#Real #Truth #Marijuana
“So what’s the problem? It’s legal for crying out loud!” It is even used as a medicine for all kinds of things. Why should you quit smoking? It’s fine. Stay away from my things; You just don’t know what is real Also, why do we have a dedicated piece of furniture in this house called “the liquor cabinet”? Pretty hypocritical for me, don’t you think? You do yours, I’ll do mine. Yours is legal too, but it’s never used as a medicine, right? I’m sure it does more harm than my marijuana. Everyone I know does. Okay, like I’ve said a million times. Inform. I feel good, relaxed, creative and comfortable, so what’s wrong with that? There is no need to overreact and try to control everything. In fact, pushing myself doesn’t just make me want to do it more. I don’t know why you don’t understand. “
Sounds familiar? This debate / dialogue has been going on for several generations, but not like in the last 10-15 years since legalization and medical uses have become the norm and are growing. Legalization alone has not markedly increased cannabis use, but in general, there are apparently more permissive attitudes towards cannabis where it is legal. The perception of the risks of marijuana drops dramatically in these states and the use of the drug is increasing very rapidly. Perceived risks have been steadily declining for more than a decade. In 2014, less than half of high school seniors thought regular marijuana use was too risky; the lowest number in more than 40 years.
Families and parents in general are also not that well informed about the risks of regular cannabis use or even what is legal and what is not. Their teens know so much more, and many choose to ignore, refute, or deny the serious risks and the wealth of science that warns of harm.
Advertisers in states where cannabis is legal are promoting directly to their younger constituents in free print ads and through funny images. Of course, where a profit can be made, manufacturers, and even state legislators, will be swayed and have incentives to attract young users.
The potency of today’s marijuana supply is notably stronger than in previous decades. Thirty years ago, the THC concentration in marijuana ranged from 5 to 10%. Now the power is over 30%. This complicates and compounds the risk, harm, and concerns associated with its use. Highly concentrated cannabis resins containing even higher levels of THC are now dangerously available too
A very irritating topic is that some scientific studies have shown the serious risk and harm of regular marijuana use, while others have not. The anatomical and functional damage inflicted on young brains appears to include impaired memory, attention, decision-making, and learning. This leads to significant increases in poor school performance, higher dropout rates, dependence on public assistance, increased unemployment, and much lower life satisfaction. Persistent use in adolescents has been linked to an 8 point decrease in IQ, which is comparable to what is seen in lead poisoning.
During the neurodevelopmental years of the brain, the brain has an increased sensitivity and vulnerability to the toxic effects of marijuana. The negative effects on the density of gray matter and the nucleus accumbens, an area of the brain critical for “reward” and includes dopamine that affects desire and serotonin that affects satiety and inhibition. These areas are essential for motivation, reward, emotion, memory, and pleasure, for example. Additionally, repeated exposure has been shown to cause damage to the frontal cortex of the brain. This region of the brain is important for planning, personality, judgment, and decision-making. Additionally, the brain’s own endocannabinoid system is disrupted and diminished by repetitive exposure. This internal system comprises the physiological mechanisms that respond to THC (tetrahydrocannabinoid), the psychosomatic component of marijuana that creates its signature high.
Therefore, adolescents in particular are much more sensitive to these serious negative effects of repeated marijuana use. One study also found that “the majority of a small group of children treated for bronchiolitis” had marijuana metabolites in their urine and thus suffered unintended harm. In this study, parents who smoked told the researcher that they no longer smoked cigarettes, but were now smoking marijuana. As a corollary, tobacco smoke at “very low levels is detectable in children …” (MD Magazine: Field Report: Colorado Marijuana Laws Hurting Kids; Karen N. Wilson; December 2016).
Some studies have found no neurological changes, but the risks are too serious and damaging to rule out the potential. Longitudinal studies, which is when data is collected on the same topics over a long period of time, will be released soon. The National Institute on Drug Abuse will conduct the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) that will follow 10,000 youth across the country for a decade. This study will attempt to determine the effects before and after reported use on brain function. It is not yet clear whether there could be a safe level of use, whether the brain can recover over time or not, and whether the brain has alternative compensatory methods to maintain proper function.
No matter what is revealed in the future, current neuroscience strongly points to marijuana as an addictive substance with particular damage that is likely to affect the brain and function of adolescents. Parents must be well informed and familiar with their children frequently. The medical uses of a variety of disorders are very beneficial to many. However, legalization, which will likely include more state and medical uses, should not be interpreted or confused with safety and security.
Don’t suffer alone …