Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

It’s Just Marijuana – It’s Still a Drug; It Still Affects the Brain


#1

Posted on August 7, 2012 by Lisa Frederiksen

“It’s just marijuana!”

I can’t tell you how many times I hear this in my work with individuals and families. Many go on to defend using marijuana as safer, less harmful to self and others, than drinking alcohol. Of course the legalization of prescription marijuana confuses the issue because people think that makes it “safe.” As with all prescribed medications, if taken as prescribed, it can be safe (assuming there are no other complicating factors). The point of this post, however, is to address those who proclaim, “It’s just marijuana.” Like all drugs of addiction and alcohol, which I’ll refer to as “drugs” going forward, marijuana changes the way the brain works. To better understand, let me first explain neural networks.

A good description of neurotransmitters.


#2

yes, it affects the brain and the one thing I found most disturbing is the paranoia that came along with it. this didn’t happen at first in my teens when I started. It happened a few years later in my late teens and especially my early 20s before I quit. The paranoia got worse.
It can also make you unmotivated to do thing you should be doing. In my case that mainly manifested by me skipping school. Just wasn’t interested.
Not only that it has more tar/resin than tobacco so it can lead to respiratory problems.
It does however have medicinal value for certain vision problems and digestive problems.


#3

Their are a ton of different strains. Some strains are actually amazing for anxiety and pain and depression. Their are strains high in CBd with a large laundry list of things they are good for. And honestly it’s not that bad that is not to say it can’t be abused or used by people as a crutch or hold people back.

That’s not to say that pharmaceuticals aren’t abused or alchohal or other drugs. Marijuana has more benifical affects than those drugs and is a lot better for you than a lot of those pharmaceuticals less side effects.

There is one strain I tried that feels just like seraquel but less zombified.


#4

In fact their is a strain called ac/dc that has a 20:1 CBd to thc ratio it had less than 1% thc and CBd is shown to be beneficial for psychosis. Just think if you could grow your medicine in your yard and not have a laundry list of side effects and not have to deal with crooked insurance companies.


#5

That’s how I feel about it.

I use to legally grow and provide it for cancer patients.

There definitely are strains beneficial for stuff besides cancer.

The bad thing about it for those that are predisposed to sz is REALLY bad because there’s prolly people that can live all their lives without sz surfacing unless they try weed and if they abuse it they are screwed.

I don’t think anyone with mental disorder should use it because it takes extensive knowledge of it to use it properly as a medication and most people don’t have that knowledge.

I think alcohol sucks too but when I’m buzzing is the only time I feel normal.

Because I’ve used alcohol as my medication for years I’m constantly noxious because it screwed up my stomach.


#6

Yeah all drugs are bad. I’m glad I’ve cut drugs out of my life. Especially the marijuana. I think smoking it over time is what led to the development of my neurosis that eventually led to me developing this schizophrenic psychosis. I have hope that this will eventually pass and I’m kind of just making up for all the time I was high. Figuring out how to think again and live a life free of chasing a high. Glad to say for the last couple hours my mind has been exactly where it should be at this point. Nearly recovered.


#7

Can’t smoke it, can’t drink, but i sure do miss it.

Pot had nothing to do with developing schizophrenia, i know this because my “hallucinations” have even physically harmed me three times as well as other things proving they are real.

Last time i was high, years and years ago, it was absolutely terrifying. Took a couple and sat down. And there they were in the sky, only in my mind though, it wasn’t a visual. They were up there showing me what they were. The deep deep evil and power of them made me begin to shiver and shake, my bones were quaking.

The terror was deep that day.

You never want to be tormented in your mind by very powerful psychopaths on pot i can say.


#8

Schizophrenia is supposedly a disease of the mind. Illegal/street drugs affect and alter the mind. Draw your own conclusions.


#9

I still believe that the gene has to be there in the family and then the marijuana smoking causes the schizophrenia to happen, to release into the already diseased brain if you will. If Nathan had never smoked marijuana, would he be schizophrenic today? Who knows? But it’s not the weed that caused the Sz. I believe it’s the combination of genetics and drug use, specifically marijuana. And from the research I have read, if I understand it correctly, he started smoking about the age of 15 and by 17 he was starting to withdraw from his marijuana smoking friends, who by the way, none are schizophrenic. So there is just no black and white here.


#10

I agree. Marijuana is bad. But it isn’t as bad as a lot of other drugs, including alcohol. I’ve seen marijuana devastate a person’s life, but I’ve seem alcohol devastate more, including mine.


