Debunking the Cannabis-Brain Damage Myth: A Closer Look at the Research

Recently, I stumbled upon a study that seemed to portray cannabis in a negative light, suggesting that it leads to brain damage. Intrigued, I delved deeper into the research to understand the true implications. However, I encountered a paywall that prevented me from accessing the study directly.

Undeterred, I utilized SciHub to retrieve the study in question, as I firmly believe that scientific knowledge should be freely accessible to all. In this article, we will examine the study's claims, explore its methodology, and consider potential confounding factors that may have influenced the results.

The Study

The study in question, which can be accessed here, investigates the association between cannabis use and perfusion in the hippocampus, a brain region crucial for memory and cognitive functions. The researchers observed lower blood flow in the hippocampus among cannabis users, leading them to suggest a possible link between cannabis use and conditions like Alzheimer's disease.


Hippocampus Brain Function - Source: The Sunlight Experiment

Tom's Mindful Fun Fact: "Did you know that the hippocampus directly inhibits the activity of the amygdala to help you feel less anxious and reduce the activity of your sympathetic nervous system?"

Confounding Factors

Upon reviewing the study, a significant aspect caught my attention—the presence of comorbidities among the cannabis user group. Specifically, 62% of the subjects had attention deficit disorder, 47% had experienced traumatic brain injury, and 35% had a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. While the study excluded subjects with traumatic brain injury, the presence of attention deficit disorder and major depressive disorder was not accounted for in the analysis.

Exploring the Relationship

To gain a broader perspective, I sought to investigate whether reduced hippocampal perfusion could be attributed solely to cannabis use or if the comorbidities played a role. Surprisingly, multiple studies have reported reduced hippocampal perfusion in individuals with attention deficit disorder compared to healthy controls. Similarly, studies have specifically indicated reduced hippocampal perfusion in individuals with major depressive disorder.

Addressing Confounding Factors

Considering the presence of these comorbidities within the cannabis user group, it becomes essential to acknowledge the potential influence of these factors on hippocampal perfusion. Failing to address these confounding factors raises questions about the study's design and its ability to establish a causal relationship between cannabis use and brain damage. It prompts us to question whether this study may be another biased attempt in the ongoing war on drugs.


While the study initially suggested a detrimental impact of cannabis use on the brain, a closer examination reveals significant confounding factors that should have been addressed. The presence of attention deficit disorder and major depressive disorder among the cannabis user group raises questions about the study's conclusions. It is crucial to approach research findings with a critical mindset, considering all possible confounders and biases.

In the end, it is essential to continue fostering an open dialogue on the effects of cannabis, exploring its potential benefits and risks. If you're interested in further exploring the topic, I encourage you to check out the TDC cannabis microscopy course links in the bio. Let's engage in a meaningful discussion on cannabis and its impact on our well-being.