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Brain Food
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Marijuana – Good For The Brain

By James Donahue

After years of warnings about the dangers of marijuana, it may be hard for people to believe that new scientific studies show that cannabis consumption appears to be good for the human brain. Newly published studies claim it cures depression, is an effective treatment for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and it even helps protect the brain from permanent alcohol-induced damage.

The more we study this amazing plant the more we realize that cannabis appears to be a gift to humanity from The Mother Earth. It offers amazing healing potential while making its users feel good, but they experience an enjoyable mental buzz. Marijuana is classified as an illegal substance because of that sensation that users call “feeling stoned.”
Ironically, while a person caught in possession of marijuana faces arrest, a fine and possible jail time, the possession and consumption of alcohol is legal. Yet it is well known that alcohol is not only addictive, but it destroys brain cells.
A recent study published in the journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior by researchers at the Universities of Kentucky and Maryland claims that powerful antioxidant chemicals found in marijuana actually protect the brain from the damage caused by alcohol. In fact, the research found that cannabidiol (CBD) in marijuana may even treat alcohol-induced neurodegeneration of the brain.

The chemical tetrahydrocannabinoid (THC) in marijuana – the active ingredient known to bring on that “happy” and “stoned” sensation in users – in addition to being a strong antioxidant, also is found to be a potential cure for depression, according to researchers in the Netherlands. 

In a report published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, scientists at the University Medical Center Utrecht determined that THC alters the human response to negative emotions and images.
The report concludes that “THC administration reduces the negative bias in emotional processing. This adds human evidence to support the hypothesis that the endocannabinoid system is involved in modulation of emotional processing and may thus be relevant for psychiatric disorders such as major depression.”

While there has been no clinical study to support his claim, former Marine Mike Whiter, co-director of Philadelphia NORML and founder of Pennsylvania Veterans for Medical Marijuana, claims that marijuana became a powerful tool in his personal battle against Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after his return from battlefields in Kosovo and Iraq.

Whiter said he sought help from the Veterans Administration after trying to kill himself three times. He said the doctors prescribed a wide variety of powerful drugs that included methadone, morphine, benzos, klonopin, and SSRIs. Nothing worked.
After watching a documentary on the positive effects of marijuana on the Discovery Channel, Whiter said he decided to give it a try. He said it was like a miracle drug.
“Marijuana saved my life,” Whiter said. “The medications that the VA prescribes are killing veterans. They are giving those pills to people who are already suicidal.” He said he believes the prescription drugs are actually contributing to the high incidence of suicide among war veterans.

A report released by the Department of Veterans Affairs earlier this year, 22 veterans were committing suicide every day. In fact, there are presently more military deaths occurring because of suicide than from combat. It also was found that the number of suicides among veterans dropped significantly in states that legalized medical marijuana when compared to states where the plant remains illegal to possess or use.