The Athlete's Way

Sweat and the biology of bliss

Heavy Marijuana Use Alters Teenage Brain Structure

Researchers have found that teenagers who smoked marijuana daily had abnormal changes in their brain structures that may impact memory function and mental health. Read More

Buyers remorse

Here in Colorado, we're having buyer's remorse about legalizing pot.

If you live in another state, don't allow your state to follow us down the toilet. Please.

pot, cigarette, alcohol

Kind of pointless for me to say but I will anyway; alcohol and cigarette has been and is responsible for more cripples, violence, death than pot ever have. Yet, I see more paranoia about pot than about either of the other two. Most politicians, and law enforcement agencies have and are alcoholics and or smoke cigarettes yet they are the loudest when it comes to pot. But then again, they are the ones most full of fear of change. I say, let parents do their jobs, educate, lead by example, and as for adults; they can decide for themselves how they'd like to destroy their brain cells.


We are not talking about cigarettes and alcohol here, this article is focusing solely on the effects of marijuana on the brain and that they exist and they can be long term/ permanently detrimental. However, you choose to ignore the facts and the reality and instead go for the strawman and attack a topic completely irrelevant to what this report is disseminating.
If you want to go on and smoke pot all day, that is your prerogative, please stop trying to spread heavy in denial propaganda.

It's not irrelevant. This

It's not irrelevant. This whole article is about negative effects of marijuana, hes discussing negative effects of various other drugs (cigarettes and alcohol) which are much worse, and that makes him in "denial" oh my. I could care less about marijuana. If it makes money for the state, great. If it can be used as a medicine that reduses deaths from prescription drug OD's, great. But you sir are one heck of an ignorant soul. Because he mentions the same factors in other substances he's "trying to spread heavy in denial propaganda" (which doesn't really seem like english but we'll go with it) and my personal favorite is how you know nothing about this individual at all, yet you assume they want to "go on and smoke pot all day". As I said, quite ignorant.

These aren't facts, I don't

These aren't facts, I don't know where you got that from. A study found a correlation, that's it. This isn't even a longitudinal study, it proves nothing. We don't know enough about it, that's still the best argument against cannabis. It feels every comment that comes out of you is gonna be one sided.

They are all bad for your

They are all bad for your health. Of course pot has caused accidents because it has not been legalized in many states yet. I'm getting so weary of this comment. As a parent I do do my job, but there is also something called peers.

I was that teenager

I began smoking marijuana heavily at 15 and 1/2 and did not stop until close to my 20th birthday. I was a high achieving and gifted young person. I can't say the reason that all teenagers start smoking, but I did because I liked feeling "out of it," or out of my normal mind. It took the whole boring town I grew up in and made it a wonderful magical place all of the sudden. In my later teens I smoked because I was extremely depressed, and pot often times helped.
Teenagers are so misunderstood, and what they're going through is extremely hard because at the end of day there's no one for them to talk to about their secret life. If you really want to know the key to helping teens, its supporting them through their years of experimentation. Programs, or advertising aimed at helping teenagers stop smoking (or not starting), most likely in the end do the opposite for teenagers. I remember thinking those ads on tv were so stupid it made me want to get high even more.
Give the kids some support in those hormonal, terrible years. Push health and wellness more than anti this or that. And have the message of health delivered by someone respectable or that they can relate to.
As for me and my memory after those years of smoking, its very hard to say if it changed me.

Thank you for your comment Shannon.

Shannon-Thanks very much for joining the discussion and sharing your personal experience and insights with myself and other readers here. I think you are definitely on to something with the advice that you give for belong to better understand the teenage brain and how 'Just Say No' types of campaigns often backfire.

I embrace the concept of 'harm reduction' when it comes to substance 'abuse.' Harm reduction aims to create personalized approaches that help individuals from all walks of life (and ages) come with a non-judgmental strategy to avoid the harms of substance abuse while avoiding the dogma of total abstinence being the only option...

