• uncanni
    338
    This article may be of interest, hippocampal neurogensis and memory:Pantagruel

    I looked at it, but I see a lot of that research as, well, quite partial. Why on earth test THC on animals? This makes no sense to me. Further, there is a lot of research out there on how Cannabis (not an isolated cananbinoid or a synthetic version of THC, but rather the whole plant and all the chemicals in synergy, helps with ADHD. A few of my students say Cannabis tincture helps them to focus and concentrate better.

    It's quite mysterious how it can have such different effects on different people. But I see that as part of the nature of Cannabis. How I feel using it now is nothing like what I felt in the 1970s.
  • Andrew Furr
    6
    Marijuana can have various affects on cognition, even within one person. From my experience, it depends on the nature of one's interest and their prior understanding of the topic.

    To begin, it acts as a stimulus, increasing heart rate and things like that, so its not surprising that many thoughts can start flying across one's mind. It can bring you into a new space regarding an old problem, or maybe get you interested in something that was never quite your cup of tea. Studies on increased heart rate have findings along the line of this: someone is on a stable bridge during a conversation will not have as much interest in the person they are speaking to as someone that has a conversation on a bridge that is dangerous. This is because the increased heart rate is confused as arousal in the other person. Tying this in, one's physiological arousal can lead them to thinking that what they are saying is more profound than it actually is. So, when experiencing something new for the first time while high, someone may find this thing exceedingly interesting. The down fall would be a decreased arousal experience the next time someone engages in the same activity. I've had this issue with studying a topic that I went to class stoned for. In this way, if someone is not stoned all the time, or at least in the same state of mind that they were when they came across the topic, it can have negative effects on understanding. This is also confirmed in psychological studies, which note that memory is influenced by things such as mental state or location. For example, studies show that students do better on tests if the exam is in the same room that they learned the information, opposed to a different room.

    This all being said, it looks like marijuana may not be good for learning, even though it can increase attention for periods of time. Unless, one stays stoned all the time, but this leads to increased degradation in areas of the brain as well, and should be avoided for physiological and psychological reasons, of course unless the marijuana is to assist some disorder. I believe it has wonderful medical advantages for many, but to use it irresponsibly can cause ADHD like symptoms, according to some studies, in those that have never displayed them previously. So it has its pros and cons like everything else.

    Though marijuana may seem like a good way to get into something new, I personally believe it is more efficient to use it to enhance something familiar. Once something, like a paper or song for example, is composed and edited, smoking marijuana before a final viewing could really open up the perspective and allow for a "break through." It may allow for something new to be seem due to a higher analysis, propagated by increased physiological attention processing. Furthermore, the hallucinogenic like effects of marijuana give it an edge that you will not experience with cocaine or caffeine intake, but is not as over bearing as something like mushrooms or LSD (which are more useful for self and relational aspect recognition, often beyond what language can accomplish). After understanding the fundamentals of some theory well, which is arguably much easier to do and remember while sober, marijuana can be used to discover new variables and functional possibilities. It loosens the constraint on what is being processed and allows for a improvisation that can lead to wonderful and novel results.

    For example, learning how to play the piano well requires discipline and practice. One must follow the established rules to learn where the keys are and how the scales go; until one becomes nearly perfect and can perform them without thinking. But these scales are not interesting to listen to! Someone must come up with new things, build upon these scales, and combine them in new ways in order to create something beautiful. But you cannot begin with randomness. One must control themselves in constraints, until they know well enough how to perform without them. I find this to be an analogy with marijuana. Get good at something a familiarize yourself with it sober, so that it can reliably be retained and practiced in a stable mental situation that does not require any additional additives to achieve. Once that is accomplished, I believe marijuana can definitely be used to reach new heights.

