Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells?
Have you ever gotten so stoned you felt stupid? Did that make you wonder if marijuana can kill your brain cells?
Let's start by taking a moment to appreciate, truly, how far technology has come. We were, as a population, quick to set things in stone in the past. That means that until the technological (and scientific) revolution began, we figured out the basics and assumed that was all we needed to learn. I'd say that kind of hesitancy towards evolution had to do with our upbringing. We knew there was much to be discovered in this world and quickly investigated just enough to feel comfortable. It's only been in recent years that many scientists and researchers have created or obtained the tools (and time!) to really get to the nitty gritty!
This makes life both exciting and scary because we're caught in an "is this good -- or not?!" phase in the meantime. Evidence goes back and forth from scientists and researchers (to us).
Think about packaged sugar. We started off with sugar in packets, then we found out that sugar was bad and created artificial sugars. Once most of the population grew accustomed to seeing (or buying!) these artificial sugar packets everywhere, we were informed it's worse for us than actual sugar! We quickly embraced sugar again, only now to realize sugar is (almost) completely unnecessary (and toxic). Seriously, there's a reason your children "bounce off the walls" when you give them soda with their lunch! Check out all the new data on this, if you haven't already. This is just one example (of many).
People literally live to discover and rediscover things. Which is awesome. That means you and I can enjoy other things in life and leave that job to the right people!
Back to Our Brains...
Did you know that we used to believe our brains didn't keep growing with us? We believed our nose, toes, and ears never stopped growing, but not our brains! That way, we could all comfortably settle into our beloved routines, right?! Duh! Okay, so, all jokes aside... we really thought our brains got too busy to keep growing. Now, we know better!
To make everything easy, let's assume we all have a medically healthy brain. Let's also assume any marijuana we talk about is prescribed medication. The doctor has ordered weed for our needs, which we're looking to please! That means no pot that is secretly laced with anything else... and for most, sick people, it would mean not smoking it in a typical way. A blunt won't help as much as a proper technique would. Your doctor should let you know the best way to ingest it, should you need it.
- Marijuana can help your brain "grow." How? CBC and THC.
- CBC is, formally, known as cannabichromene. This chemical wants to spread the love and helps new cells come to life. This keeps your brain pleasantly preserved.
- THC is known as tetrahydrocannabinol. This cannabinoid helps expand your learning horizons... from within. That doesn't mean you should give your kid a joint, though! Their doctor would be able to determine that for you!
- Depression can be battled with weed, on occasion. I can't stress the last part of that sentence enough. The fact is that you can self-medicate with pot, you just shouldn't overdo it. When you overdo it, you open yourself up to addiction or embrace addictive traits. You could make your depression worse if you enjoy too much THC. You could make your depression worse by overeating, too. Check some of our other posts out for more on depression and marijuana.
- Pot can protect your precious gray matter from the harsh effects of stress. As with depression, don't overdo your dose. You're trying to make things better, not worse. If your brain can't seem to let go, let your doctor know.
- Cannabis can shrink tumors. There's an abundance of evidence out there on this. So many cancer patients have reported how much pot has helped their problems.
- Some people can experience a decrease in (the progression of) dementia and Alzheimer's with weed. If you didn't catch it a second ago, cells can regrow or be influenced to grow when exposed to cannabis. Those who are losing their sanity are also losing certain brain cells, so the growth trigger being pulled can be quite beneficial.
We used to think our long-term memory was affected negatively by pot. Research is now telling us to think again. If you allow your brain to rest from the ingestion of marijuana for a few weeks, you may not have to deal with those long-term use effects.
It is important to know that it can be harmful to expose children and teenagers to marijuana use. The biggest reason for this? The fact that their little brains are still developing. Though we discussed that our brains don't stop growing, the most important parts do develop up until a certain age. Kids using pot all the time are likely to be a walking anti-weed advertisement. What do I mean by that? Their underdeveloped brains are susceptible to psychotic breaks and episodes. Their lungs and heart can be more severely affected than those of adults who enjoy plenty of pot. Protect your babies and don't give them pot brownies when they hit puberty... even if they seem to always be in a foul mood. Take them to a compassionate physician or counselor and consider their advice, or read some more of our posts before you make a decision for your children.
The weed today isn't the same as it was in the past. It's, generally, much "stronger" now. We can thank (or dislike) technology for that (as well as all this research). The THC levels tend to be a lot more concentrated now and, for lack of better words, can cause craziness in craniums! We, as "normal" and healthy adults, could probably decide what is and isn't real pretty easily. A kid, smoking pot for the first time, could easily lose grasp of his reality.
To answer the question, marijuana can heal just as well as it can damage you. Feeling addicted to anything isn't healthy, and if you're losing grip on your sanity, you may want to take a break from pot for a while.