Marijuana Changes Brains: I Told You So!

It is time once again for my semi-regular harangue on the subject of pot. I have several blogs in which I have risked the wrath of those who believe it is their libertarian free born American right to smoke dope, I mean pot. J I have also been chastised by those who believe that it should be their right as a Christian to smoke marijuana if it is not against the law. Somehow they think whacky tobacchy (as a friend of mine once called it) fits well in the Paul’s Romans 14 construct of Christian Liberty.

I have consistently warned anyone who will listen that there is little to nothing good about humans smoking marijuana. I’ve spent the better part of 4 decades telling patients that if they smoke tobacco it will kill them. Why people think that smoking marijuana will be harmless is beyond my understanding. I have listened to people give personal testimony to the medicinal benefits of smoking marijuana or consuming marijuana laced products. I have said and continue to say that real research on medical benefits of cannabis should be done for the few it might help.

On the other hand for the general public marijuana is a danger. Research published today shows what many of us have noticed in friends or loved ones who regularly smoke weed.[i] They change. Their personalities change. The abilities to think, their desire to work, and their memories are affected. The reason they change is that even once a week use of marijuana appears to change the human brain.[ii]

The study examined the brains of young people who smoked marijuana at least once a week and those who did not. MRI Brain-scans were used to look for changes. What the researchers found was that two areas of the brain changed as compared to non-users. The nucleus accumbens and the amygdala thickened. “These data suggest that marijuana exposure, even in young recreational users, is associated with exposure-dependent alterations of the neural matrix…” In other words it changes your brain!

In a study published in December of 2013, it was shown that areas of the brain that support memory were changed in heavy users of marijuana and that those changes remained even after 2 years of abstinence from pot.[iii] The current study would indicate that smoking marijuana for any reason is a threat to the ability to think.

There may be individuals with seizure disorders that will not respond to anything but the CBD portion of Marijuana and individuals in that situation should be able to use the drug in a form that does not require smoking. But, for the rest of us with normal healthy brains, marijuana poses real danger.

We know that 25% of young people who regularly smoke pot will be addicted and many of them will suffer brain changes that result in psychosis. Why would any Christian support the use, sale and taxation of recreational marijuana?

Paul specifically tells us in Ephesians 5:18 to not be drunk with wine but be filled/controlled by the Holy Spirit. Paul is telling us that Christians should not give themselves over to the control of addictive substances. We should certainly not use substances such as marijuana that damage the body that God has given us to serve Him. It reminds of wise words an old friend told me once. “Will you be able to serve the Lord better if you make that choice, or serve Him better if you do not?”

So, the question for the believer must be will I be able to serve God better intoxicated with marijuana, or sober? 


[i] Jodi M. Gilman, John K. Kuster, Sang Lee, Myung Joo Lee, Byoung Woo Kim, Nikos Makris, Andre Van Der Kouwe, Anne J. Blood and Hans C. Breiter. Cannabis Use is Quantitatively Associated with Nucleus Accumbens and Amygdala Abnormalities in Young Adult Recreational Users. Journal of Neuroscience, April 16, 2014 (in press)

[ii] Society for Neuroscience (SfN). "Brain changes associated with casual marijuana use in young adults: More 'joints' equal more damage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415181156.htm>.

[iii] Northwestern University. "Casual marijuana use linked to brain abnormalities in students: Dramatic effects of small time use; more 'joints' equal more damage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415203807.htm>.

4/29/2014 03:59:23 am

I wholeheartedly agree. Though not a total Christian, (maybe a 9\10ths one) I watched these changes take place in my husband, four of my five children, (one Christian) most of my 12grandchildren, and more friends and friends of friends than I could count. I personally believe I watched Marijuana begin the downward spiral of America's social/ mental/moral stability happening on the street where I lived.

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T. Johnson
5/5/2014 11:53:28 pm

I agree with you completely, I pray each day God take this away from my kids and they see how they need to be filled with Jesus and follow him. I will be praying for you also.

