What Does Weed Do To Your Brain: Know the 3 Serious Effects

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What Does Weed Do To Your Brain
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Have you ever wondered what and how your brain processes when you put on marijuana? When marijuana affects, some physiological things happen in your brain, creating some sensations. You will get some sensations after the marijuana effect, but do you know what does weed do to your brain?

Even you may have seen that some people who smoke marijuana will have different effects of marijuana. Smoking weed can give you anxiety or paranoia. Also, it has some effects on your body.

The drug is known by different names that come from the cannabis plant. They are commonly known as marijuana, pot, dope, grass, and weed. Marijuana can be smoked or vaped. Most people use this drug to feel pleasure and recreation. However, some people even eat and drink the cannabis drug. Surprisingly, even doctors prescribe this drug for specific medical conditions and symptoms.

There are mind-altering compounds present in marijuana that simultaneously affect your body and brain. Heavy marijuana use can create an addiction and cause severe damage to the brain and body. Even you may have serious mental health effects.

What Is Marijuana

Marijuana is a drug made from the cannabis plant. It is made from dried flowers, seeds, and leaves from the cannabis plant. Marijuana is also known as weed or pot, and these names are much more common than the marijuana name. Most people smoke pot to get high and feel the pleasure.

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Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

However, people who use this drug think of it as a herbal drug since it is made from a plant and thus cannot have any complications. Unfortunately, they are wrong. Weeds have one of the most dangerous health effects and risks. Other dangerous drugs like heroin, tobacco, or cocaine are also made from individual plants.

Moreover, marijuana can affect your brain cells and have more chemicals. So, it can be very harmful to your body and brain.

How Is Marijuana Used

People can smoke marijuana in many different ways. However, the most common way to smoke marijuana is by rolling cigarettes up with marijuana or in an OCB roll. Some people even prefer to eat or drink weed. They mix it with their tea or even cook their food with marijuana.

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Photo by Wesley Gibbs on Unsplash

There are many devices to light up marijuana. People use electric cigarettes or some smoking device called vaping. Furthermore, some people prefer to smoke it instead since they feel it is safe to inhale.

However, some studies also showed that vaping is as dangerous as inhaling weed since some chemicals exist.

How Does Marijuana Work

When people smoke, the altering chemicals change the way of working of the brain.

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Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

Generally, marijuana affects the brain cells, also called neurons, and these cells help transmit messages to all parts of the body. The neurons are responsible for body coordination, pleasure, and judgment.

Marijuana attacks these brain cells and makes the user do unwanted things by changing their way of thinking and memory formation.

What Happens When You Smoke Marijuana

When you use marijuana, the psychoactive ingredient of the brain called THC can stimulate the exact parts of the brain which firmly answer to the fun of food and sex. Furthermore, it can even release a chemical called dopamine. It can delight you and give you a very comfortable sensation.

Moreover, if you smoke or vape marijuana, the THC attaches to your bloodstream. Hence you get to your high point within a few minutes. THC can keep the effects of marijuana for at least two to three hours. Also, it can peak within thirty minutes.

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Photo by Dennis Ottink on Unsplash

It is very crucial since the pot effects depend on the ratio of THC with other compounds in the body. If you smoke pot, the THC ratio will increase compared to other compounds. However, if you eat or drink marijuana, pot effects will take many hours to wither off and bring you back to fully sober.

Marijuana affects your brain directly, and the potential to recreate things can be out of your league. It is even the same for medical marijuana.

1. Distorted Thinking

The effects of marijuana can mess up your thinking and sense of judgment. Smoking pot affects your brain development, and the effects may vary. It depends on the amount of marijuana you have used, how you inhaled it, and how strong your pot was. Even though you will have adverse effects and may experience:

  • increased sense (everything may seem brighter, and sounds will be louder heard)
  • distorted sense of time
  • hurting your motor skills and may drive very rash
  • lack of inhibitions, and you may have risky sex or even approach for other chances.

2. Develop Addiction

There is a healthy chance of getting addicted to marijuana once you smoke it. The addiction risk is high when you start taking high doses of weed during your mid-adulthood. You will develop addiction no sooner if you use pot. It means you will not be able to stop marijuana use even if it is hurting you, your relationships, finance, health, and your job.

Moreover, when you take high doses of weed, your body will also depend on the marijuana effects. If marijuana use is not active for some days, you may face irritating symptoms. Also, your body will leave you in a restless condition where you will be unable to sleep and will not be interested in eating.

The aftermath of smoking weed is severe. First of all, you will not be in control, and secondly, you will feel starving. Marijuana increases the appetite of a weed smoker. It is also called “the munchies.” however, the effects of marijuana can sometimes be beneficial since it can help people suffering from cancer and AIDS and stop weight loss. However, there are not enough solid supports for this theory. The national institute on drug abuse is still studying the increased appetite after smoking marijuana.

What Does Weed Do To Your Brain

There are numerous chemicals present in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Also, the chemicals are present in varying amounts since it depends on the size it has grown into.

