Marijuana’s Effect on the Brain



Marijuana currently enjoys a reputation as a relatively benign recreational drug with the potential to be a treatment option for a variety of ailments. This is predicated on a misunderstanding of marijuana’s effects on the brain - marijuana has a significant impact on the human brain in both short-term and long-term use cases. The impact marijuana has on the human brain is especially dramatic for teenagers using the drug, as their minds are still developing and are more vulnerable to interference and damage at the hands of this substance. Let’s examine the various effects marijuana has on the human brain.


In the short-term, THC consumption has been directly linked to an increased risk of psychosis, including schizophrenia, hallucinations, and paranoia. Studies have attributed this heightened risk to an increase in random neural activity in the brain which occurs as a result of THC intoxication. This “neural noise” occurs after the first instance of marijuana use, and the potential paranoia and other psychoses are therefore an immediate possibility. In teenagers, the risk of developing some sort of psychotic disorder is even greater, as marijuana alters the brain’s formation during this critical stage of development.


The long-term effects of marijuana use are just as detrimental as these short-term risks posed by THC consumption. As with most other intoxicants, the brain’s reward system is substantially altered after prolonged marijuana use, showing a preference for THC as a trigger for neurochemical release as opposed to other, healthier sources of pleasure. Additionally, individuals who regularly partake in marijauana consumption have been shown to experience a drop in their IQ as well as a decrease in overall brain size when compared to individuals who abstain from marijuana use. Clearly, regularly indulging in marijuana leads to a host of negative consequences which you would do well to avoid.


Society’s perception of marijuana as a harmless recreational drug is based on an alarming lack of knowledge as to the harmful effects THC has on our brains in both short and long term instances of use. Marijuana alters our brain chemistry and neural activity from the moment we take the first hit, and regular use may lead to an increased risk of psychosis, a decreased IQ, diminished brain development, and a damaged rewards center of the brain. These reasons alone should compel you to cease your marijuana use, seeking treatment should you find it difficult to quit on your own. At Evolutions, our clinical team are experienced in treating all substance abuse disorders including addictions to marijuana. Call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 so you can eliminate these mental health risks in your life and free yourself from your addiction to marijuana!


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