Marijuana makes you dumb…one of the many risks of smoking today’s potent marijuana

Kids like to be cool, but not too many like to be dumb; but that’s just what kids who are smoking marijuana are doing to themselves. I unfortunately speak from the voice of experience here, and I can remember (foggily) a couple of years in high school during which time I smoked marijuana almost daily, and also during which time I lost almost complete interest in participating in school. But not only did I lose all interest in school…I seemed to lose all interest in thinking as well! That was a great many years ago, and since estimates have today’s pot as 300%-600% stronger than the pot I grew up on…I can only guess how today’s stoners even manage to tie their shoelaces!

Some quick facts on marijuana and thinking ability

*Kids with a D average are 400% more likely to light up than kids with an A average.

*Smoking marijuana causes impaired concentration and memory performance for 24 hours after lighting up…you can see how a daily joint could have a serious impact!

*A recent study showed that people who used marijuana 7 times per week or more had significant deficits in verbal and mathematical abilities, and in memory retention.

*The effects of marijuana on the brain are exaggerated when marijuana is used by teens, with still developing brains.

Also

Marijuana is addictive

Early marijuana use is a significant predictor of later drug problems

Marijuana use is associated with increased risks for schizophrenia and depression

We as a society have a problem. We are too often spreading the message that marijuana use is relatively harmless, that it’s a natural weed and even a beneficial medicine; and that the long term risks of marijuana use are negligible…and part of the problem is that many of today’s parents grew up in a cultural period very tolerant to marijuana use.

The difference today is that marijuana users don’t start in college…they start in high school or junior high (49% of high school seniors have tried marijuana!) and that marijuana today is estimated as 600% stronger than the marijuana of a few decades ago. With increasing potency comes increasing problems, including the very real possibility of developing a marijuana addiction.

Marijuana’s usefulness as a medicine remains controversial and even disputed, and it remains an illicit substance in most of the country. Pro marijuana groups seem especially concerned with spreading the propaganda of marijuana as medicine, whereas doctor’s groups have been far more cautious, and most groups suggest that the risks and harms outweigh any benefits.

Marijuana is dangerous, it does have consequences…it does make you dumb!

Teens need to be made aware of the true risks of marijuana usage, and parents also need to get educated as to the risks of today’s marijuana. Whether through decreased school performance, an increased risk for psychiatric conditions, criminal justice system involvement, increased aggression or intoxicated driving, and ultimately a serious risk for addiction, the dangers of heavy marijuana smoking a real, are many and are significant.

There is a lingering perception that government is somehow misleading us as to the dangers of marijuana, and in the past this likely was so (see the movie "reefer madness") and unfortunately this has greatly reduced their credibility on marijuana issues. The reality is that today’s marijuana is dangerous, the information presented by health and governmental groups accurate, and the risks of heavy smoking high.

Teens (or anyone) unable to stop smoking marijuana may need professional intervention and treatment.

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Kids like to be cool, but not too many like to be dumb; but that’s just what kids who are smoking marijuana are doing to themselves. I unfortunately speak from the voice of experience here, and I can remember (foggily) a couple of years in high school during which time I smoked marijuana almost daily, and also during which time I lost almost complete interest in participating in school. But not only did I lose all interest in school…I seemed to lose all interest in thinking as well! That was a great many years ago, and since estimates have today’s pot as 300%-600% stronger than the pot I grew up on…I can only guess how today’s stoners even manage to tie their shoelaces!

Some quick facts on marijuana and thinking ability

*Kids with a D average are 400% more likely to light up than kids with an A average.

*Smoking marijuana causes impaired concentration and memory performance for 24 hours after lighting up…you can see how a daily joint could have a serious impact!

*A recent study showed that people who used marijuana 7 times per week or more had significant deficits in verbal and mathematical abilities, and in memory retention.

*The effects of marijuana on the brain are exaggerated when marijuana is used by teens, with still developing brains.

Also

Marijuana is addictive

Early marijuana use is a significant predictor of later drug problems

Marijuana use is associated with increased risks for schizophrenia and depression

We as a society have a problem. We are too often spreading the message that marijuana use is relatively harmless, that it’s a natural weed and even a beneficial medicine; and that the long term risks of marijuana use are negligible…and part of the problem is that many of today’s parents grew up in a cultural period very tolerant to marijuana use.

The difference today is that marijuana users don’t start in college…they start in high school or junior high (49% of high school seniors have tried marijuana!) and that marijuana today is estimated as 600% stronger than the marijuana of a few decades ago. With increasing potency comes increasing problems, including the very real possibility of developing a marijuana addiction.