The cannabis plant contains a compound known as recreational marijuana, a psychoactive compound. The compound can contain either delta-9-tetrahydro cannabinol or THC. If any plant compound has a high content of THC, then the particular weed has great potential and can have adverse effects on the user’s brain.

Since THC has excellent potential and is the compound converted from recreational marijuana, it is produced in large quantities. Lately, all growers of weed produce many cannabis plants with high THC.

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Moreover, recreational marijuana is now legal throughout the US, and people are now wondering how does marijuana work and if marijuana use has any effects on the brain. Simply if you consume other drugs and alcohol, and meth for just one year, your brain will act abnormally, and there will be many other complications. Similarly, marijuana drug abuse can send messages to your body through the brain cells.

Marijuana can cause a lot of damage. As a result, you will face many symptoms of brain and body health effects.

1. Messes Up With Brain Receptors

The components of the weed can bind with other specific receptors in some specific brain regions. The THC attaches to cannabinoid receptors of the brain. These receptors are directly connected to the nerves in the brain, and they are responsible for looking after memory formation, appetite, pain, and mood. Even these cells are connected to the liver, fat, vasculature, and all other single cell and organ system in the body.

When marijuana is smoked, the THC activates the CB1 receptors, and then receptors mess up with the mood, metabolism, and even movement.

2. Loss Of Memory

People who smoke face situations where they cannot recall important details while staying focused. However, this can increase if marijuana use is severe. It will simply result in frequent loss of memory and concentration. Moreover, if a weed smoker wants to drive while he is high, he may endanger himself with an accident since the effects of marijuana are also linked to the motor skills of the drug user.

However, drug abuse may not go smoothly for everyone. Marijuana use can leave you in an anxious state, panicked, or in the worst case, you can be in a paranoid state. There is even a chance to raise your clinical depression, and the symptoms of medical disorders will worsen. National Institute On Drug Abuse claims that marijuana addiction can throw you into a paranoid state, and you may hear things that do not exist or even lose contact with the real world. Typically, on marijuana recreational use, the fear in the smoker’s life is triggered the most.

3. Loss Of IQ

Marijuana addiction has an impulsive effect on the brain, and it depends on the severity of smoking weed. Generally, brains develop till 25 years of age.

It is found that people who are under 25 years of age and if they are under weed addiction, then they will develop adverse effects from marijuana. Since their brain development is not yet completed, they will lose about seven to nine IQ points.

Moreover, smoking marijuana during adolescent brain development and stopping it will not help regain their IQ points. If they have been addicted to marijuana, they will permanently lose some IQ points.

How Does Synthetic Marijuana Effect The Brain

An artificial hallucinogenic substance, called synthetic marijuana, is spread over the cannabis plant material for greater hallucination.

Though other substances like synthetic marijuana are not safe for human consumption, it has still gained popularity in recent years.

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Photo by Davide Sibilio on Unsplash

Synthetic marijuana is not legal, and it has some very toxic ingredients and other substances. This drug is also known as “fake weed” and can cause great mind-alteration and tend the smoker to act weirdly. It can increase your blood pressure, heart rate, bleeding, and frequent puking.

Just like marijuana affects the brain, synthetic marijuana affects the brain cells. It attaches the cannabinoid receptors in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. However, the bonding of this weed to the receptors is much stronger than that of ordinary weeds.

The THC of Synthetic marijuana is a hundred times more powerful, and since it is connected through CB1, it gains access to multiple locations in the brain. Hence, it causes some severe and intense symptoms.

The symptoms that a synthetic marijuana smoker can experience:

  • frequent loss of memory
  • seizures
  • paranoia
  • heart attacks
  • violence
  • brain and kidney damage
  • continous hallucination
  • cardiac problems

Synthetic marijuana can develop instant addiction and seriously damage the brain and body. After some point of continuous smoking, the brain develops adverse effects on marijuana.

Short Term Effects Of Marijuana

Even though they all go from the same biological process after smoking weed, the effects may vary in different people. Some weed smokers are susceptible to THC, while some are not. Such differences can happen due to metabolism, body chemistry, and weed.

If your metabolism is weak and the weed has a high potential to release the effects of THC, then you will have the symptoms of smoking marijuana. However, if your metabolism is good and the marijuana is not so potent, you may not have symptoms.

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Image source: Shutterstock

Moreover, the short-term effects of weeds depend on the endocannabinoid system, which is a growing number of activated receptors. If most of your receptors are activated before inhaling marijuana, then you will have the marijuana effects.

The short-term effects of weed:

  • blunder in judging distance
  • lack of memory
  • exhaustion
  • perplexity
  • anxiety
  • fear
  • paranoia

Long-Term Effects Of Marijuana

Marijuana’s long-term effects can cause severe depletion in the development of the brain and some permanent changes in the brain.

Regular use of marijuana is linked with altered connectivity, and it reduces the volume of specific brain regions involved in a broad range of executive functions. These functions include memory and impulse control compared to non-smokers of cannabis.

