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What Weed Does To Your Brain

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So How Does Thc Make More Dopamine

How does marijuana affect your brain?

Studies in animals suggest that dopamine-producing neurons are controlled by the neurotransmitters glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid .

Imagine these neurotransmitters as traffic lights.

Glutamate would be the green light and GABA the red light.

Both chemicals act together to keep dopamine production regulated, just as lights would manage the flow of traffic.


What Does Weed Do To Your Brain And Body

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Ever wondered whats really going on in your brain and body when you take a hit of or eat a pot brownie? The side effects are readily apparent, but whats happening physiologically to create those sensations? And why do some people experience entirely different effects from weed, such as heightened anxiety or paranoia? What does weed really do to the brain? How does marijuana affect the body?

Curious about the acute impacts of cannabis for the occasional adult user, we asked two top researchers in the field to give us the blow-by-blow from inhalation to intoxication to coming down from your high.

Every Dose Is Personal

Not only that, but how the exact same weed from the exact same source makes you feel can change as well. The amount of chemical compounds in the plant depends on a range of variables including the time of day its harvested and how its stored. There are no guarantees. Its an imprecise science and experimentation is part of the process.

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Acute Effects Of Marijuana On Cognition

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:

    So How Does Marijuana Affect Your Brain

    What 5 Popular Drugs Including Weed And Booze Do To Your ...

    More research is needed to accurately answer this question. There is evidence that cannabis depresses functionality in the developing brains of children and adolescents. Nevertheless, more studies are needed to clarify whether brain impairment also occurs in those who avoid THC before adulthood.

    More research is also needed to assess the effects of more potent marijuana strains and new cannabis products such as edibles.

    Does marijuana really kill brain cells? It might, and it might not. Either way, youre putting your brain at risk. If youre worried about using too much weed, we can help.Contact Harmony Place in Woodland Hills, California, for more information.

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    In Some People Weed Could Increase The Risk Of Depression

    Scientists can’t say for sure whether marijuana causes depression or depressed people are simply more likely to smoke. But one study from the Netherlands suggests that smoking weed could raise the risk of depression for young people who already have a special serotonin gene that could make them more vulnerable to depression.

    Those findings are bolstered by the NASEM report, which found moderate evidence that cannabis use was linked to a small increased risk of depression.

    In The Short Term It Can Also Make Your Heart Race

    Within a few minutes of inhaling marijuana, your heart rate can increase by between 20 and 50 beats a minute. This can last anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

    The NASEM;report found insufficient evidence to support or refute the idea that cannabis might increase the overall risk of a heart attack. The same report, however, also found some limited evidence that smoking could be a trigger for a heart attack.

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    What Does A Persons Brain Look Like After Theyve Smoked Weed For A Long Time

    Researchers have argued about whether long-term marijuana use alters a persons brain, but at this point, its;pretty much settled: Chronic marijuana use changes how your brain works. And in a 2014 study in the journal;Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers compared 48 marijuana users with 62 non-using control subjects to see;how peoples brains changed from smoking pot.

    Compared to the control group, the smokers had less gray matter in the bilateral orbitofrontal gyri, which are associated with making decisions and processing emotions. But along with this, the marijuana users had;more;structural connectivity in the orbitofrontal cortex network, which the study authors say suggests that the brain may be trying to make up for the loss of gray matter. The human brain is a complex and dynamically adjusting organ, so any shortcoming in one area can often be partially compensated for in other areas, and this seems to be whats going on in the brain of a pot smoker.

    Is it bad? Maybe, maybe not. Can your brain handle it? From these studies of marijuana smokers, that seems to be the case. But as with any area of research, this is a topic that requires more in-depth longitudinal studies to get a better idea of how marijuana affects the brain, especially in the long-term.

    Cognitive Effects Of Cannabis

    How Does Marijuana Affect Your Brain?

    While there is some evidence that mild cognitive impairment can result for chronic users, the data is fairly inconclusive. Some studies show no difference at all between cannabis users and non-users, while other studies have found mild deficits for long-term cannabis users. Notably, these cognitive impairments are far less intense than what we see with alcohol in both the short and long term.6

    There is also evidence that suggests some medical cannabis users, such as those with ADHD or Tourettes, may do better cognitively using cannabis than abstaining from it.; Furthermore, if it helps conditions such as chronic pain, depression, anxiety, or other chronic diseases that impact cognition, it may have a beneficial impact.7

    Cannabis can impact people differently, depending on a number of variables, including brain chemistry, which is largely determined by genetics. Those who say cannabis just isnt for me may be on the right track, since it may be a matter of genetics and endocannabinoid tone.;

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    Neurological Benefits Of Marijuana

    The therapeutic use of cannabis for brain and nerve disorders is based on its provenneuroprotective properties, which are expressed by its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

    Inflammation is a process that affects tissue caused by high levels of toxicity, physical damage, or underlying blood vessel pathology. It is usually followed by a series of harmful chemical reactions called oxidative stress. Inflammation and oxidation interfere with normal brain function and can cause the onset of new diseases.

    Whats more, cannabis effects on brain tissue include the regulation of neurotransmission and the enhancement of overall brain connectivity. This is a direct effect of cannabinoid-receptor interaction. Neuroprotection usually comes secondary, as a product of subsequent chemical reactions that follow receptor stimulation.

    The anti-inflammatory effects of marijuana have been thoroughly documented. Additionally, both THC and CBD have proven antioxidant properties. They help the body scavenge harmful free radicals and reduce hydroperoxide toxicity in neurons. They also decrease the effects of excitotoxicity in neurodegenerative diseases.

    So, what does marijuana do to the brain that makes us want more? The ways it affects the brain and peripheral nerves are not just beneficial but can be used therapeutically as well. Today, there is a lot of scientific evidence that justifies the use of medical marijuana for brain and nerve disorders.

