Marijuana Today - Medical Uses and Adverse Effects of Marijuana

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Sunday, January 5, 2020

Curious Marijuana Effects On Brain Performance

Curious Marijuana Effects On Brain Performance


Being high on weed really gets your mind going; sometimes thoughts can seem faster than the speed of light. In general, your body relaxes, your senses are more attuned, and your mind wanders. Though it seems blissful, these are all but temporary marijuana effects on brain function.
Hence it’s no wonder that people often say that after a good high comes a deeper low; the effects of marijuana can be quite intense and even entrancing. Sadly, they can also leave a lasting impairment.
A significant number of studies address the issue of health problems associated with the extensive use of cannabis. Prolonged exposure to high THC levels can make irreversible changes in the Central Nervous System (CNS); physiological and behavioral consequences usually follow suit as well. 
As society’s appetite for marijuana products continues to grow, one cannot stop but wonder — how does marijuana affect the brain?
To answer this particular question (and more), we reviewed both the health benefits of marijuana and its adverse effects.  

A Short Review of Cannabis Science


Being high on weed really gets your mind going; sometimes thoughts can seem faster than the speed of light. In general, your body relaxes, your senses are more attuned, and your mind wanders. Though it seems blissful, these are all but temporary marijuana effects on brain function.
Hence it’s no wonder that people often say that after a good high comes a deeper low; the effects of marijuana can be quite intense and even entrancing. Sadly, they can also leave a lasting impairment.
A significant number of studies address the issue of health problems associated with the extensive use of cannabis. Prolonged exposure to high THC levels can make irreversible changes in the Central Nervous System (CNS); physiological and behavioral consequences usually follow suit as well. 
As society’s appetite for marijuana products continues to grow, one cannot stop but wonder — how does marijuana affect the brain?
To answer this particular question (and more), we reviewed both the health benefits of marijuana and its adverse effects.  

A Short Review of Cannabis Science

Marijuana Effects on Brain - Medical Background
The effects of marijuana have been enjoyed and admired for centuries, particularly its ability to soothe the senses. 
Seeing how it was officially marked as an illicit substance in the 20th century, marijuana scientific research was put on hold. However, its extensive recreational use revealed the immense healing potential of the herb. Today, the health benefits of marijuana are once again under the scientific scope. 
For two decades now, people have been looking for the answer to the question “what does weed do to your brain?” Well, let’s delve a bit deeper and find out!

The Endocannabinoid System 

Since their discovery in the early 90s, cannabinoid receptors have been popular in scientific circles. Today we know that they function primarily as maintenance channels for perpetuating the physiological equilibrium of the body (homeostasis). 
Also, it is safe to say that the endocannabinoid system acts as the chief regulating officer of the human body. Problems within this system can cause diseases, such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, or anxiety.
The relationship between marijuana and the brain is defined by the effects of the substance on cannabinoid receptors. According to research, there are two primary receptors in the endocannabinoid system — CB1 and CB2. They are highly prevalent in both the central and peripheral nervous systems.
CB1 is predominantly found in the CNS; brain imaging revealed their activity in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and brain stem. Nevertheless, their most profound activity concerns proper hippocampus function. CB1 influences motor coordination, the process of thinking, appetite, short term memory, pain perception, and brain immune cells.
CB2 is present throughout the body; it regulates the function of the cardiovascular system, the kidneys, the skin, bone tissue, fat tissue, the eyes, the lungs, the gut, and the pancreas.

How Does THC Affect the Brain?

The effects of marijuana are based on its main active chemicals — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). They bind with cannabinoid receptors and engage in organ system control. 
When weed smoke is inhaled, it takes just a few minutes for THC to reach the brain and bind with said receptors. THC has a strong affinity for both CB1 and CB2; meaning, it influences the whole body. 
By attaching itself to the receptors, THC decreases the brain’s inhibitory neurotransmission. In other words, it enhances CNS excitation and creates new pathways that connect different brain structures.

How Long Do Cannabis Effects on the Brain Last?

The potency of a cannabis product depends mainly on the THC content within, which varies between different plant strains
Furthermore, depending on the dose inhaled, marijuana can reach its full physiological activity in approximately 30 minutes and the effects can last up to three hours. Its metabolites stay partially active within the system for two days. 
Still, marijuana side effects can last up to a week after just one use. 

A Remedy or a Narcotic?

Cannabis and its products are known to aid health conditions associated with inflammation, such as rheumatic diseases for instance. However, the effects of marijuana on brain development and performance make it hard to fully determine whether the benefits exceed the many adverse effects.
On the one hand, there is reliable data that confirms its therapeutic potential. On the other, the various marijuana side effects tell a different story altogether.
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