Think smoking weed dulls the brain? Think again. A new study found that smoking cannabis may actually help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, a chronic neurodegenerative disease that leads to dementia.
The argument that cannabis consumption leads to decreased IQ has long been debunked but it's great to know that new studies are delving deep into the advantages of smoking weed. A follow-up study confirmed that there is no difference in a user's brain structure compared to those who do not smoke cannabis at all.
According to the research, people who use do not have a decrease in their IQ, and might actually be fending off Alzheimer’s. If users are starting earlier, they’re actually setting their brain up right—apparently, weed can lead to a greater connectivity in brain cells, and a stronger “structural” capacity. The more you use, the more that connectivity increases.
These are pretty amazing results, but will need to be confirmed with a larger body of participants. Only drawing from 100, the U of Texas study isn’t conclusive by any means. There wasn’t any clear connection between the differences registered in the brain and marijuana use–it could simply be an association. There was a reduction in gray matter, however, especially in the orbitofrontalcortex, which is the region associated with addiction. Again, however, no clear line is being connected in the study.
One follow up study that was released by the Journal of Neuroscience, found that there was no real difference in brain structure between those who used weed and those who didn’t.
Image courtesy of: rastabagel