    How Long It Takes To Get High

    Just how quickly do you feel those results? Well, it all depends on whether you smoke, vape, or consume edibles.

    When you smoke, enters the bloodstream very quickly, Rudroff says. When you eat it, it can take up to 20 or 30 minutes before you can feel the effect.

    How long it takes also depends on the concentration of THC and CBD in the product youre taking. For us as scientists, its all about the levels of THC and CBD, Carlini says. Its very hard to say, Purple Haze is sativa, and it has X effect.

    Weed experiences vary from person to person. What produces paranoia in one person might not have the same effects in someone else. The NIH says you can expect these side effects, among others:

    • altered senses
    • difficulty with problem solving
    • impaired memory

    Science can explain certain feelings like muscle relaxation and hunger, but the exact formula needed to create an identical reaction in everyone? Thats a lot trickier.

    We dont doubt the differences, its just not well understood from the perspective of science, Carlini says. Its a very complex plant.

    And strains arent as clear-cut as they used to be. Youve probably heard that sativa strains can make you feel like youre on cloud nine or ready to create a masterpiece, while indica strains are good for ditching PMS pain or catching some much-needed Zzzs.

    Doses that are THC dominant can provoke paranoia, Carlini says, but good luck on having an equation on when that is going to happen.

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    The Effect Of Marijuana On The Teenage Brain

    When a person uses marijuana, the principal psychoactive chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol passes from the lungs or digestive tract into the bloodstream. The blood carries THC to the brain, where it acts on specific cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are predominantly found in areas of the brain associated with concentration, thinking, sensory and time perception, pleasure, memory, and coordination.3 Overactivation of these areas by THC causes the high that people feel.4 such as attention, memory, and learning, and these effects can last up to several days beyond the time of actual high.5

    Unfortunately for teenagers, marijuana use can have much more long-term effects. The teenage brain is not yet fully mature, with neurodevelopment continuing until at least the early or mid-20s. During adolescence the brain is particularly sensitive to drug exposure, and marijuana use impacts how connections are formed within the brain.3 Other effects on the developing brain include interference with neurotransmitters and abnormal brain shape and structure volume.6

    Studies have shown that the use of marijuana is associated with reduced cognitive function in teens.7 One study found that teens who regularly use marijuana lose an average of 5.8 IQ points by the time they reach adulthood.8 A recent study found that marijuana has a more negative impact on a teenagers cognitive development than alcohol.9

    Does Thc Affect Mental Function

    Does Smoking Weed Restructure Your Brain?

    Pot users have long been stereotyped as having reduced mental abilities. When cannabis was illegal, it was difficult to study the effect of THC on a large number of human subjects, but several effects have been proven.

    Coordination, reaction time, concentration and decision-making abilities are all affected by THC.

    Mood-altering drugs can be dangerous for people with a personal or family history of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

    Studies on humans show that THC intoxication causes a measurable difficulty in accessing verbal memories.

    When they are high, pot users may be unable to find the word they want to express a certain thought.

    Studies link this outcome to the presence of THC in the brain. Once the THC breaks down, that tongue-tied state passes.

    The larger question is whether THC use results in the impairment of cognitive performance after the intoxication wears off.

    Now that pot is legal, better studies are planned to answer that question.

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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,”

    Shocking Ways Weed Can Affect Your Brain

    Most people know that smoking marijuana can make you feel spaced out or trigger the need for some munchies, but it also can have some other, lesser obvious consequences on your mind as well. There are a number of shockingways weed can affect you and your brain, and these changes might not be side effects you have heard before. Although , it’s also important to be aware of the different ways it can impact your brain.

    “Cannabis contains chemicals called cannabinoids that act on receptors in the brain that affect pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, appetite, and coordination,”Dr. Larissa Mooney, Medical Director at CAST Centers, tells Bustle. “There are also naturally-occurring cannabinoids in the brain called endocannabinoids that act on the same receptors. The primary active chemical responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis is THC â tetrahydrocannabadiol.”

    Although THC can be responsible for these changes in your body, there are also some cognitive risks as well, and these can include everything from memory loss to risk of psychosis. Here are six shocking ways that weed can have a lasting effect on your brain, according to experts.

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    And It Can Distort Your Sense Of Time

    Feeling as if time is sped up or slowed down is one of the most commonly reported effects of using marijuana. A 2012 paper sought to draw some solid conclusions from studies on those anecdotal reports, but it was unable to do so.

    “Even though 70% of time estimation studies report overestimation, the findings of time production and time reproduction studies remain inconclusive,” the paper said.

    In a 1998 study that used magnetic resonance imaging to focus on the brains of volunteers on THC, the authors noted that many had altered blood flow to the cerebellum, which most likely plays a role in our sense of time.

    Limitations on what sort of marijuana research is allowed make it particularly difficult to study this sort of effect.

    Acute Effects Of Marijuana On The Brain

    How Smoking Weed Changes Your Brain | Inverse

    The acute effects of marijuana are the effects that are immediately noticeable.

    And the reported acute effects of marijuana on the brain are plenty, but all of them can be categorized in:

    • protective effects;
    • Cognitive effects;
    • Psychoactive effects.

    Also, the acute effects, especially the psychoactive effects, are more subjective and individual than the long-term effects on the brain.

    About the short-term effects of marijuana, studies can only speak in generalities. For example, most studies find that the concentration of people under the influence of marijuana worsens. But youll also find anecdotal reports of marijuana users saying they improve their concentration by using it.

    The acute effects of marijuana are also highly dependent on variables like:

    • Mode of use ,
    • The strain,

    That said, lets take a look at what the studies are showing.

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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.

    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.

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