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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:33 am 
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I'm going to post and run for now. More commentary later.

Quote:
J Neurosci. 2014 Apr 16;34(16):5529-38. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4745-13.2014.

Cannabis use is quantitatively associated with nucleus accumbens and amygdala abnormalities in young adult recreational users.

Gilman JM1, Kuster JK, Lee S, Lee MJ, Kim BW, Makris N, van der Kouwe A, Blood AJ, Breiter HC.

Abstract
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, but little is known about its effects on the human brain, particularly on reward/aversion regions implicated in addiction, such as the nucleus accumbens and amygdala. Animal studies show structural changes in brain regions such as the nucleus accumbens after exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, but less is known about cannabis use and brain morphometry in these regions in humans. We collected high-resolution MRI scans on young adult recreational marijuana users and nonusing controls and conducted three independent analyses of morphometry in these structures: (1) gray matter density using voxel-based morphometry, (2) volume (total brain and regional volumes), and (3) shape (surface morphometry). Gray matter density analyses revealed greater gray matter density in marijuana users than in control participants in the left nucleus accumbens extending to subcallosal cortex, hypothalamus, sublenticular extended amygdala, and left amygdala, even after controlling for age, sex, alcohol use, and cigarette smoking. Trend-level effects were observed for a volume increase in the left nucleus accumbens only. Significant shape differences were detected in the left nucleus accumbens and right amygdala. The left nucleus accumbens showed salient exposure-dependent alterations across all three measures and an altered multimodal relationship across measures in the marijuana group. These data suggest that marijuana exposure, even in young recreational users, is associated with exposure-dependent alterations of the neural matrix of core reward structures and is consistent with animal studies of changes in dendritic arborization.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:10 am 
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Well I don't know the effects of marijuana on the brain, but when I went into hospital to get my hip replacement I spoke to a guy who was in for the same operation, and he asked me if I used marijuana for pain control, like he did :mrgreen:
Anyway the pain from arthritis is really horrible, it's debilitating, you can't walk and it is a constant nagging pain, like earache.......I don't know what the effect of marijuana would be, but he said that it helped. Now compare that with the usual pain relief drugs none steroidal anti inflammatory drugs NSAIDS which can cause all sorts of stomache problems,I tried to use them as little as possible. The point is that maybe there is a use for marijuana, maybe there is medical marijuana and maybe in certain cases the bad results of marijuana are less than the bad results of other drugs.
BTW the recent legalisation of marijuana in some states ( Like Obamacare) in my book, is just about getting tax revenue.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:01 pm 
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jorvik wrote:
Well I don't know the effects of marijuana on the brain, but when I went into hospital to get my hip replacement I spoke to a guy who was in for the same operation, and he asked me if I used marijuana for pain control, like he did :mrgreen:

My mother lived a lifetime with the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. It struck in her twenties and struck hard. As far back as I can remember, she had badly deformed fingers, hands, ankles, and feet from it. Throughout her whole lifetime, the only thing she ever took for it was aspirin. And throughout her whole lifetime, she complained less than the average person who had no claim to any debilitating chronic condition.

Marijuana isn't indicated for arthritis pain. People who claim that are just using a chronic condition as an excuse to smoke weed. As for side effects, there are more associated with the use of marijuana than there are for the use of NSAIDs. COPD and lung cancer from smoking *anything* is a lot more serious than stomach issues.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:06 pm 
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This is something that a dedicated martial artist or person who lives a healthy lifestyle should get at an intuitive level.

Through my time of getting my education, there were periods when I had to take a break from martial arts training. Getting through organic chemistry was one of those time periods. (I got two A+ grades, so made the absence worth my while.) However I always came back.

I distinctly remember what it was like doing kotekitae for the first time after a long absence. "Man, this hurts!" But after about a month, the pain first became routine, and then evolved to pleasure. I actually had a dedicated student and self-described hedonist (martial arts, skydiving, skiing) who once described the phenomenon as being horny for contact. And he wasn't talking about sex.

