HOW DOES MARIJUANA AFFECT THE BRAIN?

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Biology 202
2004 First Web Paper
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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

Michelle Owen's picture

Pssh.

You're an idiot.
Do some research.

Anonymous's picture

what research have you

what research have you done?
Do you think we have the time or resource to actually conduct the research to prove the point?

We only have the research other people have completed to get any information. Marijuana affects everyone differently plain and simple.

Same as cigarettes. I know people who have smoked cigarettes for almost 10 years and are in excellent health too.
I've read a true story of a man who smoked cigarettes almost all his life till a ripe old age of 70+ with no major health problems and his wife (a non-smoker) dies of lung cancer before him.

The point is. What makes you think the people who do not agree with your point of view did not do their research? They may have done their research (maybe even more than you did) but choose to not believe in the same thing you do.

MARY JANE =)'s picture

D0JA

N0 0NE REALLY CARES WTF CRONIC D0SE T0 YU WHY THE FUCK YU THINK THE WH0LE W0RLD BL0WS THAT SHIT? WEED HELPS THIS W0RLD AND MAKES IT A BETTER PLACE T0 MEANY PEAPLE. PE0PLE LIVE F0R THAT SHIT OR DO WHATEVER TO SMOKE IT I L0VE WEED ITS GOOD TO ME IT DNT FUCK WITH MY NERVES IT RELAXES THEM ITS A W0UNDERFUL FEELING YU SH0ULD TRY IT MAYBE YU PPL W0NT STRESS YOUR BRAINS OUT S0 MUCH ARGUING ABOUT THE B0MB ASS CR0NIC MOTHER NATURE BRINGS US!

Anonymous's picture

Ok, here you go...

The government has done the research, as well as independent institutions. You're right I haven't conducted my own extensive experiments. I am relying on experts. All I'm asking is for some kind of factual basis rather than regurgitated nonsense from the 'D.A.R.E.' days.

http://www.drugpolicy.org/marijuana/factsmyths/
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20030701/heavy-marijuana-use-doesnt-damage-brain
http://stason.org/TULARC/health/hemp-marijuana/22-Doesn-t-Marijuana-cause-brain-damage.html

Check out these facts... Which one do you think should be legal???
http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/30

Anonymous's picture

I completely agree with you,

I completely agree with you, if you are of the circumstance that you can use the plant without care of a major responsibility like parenting, and I don't think it is a good idea for people to smoke and drive. The potential for addiction is there with anything a person either enjoys a lot or perceives they enjoy a lot, be it marijuana, alcohol, video games (it's always sad to see a young father who is still a kid playing video games instead of taking care of his children). It is unfortunate that so many people are addicted to a life-altering activity.

Anonymous's picture

I've been smoking marijuana

I've been smoking marijuana practically everyday since I was 12. I used to smoke a bowl everyday before school. I never cheated; people paid me to do their homework. I hardly ever studied. I just listened in class and graduated with a 3.4 gpa. Marijuana has helped me get through alot of tough times. It's much safer then alcohol, tastes better, and you can do it everyday and still fully function. I may occasionally forget where I leave things but I'm unsure if it's realted to the marijuana. However, it has been heavensent for me and my life. I plan to smoke till I'm 80. BTW ~ NHI states on their page that there is no evidence that suggests marijuana causes cancer.

smokey mc pot's picture

please take time to read im

please take time to read

im turnin 14 in 2 days and ive been smokin marijuana since i was 12. i had my first hit with my step dad and i am not addicted at all i have actually stopped more than once for during football season. i will also say that i dip snuff and drink and i can not stop dippin or drinkin but i can stop marijuana. also marijuana is not a drug it is a plant that comes from tha ground and you let it dry and you light and inhail it and you feel good. i smoke every day before school and everynight before bed and i have had an increase in grades since i started smokin and im out of trouble cuz i dont wanna get in fights no more and i actually do my work and can concentrate better in school and marijuana does not efect your body in any bad way tobacco and alcohol is 100% worse

marijuana should be legal in the U.S.

LEGALIZE IT

Anonymous's picture

yea and cocaine is just a

yea and cocaine is just a plant that gets mushed, dried and snorted, it came from the ground too doesnt make it right or good.

