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Study Proves Occasional Marijuana Use is Mind Altering

Study Proves Occasional Marijuana Use is Mind AlteringA joint study conducted by the Northwestern University Feinburg School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Harvard Medical School recently concluded that casual marijuana users experience structural changes in portions of the brain responsible for rewards and aversions. This study was able to prove that these changes can be seen via MRI in subjects who are not addicted to the substance.

In the study, the brains of young adults who had been exposed to cannabis were compared to those of the same age group who had not been exposed. Other lifestyle factors, such as alcohol use and cigarette smoking, were also taken into consideration.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse lists marijuana as the ‘most common illicit drug’ used in the United States. Even though it is common, it is listed as a Schedule I drug as defined by the United States Drug  Enforcement Administration (DEA).

“Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.”

Marijuana is considered illegal on the federal level, but many states have decriminalized or legalized both medicinal and recreation usage of it. Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize recreational usage of the drug.

While it is considered to have no medical use by the DEA, THC, a substance naturally present in cannabis, is used for medical purposes in commercial drugs. The non-illegal medication is commonly prescribed for symptoms of pain or nausea. Other substances found in the plant, such as Cannabidiol, are being researched for their medicinal properties. These substances are also believed to be effective in treating pain as well as neurological disorders.

Prior to this study, researcher stated that little was known about marijuana’s effect on the human brain among the medical community.

Similar studies had previously been conducted on animals, but the recently published study is one of few to be completed on recreational marijuana users. The results of the study are published in the Journal of Neuroscience


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  1. Brian Kelly

    Apr 16, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    There is absolutely no doubt now that the majority of Americans want to completely legalize marijuana nationwide. Our numbers grow on a daily basis.

    The prohibitionist view on marijuana is the viewpoint of a minority of Americans.. It is based upon decades of lies and propaganda.

    Each and every tired old lie they have propagated has been thoroughly proven false by both science and society.

    Their tired old rhetoric no longer holds any validity. The majority of Americans have seen through the sham of marijuana prohibition in this day and age. The number of prohibitionists left shrinks on a daily basis.

    With their credibility shattered, and their not so hidden agendas visible to a much wiser public, what’s left for a marijuana prohibitionist to do?

    Maybe, just come to terms with the fact that Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think, and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

    Legalize Nationwide!…and Support All Marijuana Legalization Efforts!

  2. Brian Kelly

    Apr 17, 2014 at 3:31 am

    Nobody believes bogus studies funded obviously by prohibitionists in order to decieve and scare off the public anymore.

    Despite what this article claims, in recent news we find that the Majority of American Doctors Support Marijuana Legalization:

    More Than Half Of Doctors Support National Legalization Of Marijuana, Survey Shows

    “April 2, 2014 — A majority of doctors say that medical marijuana should be legalized nationally and that it can deliver real benefits to patients, a new survey by WebMD/Medscape finds.”

  3. Northeastern Institute of Cannabis

    Apr 17, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Seems to be a very small sample size and it seems that doctors know very little of how the brain works. They say there are changes and abnormalities, but not that they are harmful or dangerous. Differences don’t always mean that there is harm to the brain. The areas of the brain that are affected are the same areas that sugar, caffeine, and tobacco affect. Also, marijuana is not ‘stronger’ than in the 60s and 70s, more simply, the stronger strains are more widely available than in the 60s and 70s.
    Read more:

  4. dax

    Apr 18, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    the study means nothing until Eric Holder lets the secretary of state to study the effects of cannabis use, as of last week Holder said he has said he would not allow it …case closed

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