What is the Connection Between Marijuana and the Brain?

What is the Connection Between Marijuana and the Brain?

One of the commonly used drugs among adolescents these days is marijuana, popularly known as weed, cannabis, pot, herb, bud, and grass. Marijuana is obtained from the cannabis plant and is a psychoactive drug, usually consumed for recreational purposes. Weed or marijuana was an illegal drug; however, over time, several states in the country have legalized its use for the therapeutic value it holds. Nevertheless, marijuana was and is still easily available in all places. 

Impact on the Brain

Though the use and availability of marijuana have been legalized, its impact on adolescents remains a concern. It has been consumed for relaxation and relieving pain and anxiety, but it affects the brain by hindering its development. 

Weed or marijuana can be consumed in several ways. However, smoking weed is one of the most common and effective consumption methods. It can be smoked using vape pens, rolling it into joints or blunts, glass pipes, and water bubblers. Some even prefer consuming them as edibles along with food and beverages. 

Effects of Marijuana on the Body

The effects of weed vary from user to user and from every batch of the substance. Each could have different levels of THC and can cause effects like: 

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Altered senses and time perception
  • Mood changes
  • Reduced body movement and problem-solving abilities
  • Disrupted memory, hallucinations, and delusions

Smoking weed can have certain long-term effects like:

  • Increased risk of accidents due to impaired driving
  • Increased rates of respiratory infections
  • High risk of chronic psychosis disorders
  • Increased risk of anxiety and depression
  • Risk of heart attack and developing cannabis hyperemesis syndrome 

Adolescents and Smoking Marijuana

Adolescents become the major consumers of weed or marijuana. The drug has a long-lasting impact on their brain as the human brain isn’t fully developed until the age of 24. Therefore, consuming weed before the age of 24 hinders brain development. 

Weed, when smoked, reaches the brain and signals it to produce the “happy hormone” or dopamine. With continued consumption of weed, the brain loses its natural ability to produce dopamine, resulting in a dependency on the drug to feel happy normally. This is how the addiction begins. 

Marijuana addiction in adolescents can have some lifelong effects on their brain, such as: 

  • Reduced IQ and cognitive abilities 
  • Problem with memory and learning 
  • Structural and functional changes in the hippocampus
  • Affected reward system
  • Reduced verbal IQ, memory, controlling, learning, and impulsive abilities

These are some of the life-altering impacts observed in adolescents smoking weed. Therefore, consuming weed at early age should be avoided. 

Treating Marijuana Addiction

If you or anyone around you is under the impact of marijuana, it can be a cause of concern. Contact Mallard Lake Detox Center to get the best quality addiction treatment for marijuana. 

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