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Does Smoking Cannabis Kill Your Brain Cells, Yes or No? Science Speaks!



does weed kill brain cells

As the legalization of recreational marijuana spreads across the United States, there is growing curiosity about its impact on the brain, including concerns about potential harm to brain cells. Just as the prolonged use of alcohol, methamphetamine, and heroin can lead to irreversible brain damage, excessive and extended marijuana use can disrupt the normal functioning of brain cells.


This ultimately affects their ability to transmit messages (a process called brain activity). Using marijuana can damage brain cells, which in turn can manifest as various symptoms throughout the body.  Is it true or just urban legend?


Similar to other substances, components of marijuana interact with specific receptors in the brain. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana, binds to the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, known as cannabinoid receptor type 1 or CB1 receptors. These receptors are linked to nerve pathways in the brain that regulate functions such as memory, appetite, pain management, and mood.


When an individual consumes marijuana, they may experience difficulty maintaining focus and recalling crucial information. This impairment can become more pronounced with prolonged marijuana use, impairing memory and concentration. Additionally, the drug can also impact motor skills. If individuals choose to operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, they put their lives and the lives of others at risk.


While less research has been conducted on adults who initiate marijuana use after adolescence, recent studies have revealed an adverse association between THC and higher-order cognitive functions, such as retaining important information, planning, organizing, solving problems, and regulating emotions and behaviors. Whether these effects are reversible remains uncertain according to current scientific knowledge.

How Cannabis Affects the Brain

Although there is no definitive proof that extended marijuana use results in the death of brain cells, it undeniably has the potential to inflict harm on the brain. THC, the active compound in marijuana, interacts with the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, pivotal in governing functions like memory, coordination, emotions, and pleasure.


Persistent and heavy marijuana use can harm these receptors, leading to compromised brain function. The lasting nature of this damage remains uncertain, but it can significantly impact a person’s everyday cognitive abilities.


Below are some prevalent side effects associated with marijuana use concerning the brain:

Effect on Learning and Memory

Over the past few decades, research has demonstrated that prolonged cannabis use leads to a significant decrease in the volume of the gray matter region in the brain. This area is responsible for information processing, memory, and decision-making functions.


Furthermore, another study has found that extended marijuana usage can have an adverse effect on cognitive capabilities. In particular, the research revealed that intensive cannabis consumption reduced the size of the hippocampus and amygdala regions of the brain, potentially having a profound impact on memory and learning abilities.

Impeding Young People’s Brain Development

The use of marijuana has the potential to impede brain development in adolescents and young adults. The human brain undergoes continuous development until well into the late 20s, and marijuana consumption during this critical period can harm this process.


Elevated levels of THC, the active component in marijuana, can disrupt the brain’s normal formation of neural pathways. This disruption can give rise to enduring adverse effects. Rather than causing the death of brain cells, marijuana hampers the development of the brain in individuals who initiate marijuana use at an early age, resulting in a range of cognitive impairments.

 Reduction In IQ

A New Zealand study encompassing over 1,000 teenagers conducted IQ tests at age 13 and then again at age 38, examining their drug usage patterns. The results unveiled a noteworthy decline in average IQ points for individuals who used marijuana four or more times a week during this time frame – an average decrease of 8.


This study stands as the inaugural validation that frequent marijuana use, mainly smoking, can reduce intelligence. It highlights the significance of usage frequency in determining the likelihood of enduring or severe side effects.

Mental Health Problems and Addiction

Long-term marijuana use can lead to a significant and concerning side effect: addiction. Individuals who use marijuana over an extended period may develop a dependency on it, resulting in a spectrum of adverse consequences, such as mental health issues, compromised memory, and impaired cognitive function. Seeking addiction treatment can offer a path for individuals to overcome their marijuana dependence and enhance their overall quality of life.


Effect Of Synthetic Marijuana on the Brain

Synthetic Marijuana, a synthetic hallucinogenic substance typically sprayed onto plant material, is not intended for human consumption but has gained popularity recently. Commonly referred to as “Fake Weed,” it induces altered mental states and can lead to unusual behavior. Synthetic Marijuana is illegal and may contain toxic components that can result in an elevated heart rate, unexplained bleeding, and vomiting.


Like natural Marijuana, Synthetic Marijuana affects the brain by binding itself to Cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) receptors, which are present in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Synthetic Weed exhibits a much stronger binding affinity to CB1 receptors than THC, rendering it at least 100 times more potent in its impact on the brain.


