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Medicine Science

New Study Shows Marijuana Users Have Low Blood Flow To the Brain (eurekalert.org) 560

cold fjord writes: State level marijuana legalization efforts across the U.S. have been gaining traction driven by the folk wisdom that marijuana is both a harmless recreational drug and a useful medical treatment for many aliments. However, some cracks have appeared in that story with indications that marijuana use is associated with the development of mental disorders and the long-term blunting of the brain's reward system of dopamine levels. A new study has found that marijuana appears to have a widespread effect on blood flow in the brain. EurekAlert reports: "Published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, researchers using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), a sophisticated imaging study that evaluates blood flow and activity patterns, demonstrated abnormally low blood flow in virtually every area of the brain studies in nearly 1,000 marijuana users compared to healthy controls, including areas known to be affected by Alzheimer's pathology such as the hippocampus. According to Daniel Amen, M.D., 'Our research demonstrates that marijuana can have significant negative effects on brain function. The media has given the general impression that marijuana is a safe recreational drug, this research directly challenges that notion. In another new study just released, researchers showed that marijuana use tripled the risk of psychosis. Caution is clearly in order.'"
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New Study Shows Marijuana Users Have Low Blood Flow To the Brain

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:03AM (#53391807)

    Interesting how science denial has a per-subject ideological bent.

    • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:19AM (#53391925)

      On the contrary, I want to see real science on the subject. I want to know what the REAL dangers are.

      Unfortunately, the down side is that getting any real research on pot in the USA is pretty much impossible. If you give any hint that you don't INTEND to find something wrong with pot, good luck getting approval and funding for your study.

      If you want actual research on pot you have to leave the US. You'll find a different view in any country outside the US, so you have to approach any study in the US with very very high skepticism. I'm not saying its wrong, but you know its biased from the start, so you have to be careful to pick out the facts from the implications.

      When the people who make money off Alzheimer's studies start saying pot causes Alzheimer's type affects on the brain, you have to determine if thats true in any meaningful form or if its just another scary title to get more research money, or if its being promoted by others who don't want pot to be legal.

      Remember, legalized pot destroys MANY industries. The prison business is fucked in states that legalize pot, thats half their population right there. Illegal pot growers ... they don't want it legal either, and invest LARGE sums of money keeping it illegal, as silly as that might sound cause legalization kills their sole reason to exist. California, as an example, doesn't have legalized recreational pot because THE GROWERS DON'T WANT IT TO BE LEGAL, its not as profitable that way. Police in certain places don't care, so legalizing it would kill profit.

      I have no delusions about the dangerous side effects of inhaling smoke, but I would like some facts about what the end results are, from people who aren't biased by a preconception.

      I.E. I want real science, not bullshit spewed by people like you who have made up your mind before you even read the summary. You don't know what science is, you treat science like a religion.

      • by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:44AM (#53392079)

        I agree with everything you said, but recommend caution with regard to the following:

        ... If you want actual research on pot you have to leave the US. You'll find a different view in any country outside the US, so you have to approach any study in the US with very very high skepticism. I'm not saying its wrong, but you know its biased from the start, so you have to be careful to pick out the facts from the implications...

        I would say that you have to approach any study ANYWHERE in the world with high skepticism. Yes, the US has a huge economic stake, (and the concomitant ideological stake), in proving the evils of pot. On the other hand, other jurisdictions have ideological stakes in proving pot's harmlessness. They also have economic stakes; for example, here in Canada where we're about to legalize pot, the government stands to make a lot of money from its controlled sale and distribution.

        I would say that the American government's position on marijuana has the same level of ignorance, fear, and fervor as the typical fundamentalist religion. That doesn't mean that other more liberal, more moderate countries are neutral and without agendas on this issue.

        • And, we also have solid scientific evidence about the harmful and addictive nature of ethanol... coupled with a relatively recent social experiment showing what happens when you ban its distribution, sale and consumption nationwide.