Marijuana’s usefulness as a medicine remains controversial and even disputed, and it remains an illicit substance in most of the country. Pro marijuana groups seem especially concerned with spreading the propaganda of marijuana as medicine, whereas doctor’s groups have been far more cautious, and most groups suggest that the risks and harms outweigh any benefits.

Marijuana is dangerous, it does have consequences…it does make you dumb!

Teens need to be made aware of the true risks of marijuana usage, and parents also need to get educated as to the risks of today’s marijuana. Whether through decreased school performance, an increased risk for psychiatric conditions, criminal justice system involvement, increased aggression or intoxicated driving, and ultimately a serious risk for addiction, the dangers of heavy marijuana smoking a real, are many and are significant.

There is a lingering perception that government is somehow misleading us as to the dangers of marijuana, and in the past this likely was so (see the movie "reefer madness") and unfortunately this has greatly reduced their credibility on marijuana issues. The reality is that today’s marijuana is dangerous, the information presented by health and governmental groups accurate, and the risks of heavy smoking high.

Teens (or anyone) unable to stop smoking marijuana may need professional intervention and treatment.

Marijuana Increases the Risks of Kaposi’s Sarcoma

Kaposi’s sarcoma, the skin malignancy infection related to the herpes virus is influenced by the active substance in marijuana, THC. Most prominently seen on AIDS patients, the vast majority of marijuana smokers probably do not need to worry about contracting the painful skin lesions of Kaposi’s sarcoma.

Kaposi’s sarcoma is an opportunistic infection of the skin that occurs when patients are operating with a significantly weakened immune system, such as when immune functioning is compromised by AIDS or after organ transplant surgery. Researchers have known that marijuana use seems to prompt increasing incidences of the condition, but until recently couldn’t say why.

Increased cancer risk

Research at Harvard Medical School looked at the role of THC, which is the active psychotropic substance in marijuana, and found that THC seemed to assist the opportunistic virus in entering the endothelial cells, which are the cells that make up skin and related tissue. The researchers also presented evidence that THC seems to additionally promote the transition to cancerous malignancy of the infected tissue, but they explain that although they are confident that THC is facilitating this malignancy, they are not yet exactly sure what molecular mechanisms are causing the increased cancer risk.

The study authors have concluded that THC increases the risks of Kaposi’s sarcoma, and they as a result caution anyone with a weakened immune system from using marijuana, medically or otherwise. Medical marijuana is currently promoted as an effective antidote to AIDS wasting for its hunger inducing qualities, yet the current study may call into question the practice of medicinal marijuana usage in certain immune system compromised populations.

The research leaders explain that while most regular marijuana smokers have a similar amount of THC in the bloodstream to the amounts used to induce sarcoma in the study, most people are unlikely at risk for this opportunistic infection, and that only those people with compromised immune systems should be concerned. About medical marijuana I am neither for nor against the use of medical marijuana.

Politics

The issue has become too political for my liking, and I believe that proponents on both ides of the debate have lost the ability to rationally argue the merits its usage. The fact that marijuana, in addition to having medical uses is also a mood altering substance does not limit its legitimacy, and if we use that rationale to disclude its usage, neither can we use any number of potent pain medications. Contrarily, neither is medical marijuana likely to be the panacea that its proponents seem to be arguing that it is.

Medical marijuana clearly has some limitations, as is illustrated by this recent research, and may not be as harmless as many would argue. Let’s have a clear examination of the facts, and use this powerful substance in a controlled manner when it proves beneficial, and keep it away from those that it would harm (which is the vast majority).

Kaposi’s sarcoma, the skin malignancy infection related to the herpes virus is influenced by the active substance in marijuana, THC. Most prominently seen on AIDS patients, the vast majority of marijuana smokers probably do not need to worry about contracting the painful skin lesions of Kaposi’s sarcoma.

Kaposi’s sarcoma is an opportunistic infection of the skin that occurs when patients are operating with a significantly weakened immune system, such as when immune functioning is compromised by AIDS or after organ transplant surgery. Researchers have known that marijuana use seems to prompt increasing incidences of the condition, but until recently couldn’t say why.

Increased cancer risk

Research at Harvard Medical School looked at the role of THC, which is the active psychotropic substance in marijuana, and found that THC seemed to assist the opportunistic virus in entering the endothelial cells, which are the cells that make up skin and related tissue. The researchers also presented evidence that THC seems to additionally promote the transition to cancerous malignancy of the infected tissue, but they explain that although they are confident that THC is facilitating this malignancy, they are not yet exactly sure what molecular mechanisms are causing the increased cancer risk.

