Smoking marijuana ages the brain 5X faster than alcohol, major study finds
Alexandra Thompson, Mail Online – Smoking cannabis ages the brain by an average of 2.8 years, new research suggests.
But excessive alcohol ages the organ by just 0.6 years, the research adds.
Lead author Dr. Daniel Amen, founder of Amen Clinics, said:
“The cannabis abuse finding was especially important, as our culture is starting to see marijuana as an innocuous substance. This study should give us pause about it.”
Reduced brain blood flow has previously been linked to stroke and dementia.
How the research was carried out
The researchers analyzed 62,454 brains scans from 31,227 people.
The scans, which were collected during both rest and concentration, were taken from people aged between nine months and 105 years old to determine factors that contribute to brain aging.
The scientists analyzed the blood flow through 128 regions of each brain to determine how old they thought the individual was.
Once they learned the person’s actual age, they were able to measure the rate of accelerated aging.
Dr. George Perry, from the University of Texas, San Antonio, who was not involved in the study, said: “This is one of the first population-based imaging studies, and these large studies are essential to answer how to maintain brain structure and function during aging.” Read the full story at Daily Mail.
3 Things Smoking Weed Does to Your Body
MEN’S JOURNAL – Can marijuana improve your health? Lower stress? Make you more forgetful? Even make you skinnier?
The science is still, well, hazy—but some research is starting to give us an idea of what exactly weed does to the human body.
1. It can damage blood vessels
Secondhand smoke may not seem all that bad. But it can have a major impact on your blood vessels, according to research from the American Heart Association.
After rats inhaled secondhand smoke for one minute, their arteries carried blood less efficiently for at least 90 minutes. When they were exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke, however, their blood vessels recovered after 30 minutes.
“While the effect is temporary for both cigarette and marijuana smoke, these temporary problems can turn into long-term problems if exposures occur often enough and may increase the chances of developing hardened and clogged arteries,” said study author Matthew Springer, Ph.D.
2. It may increase testicular cancer risk
Smoking weed may increase your odds of getting testicular cancer, researchers at the University of Southern California found. In the study, men who had testicular germ cell tumors were more likely to report previously using marijuana than those who didn’t have the tumors.
While the findings were interesting, more research needs to be done to determine if there was a causal relationship between cancer and marijuana use, a doctor for the American Cancer Society said that.
3. It impacts short-term memory
Stoners get a bad reputation for being forgetful, but it turns out the stigma might not be entirely myth. In one study, Northwestern University scientists found that former pot smokers had developed brain abnormalities in regions associated with short-term memory, and performed slightly worse on memory-related tasks.
Even more unsettling: The brains of pot smokers were found to be abnormally shaped and looked similar to brains damaged by schizophrenia. That’s not to say that smoking weed causes schizophrenia, of course, and obviously a lot of research still needs to be done on the topic. See the full story at Men’s Journal.