Does High-Potency Marijuana Do More Damage To The Brain?

first_imgForbes.com 28 November 2015There’s been a long and heated debate about whether marijuana actually triggers long-term changes in a person, both neurologically and psychologically. Some research has found that pot is linked to psychotic symptoms, and it’s certainly been linked to schizophrenia across multiple studies. However, it’s a bit of a chicken-or-egg problem, since it can be difficult to tell which is the pre-existing “condition,” the pot smoking or the psychological/psychotic symptoms. Now, a new study from King’s College London finds that smoking skunk, a high-potency variety of pot, is linked to changes in the white matter connections between the two hemispheres of the brain. And this seems to be true whether a smoker experiences psychosis or not.Skunk has higher levels of the psychoactive compound Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than “regular” pot, and has become much more prevalent in recent years, as people seek out more potent versions of the drug.Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.The researchers scanned the brains of 56 people who had sought treatment for a first episode of psychosis, and 43 healthy controls. The team looked at the density in the brain’s corpus callosum, the vast network of white matter tracks that extend from neurons in one hemisphere to cells in the other. Damage to the white matter connections means less efficient communication between brain cells, which itself can be linked to cognitive problems.It turned out that there some significant links between how often a person smoked and how likely they were to have changes in their white matter: People who smoked skunk more often had a greater likelihood of damage their white matter than people who smoked less frequently or who smoked lower-potency version. And using skunk was linked to white matter damage regardless of whether or not psychotic symptoms were reported.“We found that frequent use of high potency cannabis significantly affects the structure of white matter fibres in the brain, whether you have psychosis or not,” said author Paola Dazzan. “This reflects a sliding scale where the more cannabis you smoke and the higher the potency, the worse the damage will be.”http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2015/11/28/does-high-potency-marijuana-damage-the-brain/last_img read more

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No. 2 Syracuse hangs on in 12-11 win over unranked Connecticut at home

first_imgSyracuse’s players jogged out to the 25-yard line and huddled up. They didn’t show the same enthusiasm that they normally do after wins. They didn’t dance or yell, two staples of the Orange’s off-field mannerisms.Kayla Treanor led the conversation and told her teammates to remember the result of the game.“Kayla came in and said before we say anything, before we complain, just to keep our heads up,” defender Mallory Vehar said. “A win’s a win and just to value that.”No. 2 Syracuse (5-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) barely held on to beat Connecticut (1-3), 12-11, on Wednesday night in the Carrier Dome. And despite the 23 turnovers and six failed clears, the Orange never surrendered the lead after gaining it with 11 minutes left in the first half.On a night when head coach Gary Gait said his players looked past the unranked Huskies, they still battled through their inefficiencies and weathered a 4-1 Huskies run that cut SU’s lead to one with 10 minutes left.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It’s a dogfight every game,” Vehar said. “We’re going to get the best game from every team we play so I think it’s just mentally preparing us.”And when the game hung in the balance, the Orange went to its best player: Treanor. She received a pass from Halle Majorana while cutting through the middle of Connecticut’s defense and notched her fourth goal of the game.It had been 11 minutes since SU’s last goal and during the ensuing media timeout, Gait sprinted to the wall between the stands and the field, picked up his whiteboard and hurried back to the huddle. He pointed to the spots on the field where Treanor just scored and moved his arms motioning to his players how to find offensive success.After UConn answered to make it 11-10, its small contingent of fans out-cheered SU’s and the crowd’s reaction didn’t reflect which team was leading on the scoreboard.“Just staying composed,” Treanor said of the key while the Huskies trimmed the lead, “and we have the lead so just trying to stay focused and getting our opportunities.”While the defense occasionally struggled to clear the ball, the offense didn’t get flustered as Connecticut made its comeback.With six minutes to go, Treanor penetrated again and drew a free-position shot. She stepped toward the goal and fired a bounce shot to the far side. It ricocheted off the cross bar and gave Syracuse its 12th goal, which proved to be just enough.“I had the opportunity to score but I think it comes down to people, not individuals,” Treanor said. “… I just ended up with the ball. I don’t think it had anything to do with myself.”Though the Orange never scored the rest of the way, its offense did the bare minimum to hang on.Kailah Kempney helped Syracuse win the final three draw controls of the game, and with four minutes left, Gait told his players to kill the clock. But even while trying something as simple as passing the ball around the perimeter, the Orange had unforced turnovers.“It’s something we need to work on and get better at, is finishing a game,” Gait said. “… We got to be able to kill two minutes, four minutes of the clock and we got to work hard at it.”When the Huskies cut SU’s lead to one with 77 seconds left, their players jumped up and down and their fans banged on the bleachers as Syracuse’s bench players stood still.But Kempney won the final draw and the Orange finished off the game — albeit barely — and remained undefeated.“I think it’s just mental focus,” Gait said. “… It says that we’re not going to quit. We’re going to keep playing.” Comments Published on February 25, 2015 at 10:43 pm Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschweds Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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