ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Study on Marijuana

Updated on June 12, 2019

Introduction

Marijuana is the most commonly abused illegal substance worldwide. This substance is found in the leaves, seeds, stems and/or roots of Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant which contains an active ingredient known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

What happens when a person smokes marijuana?

When a person smokes marijuana, the THC quickly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream where it is carried to the brain and other organs in the body

Before we discuss how marijuana affects our brain in the short-term, we will first learn about how the endocannabinoid(EC) system operates

the EC system

What is an EC system?

The EC system is a unique communications system in the brain and body that affects many important functions.

EC system operating under normal circumstances

  • The natural chemicals produced by a body that interact with the EC system are called cannabinoids and like THC, they interact with receptors to regulate these important body functions.
  • Brain cells(neurons) communicate with each other and with the rest of the body by sending chemical messages(neurotransmitters)
  • These neurotransmitters are released from a neuron(a presynaptic cell), travels across a gap(the synapse) and attaches to a specific receptor located on a nearby neuron(postsynaptic cell), triggering a set of events.

EC system operating under normal situation (Continued)

  • The EC system works backward.
  • When a postsynaptic neuron is activated, cannabinoids are made "on demand" from fat cells, released and travel backward to the presynaptic cell, where they attach to the cannabinoid receptors.
  • Because they work backward, they act as a dimmer switch on what happens next (limiting the amount of neurotransmitters that are released.

Question

When a person smokes marijuana, how do you think the EC system will react?

In the presence of marijuana

  • When a person smokes marijuana, the THC overwhelms the EC system, quickly attaching to cannabinoid receptors, thereby interfering with the natural cannabinoids from doing their job and throws the entire system off balance.
  • Since the cannabinoid receptors are in so many parts of the brain, the effects of THC are wide-ranging.

Impacts of THC on different parts of brain

Brain structure
Regulates
Effect of THC
Basal Ganglia
Planning/Starting a movement
Slowed reaction time
Brain Stem
Information between brain and spinal column
Anti-nausea effects
Cerebellum
Motor coordination, balance
Impaired coordination
Hippocampus
Learning new information
Impaired memory
Neocortex
Complex thinking, feeling and movement
Altered thinking, judgement and sensation
Nucleus Accumbens
Motivation and reward
euphoria
Spinal Cord
Transmission of information between body and brain
Altered pain sensitivity

Other than the impacts of marijuana on the EC system and different parts of the brain, what are the short-term physical responses to that drug? Let's find out.

Long-term effect of marijuana

  • Marijuana affects brain development.
    • If used at a young age, the drug may impair thinking, memory and learning functions.

Is second-hand smoke from marijuana harmful?

See results

Second-hand smoke from marijuana

  • There is very little THC when a person exhales, therefore it is very unlikely to experience any of the metal or physical symptoms from only second-hand smoke exposure.
  • However, it is possible that over prolonged periods of breathing in smoke in a confined area that symptoms may appear.

Just like any drugs, overuse of marijuana can lead to addiction

Addiction

  • Research has shown that its habitual use can lead to psychological dependence, with attempts at withdrawing causing mood swings and irritability.

Conclusion

The harmful effects of marijuana and the likelihood for one to be addicted are 2 reasons as to the laws in many countries which prohibits the consumption and sale of marijuana.

Besides the harmful effects, can marijuana be used as part of medical treatment? Which countries allowed the use of marijuana? If so, what are the restrictions? All these will be uncovered in Part 2 of this study

© 2019 Maxy Hui

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)