The negative effects of marijuana on the brain (INFOGRAPHIC)

Marijuana does not only affect the brain for a shorter period of time, but it can also change the way our brain works. Here is how.

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How marijuana influences the brain

When you smoke marijuana (or ingest it through another route such as eating or tea brews), it influences the work of the body for a short time, or for as long as the effects of marijuana don’t wear out. But, smoking a lot every day and for a long period of time can cause some functional changes in the brain.

What THC does to the brain?

THC is a key ingredient that marijuana contains, but there are many other ingredients in marijuana. THC can quickly pass the blood-brain barrier when smoked, while it needs about 30 minutes to an hour for its effects to be felt when users eat it. THC attaches to the cannabinoid receptors in the body and the brain. In the brain, there are several sites where with a higher density of cannabinoid receptors, which normally react to natural THC-like chemicals in the brain. However, the THC from marijuana overactivates these regions of the brain resulting in some short-term effects, such as:

The negative effects of marijuana on the brain (INFOGRAPHIC)

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  • alteration of the senses
  • loss in time and space
  • lowered reasoning ability
  • memory lapses or memory loss
  • mood changes
  • panic
  • poor body coordination

Over time, repetitive exposure to high and frequent doses of THC can lead to some long-term and adverse effects on the brain in individuals, especially in individuals with underlying psychological disorders. These side effects of marijuana include:

  • addiction
  • depression
  • functional changes in the stress and reward regions
  • impaired ability to learn and retain information
  • lower concentration capacity
  • mood swings
  • personality changes
  • psychological dependence
  • short attention span
  • suicidal thoughts

Questions about the adverse effects of marijuana

If you or someone you know started to need marijuana just to feel normal and be able to function, it may be time to cut back and stop. We are aware of the beneficial uses of marijuana, but anything in access can be more harmful than rewarding. For any additional questions, feel free to post below and we’ll get back with you promptly in no time.

About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. hello,
    My brother is in his 35s now. He has a history of smoking marijuana since 18yrs on and off. off late he left his job and came back home with on and off decision to resume and not to resumejobs. He stopped communicating with friends for almost 2yrs he had a break up with his girl friend 5yrs back
    and now at home is sits alone most of the time and talks to himself, shouts , screams , destroy things and not manegable nor come to an understanding.

    what is his stage and status and how can we help ….. no clue

  2. My girlfriend is a constant all the time smoker. I want to change her for the better and how she used to be. She has so many issues and problems also anxiety attacks . Yday I broke up with her but I still want to save her. Yes she’s clever and manipulative. How can I help her.

    1. Hi Rafi. There is only so much you can do as an individual when a loved one has a problem with dependence or addiction to a substance. You can seek professional help from a therapist or a counselor for yourself first, and then for your girlfriend. Talk therapy can help you learn how you can act and what you can say around her to maybe motivate her to quit. But most important of all, you will continue to take care of yourself throughout the process.

  3. If you are a cannabis user and you stop taking cannabis for a year, will you get a stronger high the next time you do it?

  4. Hello there I’m in my 40’s and have smoked marijuana only a few times in my life. The other night I decided to eat some marijuana brownies after a couple of drinks. Needless to say I had one of the worst nights of my life – paranoia, depression you name it. I guess I greened out for about 3 hours.. Over the past 6 days I’ve still had hot and cold flashes, depression and moments where I’m not in my own body (weird I know but true). Just when I think I’m getting better my whole body goes flush and start to have anxiety. I had to go to the doctor on day 3 as it was so bad – my doc gave me some meds to help settle things down. I’ve read some other blogs and its seems this happens more often than people think. My question is have you heard of this going on for a long time or do the symptoms go away….

I am ready to call
i Who Answers?