Marijuana has been a trend since the beginning of civilization and it has been used in religious ceremonials, shamanism and witchcraft rituals.
Especially in the modern era since the 60s was when it gained its notoriety as a recreational drug, especially among teenagers and youngsters, because of the well-known euphoria it is producing upon consumption. Regardless of the different people beliefs on it and some beneficial effects, it can cause serious health issues and heavy Marijuana use may damage the brain.
Marijuana and its Effects
Marijuana, the most commonly used psychoactive drug on the planet Earth, it is considered a light drug among its users, but from each country legislation’s point-of-view it can be either legal (e.g. Netherlands) or considered a high-risk drug.
Marijuana is the common name used to describe one type of the Cannabis-based drugs, other variations being hashish and kief.
These drugs are made by following a specific process, typical for any variation.
For Marijuana are used only the dried leaves, seeds and flowers of the female plants of Cannabis Sativa, Indica, or Ruderalis, while for hashish the process is much more complicated and only the resins of the female plant are used and processed, resulting into a drug with a much higher level of active substance.
The psychoactive chemical substance inside Marijuana is THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and its most common effects are lethargy, euphoria, sleepy-mood, slight hallucinations.
Marijuana and its variations are designed to be smoked (e.g. joint, blunt, bong), but they could also be added up in cookies (e.g. magic brownies) or mixed up in special drinks.
The fact that Marijuana doesn’t give addiction is a very popular belief among smokers, but it is not quite true and it depends on more on each smoker.
What is true, though, is that Marijuana leads to addiction if it is frequently used. The body of a person who is heavily smoking Marijuana on daily basis will build up a resistance on THC and that person’s brain will ask for more of this drug to sense the same effects as at the first doses.
Marijuana is considered to be a so-called gateway drug because it can open for its users the door to the more powerful drugs world.
Marijuana and Medicine
Lately, Marijuana was the subject of many clinical studies that tried to prove it’s a beneficial drug for different illnesses and disorders, leading many countries governments to adopt new legislation regarding Marijuana.
For example, in few US states and UK, Marijuana is sold legally as a prescript drug, but under a very strict control.
Some clinical studies have proven few good effects of THC. Accordingly, THC is:
- increasing sense of hearing and smell
- relieving pain
- decreasing anxiety
- increasing empathy
- reducing ocular tension
- reducing blood pressure
- inducing a relaxed mood
Other clinical studies conducted in the UK and the US led their researchers to call the THC as the tumors killer. The research has been done on irradiated mice that had grown tumors. The scientists then injected THC into the mice and observed that the tumors began to get smaller, and in some cases, the tumors eventually vanished.
The conclusion was that the THC could fight cancer.
Backing up the scientist’s studies, there are dozens of stories told by people who actually won the fight against cancer by using Marijuana, but the probes are not irrefutable, yet.
While few Institutions tried to prove it’s benefits, other scientists and doctors tried to prove why this habit has negative effects, which are:
- potential heart attack cause in the cases of users with heart disorders
- very bad withdrawal symptoms for heavy consumers
- slow reflexes
- heavy Marijuana use may damage the brain irremediable
- lung cancer for Marijuana smokers (not proven that Marijuana is causing it, but the tar and carbon monoxide cause it, such as in the tobacco cigarettes smoking cases)
Is clear that consuming Marijuana has a good side and a bad side, but what’s totally true is that heavy Marijuana use may damage the brain irremediable.
Does heavy Marijuana use damage the brain for real?
Marijuana plays the role to corrupt regular connections between neurons and brain centers circuits.
According to a new study, Marijuana really damages the brain, and even those people who are occasionally using Marijuana, but for several months, are affected by significant changes in the brain centers that control emotions, motivation, and addictions.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School of the US examined parts of the brain associated with the emotions, motivation, and addictions in the case of 20 students who have occasionally used Marijuana and compared the results with those from a control group consisting of 20 students who have never used Marijuana.
The conclusion was that the Marijuana smokers presented the first signs of the formation of addiction because the brain changes its way it translates rewards and pleasures, making different life experiences to be considered less satisfactory compared to the experiences and moods given by Marijuana usage.
Other studies have been conducted on heavy Marijuana smokers. In the case of heavy smokers, almost every brain center is damaged, from learning center and speaking center to memory and emotions centers.
It has been proven that the only cells in the human body that do not divide or recover are the neurons and Marijuana is killing neurons, leading to many problems on short-term, and it could lead to brain maladies like Parkinson, on long-term.
At the psychological and emotional levels, the heavy Marijuana use may damage the brain leading to psychosis, personality disorders, paranoia, Tourette Syndrome, or sudden mood shifts.
Also, heavy Marijuana use could lead to memory loss, speaking difficulties, learning difficulties and the impossibility to fulfill various complex tasks.
In the teenage period, the brain is developing, so during adolescence, a heavy Marijuana use may damage the brain by lowering IQ level, decreasing the ability of learning, or creating emotional disturbances, all of these leading to other psychological and emotional issues in the early adulthood years.