New Research Shows How Marijuana Drops Blood Flow to the Brain. Should You Be Concerned?

Comparison between a healthy brain scan and marijuana user's brain scan

Reported rates of marijuana use have more than doubled in the past decade. Medical marijuana is now legal in nearly half of US states and is increasing access to the drug for current and potential future users. Although it is often portrayed as harmless, and sometimes even therapeutic, there has not been nearly enough studies done to prove this. In fact, marijuana is often prescribed for issues like anxiety, though studies cannot comprehensively show this to be true. The current available information of the impact marijuana has on the neurophysiology of the brain show, predominantly, depressive effects. 

In a recent study using PET imaging to demonstrate the release of dopamine in the striatum, a region of the brain that is involved in working memory, impulsive behavior, and attention, results showed that heavy marijuana use has similar dopamine releasing behaviors as cocaine and heroin with addiction. Several studies in chronic cannabis users show structural changes to the hippocampus persist, even after six months of abstinence. 

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has already warned that we’re too quick to legalize the popular drug when research still hasn’t shown whether or not it’s truly safe. With Amen’s new research, there is proof that Dr. Murthy’s concerns are well warranted.

Just published in the most recent Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the research finds that, after studying imaging of 1,000 cannabis users’ brains, there were signs of noticeable deficiencies of blood flow.  The study, which included 25,168 non-cannabis users, and 100 healthy controls, shows a scary and obvious difference in blood flow levels for those that used cannabis. Additionally, those that used marijuana showed a significant lack of blood flow in the right hippocampus, the area of the brain that helps with memory formation. This part of the brain is severely affected with those that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

Our research has proven that marijuana users have lower cerebral blood flow than non-users. The most predictive region separating these two groups is low blood flow in the hippocampus on concentration brain SPECT imaging.This work suggests that marijuana use has damaging influences in the brain – particularly regions important in memory and learning and known to be affected by Alzheimer’s. Our research demonstrates that marijuana can have significant negative effects on brain function. The media has given a general impression that marijuana is a safe recreational drug, this research directly challenges that notion.

Several studies of perfusion imaging in marijuana users have shown similar results compared to ours. A small O15 PET study in a sample of 12 marijuana users used a randomized clinical trial design to examine brain perfusion before and after marijuana use. The study results found frontal, temporal and occipital lobe hypo-perfusion – all findings concordant with our study.

At Amen Clinics, we can help you and your loved ones overcome the stigma and suffering associated with ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, brain injury, weight loss, addictions, memory issues, brain fog, and other emotional and cognitive issues. If you are ready to regain control over your life or help a loved one do the same, give us a call at 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit for more information.


  1. This is very interesting however this article does not specify whether the study was conducted on marijuana smokers and vapor smokers vs canabis extracts taken in other forms such as ingesting edibles or CBD oils (neither of which are smoked), etc. Different strains (indica vs saliva) are also not specified. I’d be very interested in more specific data around this. Keep up the research! But please be more specific.

    Comment by Kat — November 30, 2016 @ 2:00 PM

  2. Sample of 12 should tell you all you need to know to define Dr. Amen’s ‘research’ as not really qualifying as research

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 2:30 PM

  3. The medical marijuana is commonly highly desired by those with severe, violent and multiple times per day epileptic seizures, to ease the painful and wasting side effects of chemo, to combat cancer, and for extreme cases of pain management where other very strong pain killers are not working or may even cause life long life threatening addiction. And one needs to distinguish between CBD vs. TSH or some combination. If there’s a life threatening situation or illness causing unbearable pain and disability, the risks can be discussed between the patient and their Dr., NOT the gov’t.!

    Furthermore it should be eliminated from employer’s drug testing unless it makes the employee a danger to others. There was a guy who stopped regularly smoking it because he started a new dream job at a company that regularly drug tested their employees and he did not want to get fired. Within a few months, tumors that were previously being suppressed by smoking it, began to reappear. People should not have to choose between dying from a horrible disease vs. working at a miserable boring and underpaying job because the employer you really want to work for won’t let you use it if the person needs to for a bona fide medical reason.

    Comment by Luccim — November 30, 2016 @ 2:36 PM

  4. You did not read that correctly. He mentions that small sampling was from a similar study to ones they have done, and their results corresponded to what they saw in their own studies. You also seemed to scan over the study that had 1,000 users.

    Comment by Tracy K. — November 30, 2016 @ 2:38 PM

  5. I think that there is a difference between smoking marijuana and taking oil. People report benefits from the oil. Dr. Sanjay Gupta did a documentary in which a child suffering with epilepsy was literally cured by a special kind of marijuana, namely a form of indica. He concluded that it is important what type of marijuana is used for the concern. I found the documentary to be good.
    I hope that for medicinal purposes indica is good. Reports indicate that sativa has high THC level and that would be my concern. I don’t think that smoking sativa is beneficial in the long term.

    Comment by iva — November 30, 2016 @ 2:42 PM

  6. I agree.

    Comment by iva — November 30, 2016 @ 2:44 PM

  7. Articles like this are a virtual pothead magnet. Addicts HATE to hear anyone diss their beloved. Do not speak badly of the beloved marijuana! Don’t you realize it is good for everything that ails you and can be used interchangeably instead of aspirin, Bactine, Neosporin, Valium, and literally thousands of other good things? Why, its as good as eating oatmeal in the morning, exercising regularly or drinking water! Be careful Dr. Amen, because writing articles like this will get you called the “P” word by the potheads – “Prohibitionist.”

    Comment by skyway1234 — November 30, 2016 @ 2:51 PM

  8. Dan – you made two fundamental errors in your comment, the first being you didn’t read the article carefully. The second being that single-case studies have a well-established and valued place in the literature and are widely accepted as quality research. While studies of efficacy of treatments and those aimed at generalizability to the larger population aim for larger Ns, that in no way diminishes the value of small N or single-case studies. If you review the research on which many medications have been approved for use by the FDA, you will find many with Ns of <50 subjects and only two or three replications with similarly small Ns. Of course, in the case of Dr. Amen's study, the N is more than sufficient to sustain his findings, unless of course, you suffer from confirmation bias. In that case, no amount of evidence to the contrary is likely to move you off of your opinion.

    Comment by Wes — November 30, 2016 @ 2:54 PM

  9. Great answer

    Comment by Dayna Silvey — November 30, 2016 @ 2:54 PM

  10. I would like to make two observations.
    1. Dr. Amen is not a big proponent of pharmaceuticals, so obviously he isn’t getting paid by them. So how would this research result benefit him?
    2. For those who adamantly praise all the health benefits of marijuana, please understand that for every benefit any drug or herb has, there is a risk vs. benefit that must be weighed. Natural doesn’t mean “no side effects.” Digitalis is also natural, and I dare you to smoke that.

    Comment by Lara — November 30, 2016 @ 3:11 PM

  11. Dr. Amen, like many, have a moral hangup and just can’t let go. His studies are not peer reviewed. The studies he references show mostly correlation which he and many others pawn of as causation. To people who don’t have a background in research it sounds good, but is not.

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 3:25 PM

  12. How can we trust these studies without seeing the numerical differences between the brain before and after? “More” and “less” are meaningless without numbers. Are we talking tiny differences? Is there a plurality of large studies from reputable clinics with the same results? As an occasional user I am not in fear because Willy Nelson has smoked dope for at least 35 years and has written and recorded many songs, and performed live concerts with extreme success. I believe the big pharmaceuticals are losing sales of anti-anxiety drugs, sleep aids, and pain killers because of pot. Are they influencing these studies? Benzodiazepines are many, many times more dangerous. Withdrawals can result in manic behavior, seizures, depression, and even suicide. I have seen it first hand and it scares me greatly. But……. I agree that heavy smokers often exhibit noticeable memory loss. I am in my seventies and know what I am talking about. No one OD’s on pot and more people die from peanuts than pot. Shouldn’t we all quit eating peanuts?

    Comment by Kenneth Williams — November 30, 2016 @ 3:30 PM

  13. I’ve read Amen’s cheesy blog posts on marijuana for years. All the research he references show correlation, not causation. But he pawns it off to people like you as causation. I’ve tried his supplements for years to deal with severe insomnia. I followed everything he recommended in his books. It only helped somewhat. Since I’ve been using Cannabis everyday I sleep like a baby. I function better at my job than I ever have. So until Anen, you, or any other person who has zero experience with cannabis actually gains real experience nothing you say will be relevant. I will gladly sacrifice some blood flow to my Hippocampus for a good night of sleep. My memory is great. I run circles around my wife keeping up with chores. Until he or any other researcher stops lumping in every different strain of cannabis into ‘duh marijuana’ and does research based on high quality flower and specifies strains and their source none of that research has any credibility.

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 3:32 PM

  14. Unfortunately I believe you and he and many others suffer from confirmation bias. Dr. Mitch Earleywine is an actial researcher and the leading drug abuse researcher and has shown a lot of holes in these dinky studies.

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 3:33 PM

  15. Dan,
    I have a stack of great research in my office on this going back 30-40 years. It’s never enough for those who want it politically accepted. But, make no mistake; that is a political issue and not an issue of high minded concern for scientific rigor. This is a substance with 480 chemicals when cold that explodes into over 2000 when heated. One cannot use a 1 independent variable and 1 dependent variable methodology to study something of this nature. This comment won’t change your mind either. It won’t be enough. You know users admit they want medical marijuana accepted so recreational use will be legalized. Most professionals do not object to medical marijuana, but, it is a scam to say all these recreational users have great concerns for sick people. Users do not recognize when they are using that they are slower, more forgetful, and do not function well. They do, however, grudgingly admit they feel better, notice their minds working better, have more energy, and start moving up the ladder of success at work after they quit. George Swanberg LSATP, MAC, LCSW

    Comment by George — November 30, 2016 @ 4:24 PM

  16. Are you Willie Nelson? If Willie Nelson told you to jump off of an apple tree and into a pool of boiling water, would you do it? Do you think Willie Nelson had to worry about being able to maintain perfect cognitive function in order to complete normal human day to day tasks like the regular working class? He was a filthy rich celebrity who was puppeteer-ed by the elite that only care about the fact that he brought money in through his music…Also, he was able to make good music all the time because he was tripping all the time…Ideas come and go when you’re on drugs, and if all he had to do to survive is memorize a few hit singles and go on tour with them, then his life doesn’t seem too hard for him in my view. He basically lived his life recording in the studio. How does his career demonstrate successful cognitive function in any sense? Kim Kardashian is a celebrity. What’s your point? Also, It’s hard to believe that you’re seventy. No disrespect but the statement you just made was quite unwise of you sir. I mean that constructively.

    Comment by Danny Lavoe — November 30, 2016 @ 4:29 PM

  17. I’ve seen lots of Amen images. This post omits that (1) this is a chronic use brain and (2) chronic alcohol use does the same thing. Prohibition is not the answer.

    Comment by Ray E. Gallo — November 30, 2016 @ 4:30 PM

  18. Hahaha! That is really funny George. People want medical only so recreational can be legalized. Hahaha! I struggled for years with insomnia related to severe PTSD. I tried every pharmaceutical prescribed by psychiatrists for sleep. Did not work at all. That’s when I decoy down Amen and followed his cases and what he prescribed, everything including his time release melatonin that worked a little here and there, and I did appreciate that. Since I’ve used cannabis daily I don’t have any issue with insomnia any more. I sleep like a baby. I feel refreshed when I wake up. Get up and go to the gym. Excel at sports. Do my rigorous job well. And run circles around my wife with the chores. So keep telling me what people who want medical marijuana want buddy! Hahaha!