Because CB1 receptors are distributed throughout various brain regions, the side effects of Synthetic Marijuana can be severe and detrimental. Synthetic Marijuana may cause the brain and body to experience:


Marijuana can induce a sense of relaxation in users, but excessive use or its combination with other substances can pose significant risks. Quitting marijuana use can prove challenging, and if you or someone you care about is struggling to quit and facing life-threatening situations, detoxification and treatment may be necessary.


Treatment involves removing individuals from the triggers that can lead to relapse, while counseling supports those in recovery by helping them understand and address their specific needs. Medications can also be employed to reduce cravings for Marijuana, and detoxification helps rid the body of toxins, restoring it to a healthier state. Assistance related to rehabilitation is readily available, ensuring that no one has to face addiction alone.





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The New Dope Dictionary – Codes for Cannabis Are All Around You, Do You Recognize the Modern Twists?




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The Dope Dictionary: Cannabis Codes Through Counterculture


You gotta hand it to stoner ingenuity coining clandestine code words over the years. With thousands of kooky nicknames for cannabis floating through counter-culture, no other community merges mischief and metaphor quite like folks facing prison for puffing plants.


When you risk becoming criminal just for giggling about “getting giddy,” clever wordplay gets ingrained in the lifestyle. Government literally weaponized terminology itself against us by policing diction absurdly. So we turned necessity into an artform.  In fact, cannabis growers have their own vocabulary to talk about the clones and seedlings as they mature.  Marijuana genetics vocabulary, you bet, those guys have their own terms and terminology, too!


Frankly, jazz musicians and hippies probably pioneered more classic cannabis lingo through history. But with so much linguistic creativity bubbling from underground scenes facing stigma, it makes sense that broad brushes painted us all as artsy rebels shaking up the squares through music, poetry, comedy. Subversion loves company.


Of course, after decades moving in discreet circles as an avid aficionado myself, I take for granted how advanced coded dialects for weed become over years. Yet those authentic roots remind why the culture cherishes novelty and shock value in messaging – it began battling censorship oppressing choice itself. When language oppresses, we reinvent language.


So today we honor all the verbal tricksters and word witches turning injustice into eternal cultural spice. The law changes slowly, but vocabulary stays verdant! Now onto examining the latest and greatest sneak words.



I recently stumbled on a fun Reddit thread asking cannabis users to share their favorite low-key terminology for getting high discreetly.


As both a wordsmith and avid weed enthusiast, observing such creative linguistic camouflage in action captivated instantly despite the late hour cannabis haze.


It seems no culture nurtures playful euphemisms quite like groups facing stigma around their sacraments, almost wearing subversive humor as an emblem of identity against mainstream misperceptions.


But beyond mere amusement, such slang also serves connecting code speaking subcultural significances aloud in mixed company.


While the diversity of terms for toking up likely outnumbers stars in the universe, I picked some personal favorite stealthy smoke signals from the thread for your reading pleasure. Check out this Highest Hits selection:

  1. Safety Meeting – A popular workplace excuse implying coordinated peer review of potential environmental hazards. Or just hotboxing behind the dumpster on break!

  2. Adult Talks – Euphemizes mature matters above young listener’s heads, like budgeting finely aged grape concentrates or knife hash.

  3. Going Biblical – Hinting at seeking spiritual communion through rather unorthodox methods The Man best not join…

  4. Getting Botanical – Coyly couches the quest for herbal inebriation in academic terms. Homework helps!

  5. Time to Get Silly – Speak for itself really…the perfect excuse to indulge childlike joys discretely!


While this list barely captures stoner terminology’s constantly evolving expansion, it hopefully conveys enduring cultural solidarity through lighthearted lingo lampooning oppressive norms. When conformity demands sobriety, only cheeky humor prevails!


Now let’s brainstorm ideal modern verbiage for avoiding awkward explanations without cramps creativity’s canon too criminalized these days…



Having AI’s creative capacities at our fingertips, I wondered if we could concoct even sneakier terminology for toking up that fits organically into routine vernacular without raising eyebrows. The goal being innocuous phrasing no one blinks twice hearing, yet discreetly signals “Let’s get baked bro!”


Now I don’t advocate hiding indulgences out of shame or anything. But you should always be discreet with everything you do. Some people are douchebags. The other day I screamed “FUCK THE DEVIL!” in church, and they kicked me out. I thought everyone hated the MF!


As the saying goes – cast not pearls before swine lest trampled underfoot!


