Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells How Weed Affects Cognition
- Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells? How Weed Affects Cognition
What are the side effects that come to mind when you think of marijuana use? Most likely giggling, slowed speech and movements, and a sudden craving for snacks. This bumbling stereotype might lead you to believe that marijuana makes you dumber, but the scientific consensus seems to be that marijuana does not kill brain cells. This doesnt mean that marijuana is harmless, however.
While weed doesnt directly result in the death of the neurons the way that stress, head trauma, or other types of substances can, it can still go on to cause significantand long-lastingdamage. This brain damage can lead to permanent side effects such as impaired memory, mental illness, and in the case of adolescents and their still-developing brains, a lower IQ.
Sleep Early And Get Enough Rest
Weeds and mental health problems often go hand in hand, as weeds can deliver pollen that can trigger mood swings and other disruptive behaviours.
Sleep is an essential part of the brains recovery process, and getting enough rest can help to curb weed-related symptoms. When you sleep well, your brain is able to repair and rejuvenate itself.
Therefore, getting enough sleep can help to recover your brain, reduce anxiety and depression, and increase focus and concentration.
Cannabis Use In People With Chronic Schizophrenia
Individuals who have chronic schizophrenia and a prior history of marijuana and other drug use have an earlier age of onset of schizophrenia than those who never use any drugs . They also are significantly more likely to be males than females. They have less negative and more positive symptoms compared with non-users, and they respond less well to antipsychotic treatment . If they continue to use drugs once released from the hospital, their course of illness tends to be more severe than those who do not use drugs , but this is not specific to cannabis. Patients with schizophrenia who continue to abuse drugs after the first psychotic episode are also more likely to be medication non-compliant , which may then contribute to their poor prognosis. These non-abstinent patients also have more suicide attempts than those who abstain from cannabis use . Cannabis use additionally appears to exacerbate symptoms of schizophrenia . The above quoted studies, however, do not address causality. It is likely that cannabis potentiates a neurochemical deficit in the dopaminergic pathway that causes the above effects , but whether it is causing structural damage to the already compromised brain structure of someone with chronic schizophrenia is unknown.
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How Does Synthetic Marijuana Effect The Brain
An artificial hallucinogenic substance, called synthetic marijuana, is spread over the cannabis plant material for greater hallucination.
Though other substances like synthetic marijuana are not safe for human consumption, it has still gained popularity in recent years.
Synthetic marijuana is not legal, and it has some very toxic ingredients and other substances. This drug is also known as âfake weedâ and can cause great mind-alteration and tend the smoker to act weirdly. It can increase your blood pressure, heart rate, bleeding, and frequent puking.
Just like marijuana affects the brain, synthetic marijuana affects the brain cells. It attaches the cannabinoid receptors in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. However, the bonding of this weed to the receptors is much stronger than that of ordinary weeds.
The THC of Synthetic marijuana is a hundred times more powerful, and since it is connected through CB1, it gains access to multiple locations in the brain. Hence, it causes some severe and intense symptoms.
The symptoms that a synthetic marijuana smoker can experience:
- frequent loss of memory
- continous hallucination
- cardiac problems
Synthetic marijuana can develop instant addiction and seriously damage the brain and body. After some point of continuous smoking, the brain develops adverse effects on marijuana.
It Can Impair Your Ability To Regulate Emotions
Although many people use marijuana to improve their anxiety and depression, it can actually make these issues worse for some people. ” may induce anxious and depressive symptoms, and it can also increase symptoms of underlying mental health concerns,” says Dr. Chiligiris. “Recent research demonstrates that long-term use can also impair structures that help to regulate difficult emotions.”
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How Does Weed Impact Your Brain Cells And Body
With weed being illegal on a federal level there is a significant lack of research into the effects of weed on the mind and body. There are some indications that some users may experience some significant effects as a result of their weed use. The specific way in which weed impacts the mind and body of the user, however, will greatly depend on the user and many factors of their biology and physiology.
From birth, our bodies are designed to both use and produce endogenous forms of the cannabinoid compounds found in weed. This means the human body creates its own cannabinoids for a range of purposes, and it also means that the human brain is also designed to have cannabinoid receptors to facilitate the effective use of cannabinoids.
Weed is unique among many drugs in that it has its own receptors in our brain, and it does not have to interfere with other systems in the body. This also means that when a user takes weed, it is likely to cause similar effects as when the brain interacts with the natural endocannabinoids present in our bodies.
In some research, those who used weed were assigned a list of vocabulary words to memorize, as were a group of people who had not used weed. The results indicated that when compared to the weed users, the non-users were able to recall one more word on average. This particular study showed a strong correlation between the use of weed and the way that the brain is able to receive, store, and retrieve information.