Anonymous's picture

dude...drugs are like

dude...drugs are like guns....do ppl kill ppl or do guns kill ppl. If you cannot control yourself...you should not have the privelege of smoking. Period. Learn how to control yourself and then revisit this conversation. take a time-out and go to room and think about it.

Anonymous's picture

i would have to agree with

i would have to agree with thiss(:

Anonymous's picture

Really?

OMG, are you kidding me??? you are comparing marijuana with cocaine? You really have no idea what you are talking about. Instead of regurgitating what you've heard somewhere why doesn't everyone do the research? You are already on the Internet!!!!

Anonymous's picture

Im sorry but you are the one with brain damage.

"So please the next day you light up, remember you that you central nervous system and brain will be at risk."

When trying to rant about how weed makes dumb please dont sound dumb yourself. I am baked out of my mind reading this and I recognized every grammar error that you made.

Anonymous's picture

Weird

Oddly enough you didn't recognize your own though. Interesting...

Anonymous's picture

Time to piss people off

Glancing at these comments I honestly think they could take some of these comments and use them as scientific research for the mind of a stoner. This isn't even an attack, it's just an observation aimed mostly at 90% of the self proclaimed users of marijuana who lack an understanding of the english language or even general intellectual thought for that matter. To the 10% that have a fully developed brain I apologize. But how can you read the information provided at the top of the page (or any scientific research done on the effects of weed on the brain) and almost deliberately disregard it because you think your own experience of getting high is somehow more valuable than science.

I have numerous friends that smoke weed and every time we get into this debate between science and their personal opinion they defend their personal opinion till the death. The argument always consists of comparing it to other more hardcore drugs and alcohol or claiming that weed is not damaging because of their personal experience with it or a celebrity or friend who smokes weed but is still "successful" or "happpy". They then blow the science off as "propoganda". It's like a broken lil wayne record.

Let me just make clear one of the biggest observations I can make not only from observing a good majority of my peers who smoke weed but also my reflection of my own use of the drug (and yes, im sorry to all you stoners who are shitting your pants at that statement but it is a drug). is that self deception follows stoners like a shadow. This behavior is consistent in anyone who has a psychological addiction, (again, addiction, another scary and possibly offensive term to all the stoners biting their nails off right now but bare with me) whether it be to adrenaline, food, money, getting high, masterbation or any other quick fix to feeling happy.

For all you people who were trained to see the word addiction and go, "hey bro, thats not true, you can only be addicted to like coacaine and heroine and stuff you dude", take a second to realize that there is a difference between an addiction disease and a psychological addiction. Obviously the psychological addiciton is more controllable than the disease but it is nevertheless an addiction of the mind, not the body. Psychological addiction is most commonly formed in something that is very self satisfying such as a high or an adrenaline rush or the delicious taste of your favorite food. What happens is that people become so infatuated with this feeling and how good it makes them feel that they refuse to accept that this excessive abuse of this thing or behavior may possibly be harmful to them.

Is it so hard to believe that you and this frenzy of people that smoke 2 joints a day cannot accept that this is damaging to their brain. Some may even argue that it's completely healthy. I just ask you to look at your own point of view and then ask yourself why so many fat people continue to consume mass amounts of extremely unhealthy food when it not only makes them look highly unattractive but is almost common knowledge that obesity is a leading cause for many diseases. Or why people are driven to do extremely dangerous things to get that adrenaline rush even when they know they may very well die doing it. It is psychological addiction. These people don't know how else to feel good for whatever reason and turn to outlandish behavior for a quick fix of happiness.

I believe that part of what makes stoners an exceptional case is that they are lying to themselves not only because they are blinded by their psychological dedication to the drug but because the memory loss that comes with consumption of marijuana (cry about it or accept it, either way its a fact) makes it easier to forget your lying to yourself. In addition, you have been convinced by plenty of your stoner buddies that any scientific evidence is propoganda and lack of evidence is proof that weed is harmless. Therefore, this makes your selfish indulgence in the drug while neglecting your friends, family, grades, goals, morals, and/or your own self development appear to be nearly guilt free. Not only that, but you also seem to forget that any of your behaviors were any different than when you starting using the drug. I've seen it happen to myself and just about every one of my friends. If you had even half an open mind you would at least consider taking these questions and ideas into thought.

