Study: Marijuana's Effects on Brain Are Reversible

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Oct 18, 2001.

  1. LUCKY US :)

    By Steven Reinberg
    Source: Reuters

    Intellectual impairment associated with heavy marijuana use is apparently reversible with abstinence, researchers report.
    And marijuana withdrawal symptoms in habitual users are similar to those seen with nicotine withdrawal, according to a second report published in the October issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

    The lead author of the first report, Dr. Harrison G. Pope, Jr. of McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, told Reuters Health, "It appears that cognitive impairment from marijuana use is temporary and related to the amount of marijuana that has been recently smoked rather than permanent and related to an entire lifetime consumption."

    Pope and colleagues collected data on three groups of marijuana users. One group consisted of 63 users who had smoked marijuana at least 5,000 times in their lives and were daily marijuana users.

    In the second group, there were 45 former marijuana users who had smoked marijuana at least 5,000 times but had used it less than 12 times in the past 3 months. The third group was made up of 72 "controls" who had not smoked marijuana more than 50 times.

    People in the study abstained from marijuana for 28 days, during which time the researchers gave them tests that assessed general intellectual function, abstract thinking, sustained attention, verbal fluency and the ability to learn and recall verbal and visuospatial data. Tests were given at the beginning of the study and on days 1, 7 and 28.

    Heavy marijuana users had significantly lower scores on word recall lists at the beginning of the study and on the day 1 and day 7 tests compared with non-users. However, by day 28 there were no significant differences between the groups in any of the tests, with no significant association between cumulative lifetime marijuana use and test scores, Pope's group found.

    "People who are regular heavy marijuana smokers will exhibit some impairment that lasts days, and possibly even a couple of weeks after they stop smoking--that's the bad news. The good news is that if they abstain from marijuana for longer than 4 weeks, then the residual effects seem to disappear," Pope said.

    In the second report, Dr. Alan J. Budney from the University of Vermont in Burlington and colleagues studied withdrawal effects in 12 daily marijuana smokers.

    "Comparing our results to studies of nicotine withdrawal, it looks like the magnitude of the severity of withdrawal is similar," Budney said in an interview with Reuters Health. "So as people try to quit smoking marijuana, one can expect them to have problems with withdrawal."

    The researchers had the study participants smoke marijuana as usual for 5 days, then abstain for 3 days, smoke again for 5 days and abstain for another 3 days.

    Craving for marijuana, decreased appetite, sleep difficulty and weight loss were more common in abstaining periods. Aggression, anger, irritability, restlessness and strange dreams were also significantly increased during abstinence, Budney's team found.

    "This highlights the issue that when you treat marijuana-dependent folk, they are going to complain about withdrawal--it is real. If you consider tobacco withdrawal real, you should consider marijuana withdrawal real," Budney stressed.

    Source: Archives of General Psychiatry 2001;58:909-915, 917-924.

    Source: Reuters
    Author: Steven Reinberg
    Published: October 17, 2001
    Copyright: 2001 Reuters Health
  2. Marijuana withdrawal similar to nicotine withdrawal? Perhaps, but not for the same reason.

    Nicotine is physically addicting. You have withdrawals because your body needs that chemical.

    Marijuana is mentally addicting. You have withdrawals because you are used to being able to mellow out by smoking one.

    If you've been using pot to mellow out for years then suddenly quit you not only have the effects of fighting something that was a habit, but you also don't have that joint to fall back on when things get tough.

    I can see a comparison, but I think it's based on a misnomer. You crave the feeling, not the chemical.

    In my opinion, of course!
  3. thx SJ! me and my mom were talkin about this today. she has a friend that smokes weed and he says that it has messed up his brain and that he is slow. i was thinking that he must smoke alot of weed if he feels that way. this is jsut more evidence that proves marijuana doesnt cause brain damage! i was also thinking i might tell my mom to tell her friend to stop smoking for a 3-4 weeks and see how he feels.
  4. I have to agree with budburner-you crave the feeling you get-I recently had to go without for about 10 days, and I missed the mellowness and the ability to just "go with the flow". The only thing I DIDN'tT miss was the munchies! ;0)

    That was an interesting report!
  5. Thats a very interesting study.I belive they need to extend the studys of marijuana use for people with certian impairments.I am bi-polar and for most of my life I didnt know that there was anything wrong with me,I just thought that everything was normal.Im 24 now i found out I was bi-polar when i was 20.The doctor put me on lithium carb. and a few other drugs...all they ever did was make me full of anger....I never had tryed smokeing before untill a family member told me that they were bi polar and they smoked to help.Sence then i have been a regular smoker because it has givin me the abily to live a normal life.Smokeing i would have to say saved my life and it still does everyday....without it my deep deppresstion and attempts of sucide would continue once again...Marijuana has so far been the only form of MEDS that has enabled me to live a normal life.Its one of the best forms of medicines in this world to help people,but yet its still illigal to use makes you wonder why....when it saves lifes.
  6. im happy as fuck that kronik helps you like that dude... its definately an amazing herb.... and no matter how much you see it, bud helps so many people so much, it would be able to do so much more, too, if it was legal
  7. thanks man that was a good read

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