Wednesday, May 25, 2022

What Does Smoking Weed Do To Your Brain

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Acute Effects Of Marijuana On Cognition

How does marijuana affect your brain?

Cognitive functions are the functions in your brain that enable you to acquire, process and act on incoming information .

These are very essential skills for even basic survival. Its no coincidence that a lot of research on the effects of marijuana on the brain is looking at the effects on specific cognitive skills .

What is the current state of affairs with regards to the acute effects of marijuana on cognitive skills?

With regards to the effects of marijuana on cognitive processes, all facts in this article are based on the 2 largest systematic review studies which analyzed over 50+ studies that looked into this topic :

  • A more recent 2011 study .


In an analysis of 5+ experimental studies which focused on the acute effects of marijuana on attention/concentration researchers from the 2011 study found mixed results:

  • Infrequent users of marijuana can experience some impairment in their attention and concentration skills, however,
  • Heavy chronic users actually got better at attentional processing when they were under the influence of marijuana.

A possible explanation the researchers give for these results is that chronic use of marijuana may result in your brain adapting to the marijuana exposure in such a way, that your brain actually normalizes while under the influence of marijuana.

What does this mean for you?

Here the current state of affairs is again mixed.

Bottom line:

Working memory

    Verbal Fluency

    In other words:

    The Positive Effects Of Smoking Weed

    1. Prevents Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

    First of all, the Clinical Psychology Review found that weed helps people with drug or opioid addictions. However, note that the likelihood of becoming dependent on other substances, as pointed out by another study.

    2. Depression

    The Clinical Psychology Review published another study indicating that weed may treat some symptoms of mental illness. It helps depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms, but may not be as efficient in the treatment of psychosis or bipolar disorder.

    3. Reduces Chronic Pain

    Also, weed eases some of the symptoms of pain. Chronic pain affects nearly 25 million adults in the United States.

    A review by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that cannabinoids, active ingredients in this plant, are effective at relieving chronic pain. They act on the receptors of the brain that indicate and ease it.

    4. Cancer

    Evidence suggests that cannabinoids combat nausea and vomiting. Smoked weed helps to alleviate such symptoms. Furthermore, smoking weed in the short term may halt the growth of cancer cells.

    5. Multiple Sclerosis

    Weed also relieves the symptoms of spasticity in patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Note, though, that the positive effects of this are limited.

    6. Epilepsy

    It Can Interrupt Your Brain’s Reward System

    “Daily cannabis use can disrupt reward circuity, making cannabis use even more desirable to users,”Dr. Aimee Chiligiris, PsyD, a psychologist at Smithers Center at Columbia Doctors Midtown, tells Bustle. “This may interrupt other previous seeking of pleasurable experiences, such as relationships, hobbies, and academics.”

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    Listen To Your Body And Remain Calm

    Even if you do everything correctly, you still may feel jittery or anxious. Remember: This is not uncommon and it is not something that should cause concern. If you are feeling out of sorts, try to relax and remain calm. Drink some water, sit down, close your eyes and take a few breaths. Remind yourself that nobody has died from a marijuana overdose. If you are uncomfortable, know that the experience will be over soon.

    Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells How Weed Affects Cognition

    Smoking Fact: Nicotine Is MORE Addictive Than Cocaine ...
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    • 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.

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    Smoking Marijuana Does Not Increase Rcbf In Basal Ganglia Nucleus Accumbens And Hippocampus

    The major discrepancy between our findings and those from other laboratories involve the basal ganglia. PET studies using injected THC have found significant increases in basal ganglia rCBF, whereas our data shows rCBF increases that are ventral and lateral to the basal ganglia. It is also possible that injected THC has different effects on brain metabolism and blood flow than does smoked marijuana. However, another explanation for the divergent findings is that the studies by and utilized ROIs based upon predefined templates that averaged activity over relatively large volumes of tissue. This could have resulted in activations near to, but outside of, basal ganglia being averaged into basal ganglia ROIs.

    How Do Cannabinoids Affect The Brain

    Your brain has specific cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoids act on these receptors in different ways .

    A simplified version of how cannabinoids affect the brain:

    • Activate brain receptors, stimulating the activity of neurotransmitters that communicate with these receptors or
    • Bind to these brain receptors, inhibiting the uptake and increasing the presence of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.

    This holds true especially in particular parts of the brain where the amount of these cannabinoid receptors is larger than in other parts.

    Cannabinoid receptors in the brain are mainly located in:

    • Forebrain areas related to higher cognitive functions
    • Forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain areas related to the control of movement, and
    • Hindbrain areas related to the control of motor and sensory functions of the autonomic nervous system.
    • protective effects
    • Changes in your psychomotor abilities
    • Changes in your cognitive processes
    • Changes in your perception, mood, and consciousness , and
    • Potential physical changes in your brain in the long term, even when you arent under the influence of any marijuana.

    Then theres the distinction that has to be made, between acute and long-term effects of marijuana on the brain.

