Marijuana can send a brain to pot. The Star article.

This interesting article I found on The Stars website here

 note that it says the THC level found in the 80s in Marijuana used to be 3 or 4%. Now it is more like 12 %.

Also they have found there is more of the psychoactive ingredient and less of the Cannabiol which is protecting. 
 It is quite a long, but well researched article written by Nancy White.
Below is some of the article.(edited)

At age 17, sitting in the basement with friends smoking pot, Don Corbeil first noticed all the cameras spying on him. Then he became convinced a radioactive chip had been planted in his head. “I thought I was being monitored like a lab rat,” he explains.

It never occurred to him that marijuana could be messing with his brain. Corbeil had been smoking pot since he was 14, a habit that escalated to about 10 joints a day.

He started hearing voices and, at one point, Corbeil thought he was the Messiah. Police found him one day talking incoherently, and brought him to hospital, where he was eventually diagnosed with drug-induced psychosis.

Corbeil had dabbled in other drugs, such as acid and ecstasy. But marijuana was his mainstay.

When he went on anti-psychotic medication and off pot, the symptoms eventually stopped. But twice he tried smoking it again, and both times the demons sprung up. “Within 10 minutes, the voices started,” says Corbeil, now 20, of North Bay. “It was as if people had been in a box for a few years and then you take the lid off and they all want to talk to you.”

He slammed the lid back on the box — he swore off marijuana.

With good reason: Research in recent years has shown that marijuana can trigger psychosis in vulnerable individuals. But who exactly is at risk remains hazy.

Smoking marijuana is one of a messy mix of circumstances — genetics, stress, injury, age of first use — that likely predispose someone to psychosis.

“There seems to be a combination of risk factors. But nobody knows which combinations can be the triggers.” says Jean Addington, psychiatry professor at the University of Calgary and president of the International Early Psychosis Association.

Some studies suggest that youth in their early teens who become regular users — toking a few times a week — have double the risk five years later of paranoia, hallucinations and psychotic breaks.

While most studies have focused on cannabis and psychosis, researchers are also investigating the relationship between marijuana and other mental illnesses. In a survey of more than 14,000 Ontarians, Robert Mann, senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found that people who use cannabis almost every day were twice as likely to have anxiety or mood disorders as non-users. The study, however, did not determine whether the drug prompted symptoms or was used to self-medicate.

And a McGill University study on rats last year found that injecting adolescents daily with small doses of synthetic marijuana led to depression-like and anxiety-like behaviours in a series of tests. Researchers also found that rats’ brains were altered long-term.

“We finally understand that marijuana is not the harmless substance we thought it was,” says Dr. Leonardo Cortese, chief of psychiatry at Windsor Regional Hospital.

No one is talking about the return of Reefer Madness, the 1930s film about cannabis use leading to death and destruction. The vast majority of pot smokers will not go psychotic.

But two recent developments have researchers particularly bummed about pot.

Imaging studies now show that crucial regions of the brain are still developing in the teen years, the very time many start smoking pot. After alcohol, marijuana is the teen drug of choice. More than 30 per cent of Ontario’s Grade 10 students reported cannabis use in the past year, according to CAMH.

And what they’re smoking is not their hippie dad’s doobie. Growers have bred more potent pot, more than doubling the amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient, and decreasing the cannabidiol, a protective ingredient.

About 3 per cent of the population will experience a psychotic episode from all causes. The rate, however, of cannabis-induced psychotic episodes is not clear.

“We’re just catching up to the effects of high-octane weed,” says Dr. James Kennedy, director of the neuroscience research department at CAMH. “We need new follow-up studies to see its effect on the population.”

While psychosis is rare, for the kid hearing voices, it is life-altering. Some are lucky and the symptoms stop when the drugs stop, but for many, the voices and hallucinations recur.

Social stresses such as family problems and emotional trauma contribute to the risk of psychosis, as do some biological factors, such as brain injury, says Addington. A family history of serious, persistent mental illness, particularly psychosis, ratchets up the risk too, but the genetic markers are by no means clear cut…

In the 1980s, the THC level in marijuana was about 3 to 4 per cent. In the last couple of years, says Det. Don Theriault of the Toronto Police, tests on marijuana show a 10 to 12 per cent THC level.

