Despite the fact that medical marijuana and even recreational marijuana is legal in many states, there are still concerns from some over the effects on the brain and in particular the long term effects of heavy marijuana use. You may know about states with recreational weed .
Marijuana affects the brain in a number of ways due to the variety of active ingredients. THC and CBD are both cannabinoids that mimic natural chemicals found in the brain and attach to cb1 receptors and cb2 receptors. As well as cannabinoids, terpenes are also thought to contribute to the effects of marijuana, with terpenes being thought to influence serotonin, dopamine and GABA activity.
Marijuana research is ongoing especially into the long term effects of marijuana, it’s many therapeutic health effects and the potential harmful effects. Does weed kill brain cells? It’s possible that marijuana kills brain cells, but more research is needed to fully understand how marijuana affects the brain.
If you are using cannabis for medicinal purposes you can apply online for a doctor’s recommendation and medical marijuana card today giving you access to the safest possible marijuana as well as dosage advice from licensed medical dispensaries.
Short-term Effects of the Marijuana Plant
Most cannabis users are more concerned with the short-term effects of eaten or smoked marijuana for the recreational effects of euphoria, getting high, or the medical benefits including pain relief and the ability to reduce nausea, anxiety and depression.
As already mentioned cannabis affects the brain by binding with cannabinoid receptors in the brain altering normal brain communications. Cannabinoids affect the areas of the brain that are linked to pleasure, movement and coordination, memory, concentration and thinking as well as time and sensory perceptions.
For most people their reactions to cannabis are pleasant and even medically beneficial, however not everyone will have a positive reaction. Either way the short term effects of cannabis wear off within a few hours.
However it is the long term effects that many people are worried about, and the damage that could be caused by prolonged use..
Long-term Marijuana Impacts on the Brain
According to the national institute on drug abuse there is significant evidence, primarily from animal studies but also increasingly from human studies that exposing the adolescent brain to cannabis can have lasting and irreversible effects on brain development.
One of marijuana’s effects in rats exposed at a young age is to alter their reward system making them more likely to indulge in substance abuse later in life by self administering drugs such as heroin. This is one of the reasons that cannabis is considered to be a gateway drug and a key reason why drug education is needed.
There are studies that have linked early marijuana use to reduced IQ and it is these studies that have given rise to the claims that smoking cannabis can kill brain cells. Does weed kill brain cells ? A New Zealand study looked at persistent marijuana use disorder starting in adolescence showed that heavy use was associated with a loss of 6-8 IQ points by mid-adulthood, furthermore those that used heavily as teenagers and quit as adults did not recover those IQ points but those who didn’t start until adulthood didn’t suffer the same loss of IQ.
Studies have also shown a loss in memory function in long term cannabis users due to its effects on the hippocampus region of the brain.
More research is needed to really determine whether or not heavy use of cannabis causes brain damage in the same way as alcohol or cannabis use. However we do know that users develop a tolerance to cannabis over time which means people need to use more heavily to get the same effects.
Cannabis Use Disorders
Cannabis use disorders or addiction can happen with marijuana users leading to substance abuse however is less likely to cause addiction than many other drugs.
Like other common additions including gambling addiction, sugar addiction, sex addiction, social media addiction, porn addiction or even opioid addiction, addiction affects can be both physical and mental and caution should be exercised of you are planning marijuana detox.
If you are suffering from marijuana abuse disorder you should seek addiction treatment and talk to a treatment provider who can provide medical advice. Treatment centers are a good place to seek advice if you have questions about treatment.
Interestingly CBD can be used therapeutically to help avoid relapse when giving up other addictive substances due to its ability to reduce anxiety and stress levels. Research is also being conducted into CBD’s potential to reduce cravings associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal.
CBD does not make you high but does have many therapeutic benefits. Although it can be useful in alcoholism treatment marijuana smoke is unlikely to be used for inpatient rehab.
Synthetic marijuana is an illegal man made substance that can have some very toxic and damaging effects. Synthetic cannabis also known as spice has become popular despite its negative effects. A synthetic cannabinoid binds with cannabinoid receptors in the brain in the same way as cannabinoids in marijuana but can have much more intense effects and in some cases be life threatening.
Synthetic cannabinoids do not have medicinal benefits and can be far more dangerous and addictive than marijuana. Synthetic marijuana use can cause many side effects such as memory loss, seizures, psychosis, paranoia, hallucinations, violence, kidney damage and even brain damage. Addiction can lead to all these problems as well as leading to risky behaviors.
Does weed kill brain cells ? To ensure you are getting real marijuana and not synthetic cannabinoids sprayed onto dried plant matter you should always use a licensed cannabis dispensary. Licensed dispensaries only sell cannabis that has been legally grown and tested to ensure it is genuine. To get access to medical dispensaries you can apply for a medical card online today.