Tag Archives: marijuana

Marijuana Addiction in the Age of Legal Weed

Generation X writer Neal Pollack thought he had it all: a good writing career, a strong marriage, even a lucrative 3-day run on “Jeopardy”! That brought him national attention. Like many in his generation, he also smoked a lot of marijuana. He had discovered that food, music and even his beloved yoga was much better when he smoked. In 2014, as several states in the country legalized pot, Pollack scored a writing gig for a marijuana site that provided free weed. He saw his drug use as harmless and joked about it often in his writing. But as more states, including California, began to legalize the drug, Pollack’s life began to fall apart, in part because of his drug use. Both of his parents died and he soon found himself spiraling out of control, sometimes in public. By 2018, Pollack admitted publicly he had a marijuana addiction and set about to conquer it, through honesty . . . and humor. Pollack’s new book, Pothead, is about coming to terms with his marijuana problems just as the country increased its recreational availability. The book is a cautionary and timely tale for those who think the drug isn’t dangerous and can’t cause serious addictive problems. Join us for a special evening program as Pollack discusses his story with Los Angeles novelist Bucky Sinister.

Researchers seek answers of brain on (legal) cannabis

For those suffering depression or anxiety, using cannabis for relief may not be the long-term answer.

That’s according to new research from a team at Colorado State University seeking scientific clarity on how cannabis — particularly chronic, heavy use — affects neurological activity, including the processing of emotions. 10501634_10152483771078046_6376046067124349017_n

Researchers led by Lucy Troup, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, have published a study in PeerJ describing their findings from an in-depth, questionnaire-based analysis of 178 college-aged, legal users of cannabis. Recreational cannabis became legal in Colorado in 2014. Since then, seven other states have enacted legalization for recreational use, while many others allow medical use.

“One thing we wanted to focus on was the significance of Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational cannabis, and its own unique population and use that occurs here,” Troup said.

Through the study, which was based solely upon self-reported use of the drug, the researchers sought to draw correlations between depressive or anxious symptoms and cannabis consumption.

They found that those respondents categorized with subclinical depression, who reported using the drug to treat their depressive symptoms, scored lower on their anxiety symptoms than on their depressive symptoms – so, they were actually more depressed than they were anxious. The same was true for self-reported anxiety sufferers: they were found to be more anxious than they were depressed. MORE HERE

Daily marijuana use has a measurable effect on the brain, a new study finds.

Teenagers who smoked marijuana daily for three years performed poorly on memory tasks and showed abnormal changes in brain structure, according to a Northwestern Medicine study. Researchers in Chicago observed the brains of teenagers who were heavy users of marijuana. In those individuals, memory-related structures in the brain appeared to shrink and collapse inward, possibly indicating a decrease in neurons.

These abnormalities were recorded two years after the teens stopped using marijuana, possibly indicating long-term effects, and look similar to schizophrenia-related brain abnormalities.

The brains were shaped more abnormally for individuals who began marijuana use at a younger age, according to the reports, which suggest that memory regions of the brain are more susceptible to the drug at earlier ages.

The research was published in the December issue of Schizophrenia Bulletin.