Do You Really Know Mary Jane?

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According to drugpolicy.org, more than 800,000 people are arrested for marijuana, otherwise known as Mary Jane, each year. Many of which are college students, maybe even many of you. But how many of you have thought about how marijuana affects your brain. How it works and what parts of the brain are affected? Probably not many, although you should probably at least know what it does within your brain if you do smoke marijuana. The chemical from the marijuana that affects the brain is THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. These chemicals can mimic or even block the actions of neurotransmitters in your brain, conflicting the normal brain functions. Your brain has groups of cannabinoid receptors that are bunched up in a few different locations in the brain, these sites include the Basal Ganglia, the Hippocampus, which affects your short-term memory and the Cerebellum, which can have an affect of your coordination. The THC itself, mimics a neurotransmitter called anandamide, which activate cannabinoid receptors. When the THC binds with the cannabinoid receptors, neurons and activated, neurons that have many effects on the mind and body. This was not written with a purpose of swaying you towards one side or the other on the marijuana debate. Just something to think about when you take your next trip to the clouds.

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It's very worthwhile to think about the mechanisms under which drugs function, and the different parts of the brain they impact when they are introduced to the body. Not only can they impact the chemistry of your body upon introduction, but they can have persistent and long-term effects on your brain and receptors in the future. Studies that show the changes in the brain over time are particularly interesting. Thanks!

I like how you wrote this blog because you did not show your opinion on this issue. You just stated the facts, which tell people that marijuana is not a drug people should take lightly. This drug can be harmful and you definitely showed what it does to our brain. I feel more marijuana users need to know the facts, so when they "take the trip to the clouds" they know what harmful effects they are doing. Good job!!

I too appreciate that this was written neutrally, but it seems to geared towards those who 'smoke' it or use it socially (and illegally for that matter). Maybe it would be good to also look into why it is used medically even though it has harmful effects (there must be something positive in there for doctors to prescribe it, right?)

I find it very interesting that this debate is constantly going on. It is interesting to hear one person say how it is absolutely harmless is ten times safer than alcohol while another person cautions against it. Although I do not know, being neutral, I would probably guess based off what I have heard that its danger lies in between being harmful and harmless. It seems as if every drug has some risks or side effects and I think that another thing people should look at is what it can potentially do when mixed with prescription drugs. That seems to be a huge problem in todays generation.

I know someone who definitely needs to see this. He does this a lot and has insisted that marijuana has no effect on the brain whatsoever. After seeing this, I can tell him for sure that it does affect your brain and it's as "harmless" as people think. Thanks!

I really liked reading your blog post because, as the others mentioned, you chose not take a side on it. You presented facts in a very neutral manner. I have many "pot" smokers say that "marijuana doesn't do anything to the brain, it has no harmful affects, it is safer than drinking coffee". What they don't realize is that marijuana is a "mild hallucinogen" and activates neurons in our brains to act differently than they would without THC. I think people put stuff in their bodies without even knowing how it affects them and I thought your post was very informative.

I really enjoyed reading your post. Many people do not really think smoking weed is that harmful but I think it does have serious effects on your short term memory. I have a friend who regularly (several times per week) smoked weed throughout high school (but she has not smoked for the last two years). She insists that she suffers no short term memory loss, but I disagree with her. I have noticed that even in some very brief conversations with her that she will often ask me the same question twice as if she did not remember she had already asked me the question. She also is unable to focus her attention on any one task for too long. From these interactions with my friend I believe smoking weed has a tremendous impact on the human brain.

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This page contains a single entry by guti0087 published on February 19, 2012 10:23 PM.

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