Saturday, August 13, 2022

Is Marijuana Bad For Your Brain

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How Cannabis Affects Your Body

Is marijuana bad for your brain? – Anees Bahji

Tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical substance in cannabis that acts on specific parts of your brain. Whether ingested or smoked, THC causes the brain to release dopamine, a chemical that elicits the sensation of pleasure or relaxation. Yet, it can also cause mood changes, depression, suicidal thoughts, memory issues and even disrupted learning.

Once ingested, THC enters the bloodstream and into the brain, where it activates the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex. This can impact your ability to form new memories and impair your ability to process information.

Some immediate effects can include:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Difficulty problem-solving
  • Hallucinations

Basic cannabis intoxication involves inappropriate laughter, unsteady gait and red eyes. But higher-concentration THC products, including edibles and drops, can cause extreme effects, says Patrick M. Lank, MD, emergency medicine physician and medical toxicologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Dr. Lanks research interests include novel substances of abuse and critical care of patients following overdose.

The concentration of THC in cannabis has been increasing over the past few decades, leading to a rise in cases of THC overdose. An overdose can cause nausea, vomiting, palpitations and alterations in behavior such as psychosis.

Studies With Young Adults

Almost five thousand young adults in a coronary artery risk development study were tracked over 25 years until mid-adulthood. The researchers found that lifelong appeared to have a cumulative effect and was associated with reduced scores on a verbal memory test.

THC appears to have no direct effect on cognitive abilities like processing speed. That was a significant finding that persisted even after adjusting for demographics, other substance use, and mental health issues.

Two longitudinal twin studies found that young twins who used marijuana showed a significant loss of verbal ability equivalent to four IQ points.

The twins also displayed overall deficits in general knowledge. Cognitive deficiencies were observed during the preteen years, late adolescent years, and in early adulthood.

A shorter-term twin study found no significant differences between twins when one twin used marijuana and the other twin did not.

Is Marijuana Good Or Bad For The Brain

Do people smoke or consume marijuana to be rebels because its illegal in the state of Minnesota, or do they smoke it just for fun? With medical marijuana being legalized in many states, people believe that it is okay to smoke or consume marijuana in Minnesota, even though it remains illegal recreationally. The states that have legalized recreational marijuana have provided that people abuse the drug a lot. They use the drug because it is legal and they dont need to hide the fact that they do use it. They may be aware of side effects that happen while they use the drug but may not be aware of the overall effects of the drug on the brain. The Black Market became a very important system since recreational marijuana has been legalized, which seems to make the usage go up in states where recreational marijuana isnt legalized. This could cause more major problems around the United States. Some of the states that havent legalized marijuana seem to have more recreational use than states than have legalized recreational marijuana use .

People seem to use marijuana because of the effects they feel during it, such as reduced anxiety. They may also like the relief of pain and relaxation that goes with it as well. Knowing that people smoke marijuana just for wanting to get a high is a problem for the person smoking, and the society surrounding him/her. Smoking marijuana comes with benefits, but also comes with side effects that alter the brain in numerous ways.

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How Does Hydroxyzine Interact With Cannabis

Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine that can help treat anxiety, allergies, itchy skin, and some rashes. No recent studies have identified potential interactions between hydroxyzine and cannabis, but this does not mean none exist.

The two may cause similar side effects, and using them together can intensify those side effects.

Hydroxyzine commonly causes dizziness and fatigue. Some people also experience these symptoms with cannabis. Using the two together can increase the risk of dizziness, falls, fainting, or accidents from exhaustion.

People who regularly use cannabis should tell a doctor before taking hydroxyzine. It is also important to discuss any other drugs because adding a third medication can increase the side effects of hydroxyzine and cannabis.

Read on to learn more about hydroxyzine and cannabis, including how they interact and potential risks.

Hydroxyzine is the generic version of a drug sold as Atarax and Vistaril. It is an antihistamine. Antihistamines the effects of histamine, a chemical the body releases in response to allergies and some irritants. They can also make a person sleepy and relaxed.

Hydroxyzine can treat the following conditions:

  • anxiety prior to surgery or anesthetic

Doctors may also use it off-label for some other conditions, such as to manage symptoms of asthma.

Researchers have not studied it as a long-term anxiety treatment, so doctors may prescribe other medications for long-term use.

Research On The Effect Of Occasional Marijuana Use

A Question For Voters This Fall: Is Pot Bad For The Brain? : Shots ...

The difficulty is that most, if not all, of the previous studies on the subject involved chronic, heavy marijuana smokers.