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 4:32 PM

  19. And btw any ‘research’ on cannabis before this year, very very unfortunately (or in your case fortunately as you’ve obviously profited in your work by peddling those partial truths) was restricted by the DEA to only study the negative effects of cannabis. Talk about confirmation bias!!!

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 4:48 PM

  20. Well, I’m glad that’s working out for you. However, keep looking for natural and non-drug alternatives. I’m using a perspective of about 40,000 clients I’ve seen so I hear the conversations they’re having usually. That won’t fit every situation, no doubt.
    I doubt you were born with a cannabis deficiency. And, over time drugs taken regularly will usually build up tolerance, change their effects, and, in the case of marijuana lead to grumpiness and depression. Drugs are neither good nor bad; they have the effects we want and then some other effects.

    Comment by George — November 30, 2016 @ 5:10 PM

  21. Of course the answer is “NO” to both of your questions, Danny. I read Willy’s autobiography and believe he is still in control of his cognitive function. In his formative years he was “normal working class” in terms of working hard and making very little. Read the book and perhaps you will have a bit more respect for him. Early on he saw people ruin their lives with alcohol and cigarettes and chose pot as his only crutch. My comments covered enough territory that I am not sure which part shows my lack of maturity. The whole paragraph? I don’t even know if Willy is a heavy user, but I gather he is a regular user. check out Willy presenting an award at I did admit that excess is bad, but my opinion of Willy is that he is sharper than many 83 year olds. BTW I compare you to Trump. Disagree? Attack one’s wisdom or lack of pointed discussion. I admit a rambling paragraph, but it was to say a lot with few words.

    Comment by Kenneth Williams — November 30, 2016 @ 5:10 PM

  22. does he quote his own studies?

    Comment by Kenneth Williams — November 30, 2016 @ 5:11 PM

  23. Amen! A quote from an unknown clinic with no numbers is meaningless in my opinion. Apparently Danny (below) thinks Dr. Amen is doing a good job in presenting his “evidence.”

    Comment by Kenneth Williams — November 30, 2016 @ 5:15 PM

  24. If it works well for you with little or now side effects it sure beats prescription sleep aids by a large margin. Insomnia and anti-anxiety are two wonderful attributes of this widely ridiculed weed.

    Comment by Kenneth Williams — November 30, 2016 @ 5:22 PM

  25. It makes no difference whether we are talking about damage to children, damage to families, damage to the brain, damage to the IQ – nothing matters when you are a pothead. You are free to smoke pot all you want. I smoked pot and quit over 29 years ago and I had forgotten it was even against the law back then, because nobody got arrested among my pot smoking friends. So you can do it all you want – as long as you are wiling to pay the price. When somebody tries to wake you up by giving a word of warning, don’t start tearing apart their words.

    You want to ruin your brain? Go ahead. This doctor is citing a study showing a link to Alzheimer’s – do you want to disregard a warning about a disease that makes it so you can’t remember anything and die like that someday? The brain you pollute with THC is the exact same brain you would need to be able to use in order to make a decision about whether pot was hurting your thought process. It becomes a catch 22 in which you THINK you are thinking straight, but you are not – and the decision process is not working. Maybe if you were thinking straight you would have realized I was ridiculing the pot smoking crowd by writing the last line of my comment – and then you did exactly what I said you would do. If you want to be a person who cannot think critically, then go ahead and smoke pot, but don’t tear down the science on this.

    Having millions of people smoking pot is NOT helping our society. We have 5% of the world’s population, according to a UN study conducted about a year and a half ago – and 80% of the world’s addicts. So you think we need MORE legalized drugs? We need that like a hole in the head. You people, the potheads, are ruining our society. I may not be able to stop you at the voting booth, but I’m sure as heck am not going to keep quiet about what you people are doing to this country.

    Comment by skyway1234 — November 30, 2016 @ 5:25 PM

  26. Pot advocates never believe in ANY study conducted that shows marijuana isn’t good for you. In fact, pot advocates have drowned out most of the websites that show the facts about marijuana use and it’s effects on the human brain and body by putting up bogus websites with glowing praise for marijuana. You may get the tens of millions of potheads to believe you, but sober people know better. You see, when you think with a clear brain you can critically think in a way that far excels anything a druggie can even imagine.

    Comment by skyway1234 — November 30, 2016 @ 5:30 PM

  27. Now you’re talking George! We do have cannabinoid receptors and I’ve read something about cannabis deficiencies related to that. I very well might. Research in this area is still pretty young honestly. ALL drugs have positive effects and negative effects. Since science has been restricted with regard to cannabis there is a lot we don’t know, and it is a shame really. Patients have had to hide their use so any samples we think we have probably aren’t representative except in relation to addiction patients. The vast majority of other people have hidden their use so most general practitioners don’t have enough clinical data. In any case, the great thing is that cannabis is natural. As long as it works I will use it (navigating any complications and try to figure it out as that is what most are left to do). If it doesn’t work then I won’t use it. It’s easy to stop as I’ve stopped in the past with zero issues, as it does not cause physical dependence. 40,000 clients?! Wow! How many years have you practiced?

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 5:32 PM

  28. You can’t kid a kidder, Dan. Be careful about that price tag. There is a price tag for every choice we make in life and it’s always a good idea to take a good, long look at the price before making any decision.

    Comment by skyway1234 — November 30, 2016 @ 5:33 PM

  29. Widely ridiculed? The people, like me, who are trying to get the word out about the dangers of using marijuana are drowned out by the 50 million people who are using regularly in this country. BTW, we also have 60 million alcoholics, 250 million prescriptions written yearly for anti-depressants, 259 million written each year for painkillers and 22 million heroin addicts, among other street drug addicts. So, you see, potheads are so terrified of ANYTHING coming between them and their substance of choice that they spend their time ragging out anyone who takes a stand against pot. Meanwhile, our country is drowning in substances, with pot and alcohol being the two major gateways to harder drug use.

    I quit 29 years ago and have seen and helped thousands of pot addicts over the years. It’s terribly sad. But, hey, you can be a part of the big, monstrous group that stomp out anyone who recommends sobriety!

    Comment by skyway1234 — November 30, 2016 @ 5:39 PM

  30. Why bother asking George how many patients he has treated, Dan? Nothing he says will mean anything to you and your promotion of pot, so why bother? The Surgeon General released a report last week that says heroin addicts are costing this country $440 Billion a year in costs to the government, insurance companies, law enforcement and employers. That is just the heroin addicts! There are so many alcoholics, potheads, pill poppers and other type of drug addicts that I wonder what THAT is costing us? But keep arguing, Dan! Keep being a part of the problem, because we need more people messed up and fewer sober. The US is 5% of the world’s population – and has 80% of it’s substance abusers – and YOU are helping the pot industry to get more people on that list.

    Comment by skyway1234 — November 30, 2016 @ 5:44 PM

  31. I wonder how many people out of the 50 million problem pot smokers we have in this country have epilepsy that is being helped by marijuana?

    Comment by skyway1234 — November 30, 2016 @ 5:46 PM

  32. Name calling now. You seem like a really amazing and intelligent person. Or a troll. I guess I’m having trouble discerning as I allegedly don’t have as ‘clear a brain’ as you (according to you). All drugs, including cannabis, have positive and negative effects. Up until this year all the research on cannabis has been restricted only, ONLY to study to negative effects, vastly skewing the data. Those studies that say people who use marijuana are more likely to be depressed? Ha, those studies had large samples of people suffering from terminal illnesses like cancer. They were depressed because they were experiencing learned helplessness (which is depression) at not being able to do anything about the fact they were dying. Very depressing. But that research showed what we call a correlation (not a causation). Understanding the data and looking into the limits of each piece of research is vital to the process of research. But, go on and tell me more with you ‘clear brain’. I’ll be waiting for something really ‘clear brain’ special to come from your keyboard.

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 5:47 PM

  33. You are correct, esp regarding the lack of insight users have while high. They think they are being witty and charming when the exact opposite is true. Rather like being the designated driver; you watch other people’s “brilliance” as they get stinking drunk.

    Comment by Frederikahere — November 30, 2016 @ 5:50 PM

  34. Complaints that we’re “too quick to legalize” it are foolish, even if it isn’t harmless. Alcohol certainly isn’t harmless, but prohibition was (and is) a stupid response to that. Golly, this looks like a public health problem, better send the cops? That makes no sense whatsoever.

    Deal with health problems as health problems. Send doctors, send researchers, send scientists. Above all, spread real and honest information so people can make properly informed life choices.

    Comment by Tommy Tuttle — November 30, 2016 @ 5:50 PM

  35. I’ve never made one penny from being against marijuana or any other drug or substance. Now…are you a troll? The reason studies show there are negative effects is because marijuana causes negative effects. I have a very high IQ – my father was a rocket scientist and protege to Werner Von Braun – and I am so glad I didn’t ruin my brain any further by smoking pot. I smoked from 18 to 31 and it was very bad for me. Anyone who smokes strong enough marijuana knows that it makes you stupid.

    I got into a program to stop smoking and now I try to help other people quit – I don’t get paid for this. I own a completely unrelated business and help others in my spare time. My observation is that the older a pot smoker gets, the more they damage themselves and the harder it is for them to stop. Also, marijuana is almost always the first substance a person does when they go back out on substances after trying to get sober. Anyone who promotes marijuana needs to take responsibility for the fact that younger people are really being damaged by using marijuana and they have been lead to believe marijuana is harmless by people like you.

    Marijuana is bad for your lungs, heart, and brain, but go ahead and smoke pot – I don’t care. I’m just not going to pretend, like you do, that pot is good for one’s health. There is a very tiny group of people and children who can be helped with smoking pot and I take no issue with that. But the other 50 million potheads are ruining their ability to think properly and it does have a bad effect on our society. Unfortunately pot smokers don’t get this because…they smoke pot!

    Comment by skyway1234 — November 30, 2016 @ 5:59 PM

  36. Right. We should take the opinions of pot smokers as gospel, while ignoring what a medical doctor and addiction specialist has to say.

    Comment by skyway1234 — November 30, 2016 @ 6:03 PM

  37. Research has demonstrated clearly cannabis is not a gateway drug. But I guess you want to cherry pick which research you believe and don’t. I am not saying there are no negative effects of cannabis. I haven’t said that once on here. In fact I’ve pointed out that there are negatives and positives. Cannabis has helped many heroin addicts get off of it. Anthony Keidis, for example. Dude, I used to be an uptight moralizer like you, bellowing out tired old Nancy Reagan cliches. It’s going to be ok man.

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 6:07 PM

  38. Um, I never said you made money off this. Read who that was a reply to. It says “George” man. That was my conversation with George (the guy who claims to have seen over 40,000 patients in his lifetime (which is pretty much mathematically impossible).

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 6:19 PM

  39. Pot heads do not seem to understand correctly what they read.

    Comment by Ingrid Blohm-Hyde — November 30, 2016 @ 6:20 PM

  40. And what are your credentials Dan???

    Comment by Ingrid Blohm-Hyde — November 30, 2016 @ 6:21 PM

  41. Plenty. I studied under Dr. Mitch Earleywine at the University of Southern California, one of the leading researchers on drug abuse in the country. He’s now tenured at SUNY Albany.

