12.03.2015
wellness

Science Fails to Prove Skunk Weed Makes You Dumb

So do we need to tell you to go ahead and smoke up?

Researchers at King’s College of London claim to have found a link between smoking “skunk weed” and muddling your corpus callosum. The findings were derived from scanning the brains of 56 skunk smokers after these smokers had experienced their first psychotic episode. Researchers also scanned the brains of 43 skunk smokers who have yet to report a psychotic break—and found fault with the corpus callosum in these smokers’ heads too.

The corpus callosum is the white matter that sits where the two hemispheres of your brain meet. One hemisphere is on the right; one is on the left. That white matter in between consists of nerve fiber that transmits messages from neurons in one side of the brain to cells in the other half.

Maybe right now your brain is wondering, “When did these egghead scientists decide to lead with the term skunk weed?”

Apparently, if the two sides of a person’s brain fail to communicate efficiently, cognitive difficulties ensue. In other words, you act fuddled.

Maybe right now your brain is wondering, “When did these egghead scientists decide to lead with the term skunk weed?” If that’s what you’re thinking, your brain is probably okay. If that’s not what you’re thinking, you are probably okay anyway.

The lead doctor on the King’s College study, neurobiologist Paola Dazzan, concedes that these latest findings fail to prove that high-THC-content actually damages the white matter in your skull’s gray matter. 

“It is possible that these people already have a different brain and they are more likely to use cannabis,” Dazzan said to the Guardian. “But what we can say is if it’s high potency, and if you smoke frequently, your brain is different from the brain of someone who smokes normal cannabis, and from someone who doesn’t smoke cannabis at all.” 

So what science knows for sure, sort of, is that people who smoke a lot of super strong weed have brains that operate in a different manner than people who do not smoke skunk. This conclusion may be a revelation to some people, but is hardly earthshaking. Also not earthshaking—as far as science knows—is the effect of Dazzan’s disruption to the white brain matter of all you skunk smokers.

“We don’t know exactly what it means for the person,” Dazzan admitted to the Guardian, “but it suggests there is less efficient transfer of information.”

Maybe a less efficient transfer of information between the cranial globes isn’t such a bad thing for the world at large.

Here are some things we do know for sure: Without super smart people, there would be no atom bomb or compound interest. Keep in mind that people of abnormally elevated intelligence are responsible for denying the carcinogenic effects of tobacco smoke for decades. Very, very bright people came up with the idea of acid wash jeans and the formula for smokable methamphetamine, and perhaps were also involved in the development of Google Glass and the mullet.

On the one hand, the world would not be what it is today without the smartest people of its successive generations pitching in with totally integrated brain-powered ambition. On the other hand, how many more waves of ultra-efficient, dual-hemisphere genius can the planet withstand?

So, from this advanced perspective, upon learning that King’s College of London is claiming that smoking skunk weed can cause loss of cognitive excellence, the clear-thinking human being reacts by saying, “Light up, and bring it on!”

Neurobiologist Dazzan’s presumed “less efficient transfer of information” may be just what modern civilization needs.

If the King’s College research teaches us one thing that we already know, it’s that alarmist headlines about weed studies should be taken with a grain of skepticism. In the past year, reputable news outlets announced fresh research indicating that cannabis will shrink brain cancer tumors and stop the spread of HIV. Upon deeper investigation, these studies are really only cause for celebration if you are a mouse or a monkey.

In February of this year, Paola Dazzan was among a team at the Institute of Psychiatry that suggested the availability of skunk weed in South London was responsible for an outbreak of psychosis in the area. If that causal effect were true, everyone in this office would be nuts.

But just because one set of researchers seems intent on demonizing a stinky nugget of plant matter is no reason to dismiss the importance of scientists who are working to prove and isolate cannabis’s medicinal properties.

It’s about time science caught up with the facts. This country is full of keen observers who have watched and been one among people smoking weed for decades' of intensive study. Cannabis use goes back centuries; much of the psychosis associated with it has been confined to fictional depictions

There is no question that weed enhances the quality of life for the people who like it.

Users agree. The stuff works great. It really does. 

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