Re: THC & Cognitive Function

Zeb Haradon (
Thu, 9 Dec 1999 22:35:58 -0800

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Goddard <>
To: <> Date: Thursday, December 09, 1999 9:08 PM Subject: THC & Cognitive Function

>In contrast to the tofu study suggesting tofu may cause brain
>atrophy, this recent epidemiological study found that cognitive
>decline in a large group of cannabis users over 12 years was
>not significantly different than nonusers, and concluded that
>the observed decline "does not appear to be associated with
>cannabis use." The fact that there were was no significant
>difference in cognitive decline between heavy users and
>light users also suggests no cannabis-induced decline.

Something about marijuana which I have never seen mentioned or discussed. Perhaps this effect was particular to me, I would like input. When I would be high, I would always see faces, and I would recognize friends and family members in the faces of strangers who looked nothing like them. For example, I see an elderly woman and think it's my grandmother. She is 300 pounds heavier, and has no hair, and every individual feature I can point to is different from my grandmother's, but she just *looks like my grandmother*, and I keep stressing over the fact. This was not a hallucination, because if I had been able to "take a picture" of what was in my mind's eye and look at it later, I would see that this woman doesn't look a thing like my grandmother. It was just that for some reason, my Grandmother Facial Recognition Module was triggered.
I would also have this effect with inanimate objects - that is, seeing inanimate objects as faces. Like knots in a wood table, or a pattern in the leaves on a tree. The most bizarre case was when I looked up at a building and saw that one of the bricks was a different color from the rest of the bricks, and thought that the brick must be Bram Stoker (I don't even know what Bram Stoker looks like - he's the guy who wrote Dracula).
It's well known that the neural pathways for recognizing objects are different from those used in recognizing faces. This is illustrated by various disorders in which a person can recognize common household objects, but cannot recognize his father's face, or the opposite disorder where he can recognize faces but not objects. I suggest a line of research to discover if the receptor which THC binds to is responsible for mediation of facial recognition, and possibly usage of THC for treatment of facial aphasia (I don't know if that's the proper term for it). It's been discovered recently that there are THC receptors in the eyes (which is why marijuana helps glaucoma patients), I'd bet that the receptors go all the way down the facial visual system.

Zeb Haradon
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