Marijuana and How it Affects the Brain

Marijuana is the most consumed and the most illegal drug. It contains a psychoactive ingredient called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC responsible for the “high” you get when this drug is consumed. It travels throughout the body, including the brain and gets stored in the body fats. THC, when it gets to the brain, can produce different side effects. Find out what they are and how it can be eliminated.

Mechanism of marijuana in the body:

  • Once marijuana is inhaled, smoked or ingested, the THC travels through the bloodstream and to the rest of the body including the brain and immune system tissues.
  • They bind to receptor sites called CB1 and CB2. CB1 is responsible for memory, coordination, movement, mood, and appetite.
  • While the CB2 travels through the immune system tissues like lymph nodes and spleen.

Side effects of Marijuana in the brain

  • Marijuana can alter perceptions, impaired coordination. There is difficulty in concentration, thinking and learning, decreased short-term memory and difficulty in problem-solving
  • Long-term use of marijuana can lead to addiction and compulsive drug-seeking.
  • Withdrawal from marijuana use can often lead to irritability, anxiety, insomnia and decreased appetite. These symptoms usually occur a day after quitting and may last for 2-3 days and gradually tapers down after deciding to quit.
  • Effects are often life-threatening with chronic marijuana use. The user may have suicidal tendencies, increased levels of anxiety and depression. Some may even suffer from a mental disorder like schizophrenia and other psychotic reactions.

Large longitudinal study conducted in New Zealand, which found that frequent and persistent marijuana use starting in adolescence was associated with a loss of an average of 8 IQ points measured in midadulthood. Significantly, in that study, those who used marijuana heavily as teenagers and quit using as adults did not recover the lost IQ points.

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Source: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/how-does-marijuana-use-affect-your-brain-body

Marijuana’s adverse reactions to health

  1. A marijuana abuser may likely increase the risk of getting a heart attack an hour after smoking the drug because of its effect on the blood pressure and heart rate. It hinders the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen-rich blood through all parts of the body.
  2. For marijuana smokers, their lungs are much affected by smoking the drug. This may lead to a chronic cough, excessive phlegm production, frequent acute chest illness, high-risks for lung infections and obstructed airways.
  3. Marijuana, when used during pregnancy, may cause neurobehavioral problems among infants. THC may alter the baby’s brain development. It may include attention deficit disorders, problems with memory and problem-solving.
  4. Among men, heavy marijuana use can cause a decrease in testosterone levels, low sperm count, decreased libido and impaired fertility.
  5. Marijuana can also cause complications in pre-existing liver diseases, hypertension, and diabetes.
  6. Studies may not yet prove it, but there seems to be a link between lung cancer and heavy use of marijuana through smoking, as the effect on the lungs is similar to that of a tobacco smoker.

In one study, it was estimated that marijuana users have a 4.8-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the first hour after smoking the drug.

Source: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana

Note: Knowing what marijuana does to your brain and health, it is best to stop taking the drug completely. But that can be daunting, especially if you are a chronic marijuana user who finds solace in the drug. Good thing there are ways on how to rid your body of THC effectively.

What is detoxing?

Detoxing is one way of allowing the body to eliminate the harmful toxins that stayed dormant for years of using prohibited drugs. Detoxing starts days or weeks after quitting and you have to deal with reality and real emotions now without the aid of a numbing agent such as marijuana.

How to eliminate marijuana from the body?

Premium Detox 7-Day Comprehensive Cleansing Program

  • Herbal clean’s detox kit is designed for those people who want a whole body cleanse. It can flush out unwanted toxins and wastes like THC, cocaine, meth, alcohol, nicotine and other harmful substances gradually. This kit can permanently wipe out all these substances for optimum health and wellness without the side effects.
  • This kit is safe and effective in its goal to cleanse the body because of its all-natural ingredients. But this should be used with great care by pregnant women and those with pre-existing medical conditions. A doctor’s advice is needed to be informed of the possible risks a detox such as this may bring.

Niacin Supplements

Known as the Vitamin B3 supplement is used as a detox agent as well. It flushes out toxins from the body, but it may cause undesirable side effects, like flushed skin, itchiness, redness and swelling. The drug can even cause death if taken beyond the recommended dose. Some say this method is effective while others say otherwise.

Common symptoms of withdrawal:

  • The first symptom would be insomnia, which can last for a few nights and even months of sleeplessness.
  • Second is depression, nightmares, and vivid dreams. Marijuana can alter the dream mechanism so when you start quitting the drug, the dreams appear more vivid in color and emotion. You may sometimes go back to sleep only for the dream to happen again.
  • Third, is that it greatly affects eating habits. The loss of appetite is most common coupled with losing weight. Also, digestion problems, stomach cramps, and nausea may be experienced. These symptoms are altogether dangerous, but are usually short-lived and lasts in less than a month.

How to manage discomfort while undergoing detox

  1. Hot, warm baths can help calm and relax the emotions.
  2. Hydrate with lots of water and clear liquids to prevent dehydration.
  3. Potassium-rich fruits can be of great help especially when detoxing depletes your body from the mineral caused by excessive sweating.
  4. Avoid consuming fatty food until digestion becomes better.
  5. Avoid or decrease your caffeine intake to prevent sleep pattern disturbances and anxiety.
  6. A glass of warm milk just before sleeping helps when you have trouble sleeping.
  7. Do regular exercises to make the body heal faster and this helps overcome depression and other emotional problems.

Detoxing is very important, especially in a drug user’s life. The act of flushing out the body’s harmful wastes and toxins is a great way to make the body function normally again. You are allowing your body to heal and make a fresh start. If you love your body, do yourself a favor and undergo detox now before it’s too late.

Marijuana and How it Affects the Brain
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Kylie Wilson
Kylie Wilson
 

Hey there :) I’m Kylie, a part of THC Detox team. I have smoked marijuana for more than eight years. While I really enjoy it, I don’t want to lose my job because of a failed drug test. So I enjoy researching and sharing information on the methods that have worked for me, my friends, and clients.

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