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 6:23 PM

  42. Pot heads appear to not be able to read a newsletter or maybe they read it and forget the important facts.

    Comment by Ingrid Blohm-Hyde — November 30, 2016 @ 6:24 PM

  43. But now that your talking to me, please tell me who is more crazy? People smoking cannabis and being honest about it. Or a guy like George shaming his credentials on a public forum making up some outrageously exaggerated number (that he’s personally seen 40,000 people in his career- which would require he sees an average of 19.23 new clients each week, 52 weeks per year, for 40 years. If one is a Social Worker and counseling people that is simply not possible. If it was possible it would not be ethical to see clients only once and keep only bringing in new clients and sending people off without continued support. Let me know Skyway

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 6:28 PM

  44. And if you cared about the children keeping it illegal is the surest way it gets in their hands. I worked with teens for twelcmve years. Every teen I worked with used cannabis. I did not promote its use, nor did I use at that time. In fact I probably sounded like George. But the easiest drug to get for teens is marijuana. Easier than alcohol. What the teens need is a model for responsible adult use. Right now people like you keep it underground and requiring people to encounter drug dealers on a black market. That is where the teens go too. By not keeping a regulatory barrier we are being irresponsible by maintaining the most open avenue our teens have to marijuana, the black market. What adult use is cannabis. Not whatever crazy mix of whatever you buy off the street. There is adult use. The vast majority of adults can handle adult use responsibly, and the highest number of addiction is 9%. Very low in relation to alcohol, and especially heroin and cocain. So if you want kids to be put in danger by seeking it out on the black market, you are keeping our teens in danger by forcing them to encounter drug dealers on the streets. The black market clearing up alone is a huge benefit in and of itself. All the data out of Colorado has shown that teen use has consistently decreased since legalization).

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 6:42 PM

  45. Well stated. It’s tiresome. The facts just don’t count….and for 40 years of research have not. If you look at Dr. Amen’s marijuana scans you will see that exactly the part of the brain needed for mature reasoning, high level factual processing, and executive functioning look like they have holes in them. They’re not real holes but parts of the brain where blood is not perfusing well. Without that these processes are impaired..they have to be. So, ask any parent who understands this: “Which brain you would wish to send to college if you are paying the tuition.”

    Comment by George — November 30, 2016 @ 7:13 PM

  46. Dan Bolten has not lived long enough to discover the errors in his thinking …so why waste your time arguing with him? This irrational argumentative attitude and circular thinking is a diistinct characteristic of the pot user!

    Comment by Ronna Berezin — November 30, 2016 @ 7:17 PM

  47. Ingrid seems to write the same thing twice, seeming as if she didn’t know she already said it

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 7:27 PM

  48. How long do you think I’ve lived? You’d be very surprised. For the sake of fair argument, and not just name calling as you did with such class, please tell me what my circular logic is. I don’t think you’re reading what I wrote

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 7:34 PM

  49. I agree with dan. Believe your crap studies and keep calling us pots heads. Only god can judge and you need to remember that. Too many damn keyboard cowboys in this world believing everything they see on the internet.

    Comment by Dustin — November 30, 2016 @ 7:47 PM

  50. Mind your own damn business. Quit preaching your agendas on other people.

    Comment by Dustin — November 30, 2016 @ 7:47 PM

  51. In response to Dan Boltron: Your photo makes you appear to be under the age of 50. Your reasoning though circular seems logical, but academic and not scientific. I am not a scientist so I can’t discuss scientific or medical information; All I can say is that you talk like the somewhat arrogant and self justifying 60’s pot smokers I used to know. Today all of them have compromised health!

    Comment by Ronna Berezin — November 30, 2016 @ 7:50 PM

  52. Y’all should do more research into the tons of man made chemicals you inject into your kids because the gov tells you too or because a drug store tells you to get your man made chemical vaccinations. Maybe you should research how many kids are now autistic because of the chemicals that so many doctors want to inject in them because they get a free round of golf at a resort for selling it. Or maybe you should look into the
    Chemicals sprayed all over our food? Did dr amen factor in diets of the people he studied? Or how about the truth of history being taught to kids? Maybe you should worry about the real problems In life instead of telling grown adults what YOU think is best for them. And then, still remember what I said earlier, ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE and putting out rediculous articles is completely bias. I have smoked for many years and never done
    Another drug, I have smoked many years and am not an alcoholic, I have smoked many years and deal with so many people like the
    People on here casting stones and you would never know I did. Damn. So sick of the retarded ass people in this country. CANT GO WRONG! Tommy Chong for prez!!!

    Comment by Dustin — November 30, 2016 @ 8:01 PM

  53. And btw, I have a step son that is autistic from vaccinations given to him at a medical facility on a marine base. As well as I have a son of my own that is epileptic due to a botched delivery at a hospital. Both tremendously benefit from legs cbd oil. Have you ever watched your 2,3 or 4 year have a seizure? I have, and I have seen the
    Benefits of CBd oil. So. Unless you are god telling
    Me not smoke, then get off your damn soap box.

    Comment by Dustin — November 30, 2016 @ 8:09 PM

  54. Dan, did you read the article? Dr. Amen’s study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, a member publication of the Neuroscience Peer Review Consortium. While the limitations of this type of an article (this newsletter article, not his research) appear to prohibit or at least not necesitate proper citation, he does mention without citing, an experimental study using a clinical trials methodology – which means pre and post measurements and the use of both an experimental and a control group. Dan, I do have a background in research, and it still sounds good. – Kyle D. Pontius, PhD

    Comment by Kyle Pontius — November 30, 2016 @ 10:07 PM

  55. So you’re ok with Amen sending out click sit that says his research is “The Final Verdict”? That sounds like an accurate way to represent data from a piece of research?

    Comment by Dan Boltron — November 30, 2016 @ 10:15 PM

  56. I’ve never done marajuana but I am more concerned about the effects of 2nd hand smoke from being around smokers under the same roof… Just simply want to protect some brain cells of mine there…

    Comment by bradcliu — November 30, 2016 @ 11:44 PM

  57. Most of Amen’s work is not peer reviewed. Sure, oxygen gets to the brain by blood flow, duh! But why are people not dropping like flies all over the place if it’s so dire? I’ve known people who have used marijuana since high school. I am 49 years old. Those people are doing fine, great actually. Face validity. I’ve studied under a tenured professor. A leading researcher in the field of drug abuse. There are positives and negatives with cannabis, just like every drug. It’s important to know what all the data means, not engage in scare tactics like mentioning Alzheimer’s twice in an article in a way that insinuates cannabis will lead to Alzheimer’s. There is actually reputable research that shows that cannabis may buffer people from the onset of Alzheimer’s! Am I going to sit here and claim cannabis cures Alzheimer’s? No! It’s a correlation! More research is needed to figure out if there is a causal relationship or not. That is how responsible research is conducted, and frankly why the vast vast majority of Amen’s research is not peer reviewed. You just cannot draw sweeping conclusions like that.

    Comment by Dan Boltron — December 1, 2016 @ 4:11 AM

  58. I’m sorry to hear about your friends. But that is not everybody. I have a baby face. I am over 40. I have people I know who have been using for over 20 years and they are doing great. In addition look at Phil Jackson and Maya Angelou. Two undeniably successful people. I do not take kindly to scare mongering and twisting of facts by people who have an agenda. I have stated a blanked perspective on here; there are positive and negative effects of cannabis, like every other drug. We need to understand that and not go into full histrionics because Amen mentions Alzheimer’s twice in this article, while absolutely ZERO of the data points to any connection to Alzheimer’s. That is professionally irresponsible.

    Comment by Dan Bo — December 1, 2016 @ 5:25 AM

  59. I read an article written very shortly after the election whère California legalized marijuana. It discussed marijuana being cultivated with varying amounts of THC, the component in pot that is responsible for the “high” that a person feels upon ingesting it. Of course, the higher of THC, the higher the high, and the higher the damaging effects of the pot. Marijuana IS beneficial to the body and psyche when the amount of THC is low. 10%-12% has been been cited as being the best amount to ease anxiety, improve memory, ease nausea, even relieve the pain of nerve damage such as one might find in lupus and diabetic foot pain. Plus, you don’t experience the “high”, so your brain stays clear. One clinical study said these low levels of THC don’t even show up in regular drug tests.
    Another thing of note is the amount of CBD oil, also known as Cannibidiol – the medicinal part of pot. Some marijuana growers have developed a version with just the right amount of each ingredient that can be purchased. And the CBD oil can be purchased in drops (sublingual) so you only get the health benefits and not the high.
    So, despite all these studies on the negatives, there have been clinical trials and research on the possitives going on at the same time!!!!

    Comment by MeowRia — December 1, 2016 @ 5:35 AM

  60. I never trust anyone trying to make big bucks on books, videos and other media that contains controversial material. Money may be of greater importance than being a helpful, compassionate, and generous person. I wish tax records were available for all people peddling this kind of stuff.

    Comment by Kenneth Williams — December 1, 2016 @ 6:44 AM

  61. The strange part of this is that those of us who treat drug abuse are attempting to put ourselves out of business..against a strong headwind of users and dealers who, I guess, have pure motives. No profits being made there on addictive substances.
    In real pharmaceutical research the studies are used to figure out before people start using if they are safe. It’s just so strange that with marijuana the research is backward: users claim the right and virtue of going ahead and using it until it’s proven deadly.

    Comment by George — December 1, 2016 @ 8:32 AM

  62. 45 years @ 1,500/yr in busy hospitals and clinics? It actually may be more.

    Comment by George — December 1, 2016 @ 8:36 AM

  63. Does ingested cannibas differ from smoked?

    Comment by Jon ... a Baptist — December 1, 2016 @ 9:58 AM

  64. Having epilepsy all my life, I’ve been unable to handle the pharmaceuticals available for this. I often end up completely un-functional, sometimes I will even drool… Medical marijuana is the only thing I’ve found that actually stops the seizures without all the heavy side effects. I control the dose. I do not use it socially. Medical marijuana allows me to live my life like a normal person. While I respect Dr. Amen’s findings, I can’t help but feel he’s just glossing over a pesky nuisance issue. How does cannabis compare with other anti-seizure meds? Say Lamictal or Depakote.

    I’m just so tired of being villainized by this issue. If I didn’t have epilepsy, I wouldn’t take anything. I do agree that legalizing it for general consumption is a huge mistake.

    Comment by Julie — December 1, 2016 @ 11:49 AM

  65. Hmm. I should be a vegetable by now. So should many of my colleague. Some how we are successful engineers that have been smoking for many years. I did a search for a paper or presentation that had specifics of the article, guess it’s not public yet. So although I would like to criticize, there is nothing to say other than this short article leaves more questions than answers. Until there is specific information given on the study, it has the same credibility as the History Channel and their Ancient Aliens entertainment show.

    Comment by Mahhn — December 1, 2016 @ 12:26 PM

  66. You’ll notice a bit of belligerence developing in the discussion very consistent and possibly helped along by chronic use of the drug. But, you are right…what starts out masquerading as an honest inquiry develops into a defensive and pointless back and forth..which is never ending.

    Comment by George — December 1, 2016 @ 12:51 PM

  67. And some, as it turns out maybe even at least one on here, are in the pocket of NORML. Check it out.

    Comment by George — December 2, 2016 @ 12:03 PM

  68. Thank you for you’re studies Dr. Amen.
    We need so much more done to stop so many from ruining their brains {Their Lives} from what so many kids and young adults now believe is {GOOD for Them} #SMH This upsets me so, It just breaks My Heart…. My son and All his friends believe this.

