I am far from anti-drugs. I made a personal choice when I was a teenager that drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol were not for me. I began using alcohol around age 20 and still have never smoked a cigarette, smoked weed, or done anything else. Having said that, most of my friends have smoked weed at one time or another in their lives. I actually think drugs should be legalized. I point this things out to give context to what this post is really about, to illustrate that I’m not a prude nor that I’m pro drugs.
The objective scientific fact that is clearly emerging from current research is that weed is really bad for the brain. It is even worse for the young brain. And, there is some evidence that it is particular bad for the ADHD and anxiety prone brain.
Many of my younger clients “self medicate” with marijuana for anxiety, sleep issues, and to moderate “jitters.” In the short term that works. Weed mellows you out, makes you less anxious, and makes you sleepy. The problem is that in the long term it makes all of those things worse. It messes up your sleep cycle. It ultimately makes your mood worse as it is a depresant. And, the next day, you’re going to have to pump a lot of caffeine in to your system to get going. Hence the jitters.
Now there is evidence that moderate to heavy use of marijuana actually reshapes the brain negatively in teens and young adults. So, these detrimental effects may not be so short term. I really worry about my younger clients who can’t/won’t stop smoking. It doesn’t bode well for their future.
Fact: Today’s weed is about 3.5x more potent than only 20 years ago. (I’m sorry I don’t have the source for this. My dad likes to send me cut out articles…and not tell me where they are from.)
Fact: Smoking pot consistently has been shown to lower IQ by 10pt / decade of use.
Fact: As ADHDers we already have structural and chemical abnormalities in our brain (including some of the same systems affected by weed.) Probably we shouldn’t F with our brains further.
As far as I know there is some debate about whether or not pot is addictive. I would argue that if you know all of this and still smoke pot, you can’t stop. That sounds like some form of addiction.
Feel free to google it yourself. But here’s just one link to a recent article on the science behind all this: Weed’s bad, mmmkay!