November 30, 2015

"Smoking high potency 'skunk-like' cannabis can damage a crucial part of the brain responsible for communication between the two brain hemispheres..."

"... according to a new study by scientists from King’s College London and Sapienza University of Rome."
The researchers specifically examined the corpus callosum, the largest white matter structure in the brain, which is responsible for communication between the left and right hemispheres.... The corpus callosum is particularly rich in cannabinoid receptors, on which the THC content of cannabis acts.

53 comments:

Char Char Binks said...

I'm not really using my corpus callosum much anyway.

Ann Althouse said...

Do those 2 hemispheres really need to be talking so much? Maybe a little quieting of the interlobular chitchat is in order. A kinder, gentler lobotomy.

eric said...

Obviously smoking pot is damaging to something in your brain. Spend give minutes talking to a pot head and you'll learn alcohol is worse in any quantity, our founders were all pot heads, and legalizing pot will make us a rich nation.

cubanbob said...

Lets encourage MJ smokers to switch to tobacco. Better to muck up your heart and lungs than fry your brain.

traditionalguy said...

That will really blow their mind. Like Golden Grain alcohol, hip Cannabis comes in a super strength type for bragging rights

Brave New World's sacrament drug is not a myth after all.

Bob Ellison said...

Might make two-handed activities like piano-playing difficult. If the left hand plays Beethoven and the right suddenly starts playing the Grateful Dead, it won't sound very good . I think.

Fernandistein said...

56 patients who had reported a first episode of psychosis, and 43 healthy volunteers from the local community.

Not enough people.

The scans found that daily users of high-potency cannabis had a slightly greater – by about 2% – “mean diffusivity”

Not enough difference.

“We don’t know exactly what it means for the person, but it suggests there is less efficient transfer of information.”

"We don't know". "It suggests".

The study cannot confirm that high levels of THC in cannabis cause changes to white matter. As Dazzan notes, it is may be that people with damaged white matter are more likely to smoke skunk in the first place.

"Cannot confirm".

I wish they'd get their stories straight.

Aunty Trump said...

Well, supposedly men don't use it that much and women use it a lot. So that means that using it a lot is good, so this is bad.

Consider these recent findings. Researchers, using brain imaging technology that captures blood flow to "working" parts of the brain, analyzed how men and women process language. All subjects listened to a novel. When males listened, only the left hemisphere of their brains was activated. The brains of female subjects, however, showed activity on both the left and right hemispheres.

This activity across both hemispheres of the brain may result in the strong language skills typically displayed by females. "If there's more area dedicated to a set of skills, it follows that the skills will be more refined," says David Geary, PhD, professor of psychological sciences at the University of Missouri.

As a whole, girls outperform boys in the use of language and fine motor skills until puberty, notes Denckla. Boys also fall prey to learning disabilities more frequently than girls. "Clinics see a preponderance of boys with dyslexia," Denckla tells WebMD. ADHD also strikes more boys than girls. The symptoms displayed by girls and boys with ADHD differ, too. Girls with ADHD usually exhibit inattention, while affected boys are prone to lack of impulse control.


This is really bad. It makes men more mannish.

Fernandistein said...

Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

Corollary 1: The smaller the studies conducted in a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true.

Corollary 2: The smaller the effect sizes in a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true.

Corollary 4: The greater the flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes in a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true.

Corollary 5: The greater the financial and other interests and prejudices in a scientific field, the less likely the research findings are to be true.

Corollary 6: The hotter a scientific field (with more scientific teams involved), the less likely the research findings are to be true.




mikee said...

Dr. Ben Carson revolutionized neurosurgery with a treatment for epilepsy, wherein he disconnected the lobes of the brain surgically.

It stopped seizures.

daskol said...

Maybe that quiet space is what these users are trying to fill. This study finds a correlation between use of high potency cannabis and this brain topography.

Michael K said...

"legalizing pot will make us a rich nation."

Proof that marijuana makes you stupid. Thanks.

Fernandistein said...

My corpus callosum screwed up that link:
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/nov/27/smoking-high-strength-cannabis-skunk-may-damage-nerves-brain

Michael K said...

"he disconnected the lobes of the brain surgically.

It stopped seizures."

That operation was developed before he was born. There are very interesting, and kind of spooky, effects. It was right after World War II.

madAsHell said...

legalizing pot will make us a rich nation.

If I could have back all the time I spent stoned out my gourd, then I would be a rich man. How you can conflate pot with wealth is beyond me.

Fernandistein said...

Michael K said...
"legalizing pot will make us a rich nation."

Proof that marijuana makes you stupid. Thanks.


