Does THC Kill Brain Cells?

In 1974 the Dr. Heath/heathTulane study concluded that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) kills your braincells, sparking one of the largest Cannabis myths in history. Years later, the United states learned that this study was illegitimate due to the techniques used during the test.What is the Dr. Heath/Tulane study?


In 1974 Richard Nixon announced the results of the Dr. Heath/Tulane study. The study was designed to determine whether or not THC killed braincells. This study is known for its controversial way of releasing its information. For years anyone had access to the results of the test, but almost no one had access to how the tests were conducted, and what gave rise to the results.

The government was eventually sued over the amount of information omitted from the public access, and released the full results of the test; including the methods of which the tests were conducted. Monkey’s, instead of being given joints to smoke, were strapped to chairs and restrained. Gas masks where then attached over their nose and mouth, and for a minimum of five (maximum of 15) minutes, pure Cannabis smoke was pumped into the their lungs without supplementary oxygen. Braincells start to die from lack of oxygen less than five minutes after the supply is cut off. The monkeys were suffocated, killing their brain cells.


Since 1974 there have been numerous studies with intent to find a link between dead brain cells and THC. None of these studies found any connection between Cannabis and brain cell destruction.  Even though this study was proven false once the full results were released, the myth that “weed kills your braincells” has circulated ever since.

Actually, there is a prescription pain reliever called Marinol available today.  Marinol is synthetic THC in a pill.

There are many myths about Cannabis.  Lots of Facts too!!

New myths and facts will be added periodically.

If you have a cannabis myth or a cool cannabis fact that you would like to share, send an email to and we’ll get your Myth or Fact on the site!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>