Anonymous's picture

Please do some research...

Actually, almost everything you are saying is inaccurate. Take some time and do some real research on the plant.
http://www.drugpolicy.org/marijuana/factsmyths/
http://www.erowid.org/plants/cannabis/cannabis_myth8.shtml
http://www.marijuanaaddiction.info/brain-damage-marijuana.htm
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20030701/heavy-marijuana-use-doesnt-damage-brain

Anonymous's picture

I agree

I used to smoke pot myself, i quit when i turned 20 or when i was about to, i am 31 years of age now and i can tell who is a potsmoker and who is not by talking with them. Potsmokers are more looser shall i say in discussion's, and can be really hard for me to go through a very intellectual discussion with them and them being able to follow correctly with what i am saying. Everybody who smokes pot consider's it to be harmless and the healthiest substance put on earth and that everybody should do it! Even when i smoked pot, i wouldn't agree that it is healthy, however i do feel alcohol is worse than weed is aswell as cigarette's, but that depend's on where or what is more valueable, your brain or health. The sad thing is, you nor i can convince them, we are being ridiculous and stupid from how they see it, and just plain ignorant of the substance.

I have no problem if people do drug's myself, not like it hurt's me, i just have a distaste for people claiming it to be a man's vitamin which require daily doses of it, and that it's good for you, because it can affect people differently depending on their structure. Some people should NOT do weed, but you really cannot tell potheads this either, that is what is irritating. Everybody and their brother smokes weed now, i just fear our future because of it.

Anonymous's picture

addiction isnt a disease

addiction isnt a disease [], grow up. Quit misusing the word "psychological" its called introspection. False accusations from a biased perspective have no effect whatsoever.

Anonymous's picture

Obviously stupidity is

May I call you Webster? because you seem to know way too much about the meaning of words. Listen Webster, I want you to go to a rehab center and tell the heroine and meth addicts that addiction isn't a disease. And since you know so much about words and what they mean, I'm sure you know that disease can be defined as a discomforting sickness, an impairment of health, or a condition of abnormal functioning. Please go try meth for a month try to get off it and come back to me and tell me that your brain is not functioning abnormally Or that is not impairing your health. This is common knowledge. Addiction can be defined as a disease depending on what context it is in.

And the word introspection does not pertain at all to what I referred to as psychological addiction. Introspection is a conscious, reasonable observation of ones own thoughts. What I was referring to is something you obviously can't wrap your mind around. It is almost the complete opposite of introspection. Something psychological is something you, someone else, an object, or a substance uses to affect or manipulate a persons thoughts and emotions without the persons awareness.

Like I said in my previous post, a lot of people won't be able to or won't want to wrap their minds around such a concept and may even take it offensively as you obviously did. However, if you didn't catch it, I in no way tried to make a psychological addiction, or an addiction to weed, sound like a disease. This is because unlike a an addiction to cocaine or heroine (which yes is a disease) , with awareness and motivation of the harm it produces to your brain, you can easily control this. It does not completely take control of your brain as with other much more dangerous drugs that make your brain feel like it is committing suicide when withdrawing from it. It simply affects and manipulates your thoughts and behavior. The problem is that, like unhealthy eating habits, greed, and/or dangerous risk-taking behavior, weed is not acknowledged by those who use it as something harmful to them.

But please don't be ignorant enough to say that I have a bias or disrespect towards everybody who smokes weed as like I said, I smoked weed for a relatively long period of time and nearly 90% of my friends and family smoke weed as well, whom I do love and respect very much, it just pains me to see them depend on a drug to feel fulfillment when life is such a gift. Why waste it being high?

Anonymous's picture

And, a lot of those "links"

And, a lot of those "links" to "scientific research" don't even kick back to anything! What is the point in that?