An estimated 20 per cent of Caucasians carry that COMT variant. That does not neatly translate into a one-in-five risk, however. “They could have several other genes that are protective. It gets complicated,” says Kennedy.

So what percentage is at risk of psychosis from marijuana?

Kennedy hesitates. This is not solid scientific ground.

“I’d guess 10 to 15 per cent would be at significant risk if they smoked a lot of marijuana, almost daily, in their teen years when the brain isn’t fully developed.”

It’s the brains front part, crucial in judgement and social perceptions that’s still under construction in the teen years. “The wiring, the circuits where the neurotransmitters flow and signal are still being laid down,” says Kennedy.

So does smoking pot permanently change or damage this still-maturing brain?

We’ll have that answer in two or three years, says Kennedy. Imaging studies tracking the growth of teens’ brains are looking at whether cannabis use alters the development, or permanently damages still-maturing brains.

It’s not only teens that may be vulnerable, however.

Ana Smith didn’t use marijuana regularly until her mid-20s, after she graduated from film school. “I’d stay home in the evenings with my cats, make tea and smoke weed,” says Smith, a Vancouver resident, now 39.

Then she started smoking during the day as well, first thing in the morning and through the afternoon, instead of writing screenplays. The only time she didn’t smoke was weekends, when she worked in a group home. She didn’t drink or do other drugs.

At first the voices in her head were pleasant. “They tricked me into thinking I was being discovered by Hollywood. It was a beautiful world for a couple of months.”

Then they turned evil, terrifying her. Smith spent four lost days just walking, sleeping on the streets. She finally checked herself into a hospital and was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.

Smith has no known family history of mental illness. But a geneticist told her she had inherited genetic frailties from both her parents. Smith had also been under a lot of stress. “I think pot tipped me over the edge.”

After the diagnosis, Smith kept smoking pot because the voices demanded it. She stopped two years ago and her mental health has improved. “Now I know it’s just the illness rearing its head,” she says.

Research suggests that only about 15 per cent of people who experience a first psychotic episode do not have another, says Dr. Suzanne Archie, clinical director of the Cleghorn Early Intervention in Psychosis Centre in Hamilton. For a large portion of that 15 per cent, the episode was probably due to drugs.

“It can be very tricky to figure out if it was substance-induced or if there’s an underlying psychiatric illness,” says Archie.

If the patient is off drugs for six months with no psychotic symptoms, Archie leans toward a substance-induced diagnosis.

But for the majority, those diagnosed with a psychotic illness, the big question is: Could it have been prevented if the cannabis had been avoided?

That’s impossible to know, researchers say.

“The marijuana could cause schizophrenia to come on sooner,” says Kennedy. “If it interacts with a not fully-developed brain it could create a more severe, a more disruptive version of schizophrenia.”

With schizophrenia, marijuana likely precedes psychosis, although some people may smoke to ward off early symptoms.

With depression and anxiety, clinicians face a chicken-and-egg dilemma: Did the pot help spark the symptoms, or was it used as an attempt to self-medicate?

“These cases are difficult to tease apart,” says Dr. Benjamin Goldstein, adolescent psychiatrist at Sunnybrook Hospital. He advises anyone feeling anxious or depressed to stay away from weed. “The effects of pot on them swing more steeply toward the risk end.”

 To read the full article see The Star website.


7 thoughts on “Marijuana can send a brain to pot. The Star article.

  1. Hi. So very glad I found your website! Very informative. I have just created a E-zine called ‘Head Lines’ which is promoting mental health by showcasing poets who have a mental illness in Aotearoa New Zealand. A hard-copy anthology will be published annually to showcase the years best poems/poets. I would like to talk to someone about doing a promotional article in your magazine. Could someone please contact me to discuss this further. The ‘Head Lines’ E-zine can be viewed at Cheers Jx


  2. @k2 incense: I have never heard of this happening to anyone either, but I’m one of these people (or was rather in my teenage years). I wouldn’t tell my friends I heard voices, then they would make fun of me and call me crazy. Maybe that’s why you haven’t heard of this happening to anyone. They’re either scared to talk about it, or they think it’s part of the high (like I did).


