…Brain researchers documented in 2008 how chronic marijuana use starting in adolescence significantly decreases the size of two brain areas thick in cannabinoid receptors—the amygdala by 7 percent and the hippocampus by 12 percent. One result was that young chronic marijuana users performed much worse than nonusers on verbal learning tests. Heavy marijuana use “exerts harmful effects on brain tissue and mental health,” the authors concluded in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 2008… (Kevin A. Sabet, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana [New York, NY: Beaufort Books, 2013])
Now the 2nd quote. And this better explains what the Amygdala does and how some people I know have had some family loss too soon and are struggling deeply with it. I wonder if they have distorted what would have been more of a healing process into more of an emotional wound. Forever lingering, never scabbing over.
This is an important note as well for the Apologist to know your audience and what may hinder them. This is regarding witnessing and how some may respond to reason and sound argument:
2. Compels People to Act Without Thinking Through the Issues
Emotions are great responders, but horrible leaders. Unfortunately, when a person has an emotional reaction to a statement, it becomes difficult to think about it rationally. This is actually the brain’s psychological response to emotion. Turning on the amygdala (the site of emotional processing) turns off the prefrontal cortex (the site of rational thought) …
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…. The hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC) have long been known to play a central role in various behavioral and cognitive functions. More recently, electrophysiological and functional imaging studies have begun to examine how interactions between the two structures contribute to behavior during various tasks. At the same time, it has become clear that hippocampal-prefrontal interactions are disrupted in psychiatric disease and may contribute to their pathophysiology. These impairments have most frequently been observed in schizophrenia, a disease that has long been associated with hippocampal and prefrontal dysfunction. Studies in animal models of the illness have also begun to relate disruptions in hippocampal-prefrontal interactions to the various risk factors and pathophysiological mechanisms of the illness…. (Hippocampal-Prefrontal Interactions in Cognition, Behavior and Psychiatric Disease)
The hippocampal formation (HPC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) have well-established roles in memory encoding and retrieval. However, the mechanisms underlying interactions between the HPC and mPFC in achieving these functions is not fully understood. Considerable research supports the idea that a direct pathway from the HPC and subiculum to the mPFC is critically involved in cognitive and emotional regulation of mnemonic processes. More recently, evidence has emerged that an indirect pathway from the HPC to the mPFC via midline thalamic nucleus reuniens (RE) may plays a role in spatial and emotional memory processing. Here we will consider how bidirectional interactions between the HPC and mPFC are involved in working memory, episodic memory and emotional memory in animals and humans. We will also consider how dysfunction in bidirectional HPC-mPFC pathways contributes to psychiatric disorders. (Prefrontal-Hippocampal Interactions in Memory and Emotion)
[Returning to book quote]
… A person doesn’t choose for this to happen, it just happens. Research has shown that when when the amygdala and prefrontal cortex compete, initially the amygdala (emotional center) wins. People can be talked down from this state, but they must first realize that the switch from rational to emotional thinking occurred in the first place!
That is a great connector that shows as brain damage is caused by what many consider harmless interactions with “grass”moreare in fact, very consequential. And, how these people may interact with thinking through an argument or even a life crisis is distorted, at best.
By constantly experimenting with breeding practices and cultivation techniques over several decades, producers and growers steadily made progress in greatly elevating the levels of THC (the psychoactive ingredient) found in the oily resin of the marijuana plant’s leaves and flowers.
At the University of Mississippi, a potency-monitoring project has been under way for the past few decades, measuring the concentration of THC in thousands of marijuana samples randomly selected from law-enforcement seizures. Since 1983, when THC concentrations averaged below 4 percent, potency has intensified until it now exceeds an average of 10 percent. Many marijuana samples are in the 10-20 percent range. Some marijuana samples show THC concentrations exceeding 30 percent. If we were talking about alcohol, this increase in intoxication potential would be like going from drinking a “lite” beer a day to consuming a dozen shots of vodka.