Category Archives: Mental Health

Fix What You Can: A Letter to My Granddaughter

Young Brains & Marijuana

Originally written for Mindy Greiling’s blog,

A Letter to my fifteen-year-old granddaughter

Dear Taylor,

I learned a lot about marijuana and mental illness at a recent National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Conference. I want to share some of it with you while it’s still fresh on my mind, because it scared me. I don’t want you to get schizophrenia like your Uncle Jim.

When I was young, I pooh-poohed scare tactics about marijuana. I only used it once, however, because I didn’t want to get in legal trouble. The information we have now is much more based in science and much more dire than what we were told as kids.  Marijuana is three times stronger than it was then, according to University of Minnesota and hospital doctors who presented at the conference. Apparently it’s not as harmless as I thought either, especially for young people. They said that marijuana use hijacks normal brain development Continue reading Fix What You Can: A Letter to My Granddaughter

Cannabis and THC: How it damages the brain and body

By Mary Brett BSc (Hons) Chair of Cannabis Skunk Sense in Great Britain www.cannabisskunksense.co.uk

Damage is caused in several different ways.

Neuron — Courtesy of Mary Brett who provided the image

BRAIN: Messages are passed from cell to cell (neurons) in the brain by chemicals called neurotransmitters which fit by shape into their own receptor sites on specific cells.

The neurotransmitter, anandamide, an endo-cannabinoid (made in body) whose job is to control by suppression the levels of other neurotransmitters is mimicked and so replaced by a cannabinoid (not made in body) in cannabis called THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is very much stronger and damps down more forcefully the release of other neurotransmitters. Consequently the total activity of the brain decreases. Chaos ensues. Continue reading Cannabis and THC: How it damages the brain and body

The marijuana of the 1960s sent me down a path of mental illness

As far as I’m concerned, those who claim that marijuana is harmless don’t know what they’re talking about.   Also there’s a misconception that only the stronger pot of today is dangerous.

What you don’t know is that I became addicted to marijuana in my early 20s, and suffered a psychotic breakdown shortly after my 25th birthday. Ever since then I’ve struggled with mental illness, especially depression with frequent thoughts of suicide. Continue reading The marijuana of the 1960s sent me down a path of mental illness