4 Key Studies on Cannabis and Mental Health

Although opponents of marijuana reform have screamed time and time again that marijuana can make you go crazy, paranoid, delusional, schizophrenic, and what else; luckily, advocates now have a legit scientific study that confirms the opponents are wrong. According to the new research published in the Journal of Neuroscience marijuana does not only leave your brain cells intact, but also it can actually have a positive effect on your mental health. The study examined brain morphology of adult marijuana daily users versus nonusers as well as of adolescent daily users versus nonusers. The researchers found no significant differences between daily users and nonusers.

The new study was a continuation of a previous one published in 2003 in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. The study was aiming to understand the long-term effects of cannabinoids on human central nervous system. For those of you who don’t know, central nervous system is a complex system of nerve tissues that controls pretty much every activity in your body, from peeing to thinking and feeling – it comprises the brain and the spinal cord. The 2003 research found that chronic marijuana users experienced a reduction in their the ability to learn and remember new information, while other cognitive abilities ere unaffected by cannabinoids.

Last year, Northwestern University has joined the party and published a study that examined brains of casual cannabis users and claimed that marijuana has negative effects on human brain – they seemed to have discovered that marijuana could cause some brain abnormalities. However, some scientist rushed to dispute the findings, such as Lior Pachter, a computational biologist and professor at the University of California. “The paper is terrible on a number of levels,” he told The Huffington Post last year. “It reeks of dishonesty … Maybe users have strange brains because they smoked pot. But maybe they smoke pot because they have strange brains. There is an important difference here.” The guy spent some serious time blogging about what he saw as obvious flaws in the study and claimed that not only did the scientists employ a flawed methodology but also they have completely misinterpreted the findings to the media.

Another famous university conducted their research on this issue – researchers from Harvard have been investigating the long term effects of marijuana on people who stopped using it. They found nothing, although they did say that it would probably be unwise to “try landing a 747, driving a bus or train, or taking a calculus test a week after heavy marijuana use.” Remember this kids, if you’re taking a test or preparing for an important job interview – give yourself at least a week prior to the event to recover from being intoxicated with cannabis.

And finally, there was Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN. In 2013 he expressed his regret for being an opponent to marijuana. After travelling the world and educating himself about the plant, he concluded that it doesn’t have a high potential for abuse as many opponents claim, and more importantly, he said, marijuana has “very legitimate medical applications.”