The study authors have concluded that THC increases the risks of Kaposi’s sarcoma, and they as a result caution anyone with a weakened immune system from using marijuana, medically or otherwise. Medical marijuana is currently promoted as an effective antidote to AIDS wasting for its hunger inducing qualities, yet the current study may call into question the practice of medicinal marijuana usage in certain immune system compromised populations.

The research leaders explain that while most regular marijuana smokers have a similar amount of THC in the bloodstream to the amounts used to induce sarcoma in the study, most people are unlikely at risk for this opportunistic infection, and that only those people with compromised immune systems should be concerned. About medical marijuana I am neither for nor against the use of medical marijuana.

Politics

The issue has become too political for my liking, and I believe that proponents on both ides of the debate have lost the ability to rationally argue the merits its usage. The fact that marijuana, in addition to having medical uses is also a mood altering substance does not limit its legitimacy, and if we use that rationale to disclude its usage, neither can we use any number of potent pain medications. Contrarily, neither is medical marijuana likely to be the panacea that its proponents seem to be arguing that it is.

Medical marijuana clearly has some limitations, as is illustrated by this recent research, and may not be as harmless as many would argue. Let’s have a clear examination of the facts, and use this powerful substance in a controlled manner when it proves beneficial, and keep it away from those that it would harm (which is the vast majority).

Medical marijuana and the finding that marijuana has been linked to psychosis. Is it Medicine?

The issue surrounding marijuana to me is quite clear…people that need it deserve access to it, and people that don’t…well they don’t!

Marijuana users are 40% more likely to develop psychosis later in life. Long perceived as a relatively harmless drug, marihuana continues to show its complicated colors with yet another study pointing to the dangers of illicit consumption. Yet for every one study that shows the dangers of illicit consumption, it seems there are two that show the benefits of marijuana for medical usage. Perhaps we need to demarcate the lines between treatment and fun a little better, and get this "medicine" into the hands of those that can benefit from it, and this "drug" away from those to which it may do harm.

University of Cardiff researchers analyzed long term clinical data on marijuana usage and later incidences of psychosis, over a period of many years, and have linked the two with the data giving statistically strong causal results. Marijuana users have a 40% greater chance of developing psychosis later in life, and the more marijuana is used, the greater that risk becomes. Psychosis is defined a psychiatric condition in which delusions or hallucinations are present. Marijuana today is a very strong psychoactive substance, and it is not surprising that heavy usage of this substance would have some long term consequences.

We need to educate kids as to the potential dangers of the drug they are smoking, and get people to realize that today’s marijuana is serious stuff, and can cause long and lasting health implications. Too often I see the marijuana issue clouded by those that wish to smoke it illicitly, arguing for the benefits of medical marijuana…and to me this is apples and oranges; and just because something is medically appropriate, it doesn’t mean that’s it’s a good idea to use it on a recreational basis.

Policy makers, out of compassion and mercy, let cancer patients, AIDS wasting sufferers and glaucoma patients have the marijuana they need to make them feel better. To politicize the drug at the expense of these people is shameful. To everyone else, stop using the medical argument when all you really want to do is to use the drug to get high. That’s my 2 cents worth anyway.

The issue surrounding marijuana to me is quite clear…people that need it deserve access to it, and people that don’t…well they don’t!

Marijuana users are 40% more likely to develop psychosis later in life. Long perceived as a relatively harmless drug, marihuana continues to show its complicated colors with yet another study pointing to the dangers of illicit consumption. Yet for every one study that shows the dangers of illicit consumption, it seems there are two that show the benefits of marijuana for medical usage. Perhaps we need to demarcate the lines between treatment and fun a little better, and get this "medicine" into the hands of those that can benefit from it, and this "drug" away from those to which it may do harm.

University of Cardiff researchers analyzed long term clinical data on marijuana usage and later incidences of psychosis, over a period of many years, and have linked the two with the data giving statistically strong causal results. Marijuana users have a 40% greater chance of developing psychosis later in life, and the more marijuana is used, the greater that risk becomes. Psychosis is defined a psychiatric condition in which delusions or hallucinations are present. Marijuana today is a very strong psychoactive substance, and it is not surprising that heavy usage of this substance would have some long term consequences.

We need to educate kids as to the potential dangers of the drug they are smoking, and get people to realize that today’s marijuana is serious stuff, and can cause long and lasting health implications. Too often I see the marijuana issue clouded by those that wish to smoke it illicitly, arguing for the benefits of medical marijuana…and to me this is apples and oranges; and just because something is medically appropriate, it doesn’t mean that’s it’s a good idea to use it on a recreational basis.

Policy makers, out of compassion and mercy, let cancer patients, AIDS wasting sufferers and glaucoma patients have the marijuana they need to make them feel better. To politicize the drug at the expense of these people is shameful. To everyone else, stop using the medical argument when all you really want to do is to use the drug to get high. That’s my 2 cents worth anyway.