Anonymous's picture

You really shouldn't take

You really shouldn't take this personally, this is the internet. And what some of the comments have said has been valid. He didn't use any legitimate hard resources, and a lot of this information is up in the air. I agree with you that it isn't healthy, and that it has a definite effect on the brain. But the fact that you take personally the thoughts of others in a public discourse is absurd, you need to get a grip and cool out. And then there's the fact that many people are still perfectly functioning, productive members of society while smoking marijuana after work or on the weekends. Since marijuana users have no more effect on the world than those that drink or take powerful head-altering medications, you should probably get off your high horse and not let them get to you.

Anonymous's picture

Weed is for people who can't handle stress

Weed is for people who can't handle the stress of every day life. It also helps people who have no self-confidence or self-identity find a place to fit in. Many people start smoking in college or high school where smoking weed is considered "cool". Groups of kids who avidly smoke weed will allow anyone into their ranks of friends who is willing to match with them or share a bowl. Many comment on this page who say stuff like"yeah i smoke that green and chill man" are perfect examples of what weed does to you. It makes you sound stupid ad unintelligent.

Though if people want to smoke weed they should be allowed. I personally think it is a waste of time and a path to nothing. They should just realize that more civilized portions of our society frown on it because of it's causes of laziness and high people generally come across as uneducated. Therefore, if you really like smoking just smoke and keep it to yourself. Don't go advertising to the world how cool you think it is

jrheinh669's picture

OK so let's look at this for

OK so let's look at this for a second. I know everyone has their own opinion on weed and that's just fine. I started this year and I honestly let it get out of control for a bit. I mean my grades dropped a bit and I just wanted to get home and smoke. But I got my act together and now I have a 3.8 GPA. I have many friends who smoke daily and they do fine. And when you look at he benefits of weed, the benefits clearly outweigh the negatives. This plant could help with all sorts of diseases and problems! Back pains, forms of cancer, I read about some thing with your eyes or something but not sure about that, it can help sleeping disorders (anyone who smokes knows there is no better way to sleep than when you're high. Its a fantastic rest) since it relaxes the brain allowing easier sleep, the oil from the plant can help cure skin cancer too. I mean the list goes on. It's an absolute miracle plant.

Anonymous's picture

Lets look at what?

Nearly every disease and problem you named there has a much healthier and more effective alternative. not to mention I doubt you or the majority of people who smoke started smoking because of any of those medical uses. Also I see you stumbled upon a couple rough benefits of smoking pot but i fail to see any of the cons. Is it because you are so misinformed or delusional to recognize any?

Anonymous's picture

wow

all i have to say is not good for u my step dad smokes it and he treats me like shit all my life all i want is a normal family to be happy but i cnt because of him im uncomfortable in my own house my real dad is in jail because a weed abuser nd lied on him i hvnt seeen him since i was 3 nd im 14 nw all my life no dad at my birthday parties no nothen but hatried for tht evil basterd tht lives in my house but i keep a smile on my face and i cnt do it anymore i dnt like life but i love tht god gave it too me nd the government is very bad i agree with all of u i just have a quistion....why does weed make him act like tht???? if weed is so good for u why is the fact tht some ugly baldheaded bastered is ruining my life because of it i just wna be happy everyday i thnk god for giving me life nd letting me live another day so i guess u guys taught me tht its nt gods good plants tht harm us its the way ppl use it please reply to my cmt

chyzza's picture

Its not the weed's fault, its

Its not the weed's fault, its his fault. durr.

Anonymous's picture

Weed doesn't cause someone to

Weed doesn't cause someone to act like that, didn't you think it could just be a coincidence? he's probably just a dick naturally, My uncle is the same way as your dad and hates weed, my parents both smoke weed and they have never abused me or been mean or bad parents in any way unless i incited it, but that would be my fault for fucking up some way. I smoke daily and make great grades have people constantly asking me for help not to mention pot helps me think and realize the way the human mind works. I have friends constantly ask me for help on their personal problems like im a therapist or something and my answers always help them because i understand how to manipulate the mind enough to fix common problems like getting someone to stop cheating or fixing a almost ruined relationship for someone. how can it be bad if im using i in a way to help make others happy and help me feel good and fix medical problems i have that normal medications haven't help like chronic stomach and gastrointestinal ulcers and acid reflux?