    Comment by SecretMe2016 — December 2, 2016 @ 9:53 PM

  69. It’s always the same thing in the comment area’s of Articles that tell the TRUTH about WEED BEING BAD FOR YOU.

    Many Potheads have to try to discredit the person who writes the article and/or does the study. Same Thing/Different Day. Unfortunately; I think it may just be too late for these people to see and think clearly~ Just the Pictures alone Prove the point!

    Comment by SecretMe2016 — December 2, 2016 @ 10:01 PM

  70. It always amazes me how all the ‘pot users’ are always quick to condemn any research that may indicate that marijuana has harmful side effects.

    Dr Amen’s focus is on improving Brain Health and conducts studies in areas that impact people’s quality of life.
    You are free to accept or reject his findings. A wise person does not automatically reject information that may impact their well-being.

    Comment by Kempdr — December 3, 2016 @ 8:50 AM

  71. So are all those posting in agreement that alcohol use is a fine drug and less side effects or that the costs of health ie.side effects from the consumption of Alcohol is better than the use of the mari?

    Comment by No Dough — December 3, 2016 @ 9:32 AM

  72. ahhh the weed haters. lol Go away. I prefer my weed to living on poisonous and highly addictive chemicals. People need to learn respect for others choices in life and then eff off.

    Comment by Eevie — December 3, 2016 @ 9:53 AM

  73. if you are going to spread fake news you need to think of a better name than amenclinics. The name gives away your biased position.

    Comment by Carl Bodon — December 3, 2016 @ 2:26 PM

  74. What does the SPECT scans show with “regular” tobacco smoking? Nicotine patches or non-combustible delivery methods?
    Additionally, we need to scan at both high and low doses of nicotine as well as variable THC:CBD ratios as the clinical effects do change accordingly

    Comment by Alfred D Kulik MD FACS — December 4, 2016 @ 9:29 AM

  75. Dr Amen must not know that baby breast milk contains cannabis. Our physical body has receptors for cannabis! Some of our diseases may be a result of cannabis deficiency! I am sure if Dr Amen knew about the babies he would send an email to God and ask him to redesign babies! Hahahahaha! My previous respect for Dr Amen just dropped to minus one million.

    Comment by Yvonne Forsman — December 4, 2016 @ 9:48 AM

  76. Are there any empirically based articles about high CBD, low THC oils extracted from the pants that are grown solely for therapeutic purposes for conditions such as epilepsy, cancer, PTSD, Parkinson’s Disease? This oil doesn’t get people high and there are studies to support its effectiveness.

    Comment by Nicole — December 4, 2016 @ 11:26 AM

  77. That is the usual pattern. It seems that to many, pot is more than a good time, way to relax, etc….it became their god, their one “true” love. Pretty sad.

    Comment by Frederikahere — December 5, 2016 @ 1:03 PM

  78. My parents consumed when I was in the womb. I started using cannabis occasionally when I was 13 and started growing cannabis at the age of 16. I had a nice relationship with this plant growing up, fortunately my mother would allow me to have cannabis and wine and in doing so I never became addicted to the other drugs, which were prevalent when I was in my youth.
    I became sober for several years and noticed a drastic increase in my capabilities to accomplish anything I set my mind too. It wasn’t until 6 years ago that I started using cannabis again. 5 years ago I had one head injury causing myself to have light stigmatism and occasional migraines. I had neither prior. I rcv’d Hyperbaric, Amen review, Low Energy Neuro Feedback and light therapy and it seemed to diminish all of my symptoms until I had my second brain trauma. Now if I consume high THC I have unbelievable bouts of migraines and it cause massive mood swings, blurred vision and loss of memory. If I only consume very low THC and high CBD (less than 3-4% THC and over 15% CBD) it actually works for me. I think their needs to be a study deeper than just saying cannabis causes something when there are so many kinds of cannabis. In addition, I think that the new testing proving that high THC is actually blocking your cb1 & cb2 receptors from uptake of the CBD merits research. Although it is a very medicinal plant and has amazing benefits, it is addictive! Take cannabis away from a daily user and they will simply lose it. I think the plant is an alternative to many things that are harming society but at the same time if and when it becomes re scheduled hopefully some real studies can happen to verify these and many other claims.

    Not to open the can of worms but what about the chemical residue testing and heavy metals showing up in over 80% of the cannabis on the market in California since it isn’t as highly regulated as Nevada, Colorado & Mass. Chemical residues in food causes lack of blood flow as well. George I would suggest you actually dig in a little before opening up such cans of worms since the variances are drastic. No need to publish a 100 person study and suggest it merits exact findings.

    Comment by Dr Daymaker — December 5, 2016 @ 3:35 PM

  79. How much you wanna bet that, if cannabis was never made illegal or used by “counter-culture” people such as jazz musicians, hippies or artists, that this discussion would never have taken place?

    Comment by Kevin Kordes — December 26, 2016 @ 8:02 PM

  80. Another thing too. What if cannabis did not cause euphoria? I have noticed that certain people have a bias against ANYTHING that makes you happy. There are many substances that are extremely dangerous to the body and brain that are not “burning issues” like cannabis. GMO food, fluoridated water, vaccines, big-pharma drugs, food preservatives, air pollution, water pollution, tobacco, etc. etc.
    And please, let’s stop calling cannabis “marijuana”. That’s like calling alcohol “booze” or “hootch” or some other vulgarity.

    Comment by Kevin Kordes — December 26, 2016 @ 8:12 PM

  81. Started in 1965 had a career and have a pension. I’m a moderate user these days and I’m ok have never been better

    Comment by Bill Cass — March 1, 2017 @ 12:38 PM

  82. As a mental health counselor who works with addicts and their families, I would like to share the statistics you cited in this reply but before I do, can you share your source? Thank you!

    Comment by JD LPC — March 15, 2017 @ 5:37 AM

  83. They affect the opiate industry, Big Pharma, Military Industrialist guarding the raw source of plants in Afghanistan (90% of the world’s supply), the Corporate USA Prisons and prison guard unions enforcing their Central Planning empire and preventing people from owning natural property already on their lands! The competition from natural property is what they do not want!
    The marijuana / Cannabis issue affects everyone because when we ignore the 5th, 9th and 10th amendments to the US Constitution we enable Central Planners to grow in power.
    5th Amendment: NO person shall be deprived of Life, Liberty or PROPERTY without due process of law; nor shall PRIVATE PROPERTY be taken for public use without just compensation.
    9th and 10 provide all other powers not in the Constitution to the STATEs.
    “All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.” Marbury vs. Madison, 5 US (2 Cranch) 137, 174, 176 (1803).
    “Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.” Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 US 436 p. 491.

    Genesis 1:29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

    Use Cannabis or don’t, but if we allow our protections to be robbed, our liberties and property to be taken, we have all already sold our youth a lie! The same lie that says a nonlethal plant should be illegal while over 33,000 die from opiates each year in the country alone! Meanwhile 50% of teens surveyed believed “legal” prescription drugs were much safer than “illegal” drugs. ZERO people died from the direct consumption of Cannabis. WE ARE LYING TO OUR YOUTH AND SELLING THEM OUT!!!

    Comment by Bugz — April 4, 2017 @ 6:46 AM

  84. Yes, I agree with you too! Property rights is the primary thing here but people need also to be educated about things that are really messing up our health. We can START with not putting fluoride in our drinking water! Fluoride is a deadly poison. Please watch “Fluoride: Poison on Tap” by Gary Null . It’s on You Tube.

    Comment by Kevin Kordes — April 4, 2017 @ 4:25 PM

  85. Fluoride in water seems off-topic on a thread about blood flow to the brain from Cannabis, for a lot of reasons I will not even begin to list. Noted though and thanks for the suggestion! I drill my own water on my land, and I don’t fluoridate it. We as Americans should have great cause for concern however when armed men enter our homes to criminalize our families for life for sitting there peacefully with a plant! It is A COMMUNISM / FASCIST path to the benefit of pill pushers and those with nothing to lose to try to do the same for inflated prices on the streets! We have lost our souls and an unnatural demise will come to these people for their attack against people for nature itself!

    Comment by Bugz — April 5, 2017 @ 6:15 AM

  86. I find it slightly ironic that the FDA releases so many drugs that haven’t been tested for long periods only to find out later that they have severe side effects . Not sure if this article is referring to Medical Marijuana with high CBD and low/no THC?

    Comment by Irene Fizzell — May 22, 2017 @ 11:43 AM

  87. Several studies of perfusion imaging in marijuana users have shown similar results compared to ours. A small O15 PET study in a sample of 12 marijuana users used a randomized clinical trial design to examine brain perfusion before and after marijuana use. The study results found frontal, temporal and occipital lobe hypo-perfusion – all findings concordant with our study.

    Comment by Jamie Oliver instagram — May 27, 2017 @ 10:41 AM

  88. I’m doing great. Never felt better

    Comment by Dan Bo — June 12, 2017 @ 6:35 PM

  89. Thank you for your open-minded, yet thoughtful responses to all on this string. I don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other, but your thoughts have made the most sense to me. I see the side effects of all of the prescription drugs my mom is on. In fact, isn’t there more evidence of dementia with prescription sleeping pills than marijuana? There is probably more research in general there too, but I know that I decided against sleeping pills after reviewing the research. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    Comment by Carol Welch — October 2, 2017 @ 4:58 AM

  90. I’m stunned that somebody on this board can actually think. I have adhd and i smoked once and i had to pick up the phone. Pot sent my adhd memory problems into over drive. I would hear two words and totally miss the rest of the conversation i couldn’t even focus. It was so damned humiliating.

    Comment by Kuden seeker — October 27, 2017 @ 11:49 AM

  91. I have adhd pot is killer for me. I realize that now. Vyvanse is prescribed by my dr and without it i would spiral out of control. I no longer drink, smoke or do any sort of illegal drugs. I still have coffee because it helps my mood stay level.

    Comment by Kuden seeker — October 27, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

  92. his part of the brain is severely affected with those that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

    Comment by blank calendar — October 28, 2017 @ 1:19 PM

  93. The effects are from THC.

    Comment by @bxgvs - on instagram — November 21, 2017 @ 12:56 PM

  94. Okay all, I believe that there is good and bad depending on what you use THC or Cannibus for. My son came home from a second tour in the Army with a Traumatic Brain Injury and Severe PTSD. He had driven over a land mine. He was better off than his friends. A year after being back, they found 4 cancerous tumors in his lower spine and one in his liver and one in his kidney. Being a Vet, he went to where he was stationed originally and luckily they had a cancer center nearby that was willing to give him cannibus shots. He had 50 to 100 shots in his lower back daily for 6 weeks. He is now been cancer free for 1 year. I am so thankful that the cannibus saved my sons life. I also know that during his back pain, Marijuana with THC was the only thing after many other things tried that was able to take away his pain.
    On the other side, I work assisting young people ordered by the courts to get sober from smoking Marijuana. I get the studies that show brain damage. I get the loss of memory from years of abuse. My thoughts are that we need to follow the law where we need too and use the portions of Marijuana that help us in our own situations. Read the research and make an informed decision. We have no right to judge anyone else that has not walked in our shoes.

    Comment by Suzi, LAMFT — December 6, 2017 @ 4:21 PM

  95. You have not considered emotions. You can do everything that’s good for you but if you have not addressed negative emotions then you cancel out most things you are doing that is good for yourself. Lack of anger management over time causes diseases causes high blood pressure, immune system deficiency both indirectly causing a host of other diseases. You sound angry in your comments.

