Saturday, July 28, 2007

From a surprising source - the LA Times - comes this news article: people who smoke marijuana daily or weekly double their risk of developing a psychotic illness over their lifetime, according to a study published Thursday.

Marijuana can cause psychiatric problems because it throws off the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain.

I believe it.

I've discussed this with people for years, and what I keep hearing is that there is no long-term damage, that the THC merely locks onto receptors in the brain harmlessly, but it's always been difficult to me to dismiss the possibility that neural pathways are altered by longterm exposure to THC. I strongly believe that pot use wreaks havoc on the limbic system and seriously limits a person's ability to problem-solve and change behaviors at their basest emotional level.

If you have to have pot or booze to make it through every single day, you need to change something in your life. These things don't fix what's wrong. Why squander life by anaesthetizing oneself to experience? Only you can change the way you live.


HollyB said...

Hmmm, on this one I have to disagree, sorta.
Kids start smokin' pot b/c they are depressed. Show me a teen who isn't depressed about SOMETHING and I'll show you a REAL freakazoid. You're right when you say it doesn't fix anything. And most kids smoke as a way of self-medicating their pain.
I question this study because it's a LITERATURE REVIEW. They say they factored out pre-existing conditions of mental illness...yeah,right. I don't buy that. If this was ORIGINAL, double blind, long-term research...then I'd be more willing to accept the results.
BUt, I grew up with too many BRIGHT, over-achieving, pot-smoking teens who now lead productive, responsible lives to buy this research. Not a single one of them is Psychotic.
Also there is a pre-existing body of knowledge that MOST psychotic disorders are genetically based. Even Depression and Bi-Polar disorders are genetically based, for gawd's sake, so how in the hell can they say that Pot increases the chances of having these disorders? Reefer Madness, I say!

Kevin said...

Purely anecdotal, but I agree with this, because I've seen people who smoke a lot of weed over a long period of time and how their personalities change. If people want to smoke it, that's fine by me, but don't try telling me it's harmless. Long term exposure to anything like that is going to have consequences.

NotClauswitz said...

Interesting considering the "consumption habits" of skateboarders and surfers - a group who rely on balance a lot - or on overcoming it...

Tickersoid said...

Research at a Scottish university just recently confirmed this.

I've learned in my long life that research is often done in isolation and doesn't look at the whole picture. (has anyone looked at the positive effects of THC or the negative effects of not consuming THC?)

When all is said and done, it's best to take everything in moderation. Excess is the problem. Drink too much carrot juice will induce serocis of the liver.

phlegmfatale said...

hollyb - but aren't there varying degrees of psychosis, many not inhibiting the sufferer's ability to function normally in work and social situations? I didn't take it to mean that every other pothead was two tics away from morping into a slavering beast.

kevin - I agree.

dirtcrashr - but do you think that cliche is an accurate picture of the typical skateboarder or surfer? I don't, necessarily. I do think those activities do rely on a degree of flexibility that comes of being in a pliant-but-ready state of relaxation.

tickersoid - I think Timothy Leary studied the positive effects of THC. yes, moderation in all things, including moderation