brandy's picture

WOW sad to kn

well thats sad to know that all that shit is going on with you,all over sum bud.nd also bud dosent mak every one be a bich or do fuck up shit, mayb if that dont have bud.i also have a pot head of a step dad,i hate my family alot my whole family iz manly smokers,from my real dad to my brothers my step dad n older family mebers, i use to hate it when i would see my fam smoke bt my brothers showed me bud seence 5grade nd im only 14 nd i smoke almost every day i love weed wat can i say if it wasnt for sum bud i would so fuckin hate the world nd family more then i do soo if u wana be happy jus smok a lil it will help
so all i gotta say is fuck the world nd every one jus BLAZZ THAT SHITTTTT

Anonymous's picture

i have just started smoking

i have just started smoking weed about a year ago i used to be all scared of it because of the unknown and the legality of it, and reading this comment you left made me hate the way weed affected your father. i definitely think that you are probably better off with out your dad at your birthday parties, or in your life. im sorry to hear about something like this.

Anonymous's picture

Wow So Many Fail People Use The Spell Check Geez

I am 15 years old and i am in high school freshmen year. I am naturally athletic (I have a high metabolism, I am around 6 feet, and I have a 6 pack); protege at school, however i am a rebellious slacker (I play outdoor, indoor, board, and electronic games). I can pretty much blend in with any social group (technically I do not ally myself in any particular group). I have never done any drugs besides prescribed ones for asthma, infections, etc.

My opinion on this drug is to not do it. Who really cares, the drug is for drug addicts and it is illegal. It is true that the United States was built on tobacco and hemp but that does not justify anything. The drug has many positive and negative effects and the effects vary per organism since every individual has different genes and those genes may not all be active anyways. Personally i feel that until there has been enough testing, and a larger test sample of people, one should not ever try this drug.

FYI, people who use this drug, my suggestion is to stop regardless of no visible side effects. IT IS ILLEGAL, plus if you OD (i do not care what you people say, you "can" overdose and upset your vitals), you may die and you will no doubt go to jail if you are caught. One good note about this plant is the hemp, the substance serves as a good material for cloth, rope, etc.

To sum this up, DON'T DO DRUGS and if you read my comment do not expect me to reply to your comments b/c this site fails and i am never going to open this site again. End Of Story.

adrian garcia's picture

maryjane

you know what. i was once like you, projecting out what i had inherited from the media. you have stated that marijuana is bad for two reasons. 1. illegal. (ummm i smoke weed every day and have a license for it.so ur out of luck there.) 2. OD (please let me know if u know anybody regarding an overdose of marijuana because i have never heard such story)
up set ur vital lmao. like what you catch hunger. lol.
ur so young and yet no idea what your talking about
try marijuana and see how it relaxes your muscles after a worthout.

you obviously have no idea what ur talking about so just shut ur mouth. ignorant fool.
just let me know when ur eighteen and smoking bowls

Anonymous's picture

u said a small amount of weed when she smoked 2 or more blunts

the test is not accurate it should not have ben a blunt that adds outer chemicals
witch in combo with the weed could have a synergetic effecting the memory even more then just the weed

anonymous's picture

this page literally makes me

this page literally makes me feel like crying

Anonymous's picture

care

if you dont like weed dont smoke its point blank because everbody has there own opinion of the effects

Anonymous's picture

smoking is good

life is not short if you smoke

Anonymous's picture

weed only hurts when you cant

weed only hurts when you cant handle it

Anonymous's picture

C'MON SON -_____-

UMM..WEED IS GOOD FOR U...ND THATS IT.

Anonymous's picture

Weed weed weed :)

If it grow's in the ground it's not so profound, why should we be bound for buying half a pound?!

