Hello everybody! Without a doubt we can all agree that chemicals affect the growth and development, both good and bad, of organisms be they blades or grass or a human being. Therefore it is logical that a developing brain is particularly sensitive and vulnerable to the powerfully detrimental effects of some drugs; that is why expectant mothers are advised to avoid tobacco, alcohol, anti-depressants, etc. As for me, I was 21 when I smoked my first joint, (Oaxacan Highland), which literally "blew my mind!" LOL! It was reputedly, according to D J Short, some of the world's most potent at that time, (1967), and perhaps the strongest of all time? So I have had a 50-year love affair with cannabis, the only lady in my life who never let me down and has always been the partner I could count on. Although I consider myself one of the older dedicated members of the Cannabis Fraternity, I am still willing to look at the good, the bad and the ugly side of this sacred sacrament that I daily "worship." (gotta luv that wild zamaldelica1) LOL! So saying, I reckon that I am able to separate the "baby" (feelgood) from the "bathwater" (side effects) of cannabis consumption, the same way I can admire the structure (baby) of the notorious Roman Coliseum on the one hand, while being repulsed by the centuries of horrific gladiatorial contests, animal and human sacrifices (bathwater) perpetrated within it's blood-soaked arena. Another metaphor is the gold particles (baby) extracted from it's gold-bearing ore (bathwater). Another is the nourishment (baby) our digestive system extracts from the inert mass of roughage (bathwater). Isn't that a rational concession of a balanced approach regarding coming to terms with the dualistic good/bad nature of life on earth? Accordingly, I think that any potential type of bias is avoided and dispelled by carefully scrutinizing both sides of an issue before any final judgment is contemplated. But I have not come to any final decision about ANYTHING, for the more informed I become about a given subject, the more I see that both sides of an issue deserve consideration into perpetuity. That is because hidden factors of any phenomena are constantly coming to light, therefore altering it's apparent observable dynamics. That is why, at age 70, I am not "stuck" in my 1960's youthful milieu, but am still able to maintain a flexible "reality paradigm" attitude that is responsive to an ever-increasing recognition of the hidden, occult dimension of existence. (I constantly search for new horizons in which new possibilities are unfolding.) Additionally, after reading a High Times article years ago about compensating for any possible negative health effects from cannabis usage, I started applying those simple corrective health measures into my daily routine. Now I religiously perform a light dumbbell weight training regimen, (including 70 abdominal crunches and 40 leg-raises), 3 times a week, although I drink beer and wine, otherwise I consume ONLY distilled H2O for its amazing cellular detox benefits, (I make coffee and tea with it), I avoid strong distilled spirits, and I constantly incorporate other new findings into my fund of knowledge, such as the cautionary and controversial LED thread I recently began here at icmag. So with me it is never an "either/or" resolution, but a "ronin wave man" stance in which I "roll with the punches" that life has dealt me, which situation I know that many of you have also encountered throughout your "rollercoaster" life's adventure. In closing, please consider that our brains are not mere test-tube-and-Bunsen-burner chemistry sets meant for us to recklessly experiment with; for our delicate and fragile brains are sensitive instruments that are windows to this mysterious universe in which our planet Earth is but a microscopic grain of sand swirling around in an ocean of time. In closing, here are 2 of my favorite quotes that remind me that there is always more to understand about ourselves and the magical, holographic, reflexive YOUniverse in which we all move, live and have our being.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, that are dreamt of in your philosophy. -- Shakespeare -- Hamlet
'Tis strange - but true; for truth is always strange; Stranger than fiction. -- Lord Byron (1788-1824)
A Harvard-Northwestern study has found differences between the brains of young adult marijuana smokers and those of nonsmokers. In these composite scans, colors represent the differences — in the shape of the amygdala, top, and nucleus accumbens. Yellow indicates areas that are most different, red the least. Half of the 40 test subjects were nonusers; half reported smoking for one to six years and showed no signs of dependence. Besides the seven light smokers, nine used three to five days a week and four used, on average, daily. All smokers showed abnormalities in the shape, density and volume of the nucleus accumbens, which is at the core of motivation, the core of pleasure and pain, and every decision that you make.
This Is Your Brain on Drugs
The gray matter of the nucleus accumbens, the walnut-shaped pleasure center of the brain, was glowing like a flame, showing a notable increase in density. “It could mean that there’s some sort of drug learning taking place,” speculated Jodi Gilman, at her computer screen at the Massachusetts General Hospital
Center for Addiction Medicine. Was the brain adapting to marijuana exposure, rewiring the reward system to demand the drug?
Dr. Gilman was reviewing a composite scan of the brains of 20 pot smokers, ages 18 to 25. What she and fellow researchers at Harvard and Northwestern University
found within those scans surprised them. Even in the seven participants who smoked only once or twice a week, there was evidence of structural differences
in two significant regions of the brain. The more the subjects smoked, the greater the differences. (continued)