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The Effects of THC on the Brain

Marijuana affects the brain through cannabinoid receptors within the matrix of the brain that actually respond to the active agent in marijuana, THC. The cannabinoid receptors in the brain are designated CB1 and CB2, respectively. It is the interaction of THC with these receptors that creates all the effects experienced by marijuana users.

When THC interacts with the cannabinoid receptor CB1, it affects the higher functions of the brain, including elements like cognition and memory
To a great extent, movement is also affected as well. The direct short-term effects of THC on CB1 will tend to reduce anxiety, though in certain cases, due to the unique brain chemistry and structure of an individual, it can cause depression.

Pain can also be reduced to a considerable extent, and it can give the illusion of heightened senses.

Most disturbingly, the production of hormones is directly affected. Another very disturbing element of THCís interaction with the receptor CB1 is that mind-body co-ordination and motor skills are seriously impaired.

CB1 receptors, under the effects of THC, have such far reaching effects on the body because the CB1 receptors are scattered throughout the brain, and therefore affect the interaction and activity of the brain at many levels.

CB2 receptors are more rare in the structure of the brain, but the effect that THC has upon them, while not so obvious, is nevertheless, very serious
When THC affects the CB2 receptors, this directly impacts the immune system. The peripheral nerves are also massively affected, leading to a distortion of sensory perception. Finally, just as seriously, the vas deferens is affected, which affect fertility and ejaculation.

THCís interaction with CB1 and CB2 also has a more serious effect, in that it drains the brain of crucial neurotransmitters
These include glutamate, serotonin, dopamine, and many more. The combined effect of this unnatural effect upon brain chemistry and function is considerably reduced capability in intellect and memory. While this is a very temporary effect if marijuana is used in the short-term, often lasting no more than a day or two after the use of marijuana, if marijuana is consistently used over a long period of time, this may cause an equally long-term effect upon the brainís chemistry.

Most disturbingly, if pregnant women use marijuana, it can have permanent effects on their children. Children whose mothers used marijuana when they were pregnant show a permanent loss of cognitive capability, memory capacity and brain function.


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