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Marijuana use affects different parts of the brain

Marijuana use affects different parts of the brain

The controversial drug marijuana is a psychoactive substance that affects the central nervous system (CNS) and alters the brain’s chemistry. The increasing acceptance of marijuana like alcohol further spikes the health risks. Although marijuana is derived from the hemp plant, one of its active chemicals tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for altering the normal functioning of the brain.

Besides moderately affecting the hypothalamus, amygdala and brain stem, the active ingredient THC also impacts other essential regions of the brain, such as cerebellum, hippocampus, cerebral cortex, nucleus accumbens and basal ganglia. By attaching to the receptors in the brain, it blocks the natural regulating mechanisms and produces an overflow of chemicals that disrupt the regular functioning of the brain. Consequently, some of the essential skills, such as balance and body control, learning, memory and cognitive functions, get heavily damaged.

Marijuana is one of the most widely used illicit drugs across the United States. Classified under Schedule I by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), marijuana is regarded as a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), marijuana addiction has risen to about 17 percent among people who began using young (in their teens) and to 25 to 50 percent among the daily users. With the use of the illegal form of marijuana known as hashish becoming widespread, many users are increasingly falling prey to the repercussions of marijuana.

Impact of marijuana use on a healthy person

By creating the sensation of pleasure and relaxation, marijuana has the potential to alter emotions and the perception of pain. Depending on the quantity of the drug and duration of the abuse, users are likely to witness the long-terms effects, such as loss of memory, delay and lapses in thought process.

According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR), “Although marijuana is known for producing effects like elation, giddiness or sedation, some users experience paranoia and increased anxiety.” Moreover, marijuana can cause several negative impacts on a user that include:

  • Limiting brain’s capability to store or retrieve information
  • Severe damage to the brain’s memory functions
  • Sexual dysfunction and reproductive problems, including irregular sperm count
  • Weak immune system
  • Loss of motivation and interest in everyday activities

Effects on the brain

Marijuana or any other drugs, while entering the body, can affect different organs and their corresponding functions. The cannabinoid receptors, activated by the neurotransmitters of the brain, are very much like THC. When these natural neurotransmitters merge with THC from marijuana, they fail to respond normally to the signals directed by the brain.

According to the Archives of General Psychiatry, cannabinoid receptors in the brain cells respond to the THC component and create a euphoric state of pleasure and relaxation. Since most of these receptors are located in different areas of the brain, marijuana use can alter mental functions by affecting memory, cognition, perception and motor coordination, not only right after using the drug but up to seven days afterward.

Marijuana affects a person’s judgment and can impair his or her thought process. It primarily affects the cerebellum and basal ganglia, the areas responsible for movement, coordination, balance and body control. It affects the cognitive system by affecting the hippocampus and cerebral cortex, which are responsible for learning, memory and thinking. It also plays a crucial role in affecting the hypothalamus, which regulates the body functions, such as temperature and reproductive functions.

Walk the path of sobriety

Addiction to any substance can be dangerous to one’s health. However, a comprehensive treatment program involving detoxification, medications, psychotherapies and other experiential therapies like yoga, meditation etc. can help a person cross the path of recovery to achieve sobriety.

If you know someone who is battling with drug addiction, the Texas Drug Addiction Treatment can assist you in accessing the best drug rehabilitation centers in Texas. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-5757 or chat online to access the complete details about the best drug addiction treatment centers in Texas.

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