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WebMD says Marijuana is nontoxic and does NOT cause brain damage from longerm use

By Desertfox, Jan 15, 2009 | Updated: Jan 19, 2009 | | |
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  1. Desertfox
    [h2]Heavy Marijuana Use Doesn't Damage Brain[/h2]


    July 1, 2003 -- Long-term and even daily marijuana use doesn't appear to cause permanent brain damage, adding to evidence that it can be a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of diseases, say researchers. ​
    The researchers found only a "very small" impairment in memory and learning among long-term marijuana users. Otherwise, scores on thinking tests were similar to those who don't smoke marijuana, according to a new analysis of 15 previous studies. ​
    In those studies, some 700 regular marijuana users were compared with 484 non-users on various aspects of brain function -- including reaction time, language and motor skills, reasoning ability, memory, and the ability to learn new information. ​

    "We were somewhat surprised by our finding, especially since there's been a controversy for some years on whether long-term cannabis use causes brain damage," says lead researcher and psychiatrist Igor Grant, MD. ​
    "I suppose we expected to see some differences in people who were heavy users, but in fact the differences were very minimal." ​
    The marijuana users in those 15 studies -- which lasted between three months to more than 13 years -- had smoked marijuana several times a week or month or daily. Still, researchers say impairments were less than what is typically found from using alcohol or other drugs. ​
    "All study participants were adults," says Grant, professor of psychiatry and director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research Center at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. ​
    "However, there might be a different set of circumstances to a 12-year-old whose nervous system is still developing."

    Analysis of Studies Finds Little Effect From Long-Term Use
    By Sid Kirchheimer
    WebMD Health News

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  1. chillinwill
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