense on daily basis. Marijuana makes you think deeper about subjects that may be controvertial , but over all it is good practice for the brain as along as you don't have to rely on weed like on tobacco. There are also multiple ways that marijuana is used in medicine as a pain reducer.For example, I have scholiosis and I smoke weed to help me sooth the pain off my back and sholders. I also smoke when ever my stomach hurts, it calms nasea.

There are negative effects but there are no recorded deaths form marijuana use.

P.S. I am a marijuana addict, I never denyed that but it's going to get legalized because America is in a big debt, so soon everyone will not care.

I LOVE LIFE

james m rakke's picture

if yo smoke weed it awesome

ok i completely agree with what you say i am 15 i have been smoking for 2 years now the school has been buging me and i took it to court on how my grade have gone up by alot i was a F student now im b+ and higher my attitude is better im not fighting and they just dont understand us proud stoners

Anonymous's picture

For the fellow weed consumer.

it seems to be that the same people defending weed are those of the youth, just by reading some comments i came across the idea that no matter what sicence presents to be fact "pot-smokers" will find a way around the truth by simply lying to themselves through nothing else but cannabis.
the typical weed smoker would admit to using the substance for the same fact that it opens your mind and helps you accept things the way they are, if so were true why not accept the facts of chronological marijuana use and its negative effects it WILL have on your body in the long run?
it is easy to deny the facts but it takes courage to accept the truth.
weed leads to nowhere! so if your that person planning on smoking through life you have another thing coming and when it hits it hits and then it hurts.
but what do i know right, i am just a seventeen year old kid, wrong i have done my share of sessions but then realized after a short period (through the use of cannabis)that it is simply pointless, although it can be fun and you meet all kinds of people you never imagined it can have negative effects as well as positive, for me it made me reflect on where i am going in life and what i must do to get there, weak minded users on the other hand will let themselves be controlled by the drug by believing they need to toke everyday in order to enhace personal skills wether its acadmically or socially unless you are born with some type of disability one does not need drugs to better themsleves if one has the opportunity to work their way to perfection.
at this point i am talking to the kids that have made weed their new religion. Now if your that person who smokes to wind down after a hard days work in some occasions it just seems fine, kind of like a construction worker opening a can of beer at the end of the day it is just human and we all have our own ways to relax. what im driving at here is it all depends on what it is used for. excessive use can have its concequences at some points lets just hope it is not to late when one realizes it.
im not one to talk im still in highschool but it seems to me that whatever we do we will always find a way of making the "experince of life" better wether its through technology or drugs; one is never satisfied.

Gemmel's picture

The test

Tahe 30 objects try and memorize them in 15 minutes and the recount them not only the right amount but in order

Your brain is capable.

The second test without pronpting can you remember them all in order 1 week later and
thirdly even 18 months later.

The brain is capable - what are you doing to your brain.

Lets cut to the chase man or monkey.

Anonymous's picture

Perhaps you should do some

Perhaps you should do some more research. Depends on the objects to be memorized. Try memorizing pre-calculus formulas. Your second test can be accomplished successfully whether pot smoker or not.I suggest you pick up a copy of Cognition by Margaret W. Matlin...5th or 7th edition. And while you r at it check out Marijuana Reconsidered by Lester Grinspoon. You should get the facts straight b4 espousing your ideas, unless of course u like looking ignorant or feel compelled to join the sheeple crowd..like everything told to you, you just believe. That's how Bernie Madoff got rich. Should I have you revisit 9-11 or are you finally over the wool being pulled over your eyes as to who really initiated that process?
My facts come from either impartial sources or non-government funded publications...guess why...here's a hint: what they cannot control they condemn. Need some examples....I am not saying buds are totally innocuous..but it's hardly the object you and other un-enlightened ppl need to demonize. I agree with most of the pro-herb comments posted. They are liberal if not so much supportive. And they come from ppl that have experienced the experience...not just a couple times. I respect that.I have always wondered why ppl always feel the need to stop another person from supposed harm and then turn around and exhibit behavior conducive of labeling and judgments. Like the gov't passing seat-belt laws as if they really care whether you live or die. It seems to me with our Healthcare issues, the increased and continued sale of alcohol to ppl that drive(no-brainer),the greenhouse gas effect which destroys our ozone and capitulates the existence of decrepid slaughterhouses (and yes, the cow-meat you consume is loaded with stress.. you know..that thing that kills you, slowly),that they do not care. I have a long list of other ways our demise is being orchestrated as well..and put simply.....in a capitalistic society, where $$ rules,there is no $$ in the cure..only in the treatment. Brush up on your reading bro...and don't join the crowd that has been fucking ppl since the American Indians...and then 200 years later have the nerve to name vehicles after the conquered foe...ala Jeep Grand Cherokee. Pathetic. Don't you be. Primates are not capable of higher order reasoning since they lack the telencephalon portion of the brain. Think about this, then ask YOURSELF....
Are you man or monkey...or just a sheep.
Peace.
Oh, and can you tell I have been smoking for more than 20 years..heavily (2 blunts a day for the past 12 years)?