    Comment by Suzanne Powers — February 5, 2018 @ 12:08 PM

  96. my question is it THC in cannabis that causes the blood flow to slow down or is it cannabinoids? I ask because CBD oil combined with pure essential oils helps temporarily relieve my pain. THC messes with my brain

    Comment by Jillian — February 21, 2018 @ 12:56 AM

  97. Marijuana high and alcohol drunk and 2 very different things. Alcohol is a poison, marijuana does not poison people. Marijuana will help the world by offering an alternative to more dangerous substances like crystal meth, cocaine, and heroin. I have consumed marijuana for years and then quit for dream jobs or relationships for years only to find out life if just better with it. I am not slower because of marijuana, I do not lose my memory. Being high on it can result in being high, no arguments there though. It is mentally addictive because users get high and want it, but that’s all in the head. I believe and have seen many people as being uptight and against marijuana, then start using it one day and totally seem happier.

    Comment by Trevor — February 21, 2018 @ 9:47 PM

  98. I have a friend that was a toker, and she still is a bit off. I don’t think it should be taken lightly or sold like a beer or even cigarettes (which are also bad), but don’t think users should be thrown in prisons, but instead handled with a fine, community service and enrollment in addiction and substance abuse programs instead. The jail thing obviously isn’t working and often people with emotional or mental health issues are self medicating with it, so it should be treated really as a health issue, not a criminal issue, unless say they cause a crime like a drunk driver so are prosecuted for that than just using it. I have never used it because I care about my health and brain (my dad had Alzheimers) and I don’t like to mess around like that ,

    Comment by Mare — March 19, 2018 @ 5:29 PM

  99. To whom it may read please called your Senators and Representative make a new Law in every State can sell Mariiuana plus called your Senators and Representative then called again your Senators and Representative contract Veteran Affairs Committee passed a New Veteran Disabled Veterans Benefits Law who is 100 percent service connected definitely need to get G4 implants from a Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist because their is absolutely not one works at a Veteran Medical Center plus they haven’t even one has a contract with Veteran Affairs Admistation but their is Private Clinics knows how to but their the money up front my firm belief as a Concerned Veteran the money should come from the Federal Government Budget so the Disabled Veterans who is 100 percent service connected get the G4 implants for free because if a Disabled Veterans don’t get the G4 implants it causes other Health Problems Issues and make Mental Health Issues worse if you Smoke Marijuana.

    Comment by Concerned Veteran Arnold Cabral — March 23, 2018 @ 7:51 AM

  100. Here’s the link. Make up your own mind.

    Comment by Kathy — April 1, 2018 @ 6:07 AM

  101. Great questions Kat!! I am also extremely interested in knowing more about the difference results, including only pure marijuana smokers. There should be statistics for this variation, as well as, the other variations mentioned in the article.

    Comment by Jean — April 1, 2018 @ 9:09 AM

  102. I was thinking the same thing. Is this for smokers and/or people who ingest or rub on skin?

    Comment by Heidi — April 2, 2018 @ 1:48 PM

  103. I know that marijuana has been legalized in some part of the country for medical purposes and it’s a good thing for us as I read that there are some good and bad benefits in our body. Maybe if you take too much marijuana it will have a bad effect but if you will take it as prescribed it will be good.

    Comment by Bella Dushner — April 12, 2018 @ 2:01 AM

  104. This article is giving us very useful information about the marijuana.Marijuana helps us to solve the many health-related issues like blood flow to the brain.I am extremely very interested to know more about the information regarding marijuana.Please Share more information regarding marijuana.

    Comment by James J Harper — April 19, 2018 @ 9:33 PM

  105. I agree too. Especially think topicals have value.with pain management.
    Since I have ADD I rarely smoke unless extremely stressed and it’s at night.

    Comment by Joyce Doull — April 20, 2018 @ 3:25 AM

  106. I agree.

    Comment by I agree — April 30, 2018 @ 12:11 AM

  107. Skyway1234, your response is just exactly what I would say; and the fact that you have tried it and have had the experience to make these comments.

    Thank you!

    Comment by Becky — May 16, 2018 @ 1:35 PM

  108. Doctor AND politicians only spout what profits them…they want to bring you to their clinic so they will tell you that you are a drug addict. SMH

    Comment by dee — May 20, 2018 @ 3:46 AM

  109. Just for the record, there in NOTHING that ANYONE wants to use marijuana in any form for, that cannot be addressed better with another non-prescription botanical substance or substances! Nice try KAT. I am a family practice physician and have been studying basic science: physiology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology and nutrition for seventeen plus years at the National Library of Medicine and other places on the internet. Health is about lifestyle, not access to “healthcare.” I will stand my clinical results against any of my M.D./D.O. colleagues.
    The Brain SPECT images above clearly demonstrate that marijuana/THC shuts down much of the brain. Why would anybody in their right mind want to do such a thing , when equal or better results can be achieved without mind altering side effects. Hmmm… 😉

    Comment by Hillbilly_ Doc — May 21, 2018 @ 8:30 PM

  110. Are the results the same to the prefrontal cortex if you Vape as when you smoke it . Will long term vaping cause permanent brain changes? We’re studies done with vaping?

    Also what dose of thc was studied?

    Also is Cbd oil ever available with 0% thc?

    If anyone can direct me to source info I would really appreciate it.

    Comment by Leslie DelRosso — June 4, 2018 @ 4:14 PM

  111. Raphael Mechoulam, at the Weitzman Institute in Rehovot, Israel started studying marijuana in 1963. The National Institutes of Health supported his research for decades. In 1963, he discovered CBD. A year later, he discovered THC. He published a paper back then that was virtually ignored. Mechoulam mapped out the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in appetite, pain-sensation, mood and memory. “Raph Mechoulam is one of the most respected and godfathery researchers of marijuana,” said Ryan Vandrey, a cannabis researcher and associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University.”
    Marijuana should be treated like alcohol and cigarettes, tax it, monitor for contamination and fair trade practices, forget about it. More damage has been done by consuming wheat. Way more damage has been done sociologically by the War on Drugs. Dr Amen does not say anywhere that pot causes Alzheimer, but that while under the influence it causes blood flow changes similar to Alzheimer. Kind of like saying if you intentionally cross your eyes, they may get stuck that way. As far as US Gov’t flat out lies about it, watch the movie “Reefer Madness”.

    Comment by Paul Mammen — July 23, 2018 @ 1:39 PM

  112. Start with showing me who funded the studies. And then we’ll have a serious conversation.

    Comment by timothy robertson — July 27, 2018 @ 12:21 PM

  113. Yes, there has not been enough research medically. This is an ancient plant we know little about. However, what little research has been gathered repeatedly shows both pros & cons. It has been the only drug to completely suppress seizures in pediatric epilepsy. I have also read other studies about the suppression of blood flow in the brain in users. I am an interventional cardiologist and must have quick thinking, problem solving skills, in a high stress, emergent environment where my patient’s lives are at stake. I am the director of the cardiac catheterization lab in a level 1 trauma center. I was chief resident of interventional cardiology during my training & ranked in the top 1 percent of best interventional cardiologists by world report for the past 10 years consecutively. I also ingest THC in the form of a tea to treat muscle spasms and chronic nausea from Lyme disease on a daily basis. I smoke marijuana all through medical school, residency and fellowship recreationally daily before i obtained a valid rx to treat the symptoms of Lyme disease. More research needs to be done. There are adverse side effects and harmful effects to other areas of health with most medications. And maybe, just maybe, i could be an even better doctor if i didnt use thc, but i will let my record stand for itself. However, lumping all people who use marijuana, wether it be medically or recreationally, is closed minded and shows a inability of critical thinking in itself. To think critically you must consider all angles of a situation.

    Comment by Hameeda Qureshi, M.D., F.A.C.S. — August 4, 2018 @ 12:57 AM

  114. There is a TEDtalks video from Dr. Amen entitled What we’ve learned from 87000 brain scans. He reportedly is the only psychiatrist who routinely performs radiological images of the brain. Many are now starting to follow along with functional MRIs.

    You might just want to watch before you assail his findings. But he not only tries to impeach marijuana. He has in the past gone after alcohol, poor diet, lack of exercise and sleep apnea as sources of cognitive decline.

    What I’ve never seen in relation to his marijuana studies is whether chemicals used as fertilizers and pesticides might play a roll in the vascular damage.

    Comment by David — August 7, 2018 @ 5:34 PM

  115. Seriously Hillbilly Doc. Most family doctors are idiots. I’ve seen enough to know . So while you are congratulating yourself on the fact you are a family practitioner, I’m disgusted. Most people using the internet for chronic health reasons are very astute and probably more knowledgeable than you are. People like you create and work in “the system” and like one lovely doctor I saw said when she looked at me, “you look like on of my cancer patients who’s had to work the system too long. ” Guess what? that’s your arrogant self serving attitude. We all know there are factors that effect outcome of research and they all need to be weeded out or addressed to ensure reliability of the research. My guess is that MJ has helped way more people than it has hurt when used medicinally.

    Comment by Robin — August 13, 2018 @ 2:35 PM

  116. I agree I am not one of the users but have studied the younger generation that dose and I have wondered about the pesticide in it if any are used and why. And the long term effects it is causing is tremendous to their well being and brain just as many other drugs on the market as well. And he talks about dophimine can’t you get that same high in athletics with people who over. Do it what’s the study on their brains .. Crazy maybe or not.

    Comment by Dj — August 14, 2018 @ 9:13 PM

  117. No, I am not really concerned. I just enjoy the moment

    Comment by Chris — September 8, 2018 @ 2:36 PM

  118. Suzi,
    I have a cancer that has been shown to respond positively to cannabis. Is it possible for us to have a private conversation?

    Comment by Kristina — September 15, 2018 @ 10:14 AM

  119. The Amen Clinic is hardly a no name clinic. This clinic does state of the art imaging and diagnostics. Apparently none of you have a
    loved one that has mental health issue or you would know this. Do your research before you trash someone you know nothing about.

    Comment by Shannon — September 17, 2018 @ 2:21 PM

  120. I think you meant sativa you wrote saliva

    Comment by Mike — October 8, 2018 @ 8:05 AM

  121. My son has Asperger’s with PDD NOS (pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified) He suffers from OCD, ADHD and impulsivity problems. He also has Tourette’s Syndrome. He started using cannabis at 16 unbeknownst to me (he was on about 4 different medications as well for his motor tics and OCD etc) . The medications were debilitating. He couldn’t stay awake in school, he was angry, he was manic etc. We kept trying different combination of drugs to help him. Nothing worked until he started using cannabis. He smoked wax. Then he tried edibles (no good for him) He was able to stay awake in school, his tics were almost non existent and he didn’t have trouble writing (his OCD would be so bad at times he couldn’t write) and he was smiling for the first time in a very long time. I kept thinking it was finally the right combination of medications. Little did I know that he’d weened himself off some of the other meds and had been using marijuana almost exclusively. He still took one of his meds. that he felt helped him. When he told me what he’d been doing I was shocked and not happy to hear he was doing this BUT I could not argue with the results. His psychiatrist kept telling him there’s no proof that this works and my son laughed and said,” they should study me then”. Medical practice is a PRACTICE. My son didn’t want to live his life the way he was. He kept saying to me “what’s the point in living? I’ll never be anybody or work or do normal things”. When he started using marijuana all that talk stopped. He’s since gone through trade school, become a welder, has had girlfriends, He still suffers from his conditions but they’ve become manageable. So you know, I don’t care what the “study” finds. My son is happy and living – no longer suicidal and best thing yet… He’s completely off pharmaceutical drugs.