          The marijuana ban has been longer term, and the repeal of the ban is more phased, and not yet complete, but it will be very interesting to see how history views the repeal of the marijuana ban 20 years after it happened, assuming current trends continue.

          On a different tack, some

          • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @11:48AM (#53393001) Homepage Journal

            And, we also have solid scientific evidence about the harmful and addictive nature of ethanol... coupled with a relatively recent social experiment showing what happens when you ban its distribution, sale and consumption nationwide.

            The marijuana ban has been longer term, and the repeal of the ban is more phased, and not yet complete, but it will be very interesting to see how history views the repeal of the marijuana ban 20 years after it happened, assuming current trends continue.

            I've often wondered, how that it took a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol in the US, and then ANOTHER constitutional amendment to repeal said alcohol prohibition....BUT it only took a few strokes of a pen for laws to ban other intoxicants, like pot????

            I wonder why no one has challenged the constitutionality of said "scheduling" of drugs and their prohibition?

            I've often wished we could get our presidents and politicians to chime in on that one....on camera, as a surprise question to see how they'd address that one.

            • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @02:06PM (#53394341) Journal

              The original banning of cannabis was from The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, where the government declared that any sold in the US had to have the appropriate tax stamp, and then did not print any tax stamps.

              This law review from 1968 covers a lot of the early cases [villanova.edu] such as how the supreme court decided whether or not American Indians can use drugs for their ceremonies and such, as well as somewhat-related cases like regulation of LSD under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. It concludes that the most likely avenue for a successful challenge would be a freedom of religion argument, but would require an established religion to have a sincerely held belief in the use of cannabis specifically (as a person claiming to use it independently of a recognized, established religion for the religious/spiritual experience lost their appeal because they were held not to have a sincere belief requiring its use).

      • by The Real Dr John ( 716876 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:47AM (#53392093) Homepage

        Agreed, and I expect that as more states legalize pot the more the opioid and alcohol industries will fund "studies" to show the horrible dangers of THC. Forget about the facts that alcohol and opioids kill tens of thousands of people each year in the US. Forget about all the traffic accidents and domestic violence tied to alcohol abuse. Everyone knows pot is safer than alcohol, opioids and tobacco. But that won't stop the research into the "dangers" of pot.

        • Dihydrogen Monoxide kills! Beware! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @11:14AM (#53392719) Journal

          I've been on opiates after spine surgery, I can't stand them. I discussed with my doctor that I use THC to control pain and happy to put me me onto a lower opiate dose. I had previous experience using it when I had to recover from achillies tendon snapped playing soccer (It was a fucking awesome goal though and the decider in the last minute).

          As I've been withdrawing from opiates I've been using THC to calm the symptoms that oscillate through many unpleasantries - sweating (like breaking a flu), headaches, nausea, waking up suddenly from not having my autonomous breathing working which really scares the shit out of me, clawing from inside my chest, weird emotions, it's taken almost 6 weeks to get this far. symptoms last from 3-6 hours twice a day. Almost there.

          I also experienced a head injury where it went the other way and my body simply rejected THC, I could not put that to my lips. My use of THC for pain control is much higher than my recreational use was and as I find myself healing I come to a point where I don't want it anymore and then I stop. The withdrawal symptoms are a few weeks of crazy dreams (which can be a little fun) headaches, moody.

          I can completely accept that there might be consequences for using THC as much as I accept them for alcohol for recreation. Tobacco kills, when used as directed but people can still choose that. It's so frustrating, like being treated like a child.

          If they legalise it maybe we can take it apart and find out what other things it is useful for and what the dangers are.

          • I hate opioids too. Only take them when I really, really need to. The dangers of pot are extremely minimal compared with tobacco, alcohol and opioids. On top of being addictive, opioids make the pain worse once they wear off, making people go back for more to reduce the now increased pain. Pot does not do that.

            http://www.sciencemag.org/news... [sciencemag.org]

            I expect the attacks on pot to really intensify now that CA has legalized it. The companies that deal deadly drugs can see the trend, and it is terrifying them.

