General Question

girlofscience's avatar

Why do people think that marijuana "kills brain cells"?

Asked by girlofscience (7477 points ) July 24th, 2008

None of the medical tests currently used to detect brain damage in humans have found harm from marijuana, even from long term high-dose use. An early study reported brain damage in rhesus monkeys after six months exposure to high concentrations of marijuana smoke. In a recent, more carefully conducted study, researchers found no evidence of brain abnormality in monkeys that were forced to inhale the equivalent of four to five marijuana cigarettes every day for a year. The claim that marijuana kills brain cells is based on a speculative report dating back a quarter of a century that has never been supported by any scientific study.

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68 Answers

PupnTaco's avatar

Because people are stupid?

Puff puff pass

btko's avatar

What about other medical effects?

The very idea of inhaling smoke is one issue. When organic material is burned benzene is released. Benzene, a known carcinogen, will certainly not help you. Then if you look at levels of other chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, and drugs cut with weed you have quite the cocktail.

Just some thoughts

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

Well if it doesn’t kill brain cells then it makes people think differently.

btko's avatar

“Benzene damages the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and depress the immune system, increasing the chance of infection. Benzene causes leukemia and is associated with other blood cancers and pre-cancers of the blood.”

Tone's avatar

“Kills brain cells” is just short-hand scare-tactics for something being bad for you. Brain cells die all the time, and inhaling smoke certainly deprives your brain of oxygen temporarily, which probably hastens some cell death. That said, you have plenty of brain cells, so smoke up.

PupnTaco's avatar

@btko: I suppose if you grew your own organically and used a vaporizer or ate it, those health concerns would vanish… right?

tinyfaery's avatar

@btko That’s why one should always know where his/her bud comes from.

btko's avatar

@PupnTaco, I would say most of those would, yeah.

btko's avatar

True tinyfaery haha

AstroChuck's avatar

Yeah, but only your weakest brain cells. Once you get rid of them only the good ones are left, this making you smarter. So toke yourself to an academic life.

drhat77's avatar

@astrochuck – you need to quote norm from cheers when you say that! :-)

phill20's avatar

years & years of propaganda sponserd by your federal gov. Most who would say that it kills brain cells probably have never tried it.

PupnTaco's avatar

LOL chuck

WakeUp's avatar

As comedian Bill Hicks said “They say pot makes you lazy, LIE. When you’re high, you can do anything you normally do just as well, you just realize it’s not worth the fucking effort”.

In today’s reality of unquestioned global capitalism as the de facto way of doing business from here on out, (in stark contrast to the cold war era, when everyone questioned what the best method of government organization might be) success is narrowly defined as “Gain”. Put another 0 on the end of your bank account, Buy a bigger house, a nicer car, be more “green”, be more religious, be a better person. In all of these instances, the common denominator is “MORE”.

Cannabis has the tendency to cause the user to go through a detached introspective inventory of one’s beliefs, thoughts, dreams, aspirations, fears, superstitions, and other aspects of his/her subconscious psychology, giving the user the opportunity to judge his own “stuff” with the same “objectivity” he would another person. This can lead to shocking revelations about the gap that exists between what we think we are, and what we really are.

When this introspective lens inevitably reaches the mental file cabinet marked “Priorities”, we find that although we fancy ourselves as upstanding citizens who put family and friends first, above all else, yet, our day to day activities, habits, pastimes, lives, etc., paint a very different perspective about the person we project into existence i.e. the torque that actually makes it to the wheels, and to the pavement.

This “taking stock of what really matters” often manifests itself as an inversion of the culturally propagated definition of success, “More = Success”. Instead of wanting a bigger house, which involves making more money, which means less time spent with your loved ones enjoying the blessings which have already been bestowed upon you, the cannabis user finds himself completely content with whatever already is.

(Internal Dialogue – “Food, Clothes, Shelter, check. I guess I’m not doing so bad after all, eh? And surrounded by loved ones to boot?. Hmm, success isn’t a future destination, Im already successful! I can relax!”)

Of course, all of this is madness. Patently insane, for sure.

So don’t you see, after all, marijuana does cause brain damage.

Who doesn’t want their life to be a music video? I mean, come on, that’s crazy, you’d have to be brain dead to not want to work more right? Money’s fucking awesome!

