Film Summary: The Downside Of High

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The Downside of High Summary: This documentary focuses on three Canadian individuals who began smoking marijuana when they were adolescents and now have developed mental illnesses. Scientists believe that smoking marijuana while a child brain is still rapidly developing merely helps progress these illnesses but does not cause them. Doctors studying these affects of weed have also taken into account that pot in todays society is much more potent [contains more THC] than it used to in the sixties and seventies. The THC is pot triggers an increase of dopamine in the brain, which affects mood. These alterations in mood lead to hallucinations commonly seen in people diagnosed with schizophrenia. The Downside of High is looking to prove a link between…show more content…
This happens because initially weed gives the user a sense of reduced anxiety but about 1-2 hours after smoking they will experience increased paranoia, hallucinations, and psychosis, leading them to smoke more to experience the calming stage again. Marijuana is the most commonly used drug in the world so it is not hard for teenagers to get access to it and quickly become dependent. Although THC seems to cause these metal problems there is also a component within marijuana called cannabidiol. This chemical does not give a high like THC but is non-psychoactive. CBD has been shown to reduce convulsions in rats in recent experiments leading researchers to believe it also reduces the negative effects of THC. Even though some people can develop serious mental illnesses from smoking weed others can be completely unaffected. Scientists compare a teenager’s brain to a messy room. Much like a messy room the brain needs to go through a streamlining process to become more efficient. In the brain this process is called neural pruning; marijuana interferes with this process, which can cause long-term damage to the brain resulting…show more content…
For instance the brain scans taken in an experiment discussed in the documentary will give scientific evidence towards the effect of marijuana on the brain in those who are prone to mental illness by genetic default. This experiment will demonstrate this by having individuals who are prone to schizophrenia in the experimental group and a control group of individuals not prone to mental illness smoke enough THC to affect the way their brain is processing information, but not so much that a patient may experience an episode of psychosis. Together the physical evidence and psychological findings provides a compelling argument. The psychological evidence is provided by a small black box a patient carries around; every 1-2 hours they are asked to record their current emotional state so that researchers may record the ups and downs of the patients high. Although this research may be one of the more scientific studies done in the area of linking marijuana use in teenagers to schizophrenia, there is still evidence missing. It is hard to trust evidence with no scientific backing; most research done in this area is based on an individual’s statement regarding their mental state. There is no way to prove what a patient is saying is the truth or not. This makes it difficult for scientists to convince the public of the dangers of smoking pot as

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