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Industry News: Marijuana Disrupts Brain Blood Flow, Affects Memory

Published on: January 10, 2017

Written by: Janet Russell.

A new study revealed the harmful effects of marijuana on blood flow and memory. After scanning the brain of nearly 1,000 past and present marijuana users, it was revealed that there was an abnormally low flow of blood throughout their brain, in contrast with a smaller control group of 92 people who never used pot. Published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, lead researcher Dr. Daniel Amen, a psychiatrist and founder of the U.S. based Amen Clinics, noticed a huge difference.

“The differences were astonishing. Virtually every area of the brain we measured was lower in blood flow and activity in the marijuana smokers than in the healthy group”

revealed Amen in a news release. With medical cannabis now legal in twenty six states, Dr. Amen revealed that the purpose of the study is to challenge the notion that marijuana is good medicine and hence should be made legal in the United States. “The growing lore in our country is that marijuana is innocuous, it’s good medicine and it should be legalized. This research directly challenges that notion.” Amen added.


See Also: Marijuana Legalization, Laws & Legislation


Smoking is bad for the brain, but there was an even lower blood flow among marijuana users who ingest drug instead of smoke it. Although the study does not establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship, Dr. Amen and his team concluded that doctors should think twice before recommending cannabis to someone who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. According to Maria Carrillo, Chief Science Officer for the Alzheimer’s Association, this new revelation increases concerns about the effects of using pot on normal functions in areas of the brain responsible for memory and thinking.

“Sustained inadequate blood flow can damage and eventually kill cells anywhere in the body. Since the brain has one of the body’s richest networks of blood vessels, it is especially vulnerable. These vessels deliver nutrients to the brain and carry away waste, which is vital for normal cognitive function,” said Carrillo.