Does Marijuana Damage The Thinking Process?
Marijuana is made up of mind-altering compounds that affect both your brain and body. Does this mean that is can damage the thinking process?
Many drugs have different names, like marijuana. It can also be called weed, pot, dope or grass. And there is sure to be many more names that refer to the same drug but they all come from the cannabis plant. You can smoke it, vape it, drink it, or eat it. Most adolescents and adults use marijuana for pleasure and recreation. But these days a growing number of doctors prescribe it for specific medical conditions like dementia, a painkiller and other symptoms.
How Can Marijuana Affect You?
Marijuana is made up of mind-altering compounds that affect both your brain and body. Just like any other drug that you take over a continuous period of time, It can be addictive, and it may be harmful to some people’s health. Here’s what can happen when you use marijuana:
- You can get “high” – This is usually the initial reason people try it in the first place, to get high and escape reality, relax and let loose. The main ingredient that gets you “high” is called THC, which stimulates the part of your brain that responds to pleasure, like food and sex. That unleashes a chemical called dopamine, which gives you a euphoric, relaxed feeling.
- It Might Affect Your Mental Health – Not everyone that smokes or takes marijuana experiences it in a good way. Sometimes it can leave you anxious and paranoid. Using this drug can also enhance any other mental health disorders one might have such as depression.
- You Could Start Not Thinking Right – Marijuana can mess up your senses and judgment. The effects can differ depending on the person, how strong the marijuana you took and how much.
Just How Popular Is Marijuana?
According to The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIH):
Marijuana is the most commonly used addictive drug after tobacco and alcohol. 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.
How Much Damage Can Marijuana Do To You?
While there are different reasons people use marijuana, As to it causing brain damage, that depends on when the user starts 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, 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.
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.
No Matter You Age, Start Getting Help Today
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, Evoke Waltham Center can help at any stage of life.
At Evoke Waltham, we offer alternative treatment options to individuals and families who have been affected by substance abuse and require professional care as quickly as possible. During this unprecedented time, many individuals are more apprehensive than ever before about checking themselves into a medical detox facility or inpatient rehab. We have developed a unique recovery program centered around flexibility and adaptability in response to this widespread concern.