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T. DeMoot
5/6/2014 07:50:22 pm

I am a firm believer that for medical reason pot should've be used! I have Lupus n it's not legal where I live. I am in remission due to weed smoking. No meds at all! If you think weed is a killer try medication! I support the Weed!

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M. A. Litterio
5/9/2014 03:22:12 am

please check this site for information ...

http://naturalsociety.com/4-solutions-preserving-brain-health-preventing-alzheimers/

Reply
M. A. Litterio
5/9/2014 03:22:22 am

please check this site for information ...

http://naturalsociety.com/4-solutions-preserving-brain-health-preventing-alzheimers/

Reply
M. A. Litterio
5/9/2014 03:22:39 am

please check this site for information ...http://naturalsociety.com/4-solutions-preserving-brain-health-preventing-alzheimers/

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Shannon Lucas
5/6/2014 08:58:21 pm

I smoked pot from the ages of 14 to 32. Many of those years were very heavy usage. It wrecked my life. Depression, tremendous weight gain, no motivation, unability to cope with life stresses, serious impact on short term memory, and a number of other side effects. Two years ago, I began a serious relationship with Jesus Christ. My life has been restored on many areas and some parts are in progress. I'm currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree and it's in this arena that I see some of the most significant impacts of years of drug abuse. I have to work longer and harder than many people. But God restores! God heals! I'm achieving and succeeding with a 3.5 GPA. When I study His Word, I have to read and re-read to really grasp what is being said. Part of that comes from the many years of smoking marijuana. Friends, it may be fun right now and it even legal, but I strongly advise against it. God had forgiven me, but the consequences are still there.

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Mama
5/7/2014 02:13:52 am

I never have been addicted to anything. I began using pot after 20 of not touching it. My cancer was reduced down to a very small portion of what it was and I was able to have surgery. I am not becoming a zombie. I am quite intelligent. I read and retain, I understand the Bible, I do quite a bit of writing. I run a household. I have no harmful effects from pot. I do not get high. I have seen amazing healing come to a loved one from it. All the talk in the world cannot tell me that heavy medication is good for us. I will not agree that anyone should put it in their bodies. The life-long side effects are terrible. I can play chess, debate anything anywhere. Try me.

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M. A. LITTERIO
5/9/2014 03:20:17 am

I have read that marijuana can halt or even help reverse Alzheimer's ... has anyone else (doctors) investigated this aspect of its use?

http://naturalsociety.com/4-solutions-preserving-brain-health-preventing-alzheimers/

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M. A. Litterio
5/13/2014 05:31:59 am

Mol Pharm. 2006 Nov-Dec;3(6):773-7.
A molecular link between the active component of marijuana and Alzheimer's disease pathology.
Eubanks LM1, Rogers CJ, Beuscher AE 4th, Koob GF, Olson AJ, Dickerson TJ, Janda KD.
Author information
Abstract

Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia among the elderly, and with the ever-increasing size of this population, cases of Alzheimer's disease are expected to triple over the next 50 years. Consequently, the development of treatments that slow or halt the disease progression have become imperative to both improve the quality of life for patients and reduce the health care costs attributable to Alzheimer's disease. Here, we demonstrate that the active component of marijuana, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) as well as prevents AChE-induced amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) aggregation, the key pathological marker of Alzheimer's disease. Computational modeling of the THC-AChE interaction revealed that THC binds in the peripheral anionic site of AChE, the critical region involved in amyloidgenesis. Compared to currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, THC is a considerably superior inhibitor of Abeta aggregation, and this study provides a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which cannabinoid molecules may directly impact the progression of this debilitating disease.