Lightlyseared's avatar

canabis induced psychosis has increased massively in the UK since the relaxing of the drugs legal status. Do not try and kid your self that it is not harmful full blown psychosis will make you wish it only killed a few brain cells.

loser's avatar

ever carry on a conversation with a chronic toker?

WakeUp's avatar

In response to LightlySeared, Those very same reports say that “Smoking “skunk” (a slang term adopted by the media as a medical definition of dosage) cannabis leads to psychosis more than “more traditional” forms like HASHISH

It doesnt take a rocket scientist to realize that hash is the CONCENTRATED ACTIVE INGREDIENT of cannabis. Hash is stronger than weed, period (from a pharmacological perspective) No matter how strong a sample of “skunk” cannabis is, it is not possible for it to be stronger than an equivalent amount of hashish. For example, the highest potency strains of marijuana have tested at around 25% – 30% thc. This is the exception, with most street grade marijuana ranging from 5% – 16,17%. Hashish, especially bubble hash, hash oil, and budder, typically range from 40% all the way up to 90%!!!

In fact, cannabis can be thought of as merely hashish disbursed over plant matter, as all of the psychoactive components are produced extracellularly and exist as glandular trichomes on the outer surface of the plant.

This is merely “Reefer Madness” repackaged as a response to the burgeoning cannabis cultivation scene in the UK resulting from a multitude of influences including: The downgrading of cannabis in the legal system, the legality of cannabis seeds in the UK, the proximity of the UK to Amsterdam, and the influx of aldulterated types of cannabis to the UK aka Soapbar hashish (containing adulterants like sheep manure, shoe polish, mud, clay,etc) and “glass weed” (weed containing fragments of sand or ground glass to increase the weight of the sample.

PupnTaco's avatar

@lightlyseared: can you provide factual links to support that statement? I’ve never heard of “marijuana-induced psychosis” – in fact, there is no known lethal dose.

tinyfaery's avatar

Cannabis induced psychosis is ridiculous, as are many studies that contribute marijuana use to psychiatric problems. Most times, the psych issues existed prior to drug use. Most people with psych problems attempt to self-medicate long before diagnosis. Marijuana is the most widely used, non-prescribed drug, used by those with anxiety and other social disorders. Plus, it has less severe side effects than most prescription drugs used to treat the same symptoms.

scamp's avatar

Cannabis induced psychosis.. ha ha!! Anyone see Reefer Madness?

gimmedat's avatar

Wait, what was the question?

buster's avatar

Because of movies like “Dude Where Is My Car?”

seVen's avatar

I don’t know, I’m no “expert”, and what’s the true meaning of an “expert” anyways?!

drhat77's avatar

@seVen – expert = someone with a diploma
(i am an expert bio-ethesist)

Lightlyseared's avatar

With regards to hash (resin) containing more THC and being more concentrated ‘fraid your wrong there. Testing the concentration of THC regularly finds skunk to have 3 times the levels of THC as resin.

Skunk is not a name given by the media it is actually a selectively bred strain of which gets its name from its strong smell.

As for people self medicating existing problems as the reason for cannabis induced psychosis obviously this happens – usually refereed to as a dual diagnosis (wether with alcohol or drugs). However let me assure you there are plenty of scientific studies that correlate cannabis use with mental health problems where there were no prior history of disease.

nikipedia's avatar

@btko: When organic material is burned benzene is released.

This is not a true statement. The products of a combustion reaction depend completely on the reactants. Benzene is a specific compound that’s pretty hard to synthesize. Burning stuff with carbon in it won’t do the trick.

@WakeUp: Cute rant, but what the hell are you talking about? People don’t question capitalism? And what’s wrong with earning money, buying a house, being green, being a better person, etc.? Some people value financial success. Some people value intellectual achievement. Some people value kindness and compassion. (And so on.) I see nothing inherently wrong with any of those things. You have different priorities from those people, apparently. Why so much judgment?

And why do you assume that people who don’t partake necessarily don’t value their friends and family? And in the instance that they don’t—who cares? Some people’s friends and family suck. Some people are more introverted and don’t care to be around other people. I don’t see anything inherently wrong with that, either. So why is that your definition of “success”?