So less about deception than pragmatic filtering against joy-killing judgment prematurely. I find that keeping your personal doings discreet or only with people “in the loop”, that you’ll reduce the drama in your life significantly. Sure, I smoke weed, but not everyone else does and some people hate it. I could say, “Fuck it”, but in reality, less drama = better highs.


  1. Debugging some code – Evokes the tedious yet technical task of identifying problems in programming scripts. Who doesn’t need burning mental fuel smoothing that headachey process?

  2. Feeding the birds – Sounds like a wholesome nature pastime giving winged creatures their supper. Not supplying yourself supplemental brain seeds!

  3. Sorting the catalogs – Hints at the bored administrative task of organizing merchandise booklets and promotional materials. But what discerning store wouldn’t display cannabis proudly given cultural advancements?

  4. Unpacking grandma’s spices – Conjures innocently rummaging through nana’s pungent spice drawer for that special heirloom ingredient elevating cookie recipes!

  5. Discussing theoretical physics – Because what stoner conversation doesn’t wander into awed territory frequenting scholars seeking unified field equations? Just advanced nerd stuff clearly.



The ultimate litmus stays not arousing any explicit suspicion around activities unfolding behind innocuous phrasing. These creative equivalents hopefully pass public scrutiny allowing coded conversations in plain sight!



At the end of the day, this linguistic playfulness reflects a deeper cultural resilience. When authorities weaponized terminology itself against us over victimless herb use, we got creative subverting oppression. And from crisis came community unusually tight-knit thanks to sharing sensi and silly secrecy alike.


The code words arose organically as cautions against harsh policies promoting justified paranoia. Their continued use even after legalization specifies a hard-won solidarity identity persisting within the rising rituals of public awareness destigmatization. Sort of an emblem indicating we remember past injustices galvanizing today’s freedoms progressing gradually.


Of course, some terminology stays wisely discretionary depending on settings and company to this day. As much from pragmatism as conveying coded respect towards certain consciousness expansions still requiring reasonable care when engaged. The plants graciously unveil mysteries in good time for those nurturing understanding gently.


But overall this rich slanguage woven fantastically documenting decades underground sanctions now merits cherishing as cultural heritage holding unique significances. Almost like appreciated argot artistry honed rivaling legendary linguistic circles throughout history pivoting language itself towards liberation. Etch it into stoner dictionaries!


My hope in shedding light on this glossary grocery list stimulation becomes furthering such delightful camaraderie through readers adding their own favorites to the mix. Language creates culture. And the cannabis culture is quite rich in that department.





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Are Hemp-Derived Delta-8 Products That Get You High Legal?




congress on delta-8 rules

President Joe Biden signed an emergency funding bill into law on Thursday to avert a government shutdown. Notably, the legislation also extends the Farm Bill until September 2024, granting Congress additional time to formulate a new one. Advocates anticipate that the upcoming bill will address the expanding national market for hemp-derived cannabinoids, including the contentious delta-8 THC.


As lawmakers embark on crafting replacement legislation, their focus will encompass the requirements of domestic agriculture, with specific attention to the concerns of hemp farmers and producers. The U.S. Hemp Roundtable, along with 30 other cannabis organizations, has submitted a list of nine priorities to the House and Senate committees responsible for shaping the new Farm Bill.  The story “Under 0.3% THC by Net Weight Creates the Biggest Loophole is Drug Law History” covers how Delta-8 and Delta-9 derived from hemp and that get you high claim to be legal.


These priorities encompass various aspects, such as

  • Enhancing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s hemp program through increased funding and staffing,

  • Compelling the Food and Drug Administration to regulate hemp extracts like CBD,

  • Designating hemp as a specialty crop,

  • Repealing restrictions preventing felons from participating in hemp production,

  • Fostering hemp research at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), tribal colleges, and Hispanic-serving institutions,

  • Eliminating Drug Enforcement Administration registration for hemp-testing labs,

  • Easing regulatory burdens,

  • Permitting hemp grain for animal feed,

  • Addressing THC levels for hemp.

Jonathan Miller, the general counsel for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, discussed these priorities and potential challenges for low-THC cannabis farmers and processors in an interview with MJBizMagazine, shedding light on the considerations as lawmakers gear up to finalize a new Farm Bill.

Anticipated Modifications to Hemp in the 2023 U.S. Farm Bill

A prominent concern within the industry revolves around the insufficient regulation by the FDA regarding CBD and other cannabinoids.