#11

This a total generalization on my part but in my experience I rarely saw a recreational pot smoker. I didn’t meet people who would just smoke one or two joints a week and then that was it. It may have started out like that but most teenagers I knew smoked it as often as possible. Most smoked it whenever they could get it, including me. I don’t know if my high school was unique but at my school every clique and every class and social group smoked pot. By that, I mean of course the stoners smoked it but so did the jocks, the cheerleaders the geeks, and the “just average” folk.
It’s a huge generalization to say everybody abuses it but it seems the teenagers I knew smoked a lot of it.
And I hid my pot use from my parents. They didn’t know I was a daily smoker for my last two years of high school.


#12

I assume you can provide links to peer reviewed studies to back up these statements?

Pixel.


#13

My son’s friend’s mom lets the kids smoke at her condo. It infuriates me because she does not realize how much it affects kids like mine. Because it’s being legalized everywhere the general attitude, at least as far as I can tell is that it’s fine. If they are legalizing it then it must be ok and not a big deal anymore. But for someone with a predisposition to sz it’s a huge deal. I wish they hadn’t legalized it and legitimized it, it would be better off being used as a medication appropriately then just used to self medicate.


#14

Marijuana has the worst effect of me maybe of any drug in the short term. Long term, it’s up for debate.


#15

I’ve known people who craved pot constantly. They want to get high every minute of every day. But the reason I think alcohol is more dangerous is because it incapacitates so badly. Every year thousands upon thousands of people die due to drunk driving. Nothing like that happens because of pot. If I get high on pot I’m not going to beat my wife and kids, I’m not goint to get in a fight in a bar, and I’m not going to drive a hundred miles an hour down the highway.


#16

I used to enjoy smoking when I was a teenager. It just made me enjoy things more and laugh a lot. But not anymore. Now I just get really paranoid and weird. I can’t do it anymore. I think it just intensifies but sz symptoms.


#17

A lot of unsubstantiated claims from both sides. I guess it just goes to show that people lose their minds when they are talking about recreational drugs. Completely irrational claims like “all illegal drugs are bad” and “no one with mental illness should smoke pot” are just as silly as the equally irrational claims from the other side of the argument, like the “pot isn’t addictive” phrase you’ve probably heard way too many times. Fact of the matter is that many people get addicted, many don’t, many are helped by weed, and many are not.

Pot helps a lot of people (in different ways). I have sz and smoke pot, it helps me. But I’m also trying to smoke as little as I can since it has both positive and negative effects on me. Yes, it amplifies my sz symptoms for about an hour or two. But I can deal with that.


#18

I guess I’m going to be going against the grain with my opinions.

I know many people that make very good money who smoke marijuana regularly. I know an endurance runner who regularly competes in 100+ mile runs who enjoys eating a marijuana brownie right before running. These are very accomplished people who are able to use marijuana responsibly, just like how many people enjoy a drink responsibly. I fully support the legalization of marijuana, and removing the stigma that pot smokers all live in their moms basements covered in Cheetos dust. Many people choose a vice to reduce their stress or cope with life, making one of the safest ways for them to do this illegal, is rediculous.


#19

Part of the problem with getting the peer reviewed studies as you have requested is that Marijuana is still a Schedule 1 narcotic and as such is very difficult to research due to the current drug laws. However, here are some links from epilepsy websites that may answer your question.

Despite the fear that CBD-rich marijuana extracts can increase the risk
of serious psychiatric disorders and long-term cognitive problems, we
believe that the serious long- term effects that accompany the use of
anti-epileptic drugs and a lifetime of intractable seizures cannot be
ignored. The positive results that some people with epilepsy have been
seeing from CBD-rich marijuana extracts are giving so many parents what
they have been lacking for so long – hope.

Evidence from laboratory studies, anecdotal reports, and small clinical
studies from a number of years ago suggests that cannabidiol, a
non-psychoactive compound of cannabis, could potentially be helpful in
controlling seizures. However, there are conflicting reports in the
literature. So far, scientifically controlled studies have not shown
definitive proof of the effectiveness and safety of marijuana or
cannabis in epilepsy. For example, in 2012, a literature review of clinical studies on cannabinoids for epilepsy
could not give a reliable conclusion about the effectiveness of four
randomized controlled trials of cannabidiol. Yet in the 48 people
included in these reports, no side effects were noted. Conducting
studies can be difficult as researchers have limited access to marijuana
due to federal regulations and even more limited access to cannabidiol;
there are also increased financial and time constraints.


#20

That was very funny… :laughing:

I’m on the fence on this one…

Alcohol is a hard drug too… some can handle it… some can’t. I know I can’t.

I am glad it’s legal so we’re not filling our jails with non-violent kids who get popped with pot…

But it sure doesn’t do us any favors… plus it’s not the same old pot… more and more it’s being propagated for higher THC content and that is the scary part…

I just wish there was a better or maybe even recovery / addiction counseling for us when that Sz switch get’s turned on… then address the pot / drug use… then start the meds…

I do regret all that time wasted being wasted.