A study published in The Journal of Neuroscience was the first to link casual, occasional marijuana use with negative effects on the brain.

Although the sample size of the study was small the differences in the brains of the two groups were remarkable, the authors reported.

Researchers at Northwestern University and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School used magnetic resonance imaging to compare the brains of 20 young people who reported smoking marijuana at least once per week with 20 others age 18-25 who reported little to no history of marijuana use.

The scientists measured the volume, shape, and density of grey matter in the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala. The nucleus accumbens is involved in reward processing and decision making, while the amygdala is associated with emotion.

The participants were screened to determine that none were dependent upon marijuana or any other drugs and none of the participants had ever abused any other drugs.

Those who used marijuana were asked to estimate their marijuana consumption over a three-month period, including the number of days they smoked and the amount of the drug consumed each day.

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Negative Effects Of Marijuana

Just because marijuana has many medical uses and likely isnt as harmful as it was once thought to be doesnt mean it has no negative effects. Just like with any drug, supplement, or recreational substance, the negative side effects of marijuana should be considered along with its benefits. Potentially unwanted effects can include:

Do Negative Effects Of Marijuana Outweigh The Positives

The answer to this question can vary from one individual to the next. Just as with alcohol, recreational marijuana users must weigh the risks and rewards against their own personalities and health conditions. The difference between alcohol and marijuana, however, is that cannabis has been proven to have a variety of medical uses, making it much more than a recreational substance. This means that patients must also decide if any potentially harmful risks of marijuana outweigh the side effects and risks of other medical treatments.

Looking at the facts, a few things are clear. First, marijuana is not as damaging to the brain or lungs of adults as was initially thought. Its much less addictive than other legal substances including nicotine, alcohol, and prescription painkillers. Finally, there is no evidence that marijuana serves as a gateway to more harmful drugs in fact, the statistics show exactly the opposite. All of these facts should be taken into consideration when weighing the pros and cons of marijuana.

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People With Heart Disease

One of the side effects of THC is an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. While this may not be a risk for most healthy individuals, it could be problematic for those with heart disease. In fact, studies have shown that the risk of heart attack increases to 4.8 times higher than normal within the first hour after consuming marijuana. Combine that with studies that connect cannabis to a higher risk of stroke and it raises definite concerns about cannabis use among those with cardiovascular disease.

Medical Marijuana For Kids With Severe Conditions Attitudes May Be Shifting

Is Marijuana Harmful to Health?

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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The Effects And Dangers Of Thc

Cannabis, more commonly referred to as marijuana, is actually the umbrella term that refers to the plant that creates compounds called cannabinoids.

Whether you call it cannabis or marijuana, use is on the rise. Some people use it recreationally, while others use it for medicinal purposes to treat pain, nausea and sleep disorders. It can be smoked, inhaled, brewed as tea or consumed in edibles.

Its also associated with many long-term, harmful effects. Two Northwestern Medicine experts share what you need to know about the impact of cannabis use.

Research shows long-term cannabis use affects brain development.

Effect Of Marijuana Use On Iq

The effect Marijuana has on the brain is influenced by the amount a person has smoked and the users age. Individuals under 25, whose brains are still developing, are most susceptible to the effects of Marijuana on the brain. A study of Marijuanas effect on IQ revealed individuals who began using Marijuana at a young age lost 6 to 8 points from their IQ by middle age. Moreover, those who smoked Marijuana throughout their adolescence, then stopped, did not regain their IQ points. Conversely, individuals who began using Marijuana in their adulthood did not experience any IQ loss.

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Does It Interact With Cannabis

The medication label for hydroxyzine does not specifically list any issues around using it with cannabis, and there is no recent evidence suggesting that cannabis dangerously interacts with hydroxyzine.

Doctors have not established that either drug interferes with enzymes that metabolize the other drug. This means there is no evidence that cannabis weakens or intensifies the dosage of hydroxyzine, or vice versa.

This does not mean that there are no drug interactions. It simply means that no recent studies have found serious interactions.

Cannabis and hydroxyzine may still interact in several ways:

  • The two drugs can intensify the effects of one another. For example, cannabis may make a person feel sleepier than they otherwise would with hydroxyzine.
  • A person may develop unusual side effects with either or both drugs. For example, a person may find that cannabis and hydroxyzine do not make them nauseous separately, but that together they cause nausea.
  • The negative effects of either drug may be more noticeable when a person uses them together. Combining multiple drugs increases the risk of a drug overdose.
  • If a person takes another drug, the two drugs can change the effects of the third. For example, alcohol, hydroxyzine, and cannabis may negatively interact to cause a person to be sleepy or uncoordinated. The two drugs can also increase the risk of overdosing on certain other drugs.