Anyway-- thank you again for taking the time to join the discussion and for sharing your personal experiences and ideas here. Much appreciated! Have a great day, Christopher Bergland

Wow, I'm happy that you read

Wow, I'm happy that you read my comment. Thank you for the feedback. I like the idea of harm reduction. It would be interesting to see how that idea could be implemented into the high school system in an effective manner.
Keep up the great work,

I think the conclusion should

I think the conclusion should be massive testing, decriminalization, and regulation. It isn't as harmless as many people sometimes say it is. They downplay dangers and negative effects while sometimes posing huge tu qouque fallacies with alcohol and tobacco which only cloud up the issues about pot. We're talking about that one substance right? Pot has nothing to do necessarily with alcohol or tobacco. It needs to be regarded as its own drug. Everything looks better when compared with something worse. Obviously. Most of the people who have had something to say about my opinions on this matter left my arguments mostly unaddressed and insisted to insult me. Hearsay I know. That is not evidence for any negative effects with marijuana but when the topic of finding alternative and proven methods for long term coping is raised, yoga and meditation are as far as I've gotten in conversations before I'm "taking someone's rights away" and "including morality in government", "discriminating against gays", and "teaching creationism in public schools". Codes and laws in this society are to offer the most autonomy within safe and ethical boundaries. So, my opponents in these arguments don't seem to understand law and morality as it applies to government and society. Instead, they've become offensive and won't calmly address what, to me, seem very reasonable and compassionate takes on the progression of cannabis related politics. My point is that dangers are dismissed and full legalization is the aim of the main arguments when taken alone, and that there is a reason careful, thorough logic is being dodged. One more thing. Some smokers I know are very keen about justifying their intoxication by imbedding their concerns in medicinal marijuana uses for sick people. Sick people using marijuana's properties to *treat* a problem or disease is different and unrelated to the self-medication or recrestional usage of the average smoker. My opinion is for decriminalization, regulation, research and testing

inactive brains, high or not, will not grow

this article is right about certain things and completely missing the boat on a lot of key points. the statistics are not differentiating between exactly what sort of mental activity the chronic users were engaging in (if any) during their prolonged time of chronic use. endo-cannabanoids affect the thalamus and the areas of the brain which relate to memory (distinctly different from the memory centers themselves) by making them more 'elastic'. This is similar to the malleability that a child has when their brain is like play-dough (in a good way) and able to learn and absorb all sorts of new cognitive skills. The reason chronic users develop cognitive issues is because they are inherently lazy and inactive individuals whose brains (when in an elastic state) are completely disengaged from their surroundings and thought all-together.
They mention going jogging or meditating as great stimuli for the brain. the point is that if one were to engage in any sort of mentally-stimulating activity while their brain was saturated in cannabanoids then the benefits would be reaped almost tenfold. thats the point. If you have a lazy and inactive brain and also have a marijuana habit, your brain and subsequent abilities will begin to reflect that if you spend some of the most important developmental years (young adulthood) not engaging and growing your brain and cognitive skillset.

Cite your claims tenfold.

Cite your claims tenfold.

methodology 101

The author of this article has a sloppy grasp of research methodology at the least, and is naive to patently irresponsible in the conclusions he draws. The suggestion that cannabis is the cause of the observed brain abnormalities lacks even the most rudimentary sophistication in so far as these assumptions are wholly lacking in experimental evidence. A similar line of reasoning might suggest that cannabis causes schizophrenia on the basis of correlational epidemiological designs. Notwithstanding that cannabis use appears to be an endophenotypic biomarker that indicates a tendency within the behavioral ecology of cannabis-using populations to share genetic material implicated in schizophrenia, there is precisely ZERO evidence that cannabis is the cause of schizophrenia. Given that schizophrenia itself is implicated in profound deficits in cortical grey matter, it only stands to reason that cannabis use as an endophenotypic biomarker of a genetic inclination towards brain abnormality would exist entirely independent of cannabis use per se. Bottom line, the experimental evidence to suggest cannabis causes the sorts of brain abnormalities suggested in this article is cursory at best and spurious at worst. The author might consider taking an introductory methodology course before drawing causal conclusions from epidemiological design.

I agree, I don't find this

I agree, I don't find this very convincing. There's research from Harvard Medical School that finds little support for marijuana use as a cause for schizophrenia.

"Excessive chronic use of any

"Excessive chronic use of any type of drug is going to have detrimental mental and physical side effects."

so, kids smoking weed is BAD, but daily doses of serious psychotropic chemicals are OKAY? these chemicals have been linked to increased depression and even increased suicide.

smoking weed HELPS depression. psych meds can make it worse


Marijuana is a depressant

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Christopher Bergland is a world-class endurance athlete, coach, author, and political activist.


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