So, what made you stupid?

Or is quoting someone who is quoting an imaginary person whose imaginary quote doesn't exist in google not stupid for some reason?

It's rather like your fake quote meant to imply that the atheist Feynmann was some sort of Jesus freak. Stupid.

Larry J said...

Ann Althouse said...
Do those 2 hemispheres really need to be talking so much? Maybe a little quieting of the interlobular chitchat is in order. A kinder, gentler lobotomy.


As mentioned above, splitting the connection between the brain's hemispheres is sometimes used as a treatment for extreme epilepsy. In young children, they sometimes remove an entire hemisphere of the brain. That's a procedure that Dr. Carson was one of the pioneers in performing. For some reason, children's brains are plastic enough to work around the loss of a hemisphere. From what I recall, that doesn't work so well for adults.

Many years ago, I saw a news segment where they were studying people following the split brain procedure. In effect, those people had two independent brains. It lead to some interesting effects. They set up a box where different things could be shown to the subjects' eyes. When they showed a word to one eye, the subject wasn't able to name the word but was able to draw a picture of what the word represented. It took the whole "left brain, right brain" discussion to a new level.

Wince said...

Okay, I'm confused.

According to Althouse this morning, smoking "good shit" is bad for your brain and real shit is good for your brain?

The past is prologue: "You mean we're smoking dog shit, man?"

Unknown said...

Nah..smoking dope makes you a genius. Ask any dope smoker.

Gusty Winds said...

I thought the Blueberry Kush was now classified as medicine, and the polio vaccine a poison. What am I not understanding here?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...? Maybe a little quieting of the interlobular chitchat is in order. A kinder, gentler lobotomy.

A slightly different form of "mother's little helper," then? Geez, maybe everything old is new again, after all.

Hagar said...

Well, that explains a few things about the left.

Michael K said...

"It's rather like your fake quote meant to imply that the atheist Feynmann was some sort of Jesus freak. Stupid."

I'm sorry. Did I forget to tip you again ?

You seem fixated on the well known Feynman quote, "You should learn calculus.

it's the language god speaks."

No mention of Jesus.

rehajm said...

Comment boards have shown smoking pot makes one extremely defensive.

Anonymous said...

My hunch is that chronic pot smoking tends to corrupt thinking/brain function in some important & fundamental way. All you baby boomers out there; check out your contemporaries that are still smoking since the glory daze.

Ann Althouse said...

What's better is worse.

Tank said...

What was the effect of smoking moderate amounts of medium potency marijuana once every week or two?

eric said...

Fernandinande said...
Michael K said...
"legalizing pot will make us a rich nation."

Proof that marijuana makes you stupid. Thanks.

So, what made you stupid?

Or is quoting someone who is quoting an imaginary person whose imaginary quote doesn't exist in google not stupid for some reason?


I find it hard to believe either

A: You've not made this argument yourself. Think of all the tax money!

Or

B: You've not heard this argument, repeatedly, in order to justify the legalization of pot.

Kevin said...

My hunch is that chronic pot smoking tends to corrupt thinking/brain function in some important & fundamental way. All you baby boomers out there; check out your contemporaries that are still smoking since the glory daze.

Huh?

Aunty Trump said...

"You should learn calculus.

it's the language god speaks."


I am thinking that Calculus is a tractable approximation of the language that God speaks.
Learning it is a good idea though. For instance it can tell you why it is easy to turn a bicycle wheel you are holding by the axle when it is not spinning and harder when it is, or why when you step into water it gently envelops your body, but when you hit it at terminal velocity after falling out of an airplane, it is more like concrete. The "language God speaks" remains hidden from us. God spoke once, at the Big Bang.

Michael K said...

"You've not heard this argument, repeatedly, in order to justify the legalization of pot."

Look, I was joking about you being stupid. I think pot makes people stupid but I don't know if you are a heavy user.

The idea that legalization of pot would make us a rich country falls into the same category as perpetual motion machines.

Hillary Clinton thinks she creates jobs with government programs. Circular reasoning. At least Michael Dukakis was smart enough to say the people taking in each other's laundry was not economic growth.

david7134 said...

After over 40 years in medicine, I can attest to the fact that our prohibition on drugs does not work and creates far more problems and expense than would otherwise be a concern if drugs were de-regulated. Many countries are turning to this option and it has significantly reduced their drug problems. Our regulation of drugs is getting to the absurd. People with chronic pain can not get needed medications such as muscle relaxants and narcotics to make their lives easier, unless they subject themselves to excessive, expensive physician interventions. Yet, these same drugs are available in many countries across the counter without doctor supervision. Our drug laws have substantially reduced our freedom, it is time to stop the stupidity. In addition, our laws are funding crime and corruption. In the case of pot, exactly why is it anyone's business what someone else does with their body? Likely, it they want the drug they are not swayed by a study. As to medical studies, I can provide you with thousands of reports on how bad cholesterol is. Yet, cholesterol has now been found not to be associated with any disease state (Jupiter Trial). Medical studies will provide the results you most desire, just pay the man.

