Cannabis and the Brain

Marijuana buds with marijuana joints and cannabis oil Free Photo

Cannabis or Marijuana is a psychoactive drug made from the cannabis plant. It produces the chemical THC and is usually smoked or eaten, this chemical interacts with the brain which is looking for chemicals like THC that naturally occur in the body, these are predominantly linked to development and brain function, the ingestion of THC causes the brain to function faster because of its high levels, but also changes how brain makes chemical connections. This chemical enters the lungs or stomach, then it enters the bloodstream where it moves to the brain and organs causing people to feel chilled out, happy, outgoing, relaxed, laid back, hungry, giggly and chatty, even enjoy good hallucinations. It can increase senses such as seeing vivid colours, alter the feel of time passing, provoke mood changes and make people lethargic. Cannabis has both long and short term physical and psychological effects on the body and cognition including reduced motivation, impair your memory, thinking and learning skills as well as brain development in teenagers, cause mood swings, insomnia, depression, delusions, psychosis, make you anxious, panicky, or even aggressive, cause anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations, cause relapse or worsen psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia, increase your chances of developing illnesses like schizophrenia, make you wheeze and cough, make your asthma worse, increase your heart rate, your risk of heart disease/heart attack and lung cancer, cause fertility issues, nausea, and  risk to foetus if you are pregnant. It is believed that about 10%-30% of people who use cannabis become addicted, this percentage is likely increased the younger the user. Withdrawal includes grouchiness, sleeplessness, mood swings, restlessness, decreased appetite, anxiety and cravings. It is often associated with lifestyle and friends so withdrawal from social groups and peers making mental health such as depression, anxiety, self-belief all worsen.

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds at laura@wrightminds.co.uk or on 07598810304