    Heres why:

    Long term effects are harder to reverse than short term effects. If marijuana has the potential to alter your brain chemistry in the long term , its important that youre careful with its use.

    First, we start with the:

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    Smoking Marijuana And Effects On The Body

    So you took a long draw off a blunt. Now what? The first thing to know is that the effects of smoking pot are a bit different than the effects of eating it.

    When you take in cannabis by inhalation, the kinetics the speed at which effects happen are very fast, Piomelli says. It goes into the lungs, circulates into the heart, and goes up to the brain very quickly. But it also goes away more quickly than if you consume cannabis through other pathways.

    The first thing youll feel is the cardiovascular effect. Blood pressure drops, Piomelli says. That causes an immediate reflex: The heart pumps more blood to restore normal pressure, and with that, heart rate increases. These effects are not pleasant, and they are the main reason why people who first try cannabis dont like it. They feel lightheaded and scared because their heart is beating fast, although those feelings disappear very quickly.

    Next comes the high, as THC travels up to the brain and switches on the CB1 receptors. When you have enough THC in the brain to activate enough endocannabinoid receptors, you get the reason why people use marijuana recreationally: that stoned sensation of euphoria and intoxication that is unique to cannabis, Piomelli says.

    According to Gruber, this process activates the brains reward circuitry, creating a reinforcing effect: You get a shot of dopamine that produces pleasure and makes you feel good.

    Connection To Cancer Is Unclear

    How Smoking Weed Changes Your Brain | Inverse

    Researchers havent found any links between smoking weed and cancers in the lung, head, or the neck. Limited evidence suggests that heavy marijuana use may lead to one type of testicular cancer. We dont have enough information whether cannabis may lead to other cancers, including:

    • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

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    Regular Marijuana Use May Also Be Connected To An Increased Risk Of Social Anxiety

    Researchers think it’s possible that CBD might be a useful treatment for anxiety disorders, and that’s something that several institutions are currently trying to study.

    The recent report suggested that evidence of a link between marijuana and an increased risk of most anxiety disorders was limited.

    However, the authors wrote that there is moderate evidence that regular marijuana use is connected to an increased risk of social anxiety. As in other cases, it’s hard to know whether marijuana use causes that increase or people use marijuana because of an increased risk of social anxiety.

    Smoking Weed Ages Your Brain By Almost 3 Years

    Smoking cannabis ages the brain by an average of nearly three years, according to new research.

    Schizophrenics brains were found to age by an even greater average of four years.

    Boozing was also shown to age the organ by 0.6 years, the research adds.

    Brain aging is defined as reduced blood flow through the organ.

    Lead study author Dr. Daniel Amen, founder of Amen Clinics, said: The cannabis abuse finding was especially important, as our culture is starting to see marijuana as an innocuous substance. This study should give us pause about it.

    Reduced brain blood flow has previously been linked to strokes and dementia.

    The researchers analyzed 62,454 brains scans from 31,227 people.

    Scans were collected during both rest and concentration and taken from people aged between nine months and 105 years old to determine factors that contribute to brain aging.

    Researchers analyzed the blood flow through 128 regions of each brain to determine how old they thought the individual was.

    Once they learned the persons actual age, they were able to measure the rate of accelerated aging.

    Dr. George Perry, from the University of Texas, San Antonio, commented on the research saying: This is one of the first population-based imaging studies, and these large studies are essential to answer how to maintain brain structure and function during aging.

    No link was found between depression and brain aging.

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    What If I Want To Quit

    People who use marijuana for a while can have withdrawal symptoms when they try to give it up. They may feel irritable, anxious, or depressed have trouble sleeping or not feel like eating.

    If you or someone you know wants to stop using marijuana but has trouble quitting, it can help to talk to a counselor. Studies suggest that a combination of individual counseling and group therapy sessions is the best approach for stopping marijuana use.

    What Happens When Dopamine Levels Rise Due To The Effects Of Thc

    After you quit smoking benefits, brain damage smoking weed

    Elevated dopamine levels trip the brains reward system, causing feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, and achievement. Dopamine can also make time seem to go slower as mental activity speeds up, with increases to libido, energy, and focus.

    But, if dopamine levels in your system stay too high for too long, the body will close off some dopamine receptors for a while, even after your high wears off.

    This drops dopamine synthesis in your body, blunting the pleasure you would normally feel from other things in your life like food, physical contact, hobbies, and achievement.

    This lack of enjoyment from other activities is a common symptom experienced by heavy marijuana users and those who abuse other drugs like opioids or amphetamines.

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    Healthmarijuana Worse For Teen Brains Than Alcohol Study Finds

    Patricia Conrad, professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal, believes that more research needs to be done to see the effects of chronic marijuana use on the brain.

    Potency has increased over time, said Conrad. “More sophisticated technology is being used to extract CBD oil from the product, resulting in more and more products with potent levels, said Conrad.

    One study that received a tremendous amount of publicity looked at 38,600 samples of cannabis confiscated from 1995 to 2014.

