A fascinating new study shows that cannabis offers some neuroprotection to young people who engaged in binge drinking episodes. The binge drinkers were young – aged 16-19. This is an age at which the effects of drugs on the brain may be particularly bad, since the brain is continuing to develop.
What was shocking was that binge drinking in adolescents caused the type and degree of damage that it did. Binge drinking caused actual losses of white matter in the brain, similar to the damage seen with drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine.
Briefly, white matter is the axons that connect brain cells to each other. Grey matter consists of the connections and also the cells themselves. So heavy drinking in adolescence causes actual damage to the connections between brain cells. That’s pretty serious stuff. It’s not known if the damage repairs later, or at all. However, connections between cells can grow back.
If the damage does not repair, then a Hell of a lot of adults are walking around with significant brain damage from binge drinking in adolescence. If this is the case, then clearly the brain can handle this sort of damage, since most such folks, assuming they are damaged in this way, are able to function well both cognitively and psychologically.
The study was fascinating because if the adolescents used cannabis in addition to binge drinking, the damage was notably less than if they binge drank alone. Therefore, cannabis use was somewhat neuroprotective to the brain in terms of the damage caused by binge drinking.
This does not mean that cannabis use is good for your brain, or that it does not damage the brain. But no study of cannabis use has ever found anything as dramatic as extensive white matter losses in the brain (that’s a pretty serious type of damage). So, if anything, binge drinking in adolescence (which many adolescents do) is remarkably worse for your brain than using cannabis in adolescence, which is an amazing thing to say right there.
But that’s not exactly what the anti-drug moralfags and fuckwits tell us, is it? In their view, binge drinking is a necessary evil, while cannabis use, especially in adolescence, is a moral and public health catastrophe. God, what a load of shit that is.
6 thoughts on “Cannabis Is Neuroprotective”
I’ve seen the studies on teen “binge drinking” and white matter. They consider binge drinking to be four drinks or more, on occasion. I definitely have been there, a few times, as a teen. Not a regular drinker, haven’t done this even more than 5 times, but if that’s the bar, I’ve done some binge drinking…
Should I be worried about white matter damage? I’ve seen that aerobic exercise helps, should I just start running. Is there much evidence for this being permanent, or correlating with significant cognitive damage?
I’m a male, about 160 pounds, have had more than four drinks about five or six times…
Is this only damaging for teens and not for others?
I drank over 4 drinks at a time many more than four times as a teen. I took an IQ test at age 29 and scored 140+. Everyone who meets me says I am one of the smartest people they have ever met.
As long as you are not doing alcoholic style drinking or drinking every day as a teen, I would not worry about it too much!
most of what our government feeds us is less than accurate. I’ve been labeled a conspiracy theorist. Because I challenge every official report. each report has a form of biased and furthers to hamper fixing problems. remember all of those in government profit from our problems. hell even war is profitable and considered a necessity. think about who is making billions on contract prisons with 47 percent of the population is pot smokers on mandatory minimums. I would wager 3 percent of our prison populations are violent crimes away from the drug trade. hell I heard a figure for the expense of the guys jumping out of helicopter to cut down the violent weed plant. excluding the helicopter each man has 30,000 in equipment. Really aren’t we 17 trillion in debt. yes we still sponsor weed raids. They will say its drug raids so it is demonized because of a schedule 1 position. If the government will lie about this why wouldn’t they lie about anything else that is profitable to a large contributor.
FREE THE WEED !
( not there yet, getting close…)
Even in states where its legal they will control the weed. Why can’t the governmant just forget about weed. I see today congress’ rating is 9 percent approval. When will the parties get it. You can’t fool all the people and they are down to the most retarded of the bunch that still believe an opressive government controled by corporations is the correct way. Free the weed and stop lying about bigfoot. I wonder how much longer i can spout off about the government before i dissappear. Anyhow you’ll know what happened.