When we engage in hard work, our bodies release endorphins. There are receptors in the brain which those chemicals lock into that stimulate pleasure centers and change our perception of pain. We have evolved to that internal neurohormonal system because getting out of bed in the morning and working the fields meant we fed our families and passed on our DNA. He who didn't get out of the hut didn't get the hot chicks, and so was eliminated from the gene pool.

There are cannabinoid receptors in the brain which THC binds to. This is the reason for a high. But there are short- and long-term consequences to stimulating those centers with exogenous substances.

Quote:
The changes in brain structures indicate the marijuana users’ brains are adapting to low-level exposure to marijuana, the scientists said.

The study results fit with animal studies that show when rats are given tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) their brains rewire and form many new connections. THC is the mind-altering ingredient found in marijuana.

“It may be that we’re seeing a type of drug learning in the brain,” Gilman said. “We think when people are in the process of becoming addicted, their brains form these new connections.”

In animals, these new connections indicate the brain is adapting to the unnatural level of reward and stimulation from marijuana. These connections make other natural rewards less satisfying.

“Drugs of abuse can cause more dopamine release than natural rewards like food, sex and social interaction,” Gilman said. “In those you also get a burst of dopamine but not as much as in many drugs of abuse. That is why drugs take on so much salience, and everything else loses its importance.”

- Northwestern University Website

This is one of many reasons I have eliminated sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and salt from my diet. I have replaced those olfactory system simulators with myriad spices. I've now "rewired" my brain so I can eat 100% cacao - totally unsweetened dark chocolate - and really enjoy it. Regular chocolate now tastes like kids' food to me. Potato chips are too salty. Really good coffee on the other hand is wonderful - especially when served black. So are most healthy foods that my body really should be consuming.

This is a lot deeper than what you might surmise on first blush. I sent this article out to people on my research/analytics team, and most didn't get it. Methinks they were mostly in denial.

Not many people "get" me anyway, but... 8)

I was at the gym last night, watching a middle-aged woman doing incline flies with 30 pound dumbbells. Not bad... She was there with her husband, who was spotting her. I went up and complimented her. After she whined about it hurting too much, I told her that continued training would make her crave it. She said she was too old for that. I looked at her straight in the eyes, and told her my age. It turns out I was 14 years older. Her jaw dropped.

There's a reason our bodies reward us for doing certain activities. When you short-circuit those reward systems, you get what you get. If you want to see the consequences of people who do this, go people-watching in any local Walmart. Bring your barf bag.

..... People of Walmart

- Bill


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:21 pm 
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I had a friend who was a doper, and really that is the only way to describe them 8O Never really took to it myself, always preferred a cold beer. 8) .ice cold guiness on a summers day watching cricket.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:50 am 
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this artical backs up something i have been thinking about recently. my son is now 4 , (i had him late in life) and i have been thinking of what i could say to him as he gets older that would make him think twice about smoking or doing any kind of drug. i want to be honest and not go with the same bs i heard growing up. my answer is that "drugs steal your dreams". i have seen many people who put alcohol and pot very high on their "to do" list everyday and spend so little time focused on success in a career, finance or relationships. i worked with a young guy that every week without fail would say to me "i cant wait to get plastered this weekend" my thought was ...so thats your lifes ambition huh? i guess to each there own. i have no moral hang ups about it but like smoking tobaco, to me it just seems like such a waste of money. then again i never had time for drugs and alcohol as a teen i was in the dojo 5 days a week 3 hours a day. what a waste of time some might say about me :)


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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 2:22 pm 
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I'm both a glass-half-full guy and someone who has lived a pretty colorful life. While I was more witness to rather than participant in major debauchery, I've come to appreciate from literature, research, and first-hand view what this world is all about.

The important point of the research isn't so much that our brains get wired to depend on recreational pharmaceuticals, but rather that we can wire our brains to be addicted to good activity and good foods. The original purpose of the addiction mechanisms after all is for us to love hard work and good food. If martial arts is about anything, it's about mastering the self. We can choose our addictions and we can choose our destinies. The only question is the path.

- Bill


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