            Pot was

          • by skids ( 119237 )

            Geez. From the limited exposure I've had to them I suspect I'm also intolerant to opiates.

            But I'm also not so great with THC... makes me totally flip out.

            So I guess I'm more or less screwed once I inevitably get some chronic condition.

          • Here, here! I keep a couple strains of wax extracts around for my specific symptoms and load them into a portable vaporizer in varied ratios based on how often I've been having each symptom recently. The alternative is to either have one vaporizer for each symptom (at over $300 a piece, including accessories, a lot of wasted money with that option), or clean out the vaporizer every time I need to change strains (a lot of wasted time and wax there).

            The end result is that I draw from that vaporizer once, ma
      • Actually, the United States lobbied the UN in the 1970s and 1980s to remove marijuana from Schedule 1. It's illegal under international law for the United States to reschedule marijuana and THC as Schedule II or Schedule IV.

        Marijuana is big policy news because it's heavily-controlled, highly-prolific, and highly-visible. The government can't simply handwave something on the same level as Heroin and claim they think it's mislabeled and harmless without taking legislative action to reschedule it; and the

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @11:04AM (#53392605)

        (Posted anonymously for obvious reasons)

        I was diagnosed 4 years ago with stage IV colon cancer. I did all the traditional treatments (12 rounds of intense chemo, 6 weeks of radiation daily coupled with an oral form of chemo, multiple surgeries, etc.). When it spread to my lungs I had yet more surgery (biopsies, which with lungs is major surgery), and more rounds of chemo. The tumors were at that point widespread, inoperable, and unresponsive to the chemo that was otherwise killing me. Finally my oncologist agreed I had to stop chemo or die, and I was given less than six months to live.

        I did 5 months of intesnse Rick Simpson Oil treatment (http://phoenixtears.ca/), mostly because my wife wanted me to not give up and there really was nothing left to try. I didn't expect it to work, and if my wife and my oncologist hadn't both been encouraging me to give it a go, I wouldn't have. It was a miserable experience, being "beyond high" for more than five months (because of the damage 18 rounds of chemo had done, it took 150 grams rather than the 60 it usually takes).

        But, I've now had three scans that show the cancer is GONE, I am in complete ("full") remission. The nodules throughout my lungs are dead, there is no sign of other cancer anywhere in my body, and in a few months, if it continues, I go from full remission to officially cured.

        By marijuana.

        If this were widespread, it would spell the end of several lucrative pharma industries. Oh, by the way, my oncologist admitted that they're required to sign numerous contracts forbidding them from mentioning any treatments other than chemo, radiation, surgery, or hospital-approved drug trials to any patient, and even though more and more of them are aware of the curative value of cannabis oils (especially in the palliative care area where they've given up all hope, and people are going into full remission), they are forbidden from telling their patients.

        Unfortunately stories like mine are all anectdotal. The FDA absolutely refuses to consider any study that might indicate a curative value for marijuana. And guess who's running the FDA these days ... yup, that's right. Big Pharma insiders.

        Until politics gets out of the way of science, and stops preventing research, there will be no true science on this subject (in the United States anyway). Meanwhile opioids are approved for widespread use on the basis of one article,written by a Big Pharma employee, claiming with no evidence, and no peer review. that opioids are "non-addictive," and how the rest of the industry pounces on that, cites it, and pushes their agenda forward. Funny how big pharma has such a ridiculously low bar for their "science," while real cures for numerous severe deseases, including most late-stage cancers, are held to an impossible standard ("prove it, but we won't allow any studies!") and then dismissed as "not scientific."

        I'm alive today because of cannabis, specificlly highly concentrated cannabis oils. Hopefully someone out there who needs it will read this, and not be dissuaded by those wh will no doubt quote doctrine (with no evidence of their own), dismissing this amazing medicine.