    I apologize for not having references for the studies I claim about, but I assure you they are out there! I am open to any response!
  • uncanni
    338
    Unless, one stays stoned all the time, but this leads to increased degradation in areas of the brain as well, and should be avoided for physiological and psychological reasonsAndrew Furr

    I never heard before that Cannabis degrades the brain.
  • Andrew Furr
    6
    Yeah, that was very general and poorly worded on my part, I apologize. What some studies have found is that THC can have negative impacts on the hippocampus, which can possibly lead to problems with long-term memory. This doesn't seem to happen when one smokes only occasionally, but having the CB1 receptors active for too long can cause problems, as well as feelings of fear and anxiety, instead of euphoria. Also, heavy THC use appears to cause the loss of neurons to increase. Around the mid-twenties, it is said that we lose multiple thousands of neurons per day as an effect of aging, and THC is thought to increase the speed of this process. So it may begin to affect cognitive ability and mental function is used to regularly. CBD acts differently, but that's another story. These affects are thought to happen because heavy marijuana use inhibits the release of amino acids and monoamine neurotransmitters in the brain.
    So, all in all, it seems that it can cause effects on the brain that are similar to that of aging, or rather, increase the speed at which these negative effects begin to have an impact. So, "brain degradation" sounds a little intense, but in a sense, it does happen.
    On a side note, I am not against marijuana in any way and have enjoyed it on many occasions in my life. I just support it in moderation, pretty much like anything else.
    I hope this helped make the comment more clear, and I look forward to any response!
  • uncanni
    338
    I'll have to look into that, although I take a lot of the online information about Cannabis with a grain of salt, or less. There's a shit ton of shit information about Cannabis on the internet. There are a few medical researchers whose articles and books are trustworthy--Ethan Russo is one I trust. According to him, the benefits of THC and all other Cannabis chemicals on the Endocannabinoid System are not to be scoffed at.

    That being said, however, of all the many things that impact the brain negatively--alcohol, cigarettes, air pollution, stress, poor diet, etc.--I'll stick with Cannabis.
  • Andrew Furr
    6
    Yeah, there is definitely a lot of conflicting information out there. I also think that it goes by a person to person basis, where someone effects may be more prevalent depending on who was sampled. Not to mention, confounding factors that may have played a role more dominantly than cannabis itself. It for sure needs more testing. The fact that there is so much conflicting evidence points towards the negative effects not being nearly as bad as other things, such as alcohol, which we clearly understand as bad for you. At least I think so, whatever that is worth.

    I also definitely think the obvious positive effects for many outweigh the potential negative side effects in most cases, but ignoring any side of a scientific argument can be dangerous unless it is clearly ridiculous.
  • Andrew Furr
    6
    other than mentioning how it affected my interest in a topic in my first comment, the comments have nothing to do with my consumption of any drug. They’re just relaying findings in scientific studies. Whether these studies are conclusive or are to be refuted it yet to be found. Of course, people report more positive results from marijuana use, and ima sure that there are more benefits that negatives. But to ignore potential negative findings is just as ignorant as the people who ignore the positive ones and say marijuana is dangerous. I’m not saying it is bad, but many things have pros and cons, and it’s something we have to accept. It surely is safe relative to almost all other recreational drugs, and I advocate it’s legalization and use. But the facts that it may effect memory is outside of my wishes and experiences for what it does. I’m more than open, and actually hoping, to the fact that these findings may be refuted or based on poor studies/ bad evidence. But they’re still worth paying attention to if one wishes to completely understand the effects of some substance on brain function
  • Shawn
    10.8k


    You still need that money you asked from me in PM, herr doktor?
  • Andrew Furr
    6
    Well, marijuana originally helped me with depression and anger. I'd get very angry with some event and smoking always allowed me to think about the situation in a way that wasn't so defensive and self-centered. It helped me imagine different perspectives and outcomes. I ultimately solved this issue through other means, but cannabis use certainly helped me relax and ponder the issue while young.

