How marijuana may damage teenage brains in susceptible groups

In a report that will be published in a 2019 print issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry , the researchers say they showed that pot exposure increases inflammation in a specific type of brain cell in adolescent mice that carries a rare genetic mutation linked to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other major psychiatric disorders. In a proof-of-concept experiment, the investigators then used a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, NS398, to suppress the pot-induced inflammation in the brain. The researchers report they were able to prevent marijuana’s brain damage in mice that appear genetically susceptible to the harmful effects.

So it seems a certain mutation associated with mental disorders can cause cannabis to have dangerous effects in adolescents. It causes certain neurons to become way more inflamed than usual and acquire damage. When combined with an anti-inflammatory, brain damage was halted.


As a teenager my driving was a bigger risk to the general public.


I felt compelled to write the following and is not meant to be directed at this one study in fact the entire research industry is plagued with the issue below. I would hope this helps in Reading headlines about any studies and especially in cannabis. What has more sizzle than cannabis right now? I’ve never heard anyone talk about sales in the millions only the billions. Follow the money.

My job used to be evaluating studies like this
… They are publishing in 2019 so the key data is not presented… Such as how many subjects and other key details that make the stats significant. There are some far reaching suppositions which would be expected trying to gage cognition in mice. In this study they looked at how long they stayed in New areas of a maze to measure cognition… Bit of a reach in my opinion but I may be missing some details.
Let’s point out that ALL published work is primarily a pitch for funding for further studies which puts bread on the table and makes the John’s Hopkins folks tingle a little… Follow the money. This study boldly states that much more research is needed…
The spin justifies the ask. It is always like this so no judgement here from me but beware of headlines with the word "may"in it regarding studies and throw in a reference to children… This is funding Nirvana for researchers when asking for cash. Shall, does, proven, definitively are better words but seldom seen. Figured don’t lie but liars can figure. At least they did reveal some of their suppositions but study design is lacking. To their credit quantifying mouse cognition is a tall order even if you can genetically design them to have physical traits like brain cell permeability variances you believe to cause high rates of mental instability… A fancy or impressive use of tech in the study design does not mean the resulting data is reliable. Suppositions are the key… If we are wrong about that the results are worthless. So does a mouse hanging out in 1 of two area choices in a maze indicate cognition? Psych researchers at Hopkins say yes but are clear that More funding is needed. That headline is sales… Reader beware.


I also spend a lot of time reading papers. Papers involving people drive me nuts because the sample size is to small.

White papers without reference find my trash cans.

These days I am concentrating on papers on cannabis published between 1919 and 1950 and following the reference on the better papers. Backwards and forwards. Looking at some generic datasets published may move the data to my azure account 96 gigs and try some different mining methods. Looking for repeats in some segment coding segment.

When I had a real job, not retired. I spent about 1/3 of my reading any journals I wanted sitting next to the top hundred problems we faced without good solutions. My favorite journals, where applied Mathematics and data modeling for very large datasets. I had access to any source I wanted. I was one of three senior researchers, we had a nice team of minions under us and professional research librarian for help.

If you can save me trips to my local science library I would really appreciate it. I live on a fixed income.

From the voices in my head.


Greetings Ethan,

the biggest frustration is not being able to get to the data anymore. Now you have to pay, as you know, middlemen for the information because the researchers are lazy and clever. If we could get all that information we can show how much BS they’re pushing to get their funding. I don’t have any solutions for you. All we’re left with unless we want to spend a ton of money to debunked things that have never been credibly repeated is to read between the lines of the BS they put out to get the next round of funding. The one difference is the people who really figured something out just say it instead of dabbling with words and ideas and premises.



I absolutely agree with you.

What are you using today to store papers and citations. I don’t have access to the tools I had when I worked for a fortune 50 company. I am looking for an open source tool to manage papers and citations, that will allow me to tag and annotate my findings.

Warm regards,
From the voices in my head


Yet another prime example of conflicting evidence, please don’t believe the hype people.
All of these new research groups are just simply falsifying information based on misrepresentation.

It was long ago that science established that cannabinoids have anti-neurodegenerative properties and is one of the only substances and the strongest know inhibitor of oxidative stress, which causes and complicates many known ailments, diseases and mental dissorders.

