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Marijuana Does Not Harm the Human Brain


A new neuroscience study debunks previous claims of a negative impact.

Last year the mainstream media was quick to highlight a study from Northwestern University that implied there were structural changes in the brains of people who smoked marijuana, even occasionally. The dubious research was sponsored by groups biased against marijuana including the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

Now a new, study published in the Journal of Neuroscience has completely debunked those claims.

Researchers at the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Louisville created a trial to attempt to replicate the earlier results but could not.

Participants in the new study were both adults and adolescents. They were given brain MRIs and carefully selected as those who consume cannabis and those who do not. But this time people who use alcohol were excluded from the study.

The results were clear, "No statistically significant differences were found between daily users and nonusers on volume or shape in the regions of interest," the authors stated.

A cornerstone of modern medical science is not just a single experiment but results that can be replicated again and again. The researchers in Boulder and Louisville put the issue to bed with their conclusion; "In sum, the results indicate that, when carefully controlling for alcohol use, gender, age, and other variables, there is no association between marijuana use and standard volumetric or shape measurements of subcortical structures.”

In the December issue of Freedom Leaf Magazine we featured an article from Dr.Jahan Marcu PhD on how cannabis actually helps the brain. In the article Dr. Marcu also debunks the claims of a drop in IQ among cannabis consumers. Unlike the spotty, singular studies promoted by NIDA and ONDCP there are dozens of studies showing positive effects of cannabinoids.

"Medical Cannabis may be another arrow in the quiver of modern medicine to fight brain diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders including Multiple Sclerosis, Lou Gherig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Research shows that Cannabis and related compounds are noted for their brain protective effects said Marcu. * Author's note - The new study also received partial sponsorship from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).


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