    These days, I use it more recreationally than medicinally. When I have been playing my drum set for while and find myself repeating the same beats over and over, I like to take a nice hit. It really puts me in a different place and I can connect more with what I'm trying to accomplish. I don't know exactly what place it put me in. I wouldn't say it makes me more creative, per se, but rather opens up and changes the way that I play. I guess that could be interpreted as creativity, but I'd search for a more clear definition before subscribing to that. Also, when writing a paper and forming an argument, I like to smoke before I review the paper. Not for grammar or anything, though it does give me an eagle eye for those kind of things, at least the first time I smoke that day. (Successive smoking in one day tends to just make me tired and my thoughts can't get organized, but the first go-round is always up=lifting and productive). It really helps me think of counter-examples to my argument that may have not been present when writing. So, it augments my ability to think outside of the box.

    As for your claims about humans not understanding one another; I agree. There is a degree of empathy that can be expressed. And there have been cases where one may be able to explain a problem to someone that that person can't seem to understand about themselves. I believe introspection is really good for looking into oneself and attempting to find a pattern that one may call a self, but sometimes an outside view can really provide insight into how one relates to the world that they are in. And that is the self, in my opinion; a relation to others in the world. (that debate is thrilling as well!). But, there is something that it is like to be me, or for anyone, that cannot be experienced by anything else and which I have a special right to. There are aspects of being me that are for me alone and that will not be comprehended by anyone else, at least with the level of connection now shared in the world. Some neuro scientists and philosopher claim that one day we will bridge this gap, but I am skeptical. There seems to be something, in principle, that it is like to be me that no amount of brain scanning could possibly expand on. But this sounds a lot like dualism, which I do not subscribe to. Its just a perspective that another simply cannot take. Its part of being an individual.

    This strong sense of individuality; this, "you cannot understand me" leads to a lot of issues I think. Though, it seems to be our natural state of mind. We do not function like an ant hill does. Some even argue that anthills are one super organism, while we clearly have boundaries. We communicate well, but language has its boundaries. Many of our thoughts are not articulated in language, but may appear as images, or merely feelings that have more meaning than words can so far describe. Its all far more complicated than anything I claim to be able to expand on.

    And for existential pains, I think it goes both ways. It can be worse or better while under the influence. It depends on many things, such as setting, openess to other views and the people who are in your life. Drug use, mainly psychedelics and marijuana, are potentiating. That create a potential for great thoughts and realization, or anxiety and despair. And yes, I think that even un-laced weed can provide with despair. Its all about how and when one uses the substance. If one is thinking really hard about not having a job and gets stoned, one may either fret even harder because they are smoking instead of going out a doing something about it, or they may re conceptualize the issue and immediately get to work. It depends on the person and the circumstances. Cannabis can provide the potential "energy" but its up to the person to use it wisely.
  • Chris Hughes
    180

    This is a good discussion! I find being stoned breaks me out of my (mild) autistic bubble. Not that I'm diagnosed - I'm self-diagnosed and self-medicating. (Ending prohibition is a long way off here in the UK.) Medicinal use is considered good, unlike that bad old recreational use. Heres the thing, though: recreational use is medicinal. It can cure, for instance, existential nausea. Have you read Sartre’s Nausea? Me neither. But I know what I think he means: Stuff, the world, it makes you sick. Have a toke - it helps you tick. It helps me think - I think. Half of what I've written on this forum, I've written stoned.
  • Grre
    183

    Big fan of Sartre, lot's of people participating in this discussion probably are.

    Interesting that you identify as mildly autistic-I too, kind of self-diagnose myself as that, and people close to me have agreed. Am currently working my way through the long public channels to get a proper diagnosis, could use the extra support in post secondary ect. also for my own peace of mind.
  • Chris Hughes
    180

    Not sure diagnosis helps (unless you're a parent of a severely autistic child needing serious help). Peace of mind can come from acceptance, I'd say. I've found I can now reach out from my bubble. Have fun!
  • Shawn
    10.8k
    On a not entirely different note, I've been watching the NASA meltdown in regards to Elon Musk taking a puff of marijuana on a dumb Joe Rogan podcast, and as a result of this, he had to apologize to NASA and SpaceX employees about the excursion.