The Epidemiological Evidence Suggesting Cannabis Causes Psychoses
Several epidemiologic studies have suggested that cannabis could cause a psychosis that would not otherwise occur. These findings have sparked recent debates. Cross-sectional, retrospective and recent prospective epidemiological studies show that individuals with psychosis use cannabis more often than other individuals in the general population. The rate of cannabis use among people with psychosis exceeded 40% in some studies . The previously accepted explanation was the self medication hypothesis, but more recent studies show that cannabis exposure itself in a dose-dependent fashion is associated with an increased risk of psychosis and this association is independent of potential confounding factors such as exposure to other drugs and pre-existence of psychotic symptoms. However, the diagnostic specificity has also been known to be weak, as cannabis exposure may be associated with the occurrence of other psychiatric conditions, from schizophrenia to mood and anxiety disorders.
Thus, the evidence from epidemiological studies is inconsistent and not conclusive that cannabis causes schizophrenia and thus the issue is still highly controversial.
Outcome following a primarily cannabis induced 1st psychotic episode
Cannabinoids and their neurochemical effects
Genetics studies of liability for cannabis abuse and its association with schizophrenia
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What Does Marijuana Do To The Brain
Many people are now curious about how Marijuana affects their brains and whether it causes brain cell death. Long-term Marijuana use can lead to irreversible brain damage. This is similar to years of heavy alcohol, Meth, and Heroin abuse. In addition, the brain can be damaged by Marijuana, which can lead to various symptoms throughout the body.
People who smoke Marijuana may experience difficulties with concentration and recalling details. This problem can get worse if Marijuana is used for a long time. The drug can also affect motor skills. High-functioning users can put their lives at risk by driving while high.
Scientists are still not sure of the long-term effects that Marijuana can have on the brain. However, they have found a link between marijuana use during brain development and a lower IQ later in life. Exposure to THC as a child can cause cognitive and memory changes that can last decades. Adults who use Marijuana in adulthood have received less research.
Decreased Performance And Memory Capacity
Different studies carried out show that the habitual consumption of cannabis can eventually produce a decrease in the intellectual capacity of the subjects, having a lower performance and results in different tests than in comparison with a non-consumer individual.
However, in this type of cognitive competences many contradictory results have been found, which means that this phenomenon may not be significant.
What there is solid evidence for is that marijuana use causes long-term problems in various types of memory. For example, these alterations result in a greater difficulty in transferring the contents of short-term memory to long-term memory.
It is important to note that these effects are especially noticeable in people who consume throughout their development process, that is, adolescents, due to the structural modification of the brain that cannabis use may entail. In adults already formed who begin to consume this decrease is less.
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Is It True That Smoking Weed Kills Brain Cells
Studies suggest that can cause cognitive deficits in adults who have used marijuana in childhood. However, the extent of impairment seems to depend on when you started using, how long youve used, and how much youre using now.
According to the NIH National Institute of Drug Abuse, researchers who study the link between marijuana and reduced IQ scores do not always get the same results. Therefore, their findings to date are inconclusive.
Its difficult to prove that marijuana causes IQ score deficiency when so many variables come into play. A host of other factors can reduce IQ scores just as easily as marijuana.
Lower scores can result from early childhood trauma, poor quality of education, genetics, age of initial cannabis use, and duration of use to name just a few.
Although there may be a correlation between lower IQ scores and marijuana use, theres just not enough information at this time to reliably ascertain whether marijuana lowers childrens IQ scores or not.
Know The Risks Of Marijuana
But there are real risks for people who use marijuana, especially youth and young adults, and women who are pregnant or nursing. Todays marijuana is stronger than ever before. People can and do become addicted to marijuana.
Approximately 1 in 10 people who use marijuana will become addicted. When they start before age 18, the rate of addiction rises to 1 in 6.
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Other Ways To Consume Cannabis
Smoking and edibles are not the only ways to consume cannabis, nowadays you can find several cannabis-infused products that provide different effects due to the cannabinoid content and the way the cannabinoids are absorbed, so in case youre interested, here are the other methods for cannabis consumption.
Different Cannabis Consumption Methods
This means that with the same amount of cannabis you will actually get higher when consuming edibles, because the metabolization of THC ends up creating both Delta-9-THC and 11-OH-THC which, as mentioned, is a stronger compound and due to having more psychotropic types of cannabinoids binding to your neurons, the high will be stronger and last longer. Have in mind that this may also occur with CBD but there isnt much research at the moment so it hasnt been confirmed yet.