      • by TheCarp ( 96830 ) <sjc@carpanet.PERIODnet minus punct> on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @12:12PM (#53393243) Homepage

        More than that, even if you are not trying to do bad science, there is always incentive to report bad science. I saw a great example myself a while back, big headline about marijuana use increasing the risk of heart attack.....as a pot smoker I was concerned, so I dig in....

        First, it wasn't the main point of the study. Pot smokers made up a small portion of their study population. The overall study was good.

        So out of a study of many hundreds, the big headline was on a small sub-population of somewhere around 20 people. The main metric they used was how many hours it had been since a person last smoked.... 24 hours being the lowest.

        So basically.... a small number of pot smokers who had heart attacks before and had new ones, had them within 24 hours of smoking pot. Totally disregarding that if they had another heart attack at all, the likelyhood of it being within 24 hours of smoking was high, even if there is no connection.

        It wasn't even a large difference, it was a small anomaly from a small population.

        In the end, the result wasn't worth reporting, much less a headline, but reporting it like they did got their names int he paper and a big national headline.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        In this case, in a proper study Alzheimer's had no business being mentioned at all. The only tenuous connection was that they share a common region of the brain affected. (here's the obligatory car analogy) That's like going out in the morning and finding a flat tire so you tell everyone you lost a wheel on the way to work (so they picture a highway drama involving a risk to life and limb).

        The test group were diagnosed with "Cannabis use disorder". That is, not just average users, these patients were hard-c

    • There had been many bad arguments for most things, with saying illegal item is safer than legal item so illegal item should be legal.

      Too much of anything is bad for you. How much is too much varies on what it is. Is the Reward for smoking pop, worth the risk of its side effects should be the real debate.
      Not people saying it is going to kill you or it is perfectly safe.

      • by Daetrin ( 576516 )

        "Is the Reward for smoking pop, worth the risk of its side effects should be the real debate."

        I hadn't heard about this new drug, but smoking pop seems like it would be challenging, what's the process? And does the brand or flavor matter? How about diet vs regular?

        Given its history i would guess that Coca-cola would be an upper. And since Pepsi is supposed to be cool and different from Coke it must be a downer. Is Diet Dr Pepper a hallucinogenic?

    • by limaxray ( 1292094 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @10:58AM (#53392581)
      I'm all for the science, so how can the researchers claim their observations indicate marijuana has 'significant negative effects on brain function'? They didn't study that, they studied regional cerebral blood flow. What that reduced blood flow means is a whole different topic.

      Marijuana use is at an all time high, yet dementia rates are at an all time low and falling. And psychosis rates are fairly steady. I have the same issue with these studies as I do with the antivaxxer studies - where are the impacts of this observation in the population and why don't we see changes in public health line up with changes in usage?

      Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying marijuana is good for you nor do I believe it is some magical cure all. I just tend to distrust and question studies on such politicized topics, especially when it makes suggestions contrary to popular observation.
    • I think it would be very hard to believe that marijuana was good for you. You generally burn it and inhale it - that usually isn't a part of healthy living.

      With that said, alcohol is your gold standard. It causes cancer, liver disease, thousands of deaths in the form of auto accidents. It's implicated in mental health disorders and causes plenty of other social ills.

      And yet, legal. My state sells it and makes a hefty profit. Pot would need to be a hell of a beast to justify restricting it more highly than a

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:04AM (#53391813) Journal

    Lord knows that shit is bad for you, but I don't need anybody trying prevent me from enjoying a few fingers of fine rum after a long day at work.

    • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:15AM (#53391881) Homepage Journal

      It's not the rum itself which is bad for you, it's the damn dihydrogen monoxide [dhmo.org] that's in it!

      • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

        Isn't that classified as abuse of alcohol? Adding dihydrogen monoxide should be outlawed.

        • While I generally enjoy my cask strength whiskys straight, sometimes you just want to mellow it out to mild, smooth 50% ABV instead. Adding a little water is perfectly OK.

