The Effects of Marijuana on the Brain Essay

888 Words 4 Pages
To many, marijuana is seen as a horrible narcotic that causes many physical and social problems. To others, it's a harmless drug that gives the body a relaxing sensation. Marijuana can be found on many college campuses and high schools. It is estimated that at least 70 million Americans have tried it, and of those people, 10-14% become dependent of the drug (1). Marijuana is often referred to as the "gateway" drug, leading the user to more serious narcotics. Marijuana users experience different sensations, from excessive mellowness, fuzzy memory, to the munchies. Some of the typical effects are impairment of memory, alteration of memory, motor coordination, posture, cognitive ability, and sensory perception. So what is it in marijuana …show more content…
The receptors are coupled with G-proteins and mediate the inhibition of adenylyl cyclase activity, which in turn reduce the production of cyclic AMP, cAMP. The reduction of cAMP formation blocks calcium ion flow into the cells, which would disrupt the formation of action potentials. This may attribute to some of the side effects to marijuana use (4). Cyclic AMP and calcium ions regulate several neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine and dopamine (1). This may account for the nice and mellow feeling people experience when smoking pot.

The precise physiopathological responses between the stimulation and inactivation of endocannabinoid receptors are still unclear, however, it is known that the performance of the nervous system and the peripheral processes, such as modulation of neurotransmitters, control of immune, gastrointestinal, reproductive, and cardiovascular systems are impacted. By observing the actions of the CB1 receptor, researchers are able to determine different response pathways. The actions of the CB1 receptors interact with thermoregulatory systems in the body. CB1 receptors also interact with sensory perception such as hearing, color vision, and touch. Motor responses are also affected by CB1 receptors, some motor responses being movement, coordination, posture, and muscle function. THC has a high affinity to CB1 receptors, which may account for the different sensations when one gets "high. Often times, a person under the influence of

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