Before we read any further, it is important for us to note that excess of everything is bad and marijuana use is no exception. If you are using marijuana legally and as per medical advice, you will not experience harsh side effects but if you abuse marijuana, knowingly or unknowingly, you will experience marijuana side effects.
Marijuana’s Effect On The Brain
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) may change the way in which sensory information gets into and is processed by the component (hippocampus) of the brain’s limbic system that is crucial for learning, memory, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivations. Recent investigations have suggested that THC may suppress activity of the nerve fibers in the hippocampus; however, the studies are inconclusive.
Long Term Effects Of Marijuana
Since marijuana may affect temporary decision-making and judgment, its long term use can lead to risky behavior. Marijuana users are prone to getting lung infections like pneumonia and having more chest colds than non-users.
The list of long term effects of marijuana could include headache, tremor, altered body temperature, hallucinations, confusion, paranoia, altered libido, derealization, and depersonalization.
Short Term Effects Of Marijuana
The short term effects of marijuana include distorted perception, loss of coordination, anxiety, increased heart rate, and problems with memory and learning; all of the side effects are temporary in nature. Marijuana users may also experience dry mouth and throat when used in the short-term.
The THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) compound in marijuana is carried to the brain via the bloodstream when abused. THC then binds with the cannabinoid receptors of the nerve cells and alters activities of the neurons, which means that functions of brain like sensation of pleasure, perception, and concentration power are negatively affected.
Short term effects of marijuana also include increased sensory perceptions besides distorted image of self and time perception. Short-term use of marijuana also leads to a negative effect on the readiness to respond, motivation, ability to identify, and identify things. In addition to that, marijuana use can make driving risky as THC affects function of the cerebellum (part of the brain) that controls coordination and balance. Marijuana use also affects the judgment ability and reaction time of users and this could mean inability to take timely decisions or taking decisions in haste.
- Osborne, Geraint B.; Fogel, Curtis (2008). “Understanding the Motivations for Recreational Marijuana Use Among Adult Canadians1″. Substance Use & Misuse 43: 539–72. doi:10.1080/10826080701884911.
- Ranganathan, Mohini; D’souza, Deepak Cyril (2006). “The acute effects of cannabinoids on memory in humans: a review”. Psychopharmacology 188 (4): 425–44. doi:10.1007/s00213-006-0508-y. PMID 17019571.
- Grotenhermen, Franjo (2007). “The Toxicology of Cannabis and Cannabis Prohibition”. Chemistry & Biodiversity 4: 1744–69. doi:10.1002/cbdv.200790151. PMID 17712818.
- Riedel, G.; Davies, S. N. (2005). “Cannabinoid Function in Learning, Memory and Plasticity”. Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology 168: 445–477. doi:10.1007/3-540-26573-2_15. PMID 16596784.
- Leweke, F. Markus; Koethe, Dagmar (2008). “Cannabis and psychiatric disorders: it is not only addiction”. Addiction Biology 13 (2): 264–75. doi:10.1111/j.1369-1600.2008.00106.x. PMID 18482435.
- Rubino, T; Parolaro, D (2008). “Long lasting consequences of cannabis exposure in adolescence”. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 286 (1-2 Suppl 1): S108–13. doi:10.1016/j.mce.2008.02.003. PMID 18358595.
- Delisi, Lynn E (2008). “The effect of cannabis on the brain: can it cause brain anomalies that lead to increased risk for schizophrenia?”. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 21 (2): 140–50. doi:10.1097/YCO.0b013e3282f51266. PMID 18332661.
- Denson, TF; Earleywine, M (2006). “Decreased depression in marijuana users”. Addictive behaviors 31 (4): 738–42. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2005.05.052. PMID 15964704.
- H.K. Kalant & W.H.E. Roschlau (1998). Principles of Medical Pharmacology (6th ed.). pp. 373–375.
- Turner, Carlton E.; Bouwsma, Otis J.; Billets, Steve; Elsohly, Mahmoud A. (1980). “Constituents ofCannabis sativa L. XVIII—Electron voltage selected ion monitoring study of cannabinoids”. Biological Mass Spectrometry 7: 247–56. doi:10.1002/bms.1200070605.
- J.E. Joy, S. J. Watson, Jr., and J.A. Benson, Jr, (1999). Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing The Science Base. Washington D.C: National Academy of Sciences Press. ISBN 0585058008.
- Hampson, A. J.; Grimaldi, M.; Axelrod, J.; Wink, D. (1998). “Cannabidiol and (−)Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95 (14): 8268–73. Bibcode 1998PNAS…95.8268H. doi:10.1073/pnas.95.14.8268. PMC 20965. PMID 9653176.
- H. Abadinsky (2004). Drugs: An Introduction (5th ed.). pp. 62–77; 160–166. ISBN 0534527507.
- ”Judge Young – Part 4″. Druglibrary.org. 1988-09-06. Retrieved 2011-04-20.
- 1996. The Merck Index, 12th ed., Merck & Co., Rahway, New Jersey