          Full-strength young and angry Islay whisky is quite a trip at cask strength, I don't always want it that rough.

    • Lord knows that shit is bad for you, but I don't need anybody trying prevent me from enjoying a few fingers of fine rum after a long day at work.

      When are we going to be able to get the Cuban stuff? Rum that is.

  • Modern Psychology believes that drug use is a form of self-medication. People will instinctively gravitate to things that make them feel better.
    Article states causality has not been established... it's just a BS correlation.

    • by gmack ( 197796 )
      That's at least some of the issue. I had a stoner friend have a psychotic break and I do agree that some of it was self medication but he got a lot better when he cut back on the weed so at least in his case, the drug use was making the underlying condition worse.
  • No, just no (Score:2, Insightful)

    Only a complete moron would think that a recreational drug that alters your mood and brain chemistry is 'safe'.
    Doesn't matter if it's alcohol or THC, these work by fidgeting with things in the brain that should obviously be left alone (for the sake of health - I think the recreational value is apparent).
    We don't do surgery for the fun of it, we don't do blunt force trauma for the fun of it, why should altering our insides via drug or drink be considered 'safe' when no other internal alteration is, and who c

    • Re:No, just no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by xtal ( 49134 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:26AM (#53391953)

      Drugs are fun. That's why.

      You're going to die, I'm going to die, everyone dies from something. Life is about having fun.

      Drugs aren't for everybody, but people like drugs; treat drug abuse as a medical condition, not crime; that approach has failed.

      Alcohol, caffeine.. all drugs.

      You do what you want. Stop telling other people what's good for them.Live free (and die anyway).

      • Drugs are fun. That's why.

        But sometimes their effects are not fun. Sometimes their effects hurt other people. Nobody really gives a shit if you drink a beer or smoke a joint. But we do care when your use of those drugs causes undue risk or actual harm to others. We do care if you are not yet an adult and may not fully understand the consequences of your choices.

        You're going to die, I'm going to die, everyone dies from something. Life is about having fun.

        So you are arguing that we should hurry up the process of dying because we're all going to die anyway? Life is not all about having fun. That's an extremely immature an

        • But sometimes their effects are not fun. Sometimes their effects hurt other people. Nobody really gives a shit if you drink a beer or smoke a joint.

          Given that maryjewanna is a schedul one drug, it appears that many people do give a shit.

          So you are arguing that we should hurry up the process of dying because we're all going to die anyway? Life is not all about having fun. That's an extremely immature and selfish attitude.

          Do you have the cites that recreational maryjewanna use kills people? Are you a calvinist by the way? Also, I'd like some advice. I occasionally have to take benadryl, and it really makes me mellow and calm. Should I take it with syrup of ipecac so I'm miserable and vomiting instead of the good feeling it would otherwise induce?

          People like all sorts of things but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have any rules to keep everyone safe.

          Can you show me wher poster said we shouldn't have any rules to keep people safe? You high

        • by xtal ( 49134 )

          Life is too short to be taken so seriously. You sound like you should smile more, or something.

          Banishing drugs has failed. It's filled prisons, ruined far more lives than drugs ever will, enriched dictators and corrupted politics.

          Drug abuse is a medical problem, often lined to other pathologies. Most drug users have no problems at all. This is born out by the massive amount of drugs consumed by society, legal and illegal. Seriously; do you have any idea how much cocaine, heroin and marijuana are consumed gl

        • by eth1 ( 94901 )

          Not that simple. Sometimes drug abuse is just a medical condition. But often drug abuse causes people to hurt others which is (and should be) a crime. See the difference?

          I would argue that the drug prohibition (or rather, its totally predictable side effects) has hurt far, far more "other people" than drug users ever have. Hell, it's come damn close to destroying entire countries.