Reply
5/13/2014 05:32:29 am

Mol Pharm. 2006 Nov-Dec;3(6):773-7.
A molecular link between the active component of marijuana and Alzheimer's disease pathology.
Eubanks LM1, Rogers CJ, Beuscher AE 4th, Koob GF, Olson AJ, Dickerson TJ, Janda KD.
Author information
Abstract

Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia among the elderly, and with the ever-increasing size of this population, cases of Alzheimer's disease are expected to triple over the next 50 years. Consequently, the development of treatments that slow or halt the disease progression have become imperative to both improve the quality of life for patients and reduce the health care costs attributable to Alzheimer's disease. Here, we demonstrate that the active component of marijuana, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) as well as prevents AChE-induced amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) aggregation, the key pathological marker of Alzheimer's disease. Computational modeling of the THC-AChE interaction revealed that THC binds in the peripheral anionic site of AChE, the critical region involved in amyloidgenesis. Compared to currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, THC is a considerably superior inhibitor of Abeta aggregation, and this study provides a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which cannabinoid molecules may directly impact the progression of this debilitating disease.


Reply
5/13/2014 05:33:02 am

Mol Pharm. 2006 Nov-Dec;3(6):773-7.
A molecular link between the active component of marijuana and Alzheimer's disease pathology.
Eubanks LM1, Rogers CJ, Beuscher AE 4th, Koob GF, Olson AJ, Dickerson TJ, Janda KD.
Author information
Abstract

Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia among the elderly, and with the ever-increasing size of this population, cases of Alzheimer's disease are expected to triple over the next 50 years. Consequently, the development of treatments that slow or halt the disease progression have become imperative to both improve the quality of life for patients and reduce the health care costs attributable to Alzheimer's disease. Here, we demonstrate that the active component of marijuana, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) as well as prevents AChE-induced amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) aggregation, the key pathological marker of Alzheimer's disease. Computational modeling of the THC-AChE interaction revealed that THC binds in the peripheral anionic site of AChE, the critical region involved in amyloidgenesis. Compared to currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, THC is a considerably superior inhibitor of Abeta aggregation, and this study provides a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which cannabinoid molecules may directly impact the progression of this debilitating disease.


Reply
5/13/2014 05:33:20 am


A molecular link between the active component of marijuana and Alzheimer's disease pathology.
Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia among the elderly, and with the ever-increasing size of this population, cases of Alzheimer's disease are expected to triple over the next 50 years. Consequently, the development of treatments that slow or halt the disease progression have become imperative to both improve the quality of life for patients and reduce the health care costs attributable to Alzheimer's disease. Here, we demonstrate that the active component of marijuana, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) as well as prevents AChE-induced amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta) aggregation, the key pathological marker of Alzheimer's disease. Computational modeling of the THC-AChE interaction revealed that THC binds in the peripheral anionic site of AChE, the critical region involved in amyloidgenesis. Compared to currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, THC is a considerably superior inhibitor of Abeta aggregation, and this study provides a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which cannabinoid molecules may directly impact the progression of this debilitating disease.


Reply
God Is My Judge
5/11/2014 10:30:55 pm

Hello. I am extrememly sad because I have found this on sheppress and am now feeling judged as a believer because they pick and choose who they want to comment. I cannot undertstand why some are allowed to post such judgemental comments as they mock people who have smoked even those who were their own friends and families. There is no harm to in my comment to anyone just educational in a topic of God. All I wanted is to post this:

I am a believer in God and to question a believer can be hurtful and judgmental. Think of it like a medical drug. (There is medicine from the streets and any medicine from the streets is a risk, you never know whats in it. And then there is pharmaceutical medicine.) It is good for some and not good for others. Some have side effects and others do not. I would not judge a christian who is on medication. I would not judge a believer because God is the judge. God knows what to do and with who to do it with. We cannot always understand Gods plans. And to try to figure out/question his plans for others could turn into judgment and judging God himself so we should just trust him. If they are believers, you should trust God in knowing what is good or bad for that individual.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" Proverbs 3:5.
And the truthful answer to the Question in that article, is that 'I' can serve god with or without it. And that is no lie.

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God Is My Judge
5/11/2014 10:40:03 pm

Oh my apologize, not Sheppress, it's Shepherd Press.com.

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God Is My Judge
5/11/2014 10:34:15 pm

Judgement is a worse disease and addiction than drugs. I am not perfect and I myself work everyday on making sure to not judge others because I do not have the right and it does not feel good inside to know I have put someone down. God is the only one with the right to judge.

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