    Comment by Robyn Avanessian — October 20, 2018 @ 7:28 AM

  122. Please define quantitatively “chronic marijuana user.” How much marijuana? How often? Thank you. The benefits of creativity, insights, increased sense of humor are just a few. Thank you for all your research on this matter.
    Where can the entire research articles, beyond abstracts, be found.

    Again, thank you, Dr. Amen. I enjoyed meeting and studying with years ago at the New England Institute Summer Cape Cod Series, Will you be teaching there again?

    Comment by Andreya — October 26, 2018 @ 2:47 AM

  123. Look at the image at the top of this page. This is self-dealing garbage “science”. It is offensive and misleading and this Amen Clinic is suspect in my opinion.

    Comment by George — November 2, 2018 @ 8:37 AM

  124. Robin,
    That is why you “guess”.
    Which medical school did you attend?

    Comment by JB — November 3, 2018 @ 6:51 AM

  125. Doctors are legally allowed to profit from marijuana in many states and this doctor in particular has clinics in several of those states so your statement defies logic. In fact, he would probably stand to profit more if he prescribed and distrubuted marijuana in his clinics. clearly this article was not written with the intent to profit.

    Comment by Orla — November 5, 2018 @ 1:22 PM

  126. Yes, I thought that there is a difference between taking medical marijuana in oil form and smoking it, the former being more beneficial and not causing side effects in such a damaging way. Have you studied the effects of using marijuana in oil form?

    Comment by Anya — November 7, 2018 @ 7:17 AM

  127. For some mental health conditions cannabis can actually work better than most of the pharmaceutical drugs that have pretty nasty side effects. I am a mental health practitioner and I have seen it used successfully with bipolar disorder as well as some forms of autism spectrum disorders. CBD oil which is not psychoactive is actually better for pain management than the opioids that are on the market right now.
    I also use neurofeedback in my practice for persons with ADHD, bipolar, autism spectrum disorders,fibromyalgia, and other pain related Disorders. Each of these disorders and many others have a component of brain dysregulation. Neurofeedback trains the brain to achieve better self-regulation and thereby achieve stability and resilience. Dr. Amen’s Clinic actually recommends neurofeedback for many of his patients.

    Comment by Robyn, — November 14, 2018 @ 7:10 PM

  128. The article is telling us to look at the studies, who stands to profit, and whether they were true ‘studies’.

    Comment by terre tulsiak — November 23, 2018 @ 6:30 AM

  129. It’s for the same reason that people stuff their bodies with other damaging substances, despite ballooning to obesity, causing fat in every crevice to affect every system in their body to be affected. Either they ‘can’t help themselves’, or they are willing to die earlier for the sake of the momentary pleasure of food, drug, etc.

    Comment by terre tulsiak — November 23, 2018 @ 6:36 AM

  130. It would be hard to argue against a medical report that showed eradication of tumors. Would your son consider allowing it to be published? That would be a dramatic story, anecdotal as it was.

    Comment by terre tulsiak — November 23, 2018 @ 7:34 AM

  131. Just as do Opiates.

    Comment by terre tulsiak — November 23, 2018 @ 10:01 AM

  132. Dee,
    Should we take the opinion of marijuana salespeople who profit from giving it to young people and people who are suffering from curable illnesses?

    Comment by martha — November 29, 2018 @ 8:10 PM

  133. Thank you for that comment Robyn. I took my son to a hypnotherapist and he LOVED it. He was elated that something that easy could work. Problem is, it’s not cheap or covered by insurance. but he did like it and it helped him. My son has a photographic memory and it’s kind of annoying! lol He’s not gotten worse from the marijuana but he’s cut back as he said he’s able to regulate himself a bit more as he gets older. He still uses marijuana but to a much lesser degree. For whatever the reason, he’s better and I’m so happy about it. They should study him because maybe the brain already had all these problems and “holes” in it to begin with and for some reason the marijuana helped. I really don’t know the science behind it I just know the results for my son.
    As for biofeedback I personally love it. It helped me in my younger years with ulcerative colitis – from anxiety and stress.

    Comment by Robyn Avanessian — December 20, 2018 @ 4:05 PM

  134. You wrote, “Amen! A quote from an unknown clinic with no numbers is meaningless in my opinion.” Then what about the numbers in the text here, “Just published in the most recent Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the research finds that, after studying imaging of 1,000 cannabis users’ brains, there were signs of noticeable deficiencies of blood flow. The study, which included 25,168 non-cannabis users, and 100 healthy controls, shows a scary and obvious difference in blood flow levels for those that used cannabis. ”

    And here, “A small O15 PET study in a sample of 12 marijuana users used a randomized clinical trial design to examine brain perfusion before and after marijuana use.”

    It is becoming more clear to me as I get older that people can be dismissive and ignore evidence right in front of their eyes because of an unwillingness to believe facts or the TRUTH. Along this same subject, Wikipedia, is the same way concerning some health related issues. It’s kind of like—“If you don’t believe the same way mainstream medicine believes, then it cannot be right or true. Concerning prescription drugs which are FDA approved and allowed to be prescribed by medical doctors that can have have serious side effects, including death, that’s okay—supposedly. But naturopathic doctors who I believe have no record of prescribing anything that has killed anyone are “lambasted,” basically on Wikipedia. Wikipedia also refuses to believe that there is no such diagnosis as EHS or electromagnetic hypersensitivity when people do indeed feel the negative effects of being in an area where there is a high level of electromagnetic fields (EMFs)!

    In a book titled, “Death B Medicine,” which was published back in 2004, and written by three MDs, one which also had an ND degree and two with a PhD, says:

    “This fully referenced report shows the number of people having in-hospital, adverse reactions to prescribed drugs to be 2.2 million per year. The number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections is 20 million per year. The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually is 7.5 million per year. The number of people exposed to unnecessary hospitalization annually is 8.9 million per year.

    The most stunning statistic, however, is that the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine is an astounding 783,936 per year. It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US. (By contrast, the number of deaths attributable to heart disease in 2001 was 699,697, while the number of deaths attributable to cancer was 553,251.5)”

    But mainstream or allopathic medicine adherents appear to be totally dismissive of these facts as apparently, they do not want to be bothered by the truth.

    Many years ago, because of Galileo’s advocacy of the Copernican heliocentric system where the sun is the center of the universe, he was sentenced to life imprisonment and had to recant for his “heresy.”

    The Roman Catholic Church didn’t like what Galileo advocated because it differed from what they thought was true. It’s too bad there are many people like this today.

    Comment by Wayne Carpenter — January 12, 2019 @ 2:08 PM

  135. Good Comment.

    Comment by Wayne Carpenter — January 12, 2019 @ 2:13 PM

  136. Good Comment.

    Comment by Wayne Carpenter — January 12, 2019 @ 2:14 PM

  137. I wonder if you still are seemingly doing so well? It may be better to have another person’s perspective since when you are under the influence of a psychotropic drug, it affects reality.

    Comment by Wayne Carpenter — January 12, 2019 @ 2:19 PM

  138. Exactly Kit, I totally agree with your comment. Edibles/engestibles would show different & more positive results.

    Comment by Cheri — February 4, 2019 @ 7:02 AM

  139. Please comment on the safety (or not) of CBD Oil. It is very popular for those with arthritis.

    Comment by And is there an answer to these thoughtful questions posed by Kat? The use of CBD oil for arthritis is increasing dramatically, is it safe or does it creat other problems?? — February 27, 2019 @ 5:45 AM

  140. So Hillbilly,
    When you say “nice try Kat,” are you saying way to go, its great that you would want more information about a drug that may potentially cause harm but that many drs are recommending as an alternative to liver and gut destroying or addictive drugs? or “nice try” as in you’re not likely to get the answers you are looking for here? Or are you admonishing someone with a sarcastic tone who is doing their due diligence before consuming a botanical substance (marijuana is botanical) whether or not its prescribed (prescriptions aren’t necessary in many areas). What botanicals have you recommended that you feel are a safe replacement? Have they all had studies examining their effects on the brain with SPECT scans or do you just assume that they’re safe because no ones studied them and if you there are or were to be studies would you not want to know in what form and dose they were administered? Since you singled my post out in particular just curious what you are referring to and what it is that you think I am giving a ‘nice try’ at.

    Comment by KAT — March 1, 2019 @ 2:59 PM

  141. I did indeed mean sativa. Auto correct is a pain.

    Comment by KAT — March 1, 2019 @ 3:00 PM

  142. Jillian, I think that is a very good question. I’m thinking, because the summary of the study didn’t specify, that the imaging was performed on those who simply smoked cannabis, which would of course include the THC. Many of the oils either don’t have THC or have it in a much lower percentage. So it would be great if a follow up study could be done on those only using the oils, while carefully tracking the amount of THC in the various oils.
    And to all of those who are so negative toward Amen, if something is bad for your brain, wouldn’t you rather know it? He would be committing medical malpractice to make a major finding, yet not release it to the public. However, I do agree that the findings would be more clear if the study included the diiferentiation of those using drugs, and which drugs were used. I think many prescription drugs are just as damaging as cannabis, maybe more so, but we need scans to prove it!

    Comment by Toni — March 4, 2019 @ 6:57 PM

  143. Actually, some people become obese because they have a fatty liver or a thyroid issue, and it takes years to get a proper diagnosis! It is extremely difficult for someone with a fatty liver to lose weight! My poor sister has tried many different diets, some she & her husband would do together – he’d lose 30 lbs & she’d lose 5 – has to be so frustrating! She finally got a correct diagnosis & is pursuing functional medicine to correct the root causes; thank goodness! So have a little mercy for those struggling with their weight issues; most probably have underlying undiagnosed issues that may take a while to unravel even AFTER finally finding someone who is willing to do so.

    Comment by Toni — March 4, 2019 @ 7:05 PM

  144. Wow, I am impressed with a family practice physician that is willing to use “non-prescription botanical substances!” Kuddos to you! For the lay person, I suppose you mean vitamins, minerals, herbs, and/ essential oils, all of which are awesome choices! However, I would like to mention that Cannabis essential oil, without THC, is also available in some state, or Hemp Oil. It may also be able to achieve some great results without such negative side effects. I haven’t used it because I don’t have a health issue that includes chronic pain or seizures, thank goodness. If I did, I would probably try it as a last resort before other prescription meds because the last people I trust on this earth are those working for Big Pharma!
    Thanks for being willing to use other methods!

    Comment by Toni — March 4, 2019 @ 7:11 PM

  145. Glad that you are finally sleeping well. The results of lack of good sleep can be equally damaging on the brain. You don’t say if you’re trying CBD oils or if you’re simply smoking marijuana. If it’s the latter, you might try the oils & see if it has the same result.
    Blessings on your health journey!

    Comment by Toni — March 4, 2019 @ 7:16 PM

  146. You can only trust yourselves. You have no idea the intentions of this article. Was this doctor / these doctors paid to write this article? Is it truth? You have no idea, zero. You can only trust your experiences

    Comment by Alex G — March 22, 2019 @ 7:05 AM

  147. I’m wondering how “marijuana user” is defined? Is that someone who smokes every day for 15 years? Once a week for one year? Once a month? Once a year? Once in a lifetime? Does anyone know the answer? I would think it could make q big difference.

    Comment by Barbie — March 25, 2019 @ 5:05 PM

  148. Thank you Dr Amen. I smoke marijuana regularly but in very small doses, like one puff off a pipe, once or twice a day. Would thia lebel be somerhing i should be concerned about. I always am physically active after I smoke so would that neutralize any downside? Does.a.small amount as I take lower the blood.flow to that area of the brain?