First time smoker's picture

First Time experience

k so me and my friend got some weed i'm 14 he's 15 and it was our first time we bought 3 joints of Orange Kush, i lighted that shit up took like 5 good hits . the only bad thing was that it was stuck in my lungs like i couldn't breath at all all the smoke had clogg'd up my throat but then i spat a bit and it was out . Suddenley my eyes started to burn up and it felt like the entire forest was moving . I walked out the forest with him and everything was slooow . Like i was in slow mo or sum shit you know, like a dream or i was inside sumones body but only in their mind not actually there. felt like i was watching myself, anywayz everything felt really far, the corner store felt a mile away so did people and other stores and objects felt miles away, so walking across the street felt like i walked the distance of a highway, so i went to the store and ppl looked at me funny and shit and i sprayed a shit load of axe on me and we went back to class .well i thought the lunch had ended because time was going by really fast in my head when really it wasnt fast at all. So i go back to skewl and everything is weird like my arms felt longer i felt taller and like i could stretch like i said everything was far i also felt like i could only see properly if i looked at my shoes so i kept my head down and looked at my shoes, i went to my locker and the lock felt like it was HUGE or up close to my face when it wasnt like zoomed it. alot of people say u dont see anything special when ur baked but i did this time. I walked around and everything looked like i was looking through a glass of water or see thru puzzle peices. anywayz i went and got my books thats when a kid said why r u getting ur stuff lunch isnt over thats when it hit me. I thot like 2 hours had gone by but relly it was only 20 minz since lunch started. Time was slowed down so were my action, i felt really sleepy and desperate for water, everytime i had water my mouth immediatly became dry right after, So im goin on some bowling trip thats when i started really feeling it . everything was moving, and people are talking but i couldnt respond my speech was all fucked up, and all i said were short words like "Holy Fuck" "Yooo" "what tha fuck dude" "oh shit, i gota go" "Yo toss me tha liquid" GIMME DAT PUSSY" and i was doin dances n shit. then i fell asleep on this trip to the bowkling alley and i woke up with my frends taking pics of me but i was still baked. The sun looked relly dim and so did people around me :\ I enjoyed it but not the part where everyone spreads the word that im baked :l so all the teachers cud possibly find out .

Anonymous's picture

It seems to me that the

It seems to me that the logical conclusion here is that
1.) heavy, long-term use does seem to effect the memory,
2.) marijuana effects everyone completely differently,
3.) maintaining a healthy self-awareness is very important while smoking weed.

I'm a freshman in college who disliked marijuana all throughout highschool. It just made me paranoid and took away all of my confidence. I think this seems to be very popular because there is a combination of your neurological system misfiring (or whatever it does) and the fact that it isn't socially acceptable. Any feelings of paranoia, guilt, or sadness i would feel would become intensely magnified. I wasn't smoking in places that i felt comfortable or with people that i really enjoyed being with.

Since the beginning of my freshman semester, i have been smoking about 5 times a week, only at night. At night i don't have any responsibilities, so no stress is created and i can enjoy myself. I think the environment in which you smoke (or for any other drug for that matter) is very important. I also only smoke a few hits each night; being too stoned is never that pleasant. As far as short term memory, i really don't notice any deterioration. I often worry about this, but i haven't noticed anything. I haven't missed a single homework assignment this entire semester, but this may be due to my increased organizational skills.

I do know some people, though, who it does seem to effect negatively. Most of my friends were huge pot heads in high school. It seems to me that if you want to do good in life, you will, regardless of whether you smoke weed or not. There's a shitload of people that smoke weed and don't ever do fucking anything. But if it wasn't for weed, they'd be doing some other drug and never doing anything. Weed seems to attract lazy asses, but i don't think it causes it. It just seems that way based on the population of weed smokers. I'm actually the exact opposite of lazy. I stress about being lazy and am always keeping myself busy and trying to make myself useful.

I've had a lot of revelations while smoking weed. Since my problems are sometimes magnified a million times and can really stress me out, it forces me to take an introspective look at each of these problems. I then realize that i these problems are causing me to be unhappy even when i'm not high (just more subtle), and i figure out ways to solve them. I've also realized that i'm pretty liberal and i intend to study politics so i know exactly where i stand. I've also realized that i've never believed in religion and now i realize that good morals doesn't have anything to do with what the bible says but how your actions effect your friends, family, and society.

