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

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

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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Kat says:

    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.

    • Kenneth Williams says:

      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.”

      • skyway1234 says:

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

        • dee says:

          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

          • Orla says:

            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.

          • martha says:

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

        • Wayne Carpenter says:

          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.

      • Kathy says:

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

        • terre tulsiak says:

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

        • Jalan says:

          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.

      • David says:

        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.

        • Dj says:

          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.

          • Richard says:

            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.

      • Shannon says:

        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.

    • bradcliu says:

      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…

    • Jamie Oliver instagram says:

      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.

    • @bxgvs - on instagram says:

      The effects are from THC.

    • Jillian says:

      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

      • Toni says:

        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!

      • Caitlin says:

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

    • Mare says:

      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 ,

    • Jean says:

      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.

    • Heidi says:

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

    • Hillbilly_ Doc says:

      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… 😉

      • Robin says:

        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.

        • JB says:

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

        • terre tulsiak says:

          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.

          • Toni says:

            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.

      • Wayne Carpenter says:

        Good Comment.

      • KAT says:

        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.

      • Toni says:

        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!

    • Mike says:

      I think you meant sativa you wrote saliva

    • Robyn Avanessian says:

      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.

      • Robyn, says:

        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.

        • Robyn Avanessian says:

          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.

        • Caitlin says:

          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.

    • Andreya says:

      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?

      • Bryggia says:

        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?

    • Anya says:

      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?

    • Cheri says:

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

    • 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?? says:

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

    • Barbie says:

      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.

    • Dalit Tayar says:

      How about the use of cannabis for epilepsy

  2. Dan Boltron says:

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

    • Tracy K. says:

      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.

      • Dan Boltron says:

        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.

        • Suzanne Powers says:

          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.

        • Wayne Carpenter says:

          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.

        • Toni says:

          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!

      • Ingrid Blohm-Hyde says:

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

      • Ingrid Blohm-Hyde says:

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

    • Wes says:

      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.

      • Dan Boltron says:

        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.

  3. Luccim says:

    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.

  4. iva says:

    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.

    • skyway1234 says:

      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?

  5. skyway1234 says:

    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.”

    • Ray E. Gallo says:

      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.

      • skyway1234 says:

        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.

        • Becky says:

          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!

        • Hameeda Qureshi, M.D., F.A.C.S. says:

          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.

        • Patty says:

          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!

    • George says:

      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.”

    • George says:

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

  6. Lara says:

    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.

    • Dan Boltron says:

      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.

      • George says:

        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

        • Dan Boltron says:

          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!

          • George says:

            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.

          • Dan Boltron says:

            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?

          • skyway1234 says:

            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.

          • Dan Boltron says:

            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.

          • Carol Welch says:

            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.

          • Kenneth Williams says:

            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.

          • skyway1234 says:

            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!

          • JD LPC says:

            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!

          • Kuden seeker says:

            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.

          • skyway1234 says:

            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.

          • Dan Bo says:

            I’m doing great. Never felt better

        • Dan Boltron says:

          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!!!

        • Frederikahere says:

          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.

          • George says:

            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.

          • Frederikahere says:

            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.

          • Trevor says:

            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.

        • Kuden seeker says:

          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.

      • skyway1234 says:

        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.

        • Dan Boltron says:

          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.

          • skyway1234 says:

            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!

          • Dan Boltron says:

            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).

          • Dan Boltron says:

            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

          • George says:

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

          • Dan Boltron says:

            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).

          • George says:

            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.

      • Ingrid Blohm-Hyde says:

        And what are your credentials Dan???

        • Dan Boltron says:

          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.

      • Kyle Pontius says:

        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

        • Dan Boltron says:

          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?

          • Dan Boltron says:

            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.

      • Kenneth Williams says:

        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.

    • Kenneth Williams says:

      does he quote his own studies?

  7. Kenneth Williams says:

    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?

    • Danny Lavoe says:

      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.

      • Kenneth Williams says:

        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.

  8. Tommy Tuttle says:

    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.

  9. Ronna Berezin says:

    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!

    • Dan Boltron says:

      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

  10. Dustin says:

    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.

    • Dustin says:

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

      • Dustin says:

        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!!!

        • Dustin says:

          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.

          • Dr Daymaker says:

            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.

  11. Ronna Berezin says:

    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!

    • Dan Bo says:

      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.

  12. MeowRia says:

    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!!!!

  13. Jon ... a Baptist says:

    Does ingested cannibas differ from smoked?

  14. Julie says:

    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.

  15. Mahhn says:

    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.

  16. SecretMe2016 says:

    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.

  17. SecretMe2016 says:

    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!

  18. Kempdr says:

    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.

  19. No Dough says:

    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?

  20. Eevie says:

    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.

  21. Carl Bodon says:

    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.

  22. Alfred D Kulik MD FACS says:

    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

  23. Yvonne Forsman says:

    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.

  24. Nicole says:

    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.

  25. Kevin Kordes says:

    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?

  26. Kevin Kordes says:

    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.

    • Bugz says:

      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!!!

      • Kevin Kordes says:

        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.

        • Bugz says:

          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!

  27. Bill Cass says:

    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

  28. Irene Fizzell says:

    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?

  29. Suzi, LAMFT says:

    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.

    • Kristina says:

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

    • terre tulsiak says:

      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.

  30. Concerned Veteran Arnold Cabral says:

    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.

  31. Bella Dushner says:

    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.

  32. James J Harper says:

    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.

  33. Leslie DelRosso says:

    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.

  34. Paul Mammen says:

    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”.

  35. timothy robertson says:

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

  36. Chris says:

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

  37. George says:

    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.

  38. Alex G says:

    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

  39. Robert Briggs says:

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

  40. ME says:

    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.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Have a Question?