And to answer the initial question, @girlofscience: I think you raise an excellent point. A google scholar search for cannabis and neurotoxicity yielded 3 (out of 10) front-page hits for neuroprotection. How ‘bout that.

Trance24's avatar

Lol because when people see other people high it looks like their brain cells are dead. On account of people who are high are usually very slow moving, laid back, and finding anything beautiful and stare into oblivion.

Jess's avatar

Damn it’s such an uphill battle!

People are blatantly misinformed by the media, and the propaganda nowadays is actually subtle and clever. Shows like “Weeds” or “Stoner Movies” that perpetuate negative stereotypes of marijuana smokers are just ridiculous.

Notice how the anti-weed commercials don’t even bother to present any medical or scientific data? They just want to create and maintain a stigma for anything that breaks you out of the consumer/zombie/conformist mental prison.

WakeUp's avatar

“Skunk is not a name given by the media it is actually a selectively bred strain of which gets its name from its strong smell.”

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!

Skunk #1 is in fact a specific strain of cannabis developed by Neville.

“The strain that changed the face of cannabis culture across the world continues to amaze weed-lovers more than a quarter-century after her release! The original Skunk hybrids fused traditional cultivars from Central and South America, Afghanistan and Thailand. Through generations of intensive selection and back-crossing, the very best examples of Skunk were stabilised into the first true-breeding Indica-Sativa hybrid – the classic Indica-dominant Skunk #1.

The potency of this branch of the cannabis family tree is so notorious that ‘skunk’ is often used as a name for any powerful ganja.”:

Its clear that these media articles making obviously unresearched claims like “Skunk is stronger than hash” have done absolutely no interviews with members of the cannabis community. A simple phone call or visit to the website of the proprietor of any Cannabis seed retailer in the UK would turn up the simple tidbit of quite pertinent information. It is obvious, by this inexcusable lack of journalistic standards, that the people making these claims have another goal in mind, which is obviously not to disseminate the truth about cannabis.

This boggle of nomenclature is very similar in nature to a stateside discrepancy. In the 60’s, PCP was mostly found as a pill (PeaCe Pill) or as a powder (Angel Dust). As the 60’s faded into the 70’s, towards Nixon and Reagan, drug laws became tighter and more enforced. This led to a change in the form PCP was normally found in, from powder to liquid.

As a liquid, PCP is clear and colorless, like water. This made smuggling much easier, by emptying and refilling drinking water bottles. This new form led to new slang terms like “wet”, “dip” (cigarettes are “dipped” into the liquid), “leak”, and “embalming fluid” (PCP is said to put one in a zombie like state of detachment).

As the 70’s became the 80’s and PCP moved from suburban teenage experimentation to being a drug of dependency in the ghetto, there was a miscommunication about the slang terms. Younger street kids coming up, smoking “illy” as a way to distance themselves, albeit temporarily, from their oppressive lives, overheard the slang term “embalming fluid” and took it literally.

Soon, inner city kids were breaking into funeral homes to steal bottles of Formaldehyde, because “its embalming fluid”. One enthusiastic classmate even told me, “I smoked leak for the first time today”

“Oh yeah? How was it”

“Good. The first blunt didnt do anything, but the second one got me fucked up!”

Anyone who has done PCP or seen the movie Friday will immediately see something very wrong with that sentence.

“Don’t hit that shit so hard, holmes!”

Smokey: “Man, I been smoking since I was two. (long drag. Twitch, twitch-twitch) What is this man? ”

“Its Angel Dust!” (Smokey goes running down the street in his underwear, only to end up in a pigeon coop)

If you smoked a whole blunt of angel dust by yourself, you would NOT be able to smoke the second.

So what happened? The father of the classmate in question owned a funeral home. And yup, you guessed it, the kid stole some formaldehyde and smoked it (one of the most potent known carcinogens).

To think that in the UK, where cannabis seeds are legal, EVERY consumer is smoking the same strain of cannabis is akin to smoking formaldehyde because you think it is angel dust.

There are 100’s if not 1000’s of different strains of cannabis. Many of them are found in the black market in the US, where seeds are illegal. Why would growers in a country with legal access to all strains, grow less of a variety than a country where access is illegal? A country whose citizens are the largest group of tourists to Amsterdam’s coffee shops, where one can literally find any strain available, and therefore, are accustomed to variety in there cannabis selection?