I got a 3.75 last semester, so i know it didn't make me stupider. A lot of outside forces are important to look at when analyzing the effects of weed. Some people, like me, can smoke it in a healthy manner. Others smoke all day and spend thousands on it in a year. i spend about thirty bucks a month on it. I don't let weed run my life, it's just an accessory, i guess. It's all about how you smoke it! Moderation seems to work best for me, along with a lot of self-analysis. If you know how to handle it, do it. Remember though, smoking weed isn't "cool." Don't use it just for that fact. You need to critically analyze whether it's having a positive or negative affect on your life.

Much love

PS: Those who think marijuana is a gateway drug i disagree. People who move on from weed to another drug, in my opinion, would have done that other drug regardless if they smoked weed first. Druggies will be druggies and weed is usually the first drug they can get there hands on.

Anonymous's picture

this is the best response

this is the best response i've seen on this thread thus far. moral of the story-moderation. ANYTHING in life can be harmful if abused. Including opinions. seek balance within and no harm will come to you. It is the universal law. it comes down to self respect and will power. listen to your body-it will tell you when it is crying out for help, exercise and listen to your mind-it will be your best friend, read a book, respect yourself and others opinions and do not feed into the hate.

Self Love=the divine/god-like being we all truly are and were meant to be. learn it, earn it, grow it. cultivate love, not hate. the world feeds on opinions and mis-information. All it creates is a society on the verge of destruction. Be the change you wish to see in the world. do not let ignorance feed on ignorance. this message goes out to pot smokers and non pot smokers and all the rest of everyone anywhere. We are all One. That is fact. That is the only fact that is truly real in this life illusion. We should all feel blessed to be here together for our remaining earth days walking the lands of mother earth. be a mirror for your brothers and sisters, not an opinion. Lead by example. only then will your influence be known and your own self love too will cultivate. Be the light. This is just my opinion though. To each his own. I choose oneness and balance. what do you all choose?

Blessings to all

Peace~Love~Light

Anonymous's picture

a 13 year old point of veiw

i am 13 almost 14 and have been smoking since i was 12. when ever i run out i panic, trying to find someone to smoke with and i feel like weed has effected me compared to if i didnt smoke at all. it has made me get a better sence of maturity and my grades have gone from ds to bs. it only helps me when i go to school stoned during 1st peareod of the day cuz im so scared i get caut that i do my work.

Anonymous's picture

your 13 when i was 13 i would

your 13 when i was 13 i would run around and try to find kids with yugioh cards if i didnt have any new ones, when your 13 you run around to find anything that you had and didnt get recently no matter how stupid it is, i smoke weed, from time to time, and i am also addicted to video games, they have nothing in common, and i've gotten more screwed by the video games then the weed. i mean common people say its bad every day, and thy never tried it, only reason they say its oh so bad is cause when they where little 5th graders some program in there school just kept saying, hey kids drugs are bad dont do them, they can kill people, and they make you look like some stupid kid.

ANd um.... last time i checked a 6 time gold medal olympic champion has hit the bong and um.... he has 6 gold medals...can someone tell me how that could happen if its oh so bad?

L-P's picture

CMon boy !

Dude you are only 13 and you have been smoking for only a year so far. You brain is still growing and so your body is. Personally I'm a regular smoker (1-2 joint every day) and I started to smoke at 14. Now I'm 20 and the only thing that I could say about marijuana is that when im stoned I just don't wanna do anything special or any effort. If i smoke during the middle of the day ill be certainly lazy for the rest of the day. So smoke when u have nothing to do don't smoke at school you'll see it's gonna get worst 100% sure kid.

Anonymous's picture

get high more

I've been smokin since i was 8 years old so i know theres good to weed today in school my sub got me mad and i didnt start cursin

Anonymous's picture

It sounds to me like you

It sounds to me like you aren't mature enough to recognize proper use of cannabis, there is a time and a place for it and school isn't one of them. I suggest educating yourself and having a good think about where you want to end up in life, exercise some self control and limit your usage because otherwise you're just another idiot lacking willpower that is putting out a bad image for the rest of us.

Wes's picture

Wake up to reality

You people our ruining society with all the false information you are passing along. You are wasting away your lives on false feelings of happiness. You claim to be getting better grades after you have started smoking pot? Wow just listen to the uneducated nut job the says "i didn't even start cussin" please stop ruining your lives and wake up!