      • by Clsid ( 564627 )

        Wait until you meet a lot of people addicted to heroin, and see how the drug almost unequivocally, end up messing up with their lives, and you will have a very different outlook about drugs.

        I do take issue on people smoking in a place where other people will have to breath their fumes, marihuana or otherwise. Your right to smoke ends where my right to breathe clean air starts.

        • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
          Trust me, people won't want to smoke weed around you.
        • by mjr167 ( 2477430 )
          If we would only outlaw heroin we could save all the heroin addicts! If heroin was illegal, the drug wouldn't be available and people wouldn't be getting hooked on it and messing up their lives!
      • Life is about having fun only for narcissists. Some of us look for a deeper purpose. But I guess narcissism explains why drug abuse is so rampant. Addiction isn't a disease, it is just narcissistic behavior.
      • by Maritz ( 1829006 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @10:17AM (#53392285)

        You do what you want. Stop telling other people what's good for them.Live free (and die anyway).

        Yeah but they want to tell other people what's good for them. So you see their problem now.

    • ... we don't do blunt force trauma for the fun of it...

      Pipe down, I can't hear the MMA match on my TV. Also looking forward to the boxing match later tonight, and the marathon of Jackass tomorrow.

    • Only a complete moron would think that a recreational drug that alters your mood and brain chemistry is 'safe'. Doesn't matter if it's alcohol or THC, these work by fidgeting with things in the brain that should obviously be left alone (for the sake of health - I think the recreational value is apparent). We don't do surgery for the fun of it, we don't do blunt force trauma for the fun of it, why should altering our insides via drug or drink be considered 'safe' when no other internal alteration is, and who could possibly be dumb enough to think so?

      So, so simple isn't it? Perhaps it is time to declare war on hot peppers? They have a pronounced effect upon dopamine levels, and yes, people who eat them get a rush from the capsaicinoids that are in them. Perhaps its time to make Jalepenos and Scotch bonnets schedule one drugs and fill our prisons with people who eat Mexican food (I'll avoid the obvious quip there).

      Then there is benadryl. A remarkably powerful anti-anxiety drug that just so happens to be an important anti- allergic reaction over the c

      • So do you take Benadryl recreationally? I think you're missing the point that some drugs are useful for things, but aren't habit forming, therefore it's easy to walk away from them when you don't need them anymore; thus you remain in control. Other drugs typically get regulated in some way because they ARE habit forming. The user of the drug expresses the desire to stop using the drug yet doesn't have the willpower. Cigarettes are a great example of what happens when an addictive drug goes largely unregu

    • Only a complete moron would think that a recreational drug that alters your mood and brain chemistry is 'safe'.

      Of course it isn't safe - even aspirin isn't safe. But if we know what we are doing, we can act in such a way that we minimise the risks. People drink alcohol - which is more harmful than cannabis - and it is widely recognised that there are ways to drink responsibly; the same is true for most recreational drugs. I speak from experience - I have tried many different things - the only time I lost control and were unable to think clearly was the very first time I tried alcohol. Even on LSD, you can still make

    • It's the hypocrisy that's annoying.

      Tobacco in general is terrible for you, yet it is legal.
      Alcohol is also known to cause serious issues, yet it is legal.

      I personally fail to see the difference if someone does something stupid while under the influence of X vs Y.
      What difference does it make ?

      I neither smoke nor drink, but it seems rather stupid to allow one but not the other, when it's known that BOTH are bad for you to begin with.
      Just treat Pot like a different flavor of tobacco and tax it the same way. D

  • Couldn't resist, eh?

    As with all things that alter mood and consciousness, the devil's in the dosage. These results, even if accurate, reflect heavy, long-term use by people predisposed to sit for studies.

    Even alcohol and pain meds are more effective when used sparingly.

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      There is a distinct lack of dose/response in the study, and indeed no indication as to the heaviness of use of the drug. I suspect that is on purpose.
  • I remember in the mid 90's in high school they showed us pictures of exactly this. They had scans of normal brains showing their blood flow, compared to the brains of various drug users. They looked like Swiss cheese. Some looked like carved out pumpkins... each drug had its own appearance.