Medical Marijuana For Kids With Severe Conditions Attitudes May Be Shifting
But its not just the immediate cognitive problems that have some scientists worried. Theres also a suggestion that cannabis use in teen and young adult years may have lasting residual effects.
Numerous studies suggest that young people who use cannabis have worse outcomes in a variety of life domains, such as academic and job performance, Levy said. The findings of those studies have been controversial, however, because its not possible to know whether the cannabis caused the bad outcomes or people destined to have bad outcomes were drawn to cannabis.
The problem here is that you cant do a randomized, controlled trial of 100 kids where 50 are told to smoke cannabis and 50 are told not to, Levy said.
While some research indicates that states that have legalized recreational marijuana use dont have higher rates of teen consumption, about 22 percent of U.S. high school students reported using cannabis in the past 30 days, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Not everyone is convinced that cannabis causes bad outcomes, said Dr. Igor Grant, distinguished professor in the department of psychiatry and director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego.
Its the whole chicken-and-egg question, Grant said. When you look at twin studies, you dont find any difference between the twin who started using and the one who didnt. So Im not persuaded that longterm memory loss.
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In addition, some studies have shown that early and frequent cannabis use in adolescence predicts poor cognition in adulthood, he added.
While science sorts this out, preventive and interventional measures to educate youths on cannabis use and discourage them from using the substance in a chronic manner should be considered since youths remain particularly susceptible to the effects of cannabis, Dumais said.
What Happens When You Smoke Marijuana
When you use marijuana, the psychoactive ingredient of the brain called THC can stimulate the exact parts of the brain which firmly answer to the fun of food and sex. Furthermore, it can even release a chemical called dopamine. It can delight you and give you a very comfortable sensation.
Moreover, if you smoke or vape marijuana, the THC attaches to your bloodstream. Hence you get to your high point within a few minutes. THC can keep the effects of marijuana for at least two to three hours. Also, it can peak within thirty minutes.
It is very crucial since the pot effects depend on the ratio of THC with other compounds in the body. If you smoke pot, the THC ratio will increase compared to other compounds. However, if you eat or drink marijuana, pot effects will take many hours to wither off and bring you back to fully sober.
Marijuana affects your brain directly, and the potential to recreate things can be out of your league. It is even the same for medical marijuana.
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Effects Of Marijuana On The Size Shape And Density Of The Brain
The researchers found that the more the marijuana users reported consuming, the greater the abnormalities in the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala on the MRI images. The shape and density of both regions of the brain were also different between marijuana users and non-users.
The study revealed that the brains of those who smoked only one joint a day or those who smoked only once a week were changed.
“This study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences,” said Hans Breiter, M.D. one of the study’s authors. “Some of these people only used marijuana to get high once or twice a week,”
Previous Hypotheses About The Association Of Cannabis And Schizophrenia
There currently is considerable debate about the reasons for the association of cannabis with schizophrenia in both clinical and population based samples. Among the hypotheses proposed are that common independent factors explain the co-occurrence cannabis causes psychosis that would not have occurred in the absence of cannabis use cannabis precipitates psychosis only among persons who were genetically vulnerable to developing the disorder cannabis initiates an early onset of an already predetermined psychosis and its use worsens or prolongs the psychosis and that persons with psychosis proneness are more likely to become regular or problematic cannabis users than persons without such traitsi.e. the self-medication hypothesis. Although some investigations seem to at least partially support the last explanation , there has been little evidence for it and, although implied, no current explanation has yet suggested that cannabis directly damages the brain in regions that are crucial for developing psychiatric symptoms, such as frontal and temporal cortex. Furthermore, one can hypothesize that should there be an interaction between the genetic vulnerability for schizophrenia and the heavy use of cannabis, this may be a direct consequence of both on brain structural organization in an additive or interactive fashion. Whether either is the sole factor is currently unknown.
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What Does Weed Do To Your Brain
There are numerous chemicals present in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Also, the chemicals are present in varying amounts since it depends on the size it has grown into.
The cannabis plant contains a compound known as recreational marijuana, a psychoactive compound. The compound can contain either delta-9-tetrahydro cannabinol or THC. If any plant compound has a high content of THC, then the particular weed has great potential and can have adverse effects on the userâs brain.
Since THC has excellent potential and is the compound converted from recreational marijuana, it is produced in large quantities. Lately, all growers of weed produce many cannabis plants with high THC.
Moreover, recreational marijuana is now legal throughout the US, and people are now wondering how does marijuana work and if marijuana use has any effects on the brain. Simply if you consume other drugs and alcohol, and meth for just one year, your brain will act abnormally, and there will be many other complications. Similarly, marijuana drug abuse can send messages to your body through the brain cells.