Marijuana is commonly used for recreation, pleasure, and medicine. So what exactly are the Psychological Effects of Marijuana?
The following tackles how Marijuana affects us psychologically based on science:
1. Changes in Social Behavior
The long term consumption of Marijuana can affect behavior and social skills. This seeps into the day to day living and causes a range of problems. Cannabis consumption can affect the human ability to function daily.
Studies have shown that younger people who smoke Marijuana may acquire adverse effects of the drug as they started taking it when they are still in development. People that smoke frequently and large amounts of Marijuana may find dependence on the drug. They may develop an addiction to it and may go through withdrawal symptoms once they halt usage. Constant marijuana users can become entirely focused on their need for Cannabis that they behave a certain way that is in contrast to their typical attitude and behavior.
The adverse effects in the social behavior of Marijuana include lack of motivation and energy. Any work taken can consist of a lack of focus, frequent errors, or commitment.
2. Changes in Memory Retention
Cannabis consumption affects the portion of the brain that handles memory retention. This is the reason why the frequent and prolonged use of Marijuana can have a detrimental effect on an individual’s performance at work or school.
Memory is referred to as the series of processes in our brain that control our ability to retain, store, and retrieve data. This includes experiences, names, tastes, necessarily data that your body goes through.
There are three basic types of memory:
- Long term memory – the ongoing process of storing data. This is a memory that you are unaware of but can remember if needed, as extended forgotten information.
- Short term memory – this is known as the “working memory,” and this is the memory that we continuously use or are highly aware of. This is information that is stored for a short amount of time.
- Sensory memory – this is the instantaneous process where information is stored in only a few seconds. This data can be transferred into a short term memory.
Marijuana’s Effects on the Hippocampus
The Hippocampus is the section on the brain in the medial temporal lobe. This portion is within the limbic system, which is a set of structures in the brain that harnesses or controls emotions, memories, and sense of smell. The hippocampus plays a significant role in spatial awareness and consciousness, which is why its impaired when a person consumes Marijuana. The primary marijuana chemical THC or tetrahydrocannabinol affects these functions wherein the balance in the hippocampus is reduced.
Substantially, your usual reactions will slow down, and you will find it challenging to act as you usually would. Memory, decision making, thinking, judgment, and learning are all affected, which would be a difficulty the longer you use Marijuana.
It is vital to learn that the hippocampus becomes less efficient as time progresses. Neurons would die over some time and will not be replaced, which is normal as we age. This would entail that it would be harder to retain new data. However, THC in Marijuana may speed up the loss of neurons, which would reduce someone’s effectiveness to process and learn further information.
How Marijuana Affects the Brain
Marijuana has a range of chemicals known as “cannabinoids,” but one compound is known as THC or “delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol,” which have direct effects on the brain. This chemical crosses the brain’s blood-brain barrier and causes that “ high” sensation of euphoria that is a result of using Marijuana.
These are the nerve cells that are present in brain areas that are responsible for sensory, perception, movement, concentration, coordination, and spatial awareness.
These receptors are also a part of the brain’s reward system. The reward system of the brain induces positive emotions like pleasure as a means to regulate behaviors. This region controls physical responses to substances such as sex, chocolate, and drugs such as Marijuana.
The brain’s reward system responds to these chemicals, releasing dopamine. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that is released as a response to an experience that is pleasurable such as Marijuana. This euphoric state is commonly known as experiencing a “high.”
THC’s Effects on the Brain’s Reward System
These euphoric effects include altered perception of space, time, increased appetite, and the high tendency to talk and laugh a lot. These effects would subside within a period to be replaced by the tendency to withdraw from others, relaxation and drowsiness.
Some people experience other effects that are not so pleasant. These would include paranoia, panic attacks, anxiety etc. These effects occur with inexperienced consumers or people who have to ingest vast amounts of Marijuana, such as sinsemilla or skunk.
Another side effect of Marijuana are hallucinations that are more likely to take place if the Marijuana is eaten than smoked. This entails that Marijuana has been consumed all at once. This considerable amount leads to be much more potent than herbal Cannabis. Examples of these hallucinations are disorientation, delusions, and a poor functioning memory.
It is essential to understand what type of Cannabis you are consuming. Knowing this information would let you know the potency and effects of the Marijuana you are ingesting. Visit here for more information.
3. Medicinal and Positive Psychological Effects of Marijuana
Medical Marijuana can have positive effects depending on the user. To get it, you must have a written recommendation from a licensed doctor in areas/states where it is legal. It would help if you also had a condition that qualifies you for the usage of Medical Marijuana.
Cannabinoids are the active chemicals found in Medical Marijuana. Cannabinoids are similar to a compound in the body that are involved in movement, pain, memory, and appetite.
Research suggests that cannabinoids can:
- Help reduce anxiety
- Assist reduce inflammation and lessen pain
- Control vomiting and nausea resulted from cancer chemotherapy
- Helps kill cancer cells and slow tumor growth
- Assist stimulate appetite and support improve weight gain in people who have AIDS and cancer.
The effects of Marijuana can vary depending on many factors with the user and how it is consumed. The adverse effects are magnified in people who would have a sizeable unhealthy dosage of Cannabis, have an anxious personality, or are suffering from mental illness, among many things. Marijuana can also help alleviate disease with proper dosage and consumption.