The Effects Of Marijuana On The Brain

1383 words - 6 pages

There are many drugs, legal and illegal, that are used on a daily basis all over the world. Currently, drugs remain high on the lists of concerns of Americans and are considered one of the major problems facing our country today. We see stories on the news about people being killed on the street every day over drugs. To many people drugs are only an inner-city problem, but in reality they affect all of us – users and non-users. I believe that the negative affects we associate with drugs would be greatly reduced if the United States adopted a policy towards the total decriminalization of marijuana. The current drug policy of our government is obviously failing. Drug laws have created ...view middle of the document...

(The Benefits of Marijuana: Physical, Psychological, & Spiritual: Pg. 49). Marijuana is frequently beneficial to the treatment of AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain. However, researchers have been working to explain how marijuana has harmful affects on the functions of central nervous system and hinders the memory and movement of the user’s brain.

“Marijuana impinges on the central nervous system by attaching to brain’s neurons and interfering with normal communication between the neurons. These nerves respond by altering their initial behavior. For example, if a nerve is suppose to assist one in retrieving short-term memory, cannabinoids receptors make them do the opposite. So if one has to remember what he did five minutes ago, after smoking a high dose of marijuana, he has trouble. ” (Akudo Ejelonu Pg. 27)

The most common affect that marijuana has on the brain is short-term memory loss. Although it is said that marijuana has very many affects such as sleepiness, increased hunger, altered sense of time, reduced ability to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination, such as driving, or studying for an exam, bloodshot eyes and risk of paranoia, hallucinations, intense anxiety, panic attacks, short-term memory loss is the symptom most commonly associated with the use of marijuana. The question is why? Why does smoking marijuana impair a person’s memory? Many scientists have been searching to find the answer for this question. The active ingredient of marijuana, THC, is known to impair memory and to bind to areas of the brain linked to memory. When the researchers injected rats with THC or a related synthetic drug at Rutgers University, they found that they acted much like an orchestra where the musicians are deafened and perhaps blindfolded.

“They could still play their own pieces, but without any feedback from the other instruments played by other musicians or the conductor, depending on the nature and the length of the music played, it could be just a bit worse or outright disastrous, even though every note has been played. What is missing is the temporal coordination,” Buzsaki explained. This is similar to what the researchers think goes on “in the hippocampal circuits under the influence of marijuana.”

According to research, in one memory test, long-time users of marijuana remembered seven of 15 words, on average. Non-users remembered 12 of 15. On a decision-making test, those who had rarely smoked pot had impaired performance 8 percent of time, while long-term smokers had 70 percent impairment. Although all these things may be true, there is still a possibility that marijuana may be the cure to diseases that affect memory, such Alzheimer’s disease.
Another affect that marijuana has on the brain is concentration. It is said that when a person smokes marijuana they are unable to perform tasks that involve serious concentration such as studying, driving, etc. However, scientist found it strange...

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