  3. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I believe that you ought to publish more on this subject matter, it
    might not be a taboo subject but typically people don’t talk about these topics. To the next! Many thanks!!


  4. Introduction
    I too had the experience of hearing voices when I smoke cannabis. These experiences started happening a couple of years ago. I have smoked weed for about 4 years continuously before I started to hear these voices. At first I thought I was being watched and people were psychically (telepathically) speaking to me and I was very paranoid. These voices fooled me into thinking that they were voices were from my neighborhood and that people did not condone the fact that I was smoking weed. But later as these experiences continue to occur (these voices never ever ceased after they started) I realized that theses voice could not have been the cause of some mental illness like schizophrenia like doctors or other try to diagnose me with. These voices have a negative energy to them and would degrade me, manipulate me, and feed me lies – I will give you examples later on. After living with these voices for some time, I realize the nature of these voices and what they wanted to do to me. I would like to share my experiences with others that are experiencing this occurrence.
    I thought for a while that I was the only one experiencing something like this after smoking marijuana but after googling “I hear voices when I smoke week” I notice others experiencing this phenomena. This was totally mind-blowing. The voices I hear are not coming from within, I figured this out early on. I came about this deduction since I can speak Vietnamese, since it’s my native tongue, however these voices that are infiltrating my mind could not speak Vietnamese or understand it. Also these voices total about 10 different entities (I can’t tell the exact number but this is the approximate number) all with different vocabulary, personality, and logic. This did not make any sense to me, I was hearing all these different voices and they did not seem to be coming from me so where??? My family started to notice how I am in constant battle with these voices and so I went to see the doctor to figure out what was going on with me. The doctors honestly did not have a real answer for me, they all said that I have schizophrenia. So I did my research into schizophrenia to see if I did have the right diagnose. After viewing a few YouTube videos on what people experience while having schizophrenia episodes and reading up on schizophrenia online through medical websites it did not compare to my own experiences and to that of others who posted online. I realized what I had was not schizophrenia. So my journey began.
    The Cause/Trigger
    I often times asked myself why this happening to me. What did I do to deserve this treatment? I figured out what was happening over time and this is what I figured out. The trigger for the voices is because of smoking/consuming Cannabis. Somehow the activity of smoking/consuming cannabis on the regular changes the chemistry of your brain. This allows for your mind to be vulnerable for invaders to attack your mind telepathically. By smoking/consuming cannabis over a long period of time – a period long enough to change the brain chemistry and affect your energy levels (vibrations/aura) for these invaders to attack your mind. So those who smoke for recreation may have not experience hearing these voices and often times dismiss them as paranoia and associate paranoia as cannabis side effect. These voices are a separate phenomenon from what we consider paranoia, I will explain this in more detail later in the next section.
    I came to realize this fact by my own experiences, let me explain. I smoked weed for 4+ years, this changed my brain chemistry. I started to hear these voice constantly once they started. These voices did not speak to me right upon their arrival into my mind but laid dormant in the back of my mind in the silent observing my life and seeing how I live. Then these voices set a strategy together before they began any form of communication with me, this was probably 2 weeks upon arrival before they started to communicate with me. These voices will be explained more in the next section as to origin and other background information. After living with these voices for months, my family took me to see a doctor for treatment. As mentioned before the doctor diagnose me with schizophrenia and prescribe me mediation. The doctor prescribed me with Zyprexa. After taking medication for about 2 weeks to a month, my voices disappeared. But if I would smoke marijuana again these voices would return. So based on experimentation, I came to understand it was because of my brain chemistry that these voices came to find me. Zyprexa worked specifically for my brain chemistry but I cannot guarantee that Zyprexa will work for you. I tried other medication and Zyprexa is the only one that work for me. So depending on your brain chemistry, a different medication may work better for you.
    But there is also the case that medication will not work. If this is the cause continue to read this entire message for the answers you seek to stop or help keep these voices under control. But what are these voices? That’s the true mystery, I will try to lead you a better understanding in the next section. Please continue to read on.