Also, you say “With regards to hash (resin) containing more THC and being more concentrated ‘fraid your wrong there. Testing the concentration of THC regularly finds skunk to have 3 times the levels of THC as resin.”

According to what? Maybe if you count soapbar (which is more shoe polish and sheep shit than actual cannabis resin), but that is apples to oranges.

Any 1g sample of actual hashish (not sheep shit) will be more potent in total cannabinoids than any 1g sample of “skunk” cannabis (by the false, media purported definition OR the real one!) simply because the hash contains no inactive parts of the plant (leaf, stem, cystolith hairs, stigmas, seeds, etc). How can you possibly imagine any strain of weed being stronger than hash, when it takes, on average, 10 grams to MAKE 1 gram of hash

lightlyseared – despite your screen name, it is obvious you are NOT a cannabis consumer. Would you argue with a wine aficionado if you were not one?

Response moderated (Spam)
IT_made_me_do_it's avatar

Funny… I’ve always thought hash was an extract of bud, and resin was the ashy/sticky material left after bud is combusted?

Ort's avatar

Yeah! Um…. ...what?

helso's avatar

im glad i read this. i always thought it killed your brain cells but never thought it mattered seeing as you make so much per minute.
thanks.

MissAnthrope's avatar

First of all, the whole “killing brain cells” really freaked me out when I was a kid. Once I realize I only have a limited supply of something, I start worrying about when it’ll run out. I have OCD and I did slightly obsess about how many brain cells a particular activity might kill off. Then scientists realized that brain cells continuously regenerate, and I was more relieved than I care to admit. ;)

I wrote a term paper on medical marijuana, so I’ve done quite a bit of research on this topic. All you anti-reefer people need to stop buying into speculation and do some more research (I mean that in a nice way.. seriously, you don’t know the whole story. Check it out :) ). So much of what’s being fed to the masses is propaganda or conjecture about the effects of marijuana.

Since it’s an illegal substance, research in this country is extremely limited. So when you read about how it kills brain cells, or causes this or that, recognize that the samples for these studies are extremely small. If you’ve taken Statistics, you know that small samples are not the best method for representing a population. Also, statistics can be both misleading and misrepresentative, so I advise anyone reading study results to check out the methods before buying the numbers. I’m friends with a Stats professor and even she agreed that much of the popular use of statistics is bullshit.

There is no funding, outside of governmental agencies, for people to study marijuana. Thus, the majority of published works come from government researchers, people who have a vested interest in saying it’s bad for you—they work for the government, who, despite a growing body of evidence, continues to persecute marijuana by the massive waste of money we call “The War on Drugs”. Which, by the way, is completely ineffective in reducing circulation of illicit substances and of use.

As an example of governmental bias, the Shafer Commission, a group made of doctors, lawyers, law enforcers, etc., did the first governmental in-depth study of marijuana, from a biological to a social standpoint. Their recommendation was that marijuana no longer be criminalized, but when Nixon caught wind of this, he dismissed the Commission months before they issued their report. Evidence indicates that he never did read it, but he pressed on with his “war” anyway. Why would you not listen to the advice of a commission YOU assembled? He had his mind made up already and Nixon made his agenda clear: “We need, and I use the word ‘all out war,’ on all fronts…” That was Richard Nixon’s reaction to his national commission’s recommendation that marijuana no longer be a criminal offense, according to Nixon’s Oval Office tapes. The year after Nixon’s “all out war” marijuana arrests jumped by over 100,000 people. (Links: 1, 2, 3, 4)

It’s a really interesting subject, actually. More and more law enforcement folks are coming forward out of total frustration with how the government is approaching the drug issue. A growing number of people on the ground enforcing these laws think going after people smoking pot is a waste of time and money—there are a lot more pressing issues, in their minds.

Lastly, smoking anything is bad for your health. Inhaling carcinogens of any kind increases the risk of cancer. This is really the one sole issue that holds in the anti-marijuana movement, but it is arbitrary because cigarettes, which kill 400,000+ people a year (in the U.S.), are legal. Cigarettes could never be criminalized, and I’d wager more people die every year from smoking tobacco than do those smoking marijuana. I’m not saying that makes it okay, but what if we stopped freaking out for just a minute and thought about how to regulate marijuana, like we regulate cigarettes?

