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→
My daughter is in her thirties. A friend who was a recovering drug addict introduced her to marijuana. She started experimenting with pot after high school. I didn’t know about it at the time, only found out years later. She said it brought up memories and was sort of traumatic for her.
She started seeing a therapist. And, eventually, she was recommended a medical marijuana card. I still don’t know the diagnosis. She was smoking marijuana occasionally before that, but once she got the card she started smoking large amounts of pot. She was telling me strange things, things that didn’t make sense. I thought ‘this is really odd.’ The next time we visited she was very secretive. She was dressed nicely and seemed to be taking care of herself, as normal. But it was our conversation that was unnerving. She took me outside to the woods nearby to speak, because she suspected there were hidden cameras all over her home. Continue reading My Daughter Suffered Paranoia and Psychosis from “Medical” Marijuana→
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). THCis 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→
They say you can’t overdose on marijuana. When Brant Clark was seventeen years old, he had a devastating experience from smoking an enormous amount of marijuana at one time. It led to a sudden, major psychotic break, emergency room care, hospitalization for nearly a week, and ultimately his suicide two weeks later. This book documents some of the most important, yet widely under-reported research about the risks of marijuana and THC to youth.