    Unknown Forces
    So where are these voices coming from? What are these voices? Who are these voices? Hopefully I can shed some light on this matter for you, please read on. One of the first questions I asked when I began hearing voices is are these voices coming from me? Am I a psychic? Here’s what I found out. As mentioned in my intro, I am Vietnamese/American so I can speak and understand English and Vietnamese. When speaking to these voices I realize that these voices could not read or understand Vietnamese so by default I knew these voices did not come from me. So the only reasoning left is that these voice from coming from an outside force. The next question I posed was am I psychic? I personally thought I was hearing the voices of neighbors that lived nearby. So I began to communicate with these voices over time trying to understand how all this was happening to me. I was naïve at this time and I opened up easily to these voices without questioning their origin, since I believe they were my neighbors. This proved to be a mistake. These voices were not my neighbors but impersonated as my neighbors to manipulate me. First thing on their agenda was to make me feel ashamed of my smoking of marijuana and personal flaws to degrade my position as a human being causing me to think lowly of myself and my actions. Also causing me to doubt myself in other ways and overtime reducing confidence in myself altogether until it reached a new low. They will continue to attack all aspects of my life constantly hounding and taunting me throughout the day and the night. This will happen for months non-stop. They will entrap me in situations where it seems like my only options are life and death. I have called cops over to home before because I was suspecting that these voices were going after me to kill me. These voices created elaborate schemes to put in a state of stress and not allow you to rest to weaken your mental state so they can conquer your mind. I figured out that ultimately these voices main objective is to weaken my mind so that I will be subject to their will. This is basically mind-control and after this goal is reached, you will nothing more than a slave to these voices.
    So what are these voices and what are their intentions?
    After encounters and encounters and 100s of battles with these voices I began to formulate an ideal of what they are. They are negative entities and energies. This is how I view it, I did not invite these voices into my head, they invaded my mind without asking permission so basically I have evil spirits invading my mind (I count about 10 spirits occupying my mind at any the peak of battle with rotating spirit visitors). For all intents and purposes, I consider these voices to be evil spirits that are invading my personal space (mind). These evil spirits can see what you’re doing at all times, hear your surroundings, they can read your thoughts and see images from your thoughts. They use this data collected from you to plot evil schemes against you for their enjoyment. They’re agenda is ultimately to weaken your mind with negative thoughts and energy by constantly bombarding you, then they will try control your mind by manipulation to do their bidding or lead you to fatal situations. These evil spirits use any evil/negative tactics available to them in their arsenal from infliction of fear, lies, to fabrications of false realities, to others forms of deceit. Using the infliction of fear is their trump card. They will use fear in any which way to control you and then cement your fear in with layers of lies and false realities to hold in suspense. They cannot speak the truth. They spend all day coming up with new schemes to trick their hosts into putting their trusts into them. This is what they do day in and night out until they finally find something that works on you. Then once they find that angle they will continue to take on a ride with further stories, lies, delusion to keep entrapped in that reality. You have now enter into their world where they are they masters and control all variables of events in this altered reality. They keep you in state of fears and stress, filling you up with negative energy. They do not feel guilty. They grow in false pride making them into a more negative being. They grow by feeding off energy from you. They are taking away your positive energy, this is reason you feel depleted with energy when you deal with them for long periods of time. I call these exchanges between these evil spirits and the host, battles. I will explain how conduct battles later on.
    Who are these voices?
    This is the grey area. These voices claim that they cannot tell you their identity. This is a moot point for these voices. The truth is they do not want to reveal their identity so that can hide their intentions. Because once you realize they are evil spirits they can realize their goals of dominating your mind. Over time I realized it was really not important to know who they really are but they want to do to you. All the lies and deceit they throw at you is hide the fact they really don’t have any power over you. You have all the power in your court from the beginning and they are slowly trying to divert power from you over time to weaken your stance. So how do you keep your control/power them? From the previous paragraph, I explained their intentions and their strategy, so by knowing these simple truths all you really have to keep your sanity and control is not to hand over any once of power to these evil spirits. They will not give up so easily and will continue to haunt you but you must remain strong remember what their real intentions and that they want control over you.