Looking towards completing and publishing the Cannabis Quality Control Standard mid 2019, in it will be outlined the safety aspects and key physiological effects of substances containing cannabinoids on humans, their immediate/inevitable benefits/harms for not only conditions but overall cognition, relative brain function, memory processing/retenance and most importantly throat/airway/lung/cardiovascular health. All these will be in respect of various cannabis types, illegally grown geurilla style, overfed and epi-genetically stressed cannabis with rough environmental factors, high levels of salts and silica post harvest, cannabis that has not been flushed, dried or cured properly and has high levels of living tissue when being consumed, quality controlled medicinal grade cannabis, GMO and polyploidy.

I hope this gives scientific world a bit of clarity on the true detrimental effects of illegal street weed being produced in countries where no legitimate system is in place or illegally trafficked, and to prove that medicinal grade cannabis that is quality controlled has significantly minimal negative physiological effects when compared to the illegal counterpart!

Mental health is really a touchy subject with lots of conflicting information in the industry, let’s not go there and just say that cannabis is not suited for people who are predisposed to mental disorders. That’s just like someone with genetically weak bones training their whole life and trying out for Olympic power lifting, not going to have a good result and I don’t think we need scientists, laboratories and million dollar funding to figure that out…


I haven’t read the above posts yet but honestly, I find this “study” infuriating & I take it with a grain of salt. Why? Unless the teens are lucky enough to be finding THC isolate, then they’re getting the other cannabinoids at least in trace amounts–and trace amounts matter. To use THC only is engineering the outcome. No doubt the mice tissues were inflamed, their ECS’s aren’t meant to take THAT MUCH THC at once or by itself! 8mgs per kg is A LOT! At a previous job I helped new users begin dosing & that’s a high dose for a 150lb human let alone a mouse!

So then they were given an anti inflammatory? Too bad they didn’t include the other many ant-inflammatory cannabinoids! They likely wouldn’t have had the same outcome at all. I’d like to see the study re-done using a concentrate with all cannabinoids in it. CBD mitigates the effects of THC when combined so who’s to say it wouldn’t also mitigate this inflammatory reaction as well?

In all of the geological finds of stores of Cannabis that was found and not grown on purpose, the flowers included all cannabinoids. It is this that our endocannabinoid systems were built from. So to think that THC alone isn’t going to cause adverse effects of some way, shape, or form is so very naive and reminds me once again how far away from holistic the medical industry and our research practices have come.


A continuation of Reefer Madness? I have been a part of the treatment team for a young boy with a death sentence: brain cancer. He was on hospice when we began treatment at 5 years old. Seriously DYING. After successfully treating the cancer with RSO for several years, at age 8 the boy was diagnosed 100% cancer free. The ONLY treatment he received was the cannabis oil. He will be on a maintenance dose of 200-400 mg for the rest of his life, but he will be ALIVE! He is as robust and healthy as any other 10 year old…all because of cannabis. If someone were to take this treatment away simply because it’s “bad for his brain”, he would die. You know what else is bad for your brain? BRAIN CANCER!!!

When I was 8, I was diagnosed with ADHD. The resultant extreme doses of amphetamine had lasting affects on my brain and body that I still deal with to this day. I discovered when I was 17 that cannabis worked as well, if not better, for my ability to focus. Doctors, and other “powers that be” still continue to disagree with me and many would prefer that I be back on the speed. I was finally able to get off amphetamines once and for all at 21, against the guidance of my physician. I have been fighting ever since to have access to my MEDICINE. I still have to deal with the stigmatization that cannabis gets me “stoned”. Folks, I haven’t been “stoned” since I stopped taking opiate meds after my accident. Let’s think about what we are giving kids and adults that could otherwise be mitigated by a natural plant. This is what big pharma is afraid of. The stigma is as strong as ever, people! Here’s your proof!

On another note, just to see how easy it might be to get a heavy dose of legal speed, I contacted my doctor to see if I could get another script for amphetamines. When I told my doctor about my history, he said it would be very easy for me to get a prescription for Adderall (which is freaking meth, people!!!). Further, my insurance will pay for it! Meanwhile I have to pay the state of AZ $150 every year to access the cannabis medicine that actually works. This is an ongoing battle