MissAnthrope's avatar

I compared cigarettes and marijuana at least for the carcinogen factor. I suppose people also take issue with mood- and mind-altering aspects. However, I would also like to point out that all we have to do is look at alcohol, which has said effects to such a degree that it’s impossible to ignore. The main difference for me is that alcohol can make people angry, aggressive, and violent (arguably, they probably have those tendencies anyway), while I seriously have never met someone who was solely high (no alcohol mixer) that was angry, aggressive, or violent. I realize it’s just personal experience, but I have found that alcohol is much more likely to make someone shitty and anti-social than marijuana.

I live in a university town and every week I get a taste of how retarded people get on booze. I’m sure most of us know what I’m talking about, but if not, just a quick glance at this site should convince you. I truly don’t understand how that sort of mood-, personality-, and mind-altering substance can be legal and marijuana not.. again, it seems rather arbitrary.

helso's avatar

that information was great thanks alena. im now going to show that to a few people that i think really need to read it haha.
thanks :)

essieness's avatar

Because they don’t do their own research and take every lie told to them about the “negative” effects of marijuana at face value.

And because the general population is mostly stupid.

SeventhSense's avatar

As a previous smoker with many years abstinent from drugs and alcohol. I can say that for certain it had a tremendous negative impact on my life and upset cognitive and social functioning. And although I think it should be legalized and monitored, I don’t think that it’s anywhere near as harmless as alcohol. But I think if it’s monitored than eventually there can be options offered to people who are addicted.
There have been more than a few studies “link” http://www.nida.nih.gov/infofacts/marijuana.html that have shown that the effects of marijuana are dangerous and health risks. “marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke.”
“marijuana intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory.”
Leglization is simply a means to capitalize on a problem that doesn’t seem to be going away and maybe keep it out of the hands of organized crime.
Bob Marley died from brain cancer and although there is no definitive link-carcinogens are found in smoke like mentioned and can you think of a bigger smoker?

tinyfaery's avatar

Bob Marley died because he refused to have his toe cut off. The cancer spread to his brain. FYI

SeventhSense's avatar

Well he had cancer in whatever form and weed contains high levels of carcinogens.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Obviously he smoked it, but when weed is vaporized, only THC is released, no carcinogens.

WoahWoah's avatar

Seventh Sense, you’re little “scary fact” about how “marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke” is from a dated study. You see, when the researchers who published this fact experimented with Marijuana, they burned the entire plant and found that it released more carcinogenics when burned. But when one smokes marijuana, they dont burn the entire plant. Cigarettes are much more dangerous than a marijuana joint, and certainly have higher levels of carcinogenic hydrocarbons.

SeventhSense's avatar

@WoahWoah
I don’t see no stinkin’ study. (:)~

DREW_R's avatar

@btko They are doing studies in Europe now on that. They have found 0 negative effects and many possitive effects. It has been observed that the chemicals in pot shrink tumors, it is a natural expectorant, pain relief,.... http://NORML.org

Also if you don’t want to burn it vaporize it. 0 carbon and only medicine.

On top of that they are finding that actually enhances brain cell growth and helps repair nerve damage by reinsulating damaged mylin sheath on the nerves. That I know this stuff is due to the fact of personal research cause I grow it for my wife who suffers from M.S. ;)

DREW_R's avatar

@SeventhSense I see we agree on somethings but surly not this one. Studies in Europe are finding that pot shrinks tumors. Also there is no way I would trust the site you referenced. It is a government agency/site dude and therefore automatically suspect in all ways.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have to agree with @Trance24 when I am at a gathering and someone brings out the marijuana, I just leave, because I know the fun is over and all that is left is the goofy looks and people staring at the walls, or just falling over. Conversation disappears in favor of hmmmmmmmmm for the rest of the night. It sure looks and sounds like it kills their brain cells.