Ganja Man's picture

Dude...

ive been smoking for two years and i have ADHD like a mo fo since ive been smoking my memory has improved my grades went up and its like im not ADHD any more i love it. you really need to look at waht your giving Student A & B the pure shit is what i smoke nothing esle but ferilizer in the soil like Miricale Grow the good stuff you know. and one more thing im not as violent as i used to be so
PEACE Bitches

meme fultz's picture

weed

on everthing thats exactly what i be thinking

Anonymous's picture

lolz!

marijuana is bad..all who want or love smoking marijuana is noob user... to all of them i just want to say that..dont let time will come that you realize smoking marijuana is bad..and its too late... i promise mark my word!

maaary jane baby ;)'s picture

yessss, we should smoke weed er day ;)

all you guys should shut up. im sixteen years old in HIGH schoool and i smoke weed er day ;) im living my life just like you all should. fuck what the governemt say, its only illegal cos you little pussys cant shut up. if i had it my own way people could be walking down the streets having a joint. life is too short, fucking go smoke a joint and smile :) even if it does give you cancer and all sorts of disease's its still your friend, i mean god put it here for me and you.. you know its true haha. so all i can say is bite me im high ;) hahahahahaha.

elyse's picture

grow up kid!

God put weed here as a test weed is a temtation. if you smoke it your a coward and you cant face the real world!! and sure they might legallize and make it all dandy but i will still not smoke it cuz i believe that God tests us every day and we should atleast try to get an A. think about the tree in the garden of eden. God put that tree there but He didnt want them to eat from it. eve ate from the tree God said not to eat from! that was a temtation! he told them to not eat it but eve failed the test and so did adam. God wanted to see if they had will power and He wants to see if you have will power too!! He put it here as a temptation. just cuz some one tells you to smoke or eat something doesnt mean you should do it. and one more thing why would God intend you to smoke something that can give you cancer! (im talking about tabacoo too) we shouldnt smoke any thing! its bad for your lungs! im only 13 but i know how bad these things can be i know your 16 and think your all that and you can do any thing but you need to grow up man! are you depending on weed to take you through your whole life!! i can see why you want this but you shouldnt smoke weed unless you have a sickness that the docter says its ok! you can do it just try to stop =]

Anonymous's picture

God gave Adam and Eve

God gave Adam and Eve instructions not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, there aren't instructions not to smoke anything in the bible. On cancer, it's a correlation of higher risk of cancer and cannabis smoking, there are no proven causal effects of cancer and smoking cannabis. Finally, If god is testing you I would think a doctor has no say over the word of god.

Anonymous's picture

....

I wouldn't have guessed

Anonymous's picture

WEED IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK.

It's really not so bad, it's not even worth being a controversial topic. It's just a thing that never hurt anyone and the people who don't use it just do not know anything about it unless they are using science. But if someone asked me "Should I smoke weed?" I would say hey, if you want to see what it is try it. But I would generally advise not to because it's just a stupid thing to do. It doesn't deserve any thought, because it is useless.

