Weed or marijuana is the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. The plant has the mind-altering chemical THC in it and other similar compounds. Marijuana can be consumed in many forms. Some people smoke it or mix it into foods. Weed can also come in stronger concentrated formed resin or oil.
Marijuana as The Most Commonly Used Drug After Alcohol and Tobacco
According to The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIH), Marijuana is the most commonly used addictive drug after tobacco and alcohol. Moreover, its use is widespread among young people. In 2018, more than 11.8 million young adults used marijuana in the past year. According to the Monitoring the Future survey, past-year marijuana use rates among middle and high school students have remained steady, but the number of teens in 8th and 10th grades who say they use it daily has increased.
With the growing popularity of vaping devices, teens have started vaping THC (the ingredient in marijuana that produces the high), with nearly 4% of 12th graders saying they vape THC daily. In addition, the number of young people who believe regular marijuana use is risky is decreasing.
A Growth in Marijuana Abuse
The lack of hesitancy to use marijuana maybe because the penalties for being caught by authorities are becoming less and less severe. There also is a rise of states in the United States that marijuana has become legalized. As this happens throughout the US, many people wonder how marijuana affects the brain and causes brain damage.
When a person smokes weed, the effect is almost immediate. A euphoric and relaxing effect is what most people feel. Other common effects, which differ from person to person, include a heightened sense of perception, laughter, and increased appetite. You may laugh uncontrollably or feel a sense of paranoia. You may forget things, feel slow, and like you are in a fog.
Why Are People Smoking Marijuana?
Now there are different reasons people choose to use marijuana. Some use it to get “high,” and others, especially adults, use it as a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of diseases. As to it causing brain damage, that depends on when the user is starting using and if it was short or long-term usage.
A study found out that adults that used marijuana for a long time had no real effect on the brain, starts similar to if they didn’t use it at all. If there we any impairments, which were very few, it was far less than what is typically found from using alcohol or other drugs. Now when an adolescent uses marijuana for significant amounts of time, that’s a different story.
Marijuana’s Effects on the Brain
When marijuana is exposed to an individual during the developmental stages of life, it can cause long-term or possibly permanent adverse changes in the brain. For example, research shows that young, frequent users of marijuana have thinner temporal and frontal cortices, which are both areas that help process memory functioning. Memory is a critical aid to learning and study – but marijuana doesn’t just affect memory; it can also reduce motivation to learn. This dual influence reduces a young person’s engagement in education and their ability to perform.
Besides memory and motivation, it is also known to lower IQ points. The National Institute on Drug Abuse gathered from a study that found persistent marijuana use disorder with frequent use starting in adolescence was associated with a loss of an average of 6 or up to 8 IQ points measured in mid-adulthood. Those who used marijuana heavily as teenagers and quit using it as adults did not recover the lost IQ points.
Overcome Marijuana Dependence at Allure Detox
So damage to the brain from marijuana depends on how young someone starts using and how long. But no matter how long you or a loved one have been using marijuana, Allure Detox can help at any stage of life.
Allure Detox is a comfortable and evidence-based drug and alcohol detox in West Palm Beach, Florida. Allure can free you or your loved one from the physical symptoms of addiction and start you on the path to recovery. They offer detox from drugs and alcohol on a medical basis so that you can safely resume the life you once lived, the life you thought was lost forever. Addicts emerge from Allure Detox healthy, sane, and prepared for a lifetime of recovery.