Efforts are underway to introduce amendments to the Farm Bill, mandating FDA oversight of CBD. However, a jurisdictional challenge exists initially, as the version emerging from the U.S. House of Representatives will likely need provisions concerning the FDA. The House Agriculture Committee lacks jurisdiction over the FDA.


Nevertheless, as the bill progresses to the Senate, the floor, or conference committee discussions, expectations are high for including language addressing this regulatory gap—a pivotal need for the industry. While the House Energy and Commerce Committee leans toward a separate bill to maintain jurisdiction over CBD, there is a consensus that some legislative action is desired within the current year.

What is the Probability of Approving a New Farm Bill This Year?

The likelihood of a new Farm Bill passing this year is still being determined, with attention centered on two fundamental conflicts, particularly concerning the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. The dynamics of this issue are less of a partisan struggle between Democrats and Republicans and more of an internal battle within the Republican Party.


The disagreement is notably prominent within the Freedom Caucus and the party’s right-wing faction. This faction remains discontented with the previous debt-ceiling deal and may leverage the Farm Bill to address their concerns.


Consequently, House Republican leadership faces a genuine challenge in delivering a proposal that can simultaneously satisfy the demands of the far-right wing and garner support from Democrats. The outcome remains uncertain amid these complex political dynamics.

Which Members of Congress are Leading the Way in Influencing Hemp-related Legislation?

The influential figures shaping hemp-related policies in Congress include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a key player with significant impact on hemp-related matters. Another notable figure is Jamie Comer, the House Oversight Committee chair, who intends to hold hearings on hemp and CBD.


The leaders of specific committees also hold considerable sway in these discussions. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Glenn “GT” Thompson, chair of the House Agriculture Committee, are pivotal players in influencing hemp-related decisions in the House.


On the Senate side, Debbie Stabenow, who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture (Nutrition and Forestry), and Bernie Sanders, chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, will contribute significantly to the discourse. Additionally, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to shape hemp-related policies substantially.

The 2018 Farm Bill

As per Reuters, the temporary bill allocates farm programs and food assistance funding until September of the following year. The farm bill is a component of a substantial spending package that Congress renews on a five-year cycle. The previous farm bill, sanctioned in 2018, legalized the production and sale of hemp across all 50 states.


However, the 2018 Farm Bill also paved the way for unregulated competition from hemp-derived products, impacting the tightly regulated marijuana industry operating under state legality. This legislation resulted in an influx of new products, including those containing CBD, delta-8 THC, delta-9 THC, and other intoxicating cannabinoids—some originating from synthetic processes. These products entered smoke shops, gas stations, and online platforms.


The proliferation of CBD, hemp-derived delta-8, and delta-9 THC products has presented challenges for state legislators and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA, responding to concerns, issued warning letters to companies selling hemp-derived products that either made unsupported medical claims or marketed delta-8 THC products in packaging resembling typical snacks and candies consumed by children.


With federal action still pending, several states, including Kentucky and Virginia, have started enacting laws to prohibit or significantly restrict hemp-derived products. In response, hemp companies have initiated legal actions to contest or delay the implementation of such state bans.


Recent legislative developments highlight the intricate landscape surrounding the Farm Bill and hemp-related regulations. President Joe Biden’s signing of the emergency funding bill extends the Farm Bill until September 2024, allowing lawmakers to address critical issues in the hemp industry. Advocates, led by the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, emphasize nine priorities, including FDA regulation of CBD and hemp as a specialty crop.


The uncertainties regarding a new Farm Bill passage this year, influenced by internal Republican conflicts and debates over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), underscore the challenges of bipartisan cooperation. Congressional figures like Mitch McConnell, Jamie Comer, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Glenn “GT” Thompson, Debbie Stabenow, Bernie Sanders, and Chuck Schumer play crucial roles in shaping hemp-related policies.


Reflecting on the 2018 Farm Bill, its legalization of hemp production triggered opportunities and challenges. The surge in hemp-derived products prompted FDA and state regulatory concerns, leading to legal battles and state-level restrictions. The evolving legislative landscape emphasizes the need for a comprehensive regulatory framework to govern the growing hemp industry, balancing federal, state, and industry interests.





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The European Cannabis News Update




european cannabis news

First Legal Marijuana Dispensary to Open in Switzerland


In late October 2023, the first trials for a cannabis dispensary – a pioneer in Europe, was finally given the green light by Swiss authorities. The dispensary will be managed by the Swiss Institute for Addiction  (ISGF) and Health Research as well as the Sanity Group though they both must first carry out a study to plan how they will successfully sell marijuana to adults.