    Comment by Bryggia — April 7, 2019 @ 1:42 PM

  149. I wonder what effect the soon-to-be 5G rollout will have on the brain?

    Comment by Robert Briggs — April 8, 2019 @ 12:49 PM

  150. My neurologist said CBD was fine and actually helpful. He told me it was safe to use while doing my neurofeedback treatments.

    Comment by Caitlin — April 16, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

  151. Hey Robyn, I just started neurofeedback and am curious if smoking while doing the treatments would prevent progress. I smoke sometimes for my illnesses/pain and I am worried that smoking has caused my brain structure to worsen and want to completely stop if so.

    Comment by Caitlin — April 16, 2019 @ 11:40 AM

  152. I just want to say. I have done a lot of reading on this topic through the years. As, a child I was diagnosed with ADD/HD. I was forced to take “Ritalin” for many years. Once, I was taken off “Ritalin” I wasn’t the same person I was before, I was forced to take this drug. I was in private school and unknowingly “Disrupted the class” (it was really the teacher)… Instead of trying different approaches the quick fix was a pill. I was not in the best home environment at that time it wasn’t important. My brother and I both were on Ritalin. My brother was a normal kid just had energy as you cannot be yourself anymore nor have and imagination. I was very creative a little withdraw but, had a great outlook and personality. Once, I began “Ritalin” for being distracted/bored just not being able to concentrate. I no longer had the part of myself I loved. It was teachers that loved the fact my penmanship improved and didn’t need to be redirected. I felt my personality had changed as I went from this sweet child to getting demerits and detention for behavior I was unaware of on “Ritalin”. I went from private school to public school after, two years I was taken off “Ritalin”. I went from doing well in school being productive- to not caring about anything. My mother demanded I was placed in special education (my brother was in special education) I was tested as my mother was told, your daughter is too intelligent to be placed in specific education”. I was acting out began hating school I didn’t know why at the time. I guess, was pushed through the school so they didn’t have to deal with me. Once, I reached high school I played sports I had my personality back wasn’t doing well getting a D in math and I believe history. I was told I couldn’t play nor train for the fall season. Once, I stopped playing sports that was a major release as well healthy for my brain. I stopped caring again I hid my feelings for a long time before, asking for help. I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety, social anxiety, PMDD, already had ADD. I was put on and antidepressant to treat this issues. I wasn’t depressed didn’t ever think of death or dying. Two months on antidepressants I tried to kill my self. I had full panic attacks, became depressed, stopped eating, began having various obsessions/compulsions. I didn’t want to be around people at all, I was so restless I couldn’t stay in class. I would walk out of class roaming the halls. I would just leave and walk home or get suspended on purpose just to not be in school. I began not sleeping as more medication was added to mask the side effects of another. I was on 13 different medications. I stopped them all went through terrible withdrawal that kept me restarting the medication. I tried pot- I was able to focus, I was calm within my mind and body, was doing better overall. I was put in a program that had convinced me that I was and addict for smoking pot once in a while not even, to get high… I was forced to go to NA/AA for just occasionally smoking pot in high school. I didn’t and still don’t like the feeling of being “high” I like to be able to think and function know what is going on. After, I was misdiagnosed for 18yrs with a multitude of labels being over medicated to the point I thought back to where everything began getting out of control. It was when, I began antidepressants. After, many years I stopped finally stopped them for good a couple years ago. I wasn’t drastically moody, depressed, suicidal… I wasn’t highly symptomatic as I had been for years! I was on benzodiazepines for anxiety/panic. I had stopped as well after many years. a few weeks later after, I stopped benzodiazepines I thought I was dying- I couldn’t breathe, I was shaking, sweating, my heat rate was through the roof, I had butterflies as my whole body became numb and limp after, I began hyperventilating, very scared I was dying. I went to the ER I was given a Benadryl and a paper bag and sent on my way. I had told the doctor I had stopped benzodiazepines a few weeks prior. That labeled me as a drug seeker as I had no intentions of going back on benzodiazepines. I went back to the ER the next day feeling even worse. The doctor there was a lot more educated and told me about tolerance/withdrawal and “rebounding panic” after, stopping benzodiazepines. He had told me that my panic disorder is more complex and had said, “I normally, would not tell someone to take benzodiazepines as you didn’t abuse them it was only physical dependence to make that clear- I am giving you a prescription to take as needed for your attacks and to see a doctor as soon as possible”. Even though, I had to take benzodiazepines again I wasn’t treated as I was crazy nor why I felt I was dying and going crazy had a reason. Not just being treated as and addict saying here’s a placebo that won’t work but, it’s something… the paper bag however, I still use as it wasn’t a complete waste not knowing this technique prior. I am still struggling with very severe panic disorder, many phobias, and OCD. The phobias/OCD are much more symptomatic as my panic disorder is not well treated. I have weaned myself from a very high dose of benzodiazepines to half as I am trying my best to discontinue them without “rebounding affects”.
    I looked into this topic and using CBD/THC based products to help me in this situation. As many years ago there was a study about “having the increase of THC that out brains already produce naturally can make someone have severe mental issues“. What is safer/better as I have been on all these chemicals that actually have shown to increase symptoms as well as the long term affects cause brain damage, memory loss, dementia all these things that are also “possible” with cannabis. More clinicians want to prescribe antidepressants that worsen my symptoms and caused me to become actively suicidal. I have tried everything as I changed my diet, I meditate, I use everything I have been taught to refocus my mind during these attacks. The only way I can refocus when, I am most symptomatic is when, I am also on a stimulant. It boggles many physicians as to why I am on a stimulant and sedative… well, I found out I have the least amount of panic attacks while I am able to focus/refocus my mind. Whenever, I stopped taking stimulants I would have had more severe panic attacks that lasted longer even, taking benzodiazepines. I also, had more syncope episodes caused by stress. I haven’t been able to drive, work, just have fun in years. I went to college I had to drop out to care for family. I went and completed two trade schools and did well. I lost everything. I am now, on permanent disability. All I want to to be productive, healthy, and off chemicals. So, the vast majority who have had success on CBD/THC for many ailments instead of taking high doses of narcotic/controlled substances “psychotropics”… What is the better choice as cannabis isn’t truly addictive. People, can be addicted to anything. I have witnessed people having and addiction to cough drops, Tylenol, tums, and even laxatives. So, things that are not psychoactive are just as abused as anything possible OTC just not brought up to anyones attention as often.
    After, reading years of studies not just your studies…each one contradicts another- it’s confusing to me as I know how I felt before, I was forced to take legal chemicals from big pharmaceutical companies and how I felt from a drag off a joint. I didn’t smoke to get high only calm. I didn’t have worsened or new symptoms I didn’t need to have it all day everyday nor wean off it. So, in this study with the lack of blood flow to the brain- is it possible to compare the alternatives as, other legal medicine has also caused this if not from medication alone but, the side effects many have as I have permanent tachycardia from antidepressants. Can this study be compared to each ailment a treat compared to the most popular drug prescribed to treat the same ailment..? I want to learn more as I am not trying at all to dismiss anything. I am trying to get my life back as I am not wealthy. I cannot afford the treatment/therapy that I need it’s all self pay. I tried to go IP just to get weaned off in less than, five days and now labeled and addict. I was just set up for failure. Maybe, I won’t receive answers to what is or isn’t better. I just know what is going on now isn’t life. If, there’s something else to try another method I am open to it.

    Comment by ME — May 11, 2019 @ 9:11 AM

  153. How about the use of cannabis for epilepsy

    Comment by Dalit Tayar — June 12, 2019 @ 2:20 AM

  154. Yes, very interesting…but does taking CBD oil without the THC also have the same effects.
    Many people are using CBD oil for seizures and other medical conditions, including pain . Has Amen Clinic done any studies on this ?

    Comment by Anne Chung — June 19, 2019 @ 1:53 PM

  155. I agree with this email! Wake up world!

    Comment by Valerie — June 24, 2019 @ 3:31 AM

  156. We’ve known that MJ has caused adverse effects in the brain for many years now. Studies also show that most people regain their memory and most adverse effects diminish after a few months of sobriety. The only issue with this drug is that people abuse it too much but honesty smoking a joint once every 2 weeks to a month wouldn’t hurt too much. Any drug will eventually take a tole on the brain because its receiving too much of something. I am aware that we don’t fully understand this drug but i know plenty of old pot heads that have been smoking for most of their lives. I will say though that because we all have different brain chemistry it could be more harmful for certain people. Don’t try to demonize this drug, because its less harmful than most of the crap that is prescribed. Id rather see my loved one’s addicted to MJ then see them addicted to pain medications. I do agree we need to research more before making it so widely available but honestly MJ has been easy to obtain before they legalized it, so why would the government miss out on the opportunity to profit from something that people are doing anyway. The medical field is filled with a bunch of business men and politicians, it sucks but that’s the reality we currently live in.

    Comment by Jalan — July 18, 2019 @ 7:21 AM

  157. I agree that smoking pot every day is a concern for a user. On the other hand, Valium is a drug that is habit forming. It deadens your senses and when the effects wear off, you are back in your state of horrible anxiety. If cbd oil helps, which it has been proven to help in many disorders, why would anyone judge a persons decision to feel better. Depression, ptsd, anxiety, seizures, pain and other health issues need to be addressed. Medication that Doctors prescribe have so many side effects that it often takes 2 pages to write them all down for the patient. It’s pretty darn scary when you take a lot of medications and mixing them. The pharmaceutical companies keep putting out new medications to try, and giving the Doctors a healthy green gift to use their product instead of their current medication. I have no proof of this, just hear say!

    I wish people would look at the big picture of health issues and seriously consider what is less distructive, and gives us a better life. I would not discard takeing the medication needed for health
    Problems, but to be negative about folks who are making decisions of better options for their issues should not be so harshly critised. Pot heads, marijuana smokers, drug users, alcoholics are all self medicating themselves. Mental health issues are a serious problem in today’s world. My point is if cbd is being used and it is helping and works, why would anyone be so negative. Better than Valium any day. Perhaps .you have never dealt with health issues that have required finding something to help your situation. We all want to be able to enjoy our lives and feel better doing it!

    Comment by Patty — August 26, 2019 @ 6:20 AM

  158. I follow Dr. Amen some and he does talk about the pesticides in our foods and how they damage the brain. He is an advocate of organic foods and treats many foods we eat, like sugar, as drugs that damage our brain. Brain heath is multifaceted and each person has unique chemical balances in the brain. So, treatment has to be individualized as much as possible. I know that marijuana helps many people with certain medical conditions and the studies need be more intense on marijuana and the brain. We know that THC levels have been increased in many strains of marijuana and that is probably not a good thing. Also, any kind of smoke entering the lungs is not healthy to any living creature. I believe the legalization is more about money than it is about medicine for many people. Since medical marijuana has been legalized in my state there are dispensaries everywhere I look. My belief, if it is for medical reasons it should only be prescribed through a pharmacist not anyone who can get a license. Dr. Amen will not benefit from telling people that marijuana can damage their brains. His focus is on treating people whose Spec scans show damage to the brain by using organic nutrition, counseling, hypnotism, biofeedback, and other methods which also eventually helps get them off as many medications as possible. He makes money getting people to do healthy things to heal the brain and body. I have been told by people that marijuana is natural, well, so is tobacco and poison ivy, so that doesn’t mean it is beneficial to the body. Much study still has to be done.

