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 shocking ways weed can affect you and your brain, and these changes might not be side effects you have heard before. Although marijuana can have medical benefits, 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 (such as pleasure, euphoria, relaxation or in some cases anxiety, panic or paranoia) is THC — 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.
1It Can Impair Your Memory
Smoking weed can impair memory, attention, and concentration. “For example, impairment in memory occurs because cannabis alters information processing in the hippocampus, which is an area of the brain responsible for memory formation,” says Dr. Mooney. Unfortunately, marijuana’s impact to the brain is cumulative, and THC has been found to influence structures associated with concentration, memory, response time, and thought.
2It 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 tells Bustle. “This may interrupt other previous seeking of pleasurable experiences, such as relationships, hobbies, and academics.” Research out of University of California, Los Angeles found that smokers of an average of 12 years showed greater activity in the brain’s reward system when they saw objects used for smoking marijuana than when they were shown photos of objects that are considered “natural rewards,” like fruit.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Carina Wolff on BUSTLE
Published: July 9, 2018
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News