Marijana use as a kid is mind altering, in a bad way

By Dr. Alan Kadish

When you consider the change in the political pot wars, and now the no longer legal stigma in multiple states, lots more people will partake. The problem is that there appears to be a good reason to restrict the use to adults only considering the results of a new Canadian study. Not that that’s possible…..without great parenting.

The take home is that if you want to make the most of your mind and your 17 years old or younger don’t use cannabis. It has the effect of making you dumb and interfering with your spatial processing abilities, which are part of driving and a host of vocations and hobbies.

When you evaluate brain development it becomes very clear that most of us are in flux  until 21-23 years of age. The many potentials that stand in the way of maximal brain development include the drugs and many hormone-disrupting chemicals we ingest, inhale and rub into our bodies. Couple this with the falls and spills of life resulting in head injuries and you realize that the more you can do to maintain optimal safe development is essential.

When I talk about head injuries I’m including even the “minor” hits to the head that most people ignore. What child do you know that has had no head injury be that from a sport, falling down and or an obvious accident ? The medical literature is very clear that all of these insults to our noggins adds up to a lifetime of lost IQ, changes in behavior and a host of possible disease outcomes with the most concerning , Alzheimer’s or other dementias.

We shouldn’t throw away the potentially positive finding with CBD and other non-psychoactive components in marijuana, that may help with pain and other medical conditions.

What to do: Be prudent and never smoke any substances as your lungs are not built for the intake of hot gasses with particulates.  

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Early marijuana use associated with abnormal brain function, study reveals

Western University News10/07/2016

In a new study, scientists in London, Ontario have discovered that early marijuana use may result in abnormal brain function and lower IQ. Previous studies have suggested that frequent marijuana users, especially those who begin at a young age, are at a higher risk for cognitive dysfunction and psychiatric illness, including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, a Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute and the Dr. Joseph Rea Chair in Mood Disorders at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University, is a Canadian leader in studying both mood and anxiety disorders and the effects of marijuana.

Dr. Osuch and her team recruited youth in four groups: those with depression who were not marijuana users; those with depression who were frequent marijuana users; frequent marijuana users without depression; and healthy individuals who were not marijuana users. In addition, participants were later divided into youth who started using marijuana before the age of 17 and those who began using it later or not at all. Participants underwent psychiatric, cognitive and IQ testing as well as brain scanning. The study found no evidence that marijuana use improved depressive symptoms; there was no difference in psychiatric symptoms between those with depression who used marijuana and those with depression who did not use marijuana. In addition, results showed differences in brain function among the four groups in areas of the brain that relate to reward–processing and motor control. The use of marijuana did not correct the brain function deficits of depression, and in some regions made them worse. Of additional interest, those participants who used marijuana from a young age had highly abnormal brain function in areas related to visuo–spatial processing, memory, self–referential activity and reward processing. The study found that early marijuana use was also associated with lower IQ scores. The study, “Depression, marijuana use and early–onset marijuana use conferred unique effects on neural connectivity and cognition”, was published in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica.

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Dr. Kadish is an unusual physician often referred to as a "doctor detective". His expertise is the evaluation and treatment of complex disorders, typically after other physicians have been stumped, is renowned. He provides care for all family members and has additional training in autistic spectrum disorders and chronic complex diseases.