The study called Grashaus Project, is taking place late 2023. It will involve dispensing cannabis at a flagship store in the Allschwil municipality though another store will follow in Liestal. The trials will also allow them to pre-empt how to handle high-risk users including those with mental health problems, and how they can refer them to the right care centers in their canton.


Prof. Dr. Michael Schaub, ISGF’s Scientific Director, will be leading the study. Meanwhile, Finn Hansel, Sanity Group’s CEO, said in a statement: “Our ambition to support the ISGF pilot project with our knowledge and experience as an internationally positioned cannabis company is primarily based on the promotion of research in the field of cannabis.”

“Since the company was founded, our goal has been to further research the benefits of cannabis and destigmatize the plant. Together with ISGF, we are developing concepts for safe sales based on health protection, youth protection and prevention,” he said.


Swiss authorities have been studying various reform and policy models around the country during the last few years. One of the their biggest challenges is toppling the black market, which is still prevalent in Switzerland as well as other parts of Europe.


Is Germany Finally About To Legalize Marijuana?


On November 27, 2023, the Traffic Light coalition of Germany, which is comprised of members from the Social Democratic Party, The Greens, and the Free Democratic Party, is said to have agreed on cannabis legalization policies that may take effect by April 1st next year.


Currently, anyone found in possession of over 25 grams of cannabis may be convicted of a crime. Should the new rules take effect, citizens will be able to carry as much as 30 grams in public, and possess 50 up to 60 grams in private. The authorities are still working on drafting the laws and these could change anytime over the next few weeks.


Germany has been working on finalizing the legalities surrounding cannabis use more aggressively since 2021.


During a meeting at the Bundestag last week, Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach answered questions from people who had mixed views about cannabis legalization. “The fact remains that child and youth protection is carried out through education, and sales to children and young people remain prohibited,” he clarified.


“As part of this legalization, we are pushing back the black market,” Lauterbach stated. “The less of the black market there is, the lower the risk that our children will be brought into consumption through the black market,” he added.


The Illegal Cannabis Market Is Still Flourishing in Europe


A recent article by called, “With a Gun to My Head, Here is One Idea to Go Long and One Idea to Short in the Cannabis Market”, pointed out that while Europe may become the biggest cannabis market by volume in the world, full legalization would open up the biggest illicit cannabis market in the world as well.  The author noted Europe’s long difficulty in organizing agreements, border squabbles, and the access points that many surrounding poor countries have to Europe as big concern for legal market organizers.


It appears the article was spot on now after a recent report by the EMCDDA.


A recent analysis released by the EMCDDA (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction) and the Europol reveals that the European cannabis market is growing in terms of both diversity and potency.


According to the report, cannabis takes up the biggest slice of the pie in Europe’s drug market, estimated to be worth some EUR 11.4 billion. It also mentions that around 22.6 million European adults have consumed marijuana within the last year.


However, the report also highlights that the potency of marijuana products continues to rise. It also points towards the increasing danger of semi-synthetic cannabis and its proliferation in Europe, especially HHC. Consuming potent and synthetic cannabinoids is a real threat and danger that they still need to tackle. It seems that the European market is still struggling greatly as they learn how to cope with the flourishing black market.


French Government Takes A Big Step To Improve Medical Cannabis Access


Last October 23, the French government made amendments to the Social Security Financing Bill (PLFSS) involving medical marijuana. In doing so, they brought cannabis into the general medical framework of France for the first time in history as part of their trials.


Thanks to the move, medical marijuana products will now be given a temporary authorization good for five years. They also have language in place that will allow these authorizations to be renewed indefinitely. This step towards marijuana generalization is significant for France because it integrates medical marijuana into their general law.


That isn’t without its caveats, though: in France, patients must still have tried every other treatment available, and if it doesn’t work, then they can look to doctors who can prescribe them medical marijuana. Despite the liberal French nation launching their trials with medical cannabis since 2021 lasting for 2 years.


Other notable developments from the amendment include the ability to authorize products on a case by case basis, making way for a transition period lasting 9 months – by the end of which marks the expiry of generalization as the experiment culminates in April 2024. Once generalization has finished, cannabis use will go back to being recommended as a last-resort medication and only hospitals can prescribe them.



The European Union still struggles with numerous challenges when it comes to legalizing cannabis in every single nation. The black market is a major hurdle, and many authorities are still pushing back against more liberal access of medical marijuana.





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