    • I really miss Nancy Reagan.
    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      This is your brain on drugs.

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      You're directly equating this with your memory because your mind isn't thinking in a sufficiently nuanced way to discriminate between the two. I'd worry about that.
    • by CODiNE ( 27417 )

      I'm not making this up you morons. Here's another story with the same info this goes back to 2005 at a minimum.

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/r... [sciencedaily.com]

      Did I bring anti-drug politics into this? No. I'm simply pointing out this isn't new info, perhaps the specific instruments and scan details are better but the concept is quite old.

  • According to Daniel Amen, M.D., 'Our research demonstrates that marijuana can have significant negative effects on brain function.'

    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      A drug "can" have a negative affect on brain function? Is this supposed to be a discovery of some kind? Show me a drug that "cannot" have a negative affect on brain function.
  • by ebrandsberg ( 75344 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:35AM (#53392019)

    The Amen clinics have been accused of using questionable techniques (https://www.quackwatch.org/06ResearchProjects/amen.html and others, just google for information on them). This isn't to say that the data isn't true, but this result hasn't been confirmed by replication of the results by other researchers or more accurate scanning methods.

    • Whereas the other side of the argument has?

      The point being that there clearly isn't enough credible research into this market (I say market, because it's the new cash crop) from either side of the argument.

      My personal beliefs are that it has no negative side-affects, besides some strains giving me a version of whiskey/coke dick.

      Disclaimer: I smoke weed every day.

      • by skids ( 119237 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @12:50PM (#53393585) Homepage

        The point being that there clearly isn't enough credible research into this market

        There have been way more studies on Cannabis than any FDA-approved drug. Every few years there's a new spurt of concern trolling, followed by a return to the consensus that most problems observed with recreational users were there before they started using, and its benefits as medicine far outweigh its drawbacks (though there is room for improvement in this area through study of individual cannabinoids.)

  • by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 ) <tmsNO@SPAMinfamous.net> on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @09:48AM (#53392111) Homepage
    The usual Reefer Madness bad science of prohibitionists:

    All data were obtained for analysis from a large multisite database, involving 26,268 patients who came for evaluation of complex, treatment resistant issues to one of nine outpatient neuropsychiatric clinics across the United States

    But "people with serious neuropsychiatric people who used cannabis have low blood flow to the brain" is both less clickworthy and less politically useful than "OMG pot rots yr brain!"

    And I love this: "As a physician who routinely sees marijuana users..." Yeah, that's called "a physician". Cannabis use is common, every physician has seen patients who has used it.

    Both Amen and this methodology are poorly regarded. He's in the addiction treatment industry -- look at this is an old marketing pitch of his quoted in a Quackwatch article: [quackwatch.org]

    How your brain and soul work together determines how happy you feel, how successful you become, and how well you connect with others. The brain-soul connection is vastly more powerful than your conscious will. Will power falters when the physical functioning of the brain and the health of your soul fail to support your desires, as seen by illogical behaviors like overeating, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, and compulsive spending.

    OHOH, Officials at major psychiatric and neuroscience associations and research centers say his SPECT claims are no more than myth and poppycock, buffaloing an unsuspecting public. [washingtonpost.com]

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      Jesus this is a scientist talking about the connection between the brain and "soul"? Guess I don't need to bother reading this paper after all. Thanks. ;)
  • Is this low blood flow the underlying cause of reefer madness?

    Does it also exist in tobacco users?

  • They could have left a voice mail message, at least I think I can get to my voice mail mailbox, before "thinning out" my blood to the brain.

    What if the last three were enough to affect the results? I'm not saying that one like me could affect the outcome; I'm just sayin'

    Well, I happen to think that studies like these involving recreational uses of substances are just as important as those demonstrating ill effects of habitual use.

