How marijuana affects your developing Brain ?
The cannabis plant has been used by humans for centuries. Although it is mostly used for recreational purposes, which is either smoked or consumed like cigarettes, in many countries it is permitted to be used for medical purposes. But how does it affect our brain? Three recent studies published in The Journal of Psychopharmacology, Neuropsychopharmacology and the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology have shown how it affects many cognitive patterns and psychological factors.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reports that according to 2018 figures, approximately 192 million people between the ages of 15 and 64 worldwide use cannabis for recreational use. About 35% of these users are between the ages of 18 and 25. This indicates that most users are young adults, whose brains are still developing, which can be affected by long-term cannabis use. Tetrahydrocannabinol is an important psychological component in cannabis and the part of the brain that it affects is called the endocrine benign system, which contains receptors that react to the chemical constituents of this leaf.
These receptors have a significant presence in the front of the brain and in the ‘limbic’ or peripheral parts, where the rewarding and stimulating systems are modulated. They regulate dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid, and glutamate in the brain.
These studies have shown that cannabis use can affect cognitive processing, especially among those who suffer from excessive cannabis use. These are the people who always want to use it to disrupt daily activities like work or study. An estimated 10% of cannabis users are diagnosed with the disease. Excessive use also negatively affects the ‘executive functions’, these are mental factors that include flexible thinking. It seems to be related to the age at which the person starts using the drug: the younger the age, the more affected the executive will be.
People who use the drug sparingly have also been found to have damage to the cognitive process. This is a group that can make more risky decisions than others and has more planning problems. Although much research has been done on men, there is evidence that their effects vary from sex to sex. We have been told that while male users have poor memory and difficulty recognizing objects, women who use cannabis have more attention problems and also have problems with their work.
These differences persist when the study is based on age, IQ, alcohol and nicotine consumption, mood and anxiety symptoms, emotional stability and habitual behavior.
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How marijuana affects your developing Brain and mental health
Cannabis use affects how we feel, as well as the way we think. For example, some previous research suggests that when we use cannabis, our brain circuits, as well as our sense of reward and motivation, may be affected. It can affect our performance at school or at work, and make us feel less motivated to work, and we are less likely to be rewarded when we perform well. There is also evidence that cannabis can cause mental health problems. We have reported that it is related to ‘high anhedonia’, which is not to be felt in adolescents.
The effect was felt with a specific frequency during the lockdown of Code-19. In addition to schizophrenia, cannabis use in adolescents is also thought to be a factor in the development of psychological problems. Research shows that moderate cannabis use increases the risk of psychological symptoms in adolescents, but has a greater effect on people with psychosis.
I don’t really know why cannabis is associated with psychological problems, but many hypotheses suggest that dopamine and glutamate may play a role in the neurobiology of such conditions. Another study of 780 adolescents found that the link between cannabis use and psychological experiments was linked to a region of the brain called the annex. It is located inside the parahippocampus (which is included in the memory) and the vulva bulb (which is involved in odor and fragrance processing), and contains a large number of cannabinoid receptors.
Ultimately, the scientific and psychological effects of cannabis use may depend to some extent on its diet, sex, genetic predisposition, and age of use. But we need to determine whether these effects are temporary or permanent. An article states that after moderate use of cannabis, its effects can be weakened if it is not used for some time. But even if that happens, it’s clear that long-term use can have an impact on our minds, especially on the minds of young people whose brains are still developing.
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