    These evil spirit’s weapon of choice is the battle. Within these battles they slowly attempt to build dominance over you, that’s if you allow them to. In my experience, I found out early on that their intention was to destroy me, and I mean to literally destroy me. They took away everything from me and left me in a state of fear and stress. I even lost my job as a result. But after I realized what was happening to me, I came to the understanding that all this happening to me was because I had put misplaced trust with these evil spirits by believing in their lies and deceit. After this realization, the solution was pretty simple, the solution was to take back my trust from them. Once I did this they did not have any power over me and from that point on. However they continue battle me back and forth with me to try to penetrate my defenses and establish a stronghold on me. Fortunately by knowing the simple truth that this is a battle for my mind, I was able to win many battles and remained undefeated, I now consider these evil spirits as just noise. The secret to winning battles is to use divine logic (divine logic is positive reasoning) or truth. Evil spirits cannot overturn the truth, they must accept the truth if you present it. Once you are able to reveal with the divine logic and truth that is missing from their argument during these battles, they will have to accept that you won that battle. Once their negative logic is overturn by your positive logic, they call this a “Debunk”. Be aware, these evil spirits can read your thoughts and know what you’re thinking even before you speak. If you are able to imagine a blank canvas in your mind you can withhold your thoughts from these evil spirits. These evil spirits often times use this power to see your thoughts to come up with schemes on the fly based on where your thoughts are headed during these battles or even off the battlefield. However if you attempt battle using negative tactics as these evil spirits do, the evil spirits will know this and will use this against you. This is mind warfare so I would to help prepare your mental state for battle, please read on.
    Mindset for Battles
    What kind of mindset must you have when you are in battles with these evil spirits? The battlefield is your mind. In your mind you have all the power and all the creativity that you need to defeat these evil spirits in battle. If you still have not taken back your control, then take it back now. In order to take back the control all you have to do is realize you never lost any power to begin with and it all will automatically come back to you, that’s the power of realizing the truth of what this battle is for, this is a battle for your mind. Once you do that, the battle will start fresh again.
    Over time from battling back and forth, I was able to gain my control back and I repositioned myself as the God of my Mind. I have given myself the powers needed from this God position to overturn any battles into my favor by altering any variables necessary to make my win a sure win. I will give an example of this: As God of my mind, I have imprison these evil spirits in a Hell I created in my mind. These is where I house the evil spirits in my mind. My imagining it this way you have the highest possible position to do the most harm to any threat. How does this work? If I am the God of my mind, and these evil spirits are my captives in my Hell, then you have to ask how can a mere evil spirit do anything to a God. Evil spirits have no body and cannot do you harm so their power to inflict fear upon you has no effect. In this realty you can use any power available to you and alter realty, environment, time, and space to your choosing that will most benefit you to a victory. Most importantly when in battle and your enemy is trying bring any angles to you that you do not want to entertain you can say I am God of my mind and I take out that angle and they have no power to reject. This is because you have 100% control of your mind. They know this and they will desperately play by your rules in order to have chance to win over your mind even if they can’t win they will try.
    Repeat these words if ever you feel like you given them some of your control:
    “I have 100% control of my mind and soul, and I totally believe that is the truth, no force can take control of my mind. I will not allow it. I will not fall for any lies, delusions or any malicious attempts against my mind and soul. If I had lost any power I now want it back. I have 100% control of my mind and soul.”
    This is just a script, you can alter it however you deem worthy just as long as you keep the key elements intact:
    1. I have 100% control of my mind and soul.
    2. No attacks against me can hurt me or hold me in their trance.
    3. You never lost any power so take it back.
    And always remember to remain strong.


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