Peace

YOU GUYS ARE IDIOTS!'s picture

WEED

FOR ALL OF YOU IDIOTS SAYING WEED IS NOT BAD, YOU ARE RETARDED! WEED MAKES YOU STERILE!!! IF EVERYONE SMOKES IT THERE WILL BE NO MORE PEOPLE ON EARTH YOU DUMB FUCKS! PLUS IF PEOPLE SMOKE IT ALL THE TIME HOW WOULD ANYTHING GET DONE! PEOPLE WOULD GO TO WORK HIGH AND NOT DO ANY WORK! PEOPLE WOULD OVERDOSE ALL THE TIME! THEY WOULD ALSO START TO DO OTHER DRUGS BECAUSE WEED IS A GATEWAY DRUG. FOR ALL OF YOU IDIOTS WHO DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS IT MEANS ONCE YOUR BODY BUILDS UP A TOLERANCE TO WEED YOU WONT GET THAT HIGH FEELING ANYMORE AND YOU WILL WANT A DIFFERENT STRONGER DRUG! GROW UP YOU IDIOTS! WEED DOES NOT MAKE YOU COOL IT JUST RUINS YOUR LIFE! MY SISTER DIED FROM DRUGS WHEN SHE WAS 17! THEY ARE NOT GOOD! DO NOT RUIN YOUR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Carrie's picture

if you've never tried weed, you don't have a clue!

youre so full of shit, come one now, do you REALLY think that if weed WAS legal EVERYONE would smoke it?? not everyone will smoke weed if it becomes legal, goshhh, you're just a lowlife LOSER who has nothing better to do than talk shit about something you dont know shit about! you said, "people would go to work high and not get anything done." good fucking grief, your the fucking idiot, im a chronic smoker and im also a straight A student BITCH! i am MY OWN PERSON and i do as i please when i please! i keep up with my grades, i've already been accepted into 3 different PRIVATE colleges and im going to be started vet tech this fall, WHILE SMOKING WEED! but seriously, if you've NEVER tried weed than YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE!

Anonymous's picture

An example of the dangers of misinformation

This is so funny, except for your sister dying of course, I'm just presuming, but I guess she died from alcohol intoxication, that is a very common, harmful and widely abused drug. On the other hand I don't believe marijuana should be classed as a drug, unless of course you would like to class a carrot or potato as such? I think the term nutrient supplement may be a better descriptive term for this plant (when eaten), after all, hemp seeds are the most nutritious seed on the planet. I can safely assume that your sister never died from the use of marijuana, so please move your attitude aside and think constructively about the waste of your sisters life and what and why the real reasons were. Again although you seemed to skip over any useful information that led you to all your wild assumptions I suspect this was probably due to grief. Firstly, it is impossible to 'OVERDOSE' on this plant and to say it is a gateway drug is unfounded, unless of course that good old substance H20 is now a gateway drug that led me on to orange cordial and then tea and (SHOCK HORROR) coffee! So perhaps it was information such as what you have provided as your comments for all to read that led your sister to her death. It is naive to stress the dangers of weed as it will make young or under-educated people perceive all drugs to be fine once they have experienced just how safe and lovely this 'drug' is; that they have been lied to and therefore believe that other (harmful) drugs are also safe. Perhaps it was you who killed your sister with your misinformation and narrow-mindedness. I can now only conclude that this is why you feel the need to spread your prejudices further. But to spare you some guilt, please believe that it was more likely prohibition coupled with lack of information/misinformation that killed your sister and for that I am truly sorry. May peace be with you, I hope you can progress and recover from your tragedy and liberate yourself one day so you no longer have the need to continue further your fight against a plant and learn the truth. Bless.

PRISCILLA's picture

IF YOUR NOT A SMOKER DONT TALK

if u havent gotin high or u aint a smoker dont talk shit cuz you dont kn shit bout bud so jus save it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous's picture

Use your own advice

If you don't know how to spell, then either go back to kindergarten or spend the rest of your life working night shifts at a 7-11 and never write anything ever again.