Largo said...

"High concentration" does not equal "high dosages"

One can have a bottle of beer or a shot of whiskey and receive the same about of alcohol.

SGT Ted said...

If it has lots of wiggle words, like "may, might, could, suggests, etc." it isn't science, other than to demonstrate an inconclusive data set. Low percentages that are well within any margin of error also suggest the inconclusiveness of a study.

The problem is that for decades, the majority of pot "research" was done by anti-drug warriors with a predetermined conclusion and, as such, is junk science. This look like more of the same, as the headline is contradicted by the actual language of the study results.

Junk science is just as bad coming from social conservatives pushing their political agenda as it is coming from lefty radicals pushing theirs. The left has AGW junk science and the right has anti-pot junk science by the raft load.

Bias confirmation is at work her in the comments for sure, as well as the Gellman-Mann effect.

All the cash pouring into Colorado's tax coffers tends to lend support to the contention that it will bring in a boatload of money if legalized.

Pianoman said...

Philip Dick, call your office ...

Hagar said...

Not so good on your lungs and other sensitive systems either.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

rehajm said...

Comment boards have shown smoking pot makes one extremely defensive.

I AM NOT BEING DEFENSIVE!!!!!

n.n said...

So, that's why Dear visited Colorado, to puff the hallucinatory dragon, and seek sanctuary among his morally insane peers.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I imagine the communication between the two hemispheres going something like this:

Left: Who is it?
Right: It's me, Right, open up man, I got the stuff
Left: Who is it?
Right: It's me, Right, man, open up, I got the stuff

Left: Who?
Right: It's, Right, man, open up, I think the cops saw me comin' here
Left: Who is it?
Right: It's, it's Right, man, will you open up? I got the stuff with me

Left: Who?
Right: Right, man, open up
Left: Right?
Right: Ya, Right, c'mon, man, open up, I think the cops saw me

Left: Right's not here
Right: No, man, I'm Right, man
...

David said...

"God spoke once, at the Big Bang."

My guess is that he spoke before that as well. We just can't hear it.

FullMoon said...

Anything in moderation.

Granddaughters acquaintance OD'd on Thanksgiving. 20 something, master mechanic at Lexus dealership. Always employed and productive individual. Details not clear , maybe oxy.

Made me think of numerous people I knew who died, people my children knew who died. Some because of drug related crimes.

Makes me wonder, how many here know of someone dead or suffering because of addiction.

William said...

It's well known in some circles that God spoke Arabic. That's why America is such a godless place--not enough Arabic speakers. Our refugee program will remedy this sad defect.......It would seem remarkable if THC turns out be the only known drug in the history of the world that has no harmful side effects. On the other hand, if it was going to subvert civilization and create a multitude of brain dead zombies, such an effect would be obvious by now. The decadent civilization and brain dead zombies In evidence are due to genetically modified foodstuffs and not THC.......When I was younger, I was a compulsive, chronic jogger. I was addicted to runner's high. Now in the fullness of my years, I have arthritis in my knees and all sorts of problems in my feet. Where are the PSA's warning about the dangerous long terms effects of addictive jogging.

Carol said...

All you baby boomers out there; check out your contemporaries that are still smoking since the glory daze.

I've noticed their memories are not as good as mine, even though 7-8 years younger than I. Also, not viably employed. Living on disability, or filed for early SS even if it's only $400.

Yeah, really winning crew there.

Apeon said...

TO: FERDINAND Corallary 7---the more Gov't money involved the less likely the accuracy

Michael K said...

"I imagine the communication between the two hemispheres going something like this:"

There was a story in Scientific American back in the 60s, back when I read it, about the surgery to cut the corpus callosum to stop post traumatic seizures in veterans.

Some really weird stories. You could communicate with each hemisphere by using colored glasses. The glasses had to be set up with visual fields since the eye splits the image from each retina and sends half to each visual cortex. Right visual field goes to left cortex, etc.

Using red/green glass the two hemispheres could be communicated with. Some things were bizarre. If you told the left brain to push a button with the left hand (handedness uses the opposite cortex) the right hand would grasp the left hand and uses it to push the button. The individual was unaware of this.

eric said...