Some potential risks include:

The Harmful Effects Of Marijuana

Does Weed Kill Brain Cells? How Marijuana Affects The Brain

The immediate effects of taking marijuana include rapid heart beat, disorientation, lack of physical coordination, often followed by depression or sleepiness. Some users suffer panic attacks or anxiety.22

But the problem does not end there. According to scientific studies, the active ingredient in cannabis, THC, remains in the body for weeks or even months.23

Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke.24 One major research study reported that a single cannabis joint could cause as much damage to the lungs as up to five regular cigarettes smoked one after another.4 Long-time joint smokers often suffer from bronchitis, an inflammation of the respiratory tract.25

The drug can affect more than your physical health. Studies in Australia in 2008 linked years of heavy marijuana use to brain abnormalities.26 This is backed up by earlier research on the long-term effects of marijuana, which indicate changes in the brain similar to those caused by long-term abuse of other major drugs. And a number of studies have shown a connection between continued marijuana use and psychosis.27

Thus even small amounts of marijuana can cause temporary sterility in men.28 Marijuana use can also disrupt a womans menstrual cycle.29

Studies show that the mental functions of people who have smoked a lot of marijuana tend to be diminished. The THC in cannabis disrupts nerve cells in the brain, affecting memory.30

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Largest Effect On Young Brains

Researchers believe that marijuana’s strongest long-term effects occur with young smokers whose brains are still developing neural connections.

Research into the effects of marijuana on the brain has been hampered by the fact that most people who use marijuana also drink alcohol, or other substances, which can have their own negative effects on the brain.

Why Is Weed Bad For Your Brain

Memory deficits associated with marijuana may result from how THC impacts the hippocampus. That part of your brain governs memory formation and determines how you process information. Most of the evidence supporting this theory comes from animal studies.

Rats who ingested THC prior to birth, soon after birth, or during adolescence developed marked difficulties with learning and memory tasks later in life. Deficits in cognition that appear in adult rats are thought to be a function of hippocampal damage caused by THC usage in adolescence.

The hippocampus may lose neurons as people age. That, in turn, reduces a persons ability to integrate new information. Chronic use of THC may speed up the loss of hippocampal neurons over time.

In another study, rats received a daily dose of cannabis for eight months. Thats about one-third of a rats total lifespan. These animals exhibited marked nerve cell damage when they were about 12 months old. The amount of damage was equal to that of rats who were twice as old as the experimental animals.

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People With Mental Disorders

People who have been diagnosed with or who have a predisposition to serious mental disorders should also be aware of how cannabis can create or worsen symptoms. Researchers have long suspected that there may be a link between cannabis and schizophrenia due to studies that have shown that marijuana can trigger psychotic symptoms in individuals with a predisposition to the disorder. Since , those with anxiety disorder should also proceed with caution.

Who Is Most Impacted

What Happens When You Quit Marijuana?

And it is the youth who are most at risk.

Younger cannabis users tend to make up the largest demographic. But as their brains are still developing, the effects of cannabis use could be more severe.

But that isn’t the whole story.

The residual effects are certainly present, but they are not overly severe. Rather, these cognitive impairments are small to moderate. Measures can certainly be taken to mitigate these problems by spreading more information about their use and screening for any problematic issues that could make one especially susceptible to problematic use habits and, therefore, negative residual effects.

But it is especially in younger users that this is problematic due to their brains still developing.

There are other issues with the study too, as there are also so many different ways of using cannabis and so many different types of dosing, including cannabis that is low in THC.

Overall, the findings are important and show that cannabis should be used carefully and in moderation, but most of all, it shows how much more there is to study about marijuana so that we can better understand its effects on the human body.

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What Is Your Marijuana Iq

How much do you really want to know about the risks of marijuana? You might be surprised.

  • Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is addictive. Research shows that:

  • 1-in-6 people who start using the drug before the age of 18 can become addicted.
  • 1-in-10 adults who use the drug can become addicted.

Over the past few decades, the amount of THC in marijuana has steadily climbed today’s marijuana has three times the concentration of THC compared to 25 years ago. The higher the THC amount, the stronger the effects on the brainlikely contributing to increased rates of marijuana-related emergency room visits. While there is no research yet on how higher potency affects the long-term risks of marijuana use, more THC is likely to lead to higher rates of dependency and addiction.

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