Anonymous's picture

Google it

The only way anyone can ever judge weed is by using it. If you like it and it works for you, use it. If you become seriously addicted, don't touch the stuff. You have to know yourself enough to make a judgment on the use of marijuana. I am person who has smoked for a little over year, and I smoke everyday. I get a high GPA and have many outside activities, yet I smoke every weekend. But that's just me, make a decision for yourself. Legalize it.

WEED WOULD HELP THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMY!!!
LEGALIZE IT AND END THE RECESSION!!!

P.S. Little known fact, the use of marijuana oil can cure skin cancer. Google it.

almcg2's picture

Marijuana doesn't effect brain function?

I have to disagree with just about negative response to this article. I'm a teacher in a California high school, almost every single one of my students smokes weed and almost every single one of them has parents who did or do smoke as well.

It's so frustrating, these kids have such a difficult time remembering information from instruction. They tend to take more repetitions to mastery of basic concepts and skills. They tend to be moodier than my students who don't smoke one a regular basis. I can always tell when a student has smoked the night before, they come into class more tired and often trying to sleep in their morning classes.

For the people who think that weed helps ADD students focus better... here's the truth... people who have ADD will tell you it's easier to focus, but as the teacher who gets to instruct them and watch their behavior, the only focus on things their very interested in. If the material is boring at all they get frustrated more easily and tend to give up any problem solving more easily.

I was a teen in the 60's. I grew up with weed, LSD, Mescalin, peyote shrooms, etc. I know how all these drugs effected my and my friends. One thing I know very well is that someone who is regularly using these substances quite often has a completely unrealistic and distorted perception of their own behavior. Often, if there is a problem with a friend, teacher or parent, they will say it's the other person is causing the problem. They most often act this way at a higher frequency than students I've seen who aren't regular weed, alcohol or other drug users.

I've been an educator, Behavioral Specialist and Special Educator for over 30 years with lots and lots of experience with young people of all ages. Our country is in a sad state and it will be worse if we don't get a greater percentage of our young to wake up and take more responsibility for their lives, families, communities and nation.

I'm glad I have lived during the times I have, because I think the times to come are going to be some of the hardest our nation has ever faced, and out young are not ready, not realistic and often not willing to fix the problems.

Anonymous's picture

don't blame the pot. children

don't blame the pot. children and society as a whole are less motivated then 30 years ago. parents have gotten lazier we it comes to parental involvement. the parents don't care about eduction hence neither do the children. take the pot away from a lazy pothead and you have a lazy sober person. when 2 people have a problem it is usually both peoples fault. most kids and adults for that matter focus more on things that interest them. and people in general have a distorted view of themselves positive or negative.

Christopher Goldberg PhD's picture

Get your facts straight almcg2

I am at first very skeptical to believe that you are fully aware of every student you teach who smokes cannabis, and that you know how much and for how long their parents have smoked. A lot of teenagers can have a lot of trouble learning and can feel 'moody' without being under the influence of cannabis. And oh my god! A teenager coming into school tired and sleepy!? Are you an idiot? A lot of teenagers can be tired at school without being under the influence of cannabis. I have a friend who is a doctor who works specifically with ADD patients. He more commonly subscribes the use of cannabis than ritalin because it is so much more safe for the user. Furthermore, ritalin will have the same effect you described to the students with negative side effects. Your 'perception' of cannabis use is ridiculous because you were also under the influence of LSD, Mescalin, and peyote shrooms which can lead to long term, negative side effects unlike weed. These side effects gave you a false impression of cannabis. Stop bringing other variables of other substances like alcohol into this discussion! Our country is in a sad state, and do you know what will help that? The legalization of the commercial use of cannabis. It will be safer for cannabis users to obtain it, it will be cheaper, cannabis users will stop funding terrorism by purchasing it, the government can tax it to gain a lot more revenue, and cannabis users can purchase it in smokeless forms such as oils, pills, and baked goods. Stop suggesting that cannabis has turned our youngest generation into mindless drones who have no ambition and cannot even think who are going to bring the world into pure chaos!