Is Marijuana Good for Your Brain?
The science behind how marijuana affects your brain
Marijuana commonly refers to the dried leaves of the Cannabis plant. It has been used as a recreational drug by humans since time immemorial. In recent times, a lot of debate has been going on regarding legalizing marijuana.
It was in 1937 when marijuana got classified as illegal in the USA. According to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, possession of marijuana was completely illegal under federal law, except for medical and industrial uses.
In 1970, marijuana got classified as a Schedule 1 Drug. This classification made marijuana not recognizable to be having any medical uses as well. After this incident, several types of research took place in various countries around the world, regarding the medical uses of marijuana.
This led to a few countries legalizing the use of marijuana for medical uses. The Netherlands is a prime example of this kind of legalization. This led to many people wondering if the recreational use of marijuana is good for the brain or is it bad. Let us find out how marijuana affects the brain.
Two compounds present in marijuana play a crucial role in affecting the brain. These compounds are:
- tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as THC), and
- cannabidiol (also known as CBD)
THC is thought to be primarily responsible for marijuana’s effects on behavior, cognition, and perception, while CBD is responsible for the effects that do not change a person’s mental state.
The harmful effects that overuse of marijuana can cause to the brain include hallucinations, paranoia, a decrease in the IQ level, an increase in appetite, a distortion in the thinking capacity, etc. Any harmful effects that marijuana can cause vary among different people. Some people’s brains become less sensitive to marijuana after repeated use. This means that they need to use marijuana more than usual to get hallucinations known as marijuana-induced psychosis.
Unlike many other drugs, there’s no risk of death by overdose from marijuana. It means that you won’t die from drug overdose if you overuse marijuana. Heavy use of marijuana does not lead to withdrawal symptoms as well. However, there might be some possibilities of your brain experiencing negative effects due to unknown risk factors.
Even though overuse of marijuana has a few harmful effects on the brain, the level of harm varies among different people. Even though using marijuana once or twice for recreational purposes does not have much harm, it is recommended not to overuse it on a daily basis to avoid its harmful effects on the brain.