    Comment by Richard — September 9, 2019 @ 7:55 PM

  159. Dr. Amen is very well respected in the field of addiction. Yes some of us have a license in addiction!! I also bring over 30 years of experience in this field. The amount of information coming out on THC and the brain is worse than what we thought. The studies now can see what the damage is. If a person is under the age of 25 it is extremely dangerous. We now know what the price is for having a little fun. Lower IQ scores, possible onset of schizophrenia and alters the brain significantly. I would hope people take another look at the research before you think it is safe. It is not.

    Comment by Colleen — September 20, 2019 @ 4:04 PM

  160. if this com-mentor could spell, I would be more apt to consider the credibility of the comment

    Comment by Carol Gibson — November 15, 2019 @ 4:02 PM

  161. I have used medical marijuana for a while now. I honestly do not believe that it has caused any harm to me or my brain. I am a breast cancer survivor and could not have survived chemotherapy without the marijuana. I am monitored closely and have had many scans including brain MRI and PET scans and they say that my brain is fine. I also have spinal and neck injuries that cause constant chronic pain. The prescription drugs were working, but due to the fact that other people abuse these drugs, I am unable to get what I need for a good quality of life. The marijuana helps me so much with my pain and anxiety that goes along with having to live with it. More extensive studies need to be conducted before people say that marijuana is damaging or harmful. I am living proof that it does not cause any harm. It has only helped me a little bit with my depression. That is the only condition I have that it doesn’t help me that much. It does relax me enough to not dwell on it as much but I am trying to get help with my depression but nothing I have tried so far has worked

    Comment by Laura — December 17, 2019 @ 11:20 AM

  162. Thank you!!! Doc. It’s always the same these smokers who ‘rarely smoke’ lol are in denial.
    Meanwhile we have to live in a world where fools are driving around doped up with their senses dampened. So dangerous for innocent people out there.
    Their brains are so messed up that they don’t seem to have the intellect to see how their silly protests are so typical of addicts.

    Comment by JANET TAYLOR — December 17, 2019 @ 1:41 PM

  163. So memory loss & loss of intellect aren’t nasty side effects? In denial much…

    Comment by JANET TAYLOR — December 17, 2019 @ 1:45 PM

  164. Thanks for sharing your story. However, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that you’re proof that marijuana does no harm. The manner in which you’ve used it is very specific, so it may not have done your brain harm at this point. Your testimony is valid, but cannot be stretch to include all usage for everyone. I work in a high school & have personally seen personality changes in my students who begin smoking marijuana regularly. Their grades drop because interest declines, & most drop out, which makes me quite sad. Perhaps it has a greater negative effect on developing brains.

    Comment by Toni — December 23, 2019 @ 7:38 AM

  165. I see my son , and that is enough for me to say , drugs are bad , any addiction destroy your life and affect your family, people can deny all that they want, but I bet if all of this people get scans of their brains, we could see the truth, thanks Dr Amen for everything you do to spread the word about having a healthy lifestyle, the brain affect every part of our bodies and our quality of life, feel sad for those, specially the young, that are introduced to this kind of practice, if people don’t have eyes to see … oh well, there is so much to do to eradicate mental health, starting with nutrition, everything you put in your body affect you, positively or negatively, is our job to take control!. Thanks again Dr Amen and Tana❤️❤️❤️

    Comment by Monica Espinoza — January 31, 2020 @ 8:41 AM

  166. I smoked all through college and had a 4.0 grade average when I graduated. I was in my 30’s and retained all the materials we studied. So I guess they’re saying I would have done better if I didn’t smoke??

    Comment by Florence Alvarez — February 21, 2020 @ 10:36 AM

  167. This write up of the actual experiment is rather deceptive. The actual study didn’t look at users vs. non-users but rather those with cannabis use disorder vs. healthy controls. There are a variety of issues with properly controlling for differences in the samples even beyond just individuals specifically having this substance use disorder.

    It does get more attention when you literally write that the results are “scary”.

    Comment by Stan Z — February 25, 2020 @ 4:49 PM

  168. dear carol
    i believe he said he had trouble interacting
    surely him sharing how he feels is more important than whether he can spell

    Comment by penny waters — February 29, 2020 @ 10:00 AM

  169. dear all

    i am disturbed by the amount of bile in these comments

    life should not be a competition, so take a breath people before attacking someone

    pay attention, believe nothing, and don’t take it personal

    being alive as a human is a hard task and we all deserve some love, compassion and kindness

    can we not co-operate and share

    reality is only what goes on between our individual ears – so take a breath

    human life; a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

    we will all be dead in 100yrs and could be even sooner who knows

    puck said in midsummer nights dream – what fools these mortals be

    we are all in the same boat – on a spinning lump of energetic matter that we do not understand

    love to you all

    chew on that!!!

    Comment by penny waters — February 29, 2020 @ 10:07 AM

  170. There are studies which shows it can cause schizophrenia in those who are predisposed to it. Which is one of he most devastating illnesses there is especially as it strikes those in their late teens or early twenties.

    Comment by Betty — March 6, 2020 @ 11:02 AM

  171. Smoked pot heavy since 11 y.o. (1968-2016) I don’t see the benefits.
    Sure pain is reduced.
    But why increase chances of of more injuries by blocking sensors from warnings of physical harm?
    Perhaps my lack of assertiveness due to “less” anxiety ” has allowed interlopers to get too close to my beautiful wife.

    As an “oxycontin-oxytocin- oxymoriphone-hydromoriphone and Soma victim since 1991
    I still suffer more from reduced abilities to assert my rights in many of lifes CONFLICT.

    No. Marijuana at its ORGANIC levels of ’69 was not psychosomatic as today’s synthetic extreme extraction yet its innate ability to cause long term reduced brain function is evident and not “cool man”

    Comment by Jonathan — March 17, 2020 @ 1:12 PM

  172. Wayne, I agree with much of what you say, except the story of Galileo gets more complicated if you dig deeper and find that he was backed by the same Catholic church that took him down. Kinda like how Israel funds Hamas. Kinda like how the US created the Taliban and ISIS. In terms of marijuana, I couldn’t agree more with you. I was raised in Humboldt and my upbringing was very much like growing up in a cult. Marijuana is sold as the most powerful medicine in the world and people smoke it, vape it, and eat it and truly believe that it is healing them. Ironically, as they often die from cancer. My Dad started vaping CBD’s for a brain tumor and then formed tumors and cancer in his mouth. He will never even consider vaping as a possible connection because the belief that marijuana is only beneficial is so deeply ingrained. Vaping is toxic and as it increased I watched health problems increase. But, often, if people believe in something they are blind to everything else. I have watched marijuana be a gateway drug into all other addiction. I have watched as people have smoked away their ambitions. Those that still have motivation and are stoned don’t realize that they are still diminished. I don’t think they realize how stupid they sound when they are stoned because they are so focused on how “creative” it makes them feel. You know what takes brass tax? Finding creativity and inspiration without any substance or drug. I also don’t want to hear about how it healed any illness. Marijuana is a band-aid for symptoms, rarely does it cure a problem at the foundation. If you suffer from cancer, inflammation, anxiety, hormone imbalances, seizures, etc you can heal yourself with changing your diet, your alkalinity, and your psychology. Smoking weed doesn’t cure any of these. It confuses people and turns them into lotus eaters…doomed to forget their life’s purpose. If it was so good for people it would still be illegal and not supported by governments all throughout the world. Strange how legalization swept the world all about the same time…almost like it was orchestrated.

    Comment by Katherine — March 27, 2020 @ 1:59 PM

  173. People who are reacting negatively to Dr. Amen’s work are merely expressing cognitive dissonance.

    Comment by Steve — June 3, 2020 @ 2:50 PM

  174. My daughter has had 2 psychotic breaks from Marijuana! So yes maybe she is predisposed to that but she was a promising Veterinarian student who can’t finish college now! so what does that tell you? She now has extreme Anxiety has been in a mental hospital twice for 12 days each diagnosed as bi polar but was induced by “Dab” high concentration of THC both times someone gave her. She can’t remember anything from hr to hr and we have to watch her as if she was 5 yr old Shes 21. Its not for EVERYONE therefore it is not universally safe for anyone. I’m devastated by what it has done to my girl. She may never have a productive life now.!

    Comment by Shelby stahl — June 20, 2020 @ 8:31 PM

  175. I’m not a pot user, I do research about the subject for my undergrad Bachelor of medicine. Use of cannabis predisposes individuals with the gene catechol-o-methyltransferase to the risk of schizophrenia. This gene also predisposes the same individuals to Alzheimer’s and psychotic symptoms during Alzheimer’s and dementia.

    Comment by Jackson — July 16, 2020 @ 2:42 PM

  176. If it’s done at an early age, in high concentrations, it most likely will cause brain damage and/or accelerate psychotic symptoms for users genetically predisposed to schizophrenia.(research catechol-o-methyltransferase) People should wait till they are 30, or better yet not do it at all. However, the effects are reversible. All hope is not lost.

    Comment by Jackson — July 16, 2020 @ 2:49 PM

  177. I agree completely, a substance in high amounts can be lethal, and in controlled amounts medicinal. We are yet to find a standard, so it’s best to abstain if you can, or moderate it to a minimum.

    Comment by Jackson — July 16, 2020 @ 2:52 PM

  178. Simply put, moderation. The amount of cyanide in apple seeds is non-lethal for a few apples, but ingest a lot of seeds and it is enough to make your cells incapable of absorbing and utilising oxygen, therefore, you die. Any substance taken in high amounts could be toxic, including water.

    Comment by Jackson — July 16, 2020 @ 3:04 PM

  179. What are the effects on the brain of THC in a lozenge without all the chemicals associated with smoking marijuana?

    Comment by Michael Siletti — August 2, 2020 @ 5:58 PM

  180. You do have a point, however just think about drinking alcohol. If you you were to put an IV with vodka in it would you not get the same effect?

    Comment by Ms Lopez — August 3, 2020 @ 8:02 PM

  181. Ad a cannabis user to OTHER cannabis users trying so hard to call Dr. Amen a scam artist, you are addicted and it shows.

    Causation of MANY adverse effect of the cardiovascular system are clear as is the destruction of endothelial wall and elevated BP and HR are DIRECT CORRELATION AND CAUSATION of Cannabis DAMAGE.

    Now if you'd all quit emotionally overreacting and realizing it actually DOES NOT HELP with sleep, it LOWERS REM SLEEP and REDUCES MELATONIN.

    So you're not actually recovering or sleeping like a baby. Likelihood of waking up after 3-5 hours is very high after chronic use (pun intended). How do I know this?

    Not ONE long-term user I know, including myself sleep well at ALL. Cannabis increases sleep onset but DECIMATES the rest of the sleep cycle.

    Some of you pretend you're involved in research when in reality you've likely never led or participated in an actual study.

    If you're so much better why are none of you doctors? Go open your own clinics if you are as smart as your ignorance allows you to believe.

    As for the rest: I wholeheartedly agree that the vehicle of consumption matters a LOT!

    I belive after over a decade of smoking that oils and extracts are how Cannabis is meant to be used as THC is a MESSENGER molecule that orchestrated the proper dispersion and regulation of associated cannabinoids.

    The other reality I'll leave all Cannabis users with is this: HOW CLEAN IS YOUR WEED?

    Dispensary or black maket, your weed is full of serious pathogens that can wreck the immune system.

    Smoke on that, and get real with yourselves.

    Comment by Josh — November 6, 2023 @ 6:04 AM

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