    Analysis of these samples found that the average amount of THC, the psychoactive portion of the drug, rose from 4 percent in 1995 to over 12 percent in 2014. During that same time, cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive component of marijuana, fell from 0.28 percent to 0.15 percent. This shift in the ratio of THC to CBD has a pronounced effect on the drug’s perceived potency.

    The average potency of the flower product sold in Washingtons state-licensed markets is over 20 percent, and the average potency of extract-based products like oils for vaping pens, dabs and the like is in the neighborhood of 70 percent, said Caulkins. He believes more research needs to be done to see how this difference in potency affects the body, compared with the weaker product studied in the past.

    Protective Effects Related To Long Term Marijuana Use

    Science has shown that certain compounds in marijuana have strong protective effects on the brain. And according to some studies marijuana has the potential to be used as a treatment for various diseases that have their origins in the brain.


    In a study done in 2008, researchers found that the most well-known compound in marijuana: THC, is a considerably superior inhibitor of A aggregation than currently approved drugs prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimers disease. A aggregation is the key process that leads to loss of neurons in Alzheimers disease.

    A more recent study in 2014, also confirmed that THC is effective at lowering A aggregation at extremely low concentrations in a dose-dependent manner.

    Brain cancer

    The 2 most well-known cannabinoids in marijuana:

    Have been shown to stop the growth of one of the most aggressive cancers in adult humans: glioma . THC and CBD have been shown to be especially effective in stopping the growth of glioma when combined with traditional radiotherapy.

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    What Can I Do As A Parent Of A Teenager To Help Them Avoid Cannabis

    Statistically speaking, cannabis is the most likely drug your teenage will experiment with. At any level of psychoactive drug use, there are real risks. Even if serious harm is rare, it can be helpful to share what youve learned with your teenager.

    University of Sydney Associate Professor Cath Chapman of the Matilda Centre for Research into Substance Use says that teenagers can also be motivated to avoid drugs because of the immediate things that might happen, rather than the long-term. The fact that they might not be able to do so well at an important sport match on the weekend because they’re not feeling so good and the impact for them is really bad, Cath told us. Watch the video.

    One of the things that resonates with young people, especially with older teenagers, is the impact of drug and alcohol use on the brain, Cath says. These are important things to remember when talking to your teenager about the reality of cannabis use.

    The Australian Drug Foundation has some awesome resources if youd like to learn more about drugs and their effects. The ADF is dedicated to preventing drug and alcohol use in the community and runs a range of education programs. There is a ton of really helpful and research-based information about drugs and their effects on their website.

    Some Women Have Reported Having More Satisfying Sex When Using Marijuana

    What Does Weed Do to Your Brain, Body & Mind? (Should You Stop Smoking Weed?)

    A small study of 373 women from of varying races, sexual orientations, and marital statuses found that people who said they used marijuana before sex tended to have a more pleasurable experience than those who did not use the substance.

    Specifically, some women reported having more satisfying orgasms and an increase in their sex drive.

    Researchers weren’t able to pinpoint why marijuana had this effect, but suggested it could be due to the substance’s ability to reduce stress and anxiety.

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    Chemical Composition Of C Sativa

    More than 421 chemicals are present in C. sativa of which 61 chemicals are cannabinoids. During cannabis smoking, over 2,000 compounds including hydrocarbon, nitrogenous compounds, amino acids, fatty acid, sugar etc. are produced by pyrolysis and all of these substances are responsible for different pharmacological as well as toxicological properties of cannabis .

    Smoking Marijuana Increases Heartrate And Blood Pressure And Lowers Whole Brain Pet Counts

    Smoking marijuana increased HR by a mean of 40.6 beats/min in the PET condition immediately following smoking, with all 12 subjects showing this effect . The HR increase dropped slowly, remaining significantly elevated in the second and third PET conditions following smoking . Diastolic blood pressure also increased after smoking marijuana, but the changes were smaller and more variable across individuals. Smoking marijuana did not result in a significant change in systolic blood pressure.

    A recent review of the cardiovascular effects of marijuana noted that a dose-related tachycardia is a consistent finding in human studies, with increases in HR of 3060% over control rates . Trouve and Nahous note that marijuana consistently produces peripheral vasodilation in humans, but that the findings concerning blood pressure are less consistent. The most frequent finding is an increase in blood pressure when the subject is supine, but significant hypotension when the subject is upright.

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    A Person Could Need More Sedation Medication For Surgery If They Have A Regular Marijuana Habit

    A small study in the May 2019 issue of The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that people who reported smoking marijuana or eating edibles on a daily or weekly basis needed higher doses of medication for sedation.

    The researchers found that people who used marijuana daily or weekly needed 14% more fentanyl, 19.6% more midazolam, and 220.5% more propofol for the full length of their procedures than their counterparts who didn’t use as much marijuana.

    Researchers haven’t determined why this was the case, but they believe marijuana could potentially desensitize the body’s receptors that process sedatives.

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