    It's really paradoxical that for open-minded people who want to explore space, to be so militant against a harmless mind-expanding compound. I suppose the people at NASA and engineers still think it's the 50's or something??

    EDIT: And, he didn't even inhale!
  • Shawn
    10.8k


    Crazy shitpost maaan.
  • Eee
    159
    It's really paradoxical that for open-minded people who want to explore space, to be so militant against a harmless mind-expanding compound. I suppose the people at NASA and engineers still think it's the 50's or something??Wallows

    That's a good point. How many people have been high when watching 2001? And consider the term psychonauts. Obviously one should be careful, but at the same time Neil Armstrong (as a recent movie makes vivid) was not careful. And philosophy is dangerous in the same way drugs and space exploration are. Anyone who wanders away from Everyone runs a risk. We call them heroes or fools depending on their success or failure as we interpret it.

    Elon was/is also getting a piece of Grimes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9SGYBHY0qs

    He is doing something right.
  • Shawn
    10.8k
    That's a good point. How many people have been high when watching 2001? And consider the term psychonauts.Eee

    That's a misunderstanding of the film. Sure it was released in the 60's, and you had the audience at the time either high or inebriated in some sense. But, according to what I've seen in regards to commentary about the film by Spielberg, that wasn't the intended message.
  • Eee
    159
    That's a misunderstanding of the film. Sure it was released in the 60's, and you had the audience at the time either high or inebriated in some sense. But, according to what I've seen in regards to commentary about the film by Spielberg, that wasn't the intended message.Wallows

    It's Kubrick's film. But my point wasn't about any message of the film but simply to connect space exploration with the exploration of rare mental states. Outer space and inner space. I don't use drugs much these days, but I did when I was younger. (Added for context.)
  • Shawn
    10.8k
    It's Kubrick's film. But my point wasn't about any message of the film but simply to connect space exploration with the exploration of rare mental states. Outer space and inner space.Eee

    Kubrick and Spielberg were the closest of friends, and since Kubrick is dead, I'm going to take Spielberg's view on the matter that the film wasn't all about altered states. In fact, the protagonist of the film being HAL, couldn't really be puffing on marijuana, sipping on mescaline, or taking LSD, whether he/she/it liked it or not.
  • Eee
    159

    Right. Not saying it was about altered states. I'm saying the notion of exploration is involved in both space travel and in altered states of mind.

    After reading Osmond's paper, Huxley sent him a letter on Thursday, 10 April 1952, expressing interest in the research and putting himself forward as an experimental subject. His letter explained his motivations as being rooted in an idea that the brain is a reducing valve that restricts consciousness and hoping mescaline might help access a greater degree of awareness (an idea he later included in the book).[19] Reflecting on his stated motivations, Woodcock wrote that Huxley had realised that the ways to enlightenment were many, including prayer and meditation. He hoped drugs might also break down the barriers of the ego, and both draw him closer to spiritual enlightenment and satisfy his quest as a seeker of knowledge.[20] — Wiki
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Doors_of_Perception

    Explorers run risks, often with the hope of bringing something home to the tribe.
  • Shawn
    10.8k
    Explorers run risks, often with the hope of bringing something home to the tribe.Eee

    Yeah, them meeting with the monolith at the start of the film must have been quite an experience, eh?
    2001-monolith-apes.jpg
  • Grre
    183