DREW_R's avatar

@YARNLADY LOL you are funny. I know plenty of folks that imbide and function better than some that don’t imbide. They carry on coversations alot better than some I know too. You must not have been around it much in your youth and watched Reefer Madness. Seems to me you are just what the gov wanted out of it’s indoctrination push.

tinyfaery's avatar

All the smartest people I know smoke dope: lawyers, PhDs, MFTs, teachers, doctors, artists, musicians…

arnbev959's avatar

It only makes sense that people who use drugs are probably going to have a better understanding of themselves and their world. Rather than judge the effects of a drug by the outward appearance of those under the influence of it, if you judge a drug by it’s effects after using it for yourself, you’ll get an understanding of just what the drug actually does.

SeventhSense's avatar

@tinyfaery
All the smartest people I know smoke dope: lawyers, PhDs, MFTs, teachers, doctors, artists, musicians…
You’ve got to expand your circle a bit.

DREW_R's avatar

Seems like a pretty big circle to me. ;)

SeventhSense's avatar

@DREW R
Circles look big in small ponds.

justus2's avatar

@YARNLADY I saw your answer to that other question, why are you in favor of legalizing drugs but only against breaking the laws, what is wrong with people doing drugs while they are illegal if you think they should be legalized anyway?

justus2's avatar

and that is very hypocritical because you just said you get up and leave when someone starts smoking marijuana because the party is over as you say

YARNLADY's avatar

@justus2 Surely you are not saying the “legal” is the same thing as “illegal”? If something is “illegal” that means it is against the law. I can easily say the law should be changed, but I will never say it is OK to break the law.

The second questions: I choose not to be part of the drug scene in any way. I also believe that marijuana should be legal for those people who choose to use it. I see nothing hypocitical about that.

To be clear, I do not advocate breaking the law, but I do advocate changing it, for those who want to use marijuana, I am not one of them.

justus2's avatar

@YARNLADY Legal= Not breaking the law Illegal= Breaking the law if you choose to do what is illegal.
Marijuana= Is illegal but should be legal, therefore there is nothing wrong with breaking the current law that it is illegal seeing as it should be legal! I don’t let the law interfere with my morals, I do what I want to do as long as I don’t hurt anyone else and I believe that it is ok to break laws that shouldn’t be there in the first place and hopefully not get caught

YARNLADY's avatar

@justus2 You make your own choices about whether you choose to be a law abiding citizen or not, and so do I. I believe in following the law – period. If I disagree with the law, I choose to use legal means to have it changed. I believe it is wrong to break the law just because you don’t like it. Consider the consequences of everyone just pick and chose which laws they want to follow. I don’t think it would work.

justus2's avatar

@YARNLADY Show me when you have chosen legal means to change and show me that it is changed. What is so wrong about breaking that laws that shouldn’t be there? Also picking and choosing which laws people want to follow or not is what people do now so what are you talking about?

YARNLADY's avatar

@justus2 I don’t respond to such confrontational comments from self admitted law breakers

justus2's avatar

@YARNLADY Oh that is right, you hae never jaywalked in your life right? Never took a towel from a hotel? Never took a grape from a grocery store, ever found a dollar and searched for the owner, you are as dis honest as everyone else.

seventeen123's avatar

Chances are slim. But it can hurt your brain.
I swear on my life. It hurt mine. Try living in a dream for the rest of your life.

bryanben's avatar

It has actaully been found to reduce cancer risk, and kill tumors and cancer cells as opposed to brain cells.
prohibition has failed us all. why do some people such as JUSTUS2 care so much about what other people do in the privacy of there own homes that they feel the need to be involved? Nobody here cares why you feel that they are “law breakers” this thread was meant to be an intellectual meeting of minds and by bringing up an irrelevent topic you have made yourself look like a fool. please exit said thread immediatly because you are not adding any useful feedback.
Thank you

bryanben's avatar

actually…. recent research has shown that the brain actaully NATURALLY produces cannabanoids!

ItsAHabit's avatar

People tend to attribute negative consequences to behaviors of which they disapprove. Many claimed that masturbation led to weak eyes (I only wear glasses to make myself look smart!), that having sex before sports lowered performance, that marijuana and alcohol destroys brain cells. Forget all these scare messages.

For example, many anti-alcohol writers continue to promote the idea that even moderate drinking causes brain cells to die.

However, scientific medical research has actually demonstrated that the moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with better cognitive (thinking and reasoning) skills and memory than is abstaining from alcohol. Moderate drinking doesn’t kill brain cells but helps the brain function better into old age. Studies around the world involving many thousands of people report this finding.