At 17 I fell off a cliff while hiking and spend several weeks in recovery. That was when I first discovered the healing power of cannabis. I was, by definition, a child. At the time my doctors prescribed amphetamines, opiates and benzodiazepenes to sleep. Cannabis helped me get free from that chemical garbage. Last year, I was hit head-on by a drunk driver doing 65 MPH. The wreck messed up an already fragile body. I am going to an orthopedist this week to see about the possibility of hip surgery. I am in constant pain and am experiencing trouble walking short distances, sitting for long periods of time, and wake up with stabbing pain in my hips and back at least half a dozen times every night. I have been prescribed opiates more times than I can remember, and yes, I have gotten addicted to them. The only thing that helps with this pain is cannabis and I still have people in my life that swear I am stoned when all I am trying to do is get a little bit of relief. I fear that, as my condition degrades (and it IS getting worse all the time), I will be relegated to again using opiate medications to get through my day…and I am deathly afraid of that. Please hope the best for your CM and keep fighting the good fight and keep these BS stories away from an otherwise impressionable public. Now that’s what I call fake news.


As a side note: I’m not arguing for or against the validity of this study, but I feel I should put in some finer points in case people missed them:

  1. These mice had a specific genetic mutation that has a very strong link to mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. The study is not saying that the brain damage is caused by the THC alone – rather, the genetic mutation increases brain inflammation beyond normal parameters, and thus the excess inflammation causes brain damage.
  2. This study is just an initial foray into more research. As somebody mentioned above, this is essentially the equivalent of “Hey, we noticed something odd! Send us more money so we can study it further!” Will the later research pan out in one direction or another? We don’t know.

Good point. I think it would be useful to know the affects in predisposed scytsophric brain.

The presentation of the work was what raised the hackles on my neck.

From the voices in my head Ethan


Here is the source paper Individual and combined effects of acute delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on psychotomimetic symptoms and memory function

I they do show some significant difference in responses to THC + CBC plus an anti sycotic in patients. Memory function seems to improve? Definitely more work for this group of people is needed.

This was an evil read.

From the voices in my head


I created this logo , “Recreational for Over 21”
I hope you could help me to educate our future generations


Socks, I can where socks send me the URL.


I remember reading an experience from a new cannabis user in her 70’s. She decided with guidance from her counselor to ingest it as tea. She said the memories and the thoughts that she was remembering were just amazing. So ya, cannabinoids seem to awaken memories in our brains :slight_smile:


I like this anicdote! We all have fun cannabis related stores and hopefully we can make more :upside_down_face:


Yes! Another man in his 70’s who stopped using his cane & decided not to renew his disability parking pass simply by eating roasted bud in his chocolate pudding twice a day. On his 3 month follow up, he was dancing in the waiting room showing the other patients how well it worked.

It’s these stories that keep many of us going. Every day is an opportunity to hear more testimonials!


I post this message, I want to thank you all for your comments and for your beliefs about Cannabis is good for people. Nonetheless, I personally believe that We need to see how are behaving our teenagers. Let see at those who are perfectly healthy and do not need THC from Cannabis that contains over 20%, because Their body aren’t meant to take THAT MUCH THC.

Yes cannabis help with epilepsy and more sickness BUT, I am referring about Healthy Teenagers who are getting HIGH and are becoming out of control and misbehave. Teenagers can consume Hemp which contains 0.03% of THC and that could be included in their diets But please you tell me what’s so special of seeing a 10 year old or 19 year old Stone while their duties are not being done and their grades have dropped because of too much THC?

Teenagers are our future, and is our responsibility to teach them well what is Cannabis all about, it is a cure to sickness not the sickness of our society!

I smoked because I have my back and nerves damaged from car 2 accidents. I know how it help me!
smoking a Sativa 18%THC could affect the development of the brain of A Healthy Teenagers who just want to get High!

I want to know that this industry and the people who are behind it are not forgetting the most valuable and important not just money, that is Our sons and daughter! If they are sick :face_with_head_bandage: provide the cure “Cannabis” but if they are well! teach them to wait until they are adults when their bodies may need that much THC in their bodies!


As an old stoner, who consumed way to much cannabis as a youth. I just don’t think it’s a real issue.

I managed a couple advanced degrees as did my brothers. I think THC got me through University. It certainly help with advanced math classes.

From the thoughts in my head



I look at it as a lesser of evils. Are we ever able to keep healthy teenagers from experimenting or wanting to expand their conciousness with recreational substances? No, not likely and so then we’re faced with all of the other substances out there. In fact, the absence of the evils we know is scarier now that we’re hearing about some teens huffing gas, inhaling that canned air stuff, or doing other crazy things just to catch a buzz.

I don’t think anyone is encouraging teenagers to use Cannabis but from a safety & toxicity standpoint we already know it’s safer than the other choices they have.