    I think a lot of the legal repercussions of marijuana are still related in some moralistic fad-partly due to control, and partly due to people's sheer fear. Also a bit of racism and classism...(hatred of the poor black people often stereotyped of using the drug). The American government has always been a regressive and moralistic cess post of control, prohibition, sexual morality rooted in judeo-christianity ect. all just about control. The bran enjoys various washes of hormones, whether through sex, drugs, or alcohol, and these are potentially destabilizing-not just individually, but politically (look at the counter-culture of the 60s ect).
    Timothy Leary was sentenced to thirty years in jail for marijuana possession (back in the 50s) before his appeal overturned the Marijuana Act of Texas 1937.
  • Shawn
    10.8k
    The American government has always been a regressive and moralistic cess post of control, prohibition, sexual morality rooted in judeo-christianity ect. all just about control.Grre

    Yep, people or governments will get high on whatever they choose... Be it control (profound power trips) or something else.
  • Eee
    159
    Yeah, them meeting with the monolith at the start of the film must have been quite an experience, eh?Wallows

    Indeed! The madness of the human unleashed...
  • ovdtogt
    667
    All my Philosophical thoughts have been generated by the consumption of cannabis. When high I go on a Twitter spree and has inspired me to start a Facebook page called the Religious Atheist. My twitter handle is the selfconsconscious ape.I am an atheist but 'High' I become a religious fanatic very much inspired by Buddhism and the biblical Genesis.
  • ovdtogt
    667
    I think my brain under the influence of cannabis would make a great research subject. They would be able to see which parts of the brain are active during profound religiosity and creative thinking.
  • Grre
    183
    I'm fascinated that this post has generated so much interest; and if anyone is curious in continuing this topic, I have a new question to pose for discussion for the topic of marijuana and philosophy;
    It seems to be a consensus that marijuana plays some role in imaginative, abstract thinking and can be used spiritually or as a mental healing mechanism...whether or not it actually leads to concrete philosophy/academic work is disputed, but its role via this imagination/relaxation/opening consciousness, seems to be a general tool to those inclined to philosophy...so where is the modern philosophical thought and theory on this topic? There has been some work done on hallucinogens to be fair, but I haven't seen much of a body of academic and philosophical work on marijuana, beyond some psychiatrical reports; with the typical label that marijuana can cause schizophrenia (something largely disputed in other studies, but nonetheless in Canada, forced to be printed on all marijuana sold).
  • ovdtogt
    667
    My creative thinking is very much influenced by cannabis. Thankfully the consumption of which is tolerated in the Netherlands. I think it will take some time before it becomes part of academic or scientific research. There is still too much of a taboo on getting 'high'. And as I have stated above, I'd love to be a test subject. I think my THC infected brain could offer a great insight in how the creative/religious brain functions. I leave all my Tweets and Facebook' ramblings for posterity. One day it might become a treasure trove of information.
  • TheMadFool
    7.2k
    "what if nothing is real bro".Grre

    Your example is a good one and captures both the nature of the thoughts that flit across the minds of drug bugs and also how they're a caricature of what philosophy is.

    After all "nothing" and "real" do feature in serious philosophy e.g. ex nihilo nihil fit and reality is a philosophical subject in its own right. In fact if one considers how much progress has been made in these topics I think philosophers, even great ones, have barely managed to drop the "bro" from the question "what if nothing is real bro?"

    Perhaps it's not like I put it. Druggies aren't caricatures of real philosophers and their thoughts are serious philosophical issues that have boggled the minds of entire generations of great thinkers. However it must be noted that druggies needed assistance to reach what is to a philosopher just a routine. We can take this the other way of course; that philosophers are those with an abnormal mind - they talk like drug addicts.

    To say that such thoughts as emanate from the junkie is cliched may be true but only in terms of being oft repeated and not in the sense of uninteresting.
  • Shawn
    10.8k
    A wallowsome issue... But progress in being made in Mexico and the US with the MORE Act.

    Yay!
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    985
    In fact if one considers how much progress has been made in these topics I think philosophers, even great ones, have barely managed to drop the "bro" from the question "what if nothing is real bro?"TheMadFool

    Haha. Nicely turned.
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