Indo_boy's picture

I smoke it AS WELL

I live in Indonesia, excactly in Java, where mariyuana is cheap and still natural, they just grow in mountains of Aceh, loads of them.
I smoke it on and off (depends on what island I live, some island here don't have it u see), since i was 24, now i am 37,
I used to have a very bad asthma when i was a kid, so bad that my parents had to change my name.. (for supersticious reason) but it did not heal until i found mariyuana.. SO IT DOES HEAL ASTHMA..
Last year I went to jail for 6 months cos of it, (I didn't regret that, it was just price I have to pay for loving it so much), while there i stopped smoking it, and i didn't crave for it, I PRESUME IT DOESN'T CAUSE ADDICTION.
I think that weed affect people differently, some just should't smoke it, and some should.. I just smoked a wee joint a moment ago and I haven't lost my ability in remembering english words, in fact, I learn English by the help of mariyuana, it enhances my visual ability in remembering words.. SO IT DOES MAKE ME CLEVERER
SO THERE SHOULD BE A RESEARCH ON WHO CAN HANDLE IT AND WHO DON'T, and it should be legal like parsnip and cabbage..
and no one should go to prison because of it
cheers...

Anonymous's picture

You're right, marijuana is

You're right, marijuana is nonaddictive. It is however habitual.
It is absolutely ridiculous that a natural plant is illegal to grow and consume.

Anonymous's picture

"Weed"!!!!what can i say i

"Weed"!!!!what can i say i love weed, if it wasn't for weed man, i don't think i would get through high school.. sure i got busted a couple times.. but it was mostly my anger when i wasn't under the influence... i was a mad piss off kid.. so weed saved my life.. aha-ha thank god for mother nature.. peace Smoke a Philly!!!

Anonymous's picture

commom sense

I do believe this dispute over marajuana use is controversal primarily due to the fact that it is a "grey" area with many perspectives, some valid, some not.

But if your going to be a chronic heavy user for years to come (personal choice), I suggest you don't have kids, and don't risk others lives while driving high...I know this from personal experience:

My ex-husband (current 30 year+ pot smoker) would often drive high with the kids in the car; his pot purchases would and still takes presidence over bills or buying food; he had suggested that if our then, 8 year old son could smoke pot, it would help him with his struggles in third grade. He has admitted his fear of quitting due to the extremely moody state of mind he experiences when he cuts back. Although I smoked pot when I was younger, I noticed after I had kids, that I felt disconnected from them if I smoked pot (puts them at risk), I immediately stopped smoking pot (10 years ago), created a drug/alcohol free home for our now teenagers.

Although there may be other factors involved; my ex-husband, is at this time, moody, needy, blames others for his troubles and deny's any addiction problems, he does have some moments have serenity, but those times are becoming fewer and farther apart; It is sad to see...and it is seriously impacting our kids.

legalized or not, the truth needs to be told, that marajuana use has the potential to lead to addiction for some people. (just like alcohol)

This is not an all or nothing issue, it is about being informed of the pro's and con's of drug use (in any form).

n00bi3_5nax's picture

Best post so far!!!

I 100% agree with you. I am currently working on my PharmD, and have smoked pot HEAVILY in high school (the mysticism of the herb no longer has any influence on me). I have seen a few of my peers while, in undergrad, just stagnate. They just seem incapable/impeded to amount to their full potential. I have seen potential physicians become nurses and potential engineers become techs :(

My observations maybe merely bayesian, but 100% of chronic pot smokers display childish qualities with a childish thought/decision process. Those that smoke less seem more adjusted. The truth is I still smoke once in awhile (one or twice a year or at Burning Man), but I approach with caution. I strongly believe it something that people should grow out of.

It seems that a lot of these poster are immature and need to put the bong down and grow up. When events in your life change (e.g. college, kids, . . . etc) it is time to give it up. It WILL interfere with your life, and become a conflict of interest to your priorities (e.g. college, kids, . . . etc).

The problem seems to be lifestyle. Notice alcohol is not a lifestyle, possibly because it is way more harmful than THC (socially and physically). Pot should never be a lifestyle. Pot is a drug and a powerful drug. And like any other drug
IT SHOULD BE TREATED WITH RESPECT.
But can be a thing of beauty and spirituality in the right setting.

All I would like to tell all habitual pot users is to grow up and understand the psychological effects of this drug. It is addicting. Plain and simple. It is drug. Plain and simple. And yes there are also physical effects too.

Anonymous's picture

Ugh

Marijuana is not ADDICTING!!! Do some research people!

randomness