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Image Source: Shutterstock

Marijuana’s long-term effects can cause cognitive impairment. However, this depends on the person’s age who started inhaling cannabis. Also, people who did not take marijuana during their teenage, but ended up taking heavy cannabis drugs, did not lose their IQ points.

However, more research is required to know marijuana’s long-term effects by increased THC in cannabis drugs.

Long-term effects are permanent changes made to mental health, and due to marijuana addiction, you can experience:

  • difficulty in learning new things, and issues with memory
  • breathing problems
  • lung problems and frequent cough
  • nausea
  • frequent puking

Medical Marijuana

Some research showed that the chemicals present in marijuana could be helpful. It can help people with nausea, immense pain, AIDS, and other health issues.

Some human services and treatment center allows people to smoke marijuana. Since marijuana works with some complex illnesses, the government allowed the use of medical marijuana.

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Image Source: Shutterstock

However, research from the national institute on drug abuse has not proved it, so the government allowed some pills containing marijuana chemicals.

Scientist is conducting their research on the drugs made from marijuana to find solutions to complex health issues and also how to avoid long-term effects.

What Does Weed Do To Your Body

When weed is smoked, the adverse effects take action at a high-speed rate. It directly goes to the lungs, which are then circulated to the heart. The smoke then goes up to the brain and acts with receptors. This process is very rapid.

However, if weed enters the body from different pathways, the action takes faster than smoking. The health risks increase immensely. The blood pressure drops suddenly and starts pumping more blood to restore the lost blood. Due to this, the heart rate increases, and there is a chance of getting a heart attack.

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Image Source: Shutterstock

The THC then moves up to the brain and releases the CB1 receptors. They even activate the endocannabinoid system and mess up the executive functions, and the effects start to unleash.

Most people do not like weed addiction since they fear the increased heart rate and uneasy health. However, this withers away after a few days, and the body develops an addiction.

The brain acts weirdly and releases dopamine, making you feel good or sick. Also, you feel hungry and desire to love due to dopamine release. However, more research is needed on addiction treatment.

Edible Weed Effects

If weed is consumed with food, then the actions take place differently. When weed is consumed, it takes around one and a half hours to make you feel the effects. It is very different than smoking weed which acts quickly.

Since the weed is not bypassed directly to the lungs and brain by eating it, the edible weed must be digested first, and only then will THC be absorbed and sent to the brain.

However, the THC, before reaching the brain, has to pass from the liver. The substance is then converted into 11-hydroxy-THC and then sent to the brain. The 11-hydroxy-THC is much more potent than ordinary marijuana.

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Image source: Shutterstock

Men do not send much more 11-hydroxy-THC to the brain as women do. Men tend to like weed more than women, but due to women’s more significant active metabolism, they send much more 11-hydroxy-THC to the brain.

Since THC is more of a fat-like molecule, it gets stuck in the fatty brain. So, the effects stay longer. However, after some time, the high feeling during initial doses decreases. Moreover, you cannot stop once you start eating since everything will feel amazing. Addiction treatment is necessary, so you should keep checking the National Institutes of Health for the side effects.

However, the National Institutes of Health claimed that when weed withers away, it does not makes you crave for more. It calms you down from the effects.

Weed Effects On Lungs

Smoking weed for a long time can cause problems for your lungs. It can inflame your lungs and keep them irritating. You can even develop breathing problems if you smoke weed regularly. Some of the symptoms are similar to smoking cigarettes.

You may even suffer from cough and coughing out colored mucus. As a result, your lungs will become less efficient, and you will catch infections very quickly and develop complex health issues. Since research says that THC weakens the body and the immune system, it is better to stay safe.

Weed Effects On Pregnant Women

If you are a mother and smoke weed, the health risks of birth to a new child will increase. Moreover, the child you give birth to maybe underweight or has a great chance to be a premature baby.

However, there is not much research on whether infants develop a healthy life.

Bottom-Line

Smoking weed is hazardous and can have many serious health issues. However, the research could not prove any link between smoking weed and cancers in the head or lungs. To stay updated about the symptoms of using weed, keep checking the National Academies Press and the NIDA sites NIH Turning Discovery into Health.

If you keep smoking weed, you may develop testicular cancer, prostate cancer, and bladder cancer.

However, if you think of using CBD to relieve pain, you must check the NIDA sites NIH Turning Discovery into Health for safe consumption.

CBD is a substance found in weed, and you can process it into oil, pills, creams, and some other formulas. CBD helps in seizures, pain, and many other health problems.

You must avoid smoking weeds in all possible ways, and even if you cannot leave it, you must visit rehab facilities. Moreover, it would be best to research what does weed do to your brain. Even though it can heal you, you should not use such products made from weed.

Keeping good health is very important. Weeds can affect your child in the womb, so maintaining good health for your baby is very important.

Even if you see someone who is an addict to marijuana, you must confront him and make him aware of the side effects.

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While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. 

Do note that any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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