  • Korsakoff's syndrome https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    There seems to be a real ambivalence towards alcohol use and abuse and yet its negative outcomes are far greater than Cannabis use. Heck we're even pushing alcohol consumption during Sunday brunch!

    For medical use, marijuana shouldn't be anymore dangerous than any controlled substance or do you want to ignore opioid abuse.

    For recreational use, it would be advisable to understand the consumption limits of marijuana, like we have for alcohol.

    Wh

  • *reads*

    *nods*

    *reads*

    *nods*

    *blinks*

    Nnno no no, you! Like. Have a slow brain flow.
  • Instead of this fairly small and limited scope, finger waving "study", why not study statistics where it is not only legal, but has been for a long time?

  • by kackle ( 910159 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @10:22AM (#53392343)
    Anecdotal, I know, but the few marijuana users I have known had little drive in their lives (career, education, hobbies). I always wondered whether their personality type caused the use of marijuana or vice versa (or neither). I wonder if this study might explain that.
    • by jittles ( 1613415 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @10:40AM (#53392461)

      Anecdotal, I know, but the few marijuana users I have known had little drive in their lives (career, education, hobbies). I always wondered whether their personality type caused the use of marijuana or vice versa (or neither). I wonder if this study might explain that.

      My guess is their personality, but again my experience is just as anecdotal as yours. I only know a few people who went from smoking weed every day to full-blown pothead. And I know a few people who smoke every day but work incredibly hard. I have never personally tried the stuff, I've never had any inclination, but these kinds of studies should be taken with a grain of salt strictly because we allow people to legally drink alcohol, which is by all appearances far more deadly than marijuana, so why all the hate for people who want to smoke weed from time to time? Society deals with alcoholics, I suspect we can openly deal with potheads, too.

  • by Bugler412 ( 2610815 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @10:38AM (#53392447)
    Every intoxicant has risks, some choose the one with lower risks. Cannabis is safer than alchohol in nearly every possible measure of safety.
  • Viagra also decreases blood flow to the brain. Man has a penis and a brain, but can only use one at a time!.
  • I haven't seen this as reported by any credible media source.

    In fact any serious article I've seen generally at least mentions the health risks from abuse and mental impairment when driving/operating machinery, at a minimum.

    Maybe they needed to add that bit in to make their research appear novel?

  • I think it's something that's been obvious for decades, those who smoke heavily tend to end up with dulled wits. I have a couple acquaintances in that category, you can make a joke and 5 seconds later they finally figure it out.

    On the other hand, those that I know who are occasional smokers never appear to lose that sharpness to their thoughts.

    Once again, moderation is key to just about everything in life.
  • I find this article and the one two stories down [slashdot.org] really explain a lot together. When people say they are high on Jesus, they are not kidding! Very low blood flow to the brain.

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Wednesday November 30, 2016 @11:42AM (#53392963)

    This is just another attempt to define, in threatening terms, another risk for smoking marijuana. We already *know* that smoking marijuana isn't risk free and for some people can be even riskier.

    But all of this is a distraction -- marijuana prohibitionists want, and actually need, the debate for legalization to be oriented around the *safety* of marijuana use, both demanding an artificial high standard of safety not applied to other substances and trying to demonstrate unique and insidious risks from marijuana use.

    But this isn't really what legalization should be about. We have ample scientific and more importantly, long-term public use, evidence of the relative safety of marijuana. The debate about legalization is about the *failed* nature of criminal prohibition as public policy. Prohibition has been an utter failure, costing trillions of dollars, sacrificing civil liberties, poisoning the relationship between the police and the public, discrediting public health warnings on more dangerous drugs, and all the the while totally and utterly failing to deliver anything remotely resembling the elimination of marijuana use.

    It doesn't work. It costs a fortune. Trying to make it work erodes civil liberties. Nobody believes anyone who spins scare stories about marijuana. Prohibition of marijuana is one of the worst public policies advanced by every possible measure.

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