Of course, years of alcohol abuse can cause serious neurological damage, including Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Harm can be done to message-carrying dendrites on neurons in the cerebellum, a part of the brain involved in learning and physical coordination. But even in such extreme cases, there’s a lack of evidence that alcohol kills brain cells. Furthermore, abstinence after chronic alcohol abuse enables brains to repair themselves, according to new research involving rats.

Masturbation doesn’t cause blindness, sex is ok before sports, and smoking pot or drinking alcohol doesn’t kill brain cells.

http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/HealthIssues/1103162109.html

YARNLADY's avatar

Maybe they are confusing brain cells with lung cells.

zeplin1947's avatar

I smoked pot back in late 60’s, early 70’s while in military. It dose not screw up your coordination, had a 176 bowling average bowling stoned, normal average was about 180. Thing is never bowled bad nor never bowled great, to relaxed and less aggressive so was always right around my average. I feel thats why the government has demonized pot, military and big business which pretty much controls the government does not want less aggressive people or worker ants running around all laid back :) Pot is not perfect but has been proven to be less harmful than alcohol or any other drug used in reasonable moderation.

jballzz's avatar

Many people believe this. But it’s not true. This myth came from a scientific study on marijuana. Scientists were going to have monkeys smoke 30 joints over a certain amount of time. What they actually did was pump the monkeys full of marijuana equivalent to 60 joints in a period of 5 minutes through gas masks. This process suffocated the monkeys, and when you suffocate brain cells start to die because oxygen can’t reach the brain (basic information). The dead brain cells showed up on the tests results, and the scientists associated it with the marijuana. Other information: it doesn’t cause lung cancer, because it would have to be radioactive to do so. It’s not though. Tobacco plants are fertilized with radioactive fertilizer, which is why it causes lung cancer. Another thing: 400,000 people die every year from cigarettes, 100,000 die from alcohol, 1–10,000 die from caffeine, and 7,500 die from pharmaceuticals. Number of deaths per year caused by marijuana: 0. Not one recorded death, ever. The only reason marijuana causes organized crime is because it’s illegal, and prohibition doesn’t work. It never has, and it never will. The gateway theory is somewhat true only because of one reason: pot is illegal. The only way to obtain pot is by dealers, and most dealers probably have harder drugs with them. While the buyer is getting pot, they may be offered harder drugs by the dealer and willing to try them. So the gateway theory is only true because marijuana prohibition. Pot isn’t addictive either. It’s habitual, and you may like to do it now and again. But it’s not addictive. When a person is deprived of pot for a certain amount of time, they won’t experience withdrawals. Another reason people think it’s addictive is because of the amount of people in addiction clinics. But this is true because when someone is caught with possession, they have two options: jail or “help”. Which one would you choose? Cannabis (marijuana) can also be used for various medical problems. It can slow alzheimers, help with the pain of chemotherapy for cancer patients, help with depression and anxiety, help with AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, and many other medical problems. Hemp, which is industrial marijuana, is the strongest, most durable natural fiber on the planet, and has thousands and thousands of uses like clothing and paper and food etc. But it’s in the same class as marijuana, so it’s illegal. Hemp is also illegal because it would run paper and lumber companies completely out of business, and thousands of acres of forest would be saved. Medical marijuana would run pharmaceutical companies out of business. Millions of dollars have gone into the prohibition of marijuana, which is a complete waste of taxpayer money, because the war on marijuana can’t be won and won’t be won. Private prisons are literally being built just for marijuana convictions, another huge waste of money. Rehab clinics and mental hospitals would lose tons of patients if marijuana was legalized, and many “doctors” would have to go get real jobs. Police would have to stop arresting pot smokers and have to go after real criminals like murderers, robbers, and rapists. Pot dealers and growers would lose all their business if it was legalized though. Prohibition has never worked (alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s) and will never work. Pot doesn’t make you crazy and insane, it makes you a pacifist. You get happy, and the most you’re probably going to do while high is grab a snack, sit down on the couch, and laugh at something stupid on tv. Just legalize it, and stop this madness and this phony war that’s completely unwinnable for people that want it illegal.

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