A Little Pot Never Hurt Anyone…Before. Today’s Marijuana is Different!

We now know conclusively that marijuana is addictive, and that the withdrawal symptoms of heavy marijuana usage can be very unpleasant. Marijuana use needs to be taken seriously, and marijuana addicts will often need professional treatment. Marijuana is no longer the relatively harmless drug it is perceived to be. Whether any drug is ever harmless is open to debate, but since a third of adults in America have tried marijuana, and the vast majority of these adults never grew addicted, nor ever had any problems with it, most people don’t consider it to be a very frightening substance.

But today’s marijuana bears little resemblance to what many of us may have had. No longer an innocuous weed, today’s marijuana is heavily laden with white crystals of THC, and in fact the potency of today’s common marijuana is many times stronger than even the strongest pot of a decade or more ago. With increasing strengths, also comes increasing problems, and while it used to be argued that marijuana wasn’t addictive, medical professionals can now conclusively state that it is.

Regular marijuana use causes both a development of a tolerance to the effects of the drug, and as well causes physical withdrawal symptoms when usage is stopped. Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, insomnia, a loss of appetite and even aggression, basically the opposite and negative symptoms to the intoxicating effects of the drug.

People developing an addiction to marijuana will progress in their behaviors comparably to other drug addictions. There will be an increasing fixation on marijuana, on getting, paying for and smoking the drug. There will be a dramatic development of tolerance to the effects of the drug, there may be changes in behavior and users will feel a need to smoke the drug at regular intervals. When they try to stop using, they will feel withdrawal effects, and this can make cessation problematic.

Most people, who use the drug occasionally will not get addicted, but the risk of addiction for regular users is high; and an addiction to marijuana can have similar social consequences as an addiction to other drugs. There is a cognitive deficit, and memory loss is common, and work or school performance will often suffer as usage of the drug increases. Frequent and excessive marijuana use is not to be taken lightly, and the long term consequences of this usage can be quite severe. Users who have developed a physical and psychological addiction to the drug will often need professional treatment and long term support and care to be able to quit using for good.

If a loved one is suffering from a marijuana addiction, it needs to be taken seriously, and that person needs access to professional help to allow them to quit using for good. What always starts out as recreational can too often turn tragic, and an addiction to any drug is never enjoyable. Today’s pot is not what it was, and it needs to be taken seriously.

We now know conclusively that marijuana is addictive, and that the withdrawal symptoms of heavy marijuana usage can be very unpleasant. Marijuana use needs to be taken seriously, and marijuana addicts will often need professional treatment. Marijuana is no longer the relatively harmless drug it is perceived to be. Whether any drug is ever harmless is open to debate, but since a third of adults in America have tried marijuana, and the vast majority of these adults never grew addicted, nor ever had any problems with it, most people don’t consider it to be a very frightening substance.

But today’s marijuana bears little resemblance to what many of us may have had. No longer an innocuous weed, today’s marijuana is heavily laden with white crystals of THC, and in fact the potency of today’s common marijuana is many times stronger than even the strongest pot of a decade or more ago. With increasing strengths, also comes increasing problems, and while it used to be argued that marijuana wasn’t addictive, medical professionals can now conclusively state that it is.

Regular marijuana use causes both a development of a tolerance to the effects of the drug, and as well causes physical withdrawal symptoms when usage is stopped. Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, insomnia, a loss of appetite and even aggression, basically the opposite and negative symptoms to the intoxicating effects of the drug.

People developing an addiction to marijuana will progress in their behaviors comparably to other drug addictions. There will be an increasing fixation on marijuana, on getting, paying for and smoking the drug. There will be a dramatic development of tolerance to the effects of the drug, there may be changes in behavior and users will feel a need to smoke the drug at regular intervals. When they try to stop using, they will feel withdrawal effects, and this can make cessation problematic.

Most people, who use the drug occasionally will not get addicted, but the risk of addiction for regular users is high; and an addiction to marijuana can have similar social consequences as an addiction to other drugs. There is a cognitive deficit, and memory loss is common, and work or school performance will often suffer as usage of the drug increases. Frequent and excessive marijuana use is not to be taken lightly, and the long term consequences of this usage can be quite severe. Users who have developed a physical and psychological addiction to the drug will often need professional treatment and long term support and care to be able to quit using for good.

If a loved one is suffering from a marijuana addiction, it needs to be taken seriously, and that person needs access to professional help to allow them to quit using for good. What always starts out as recreational can too often turn tragic, and an addiction to any drug is never enjoyable. Today’s pot is not what it was, and it needs to be taken seriously.