Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana’s main psychoactive ingredient, binds to cannabinoid (CB) receptors, throughout the nervous system and other parts of the body. CB receptors are found in high concentrations in areas of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and time perception, appetite, pain and movement coordination.
Marijuana’s has the following effects on those who use it:
Impaired short-term memory. Use of marijuana use can make cause impair one’s ability to learn and retain information, particularly complex tasks.
Slowed reaction time and impaired motor coordination. Using marijuana can hinder athletic performance, interfere with driving skills and increase risk of injuries.
Altered judgment and decision making, leading to risky sexual behaviors and increased chance of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
Increased heart rate. Marijuana use can cause the heart rate to rise by 20% to 100%, which may increase the risk of heart attack, especially in otherwise vulnerable individuals.
Altered mood. Marijuana can induce euphoria or calmness, or in high doses it can cause anxiety and paranoia.
Long term use of marijuana can lead to marijuana addiction. Signs of addiction to marijuana include:
Diminished performance in school and work.
Decreased satisfaction with life.
Respiratory problems such as a chronic cough, bronchitis, etc.
Risk of psychosis in vulnerable individuals.
Cognitive impairment that endures even when one is not immediately under the influence of marijuana.