Blogger n.n said...
So, that's why Dear visited Colorado, to puff the hallucinatory dragon, and seek sanctuary among his morally insane peers.


I'll bet Dear is a pot smoker. I'll bet Dear even smoked pot without 48 hours of his shooting rampage. I'll bet there is more connection between Dear, his shoot rampage and his drug addled mind than there is a connection between Dear and Republicans, Conservatives, Pro-lifers, Tea Party, or Christians.

I'll also bet no one will ever make a pot connection, while making all those other connections.

ALP said...

Eh, there is also evidence that cannabis might stave off Alzheimers. Too busy to look up links, but with Alzheimers on both sides of my gene pool that, for me, trumps all other possible effects on the brain.

So I'll continue my pothead ways along with my 6 cups of coffee a day, as the caffiene in coffee (must be coffee) also has shown promise as anti-Alzheimers.

Now if they say eating dog shit will prevent Alzheimers I might have to think on that one a bit.

Birches said...

@ EDH For the Win.

I think most of us have anecdotal evidence that constant pot smoking leads to a couple of loose screws up there. I've got a couple of examples in my circle of acquaintances. They are both in their twenties and dumber, so I can compare what they were before they became full time bong users to what they are now. I'm not sure why there is push back on this.

Achilles said...

Drill SGT got it right on the article. It is junk science that started with the answer and made a study to get that answer.

If the anti pot people want to find damage they need to look at young people who use concentrates. Kids in their teens tend to push for a higher high and eventually move to oil concentrates. Their brains are still developing and they develop psychological addictions. These kids are dumber afterwards.

Everything else is garbage. If used responsibly there is little long term damage. But punishing everyone for the acts of a few irresponsible people is the favorite pass time of the ignorant and tyrannical.

Fernandistein said...

eric: I find it hard to believe either
A: You've not made this argument yourself. Think of all the tax money!
Or
B: You've not heard this argument, repeatedly, in order to justify the legalization of pot.


Never heard as you phrased it; I have heard "let's tax it!", but higher taxes generally mean a poorer nation, not a "rich[er] nation".

William said...
It would seem remarkable if THC turns out be the only known drug in the history of the world that has no harmful side effects.


As with the study in this thread, the things they're finding - or not finding - are literally microscopic, and they're not sure what they imply.

david7134 said...
As to medical studies, I can provide you with thousands of reports on how bad cholesterol is. Yet, cholesterol has now been found not to be associated with any disease state (Jupiter Trial). Medical studies will provide the results you most desire, just pay the man.


Thousands of reports, thousands or millions of subjects, and they were still wrong.

Same thing for salt intake, low-fat diets, gluten ("nocebo"), overweight vs lifespan, and anti-oxidants. But maybe those contradictory results will turn out to be false, too.

For fun, google [cannabis iq] - just about every-other result contradicts the previous one.

walter said...

Wow..Jeff "Skunk" Baxter smoked so much he had a strain named after him?

Lnelson said...

When you get stupid on pot, you're the first person in the room to know you are stupid.
When you get stupid on booze, you're the last person in the room to know you are stupid.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Comment: When it comes to surgery, there is no FDA approval for new operations needed. And we see the benefits and the losses from such a situation. Although now they've started to get into medical devices. In a few years a thing like experimenting with bacteria might not be allowed.

Mark Levin is speaking (or was) about the "Right to Try" and the FDA. He may have been reading this column: (and adding his own comments)

http://www.wsj.com/articles/winning-the-right-to-save-your-own-life-1448574113

This is all completely correct. well, half correct. Because there are lots of posisble treatements that never get to the stage of being tried out because nobody owns a patent on it or somebody else other than who would be the patent holder does.

I've felt about this since before 1976. Since I first heard about it. it wasnt anything new to me when the AIDS activists started complaining - of course they wanted an exception only for themselves)

Nobody wants to use their own judgement and say this whole process is wrong. And why did Jerry Brown here, trust the experts?

I had an idea, many years ago, for an End Run Drug Agency. Say, 60 physicians - if a certain fraction approved something could be used.

The lack of access to lifesaving drugs is not limited to cancer. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal lung disease that kills about 40,000 Americans each year. There were no effective treatments until InterMune, a U.S. company, developed a breakthrough therapy called Esbriet. The FDA finally approved it for use in the U.S. in October 2014—nearly five years after an FDA advisory committee had recommended approval. Meanwhile, Esbriet was available in Japan seven years earlier, in Europe four years earlier, and in Canada two years earlier.

And that's only the difference in the drug lags.

Even if some mistakes were made, there'd be a net benefit.