Effects of Marijuana: Marijuana is among the most popularly consumed psychoactive substances worldwide. Different people tend to consume it in different manners – and for a different kind of effect too. Not all consumers of marijuana are using it to ‘get high’ – as marijuana has a number of different effects and sometimes it can even affect different people differently. However, before we proceed further, let us first discuss what is it about weed that really generates these effects:
Why Does Weed Make You High?
Let us admit it – the most common effect of marijuana, for which most people tend to consume it – is because it ‘gets you high’. This altered state of the mind is caused due to cannabinoids which are present in the plants. Cannabinoids are chemicals present in marijuana which give the brain different effects! THC is the biggest reason of why you get high.
What is THC
THC stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol which is a key cannabinoid chemical present in marijuana. While there are over a 100 different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, THC is the most active one which causes this psychoactive sensation of getting high.
The Effect of THC On Your Brain
Let us now take a detailed look at how THC affects your brain.
THC is a chemical which stimulates the brain to secrete dopamine in the body. Dopamine is the hormone which is secreted as a stimulus to happier things in life such as sex and eating chocolates. THC helps release dopamine without any specific trigger. THC stimulates the neurons and this rush of happiness gives a ‘high’. It is because of THC that marijuana is so popular with recreational smokers.
Let us now take a detailed look at the effects of marijuana:
Effects of Marijuana
In this section, we discuss the effects of marijuana on your brain – both, the positive effects for which people like to consume it, as well as the negative effects for which it is avoided.
Positive Effects of Marijuana
- Stress Buster: Smoking weed is a great stress buster. People working in high-stress jobs tend to smoke weed often to release some pressure off them – making them feel better and helping them relax. It is also great for people who suffer from problems such as anxiety.
- Mood Therapy: People suffering from depression tend to smoke weed because marijuana helps secrete dopamine – which makes them feel happier. Women going through PMS too, tend to smoke weed to make them feel better.
- Boosts Creativity: Smoking weed opens up the brain to think wider – and lets the thoughts unleash. Many popular people in the field of art and literature have been known to be ‘recreational stoners’ – people who consume marijuana because it helps them think creatively.
- Heightens Senses: Consumption of marijuana heightens your senses and amplifies the feelings that you usually get. Jokes are much funnier than they usually are, music sounds sweeter, sex feels more pleasurable – everything feels different and better!
- Relief from Pain and Nausea: Another major benefit of marijuana consumption is that it helps provide a significant relief from pain and nausea. This is why it is often prescribed in the form of medical marijuana to people suffering from chronic pain, as well as for people undergoing cancer treatment – where pain, nausea and stress are common side effects.
Negative Effects of Marijuana
Let us now take a look at some of the negative effects of marijuana consumption.
- Impacts Memory: One of the biggest side-effects of marijuana is the impact that it has on the memory! Consumption of marijuana results in short term memory loss – while you’re under the influence, as well as a short while after you have consumed it – you can’t really recall many recent events.
- Sleeplessness: This is more strain-specific, though it is not uncommon to hear marijuana smokers lose sleep. This is one of the most common side-effects of marijuana, especially for those who smoke the cannabis sativa strain.
- Addiction: Dopamine is an addictive chemical – the more dopamine your body secretes, the more it craves for it! It leaves you wanting for more and more – resulting in addiction in the end. Addiction is never good for the body, as well as for the wallet. While it is significantly less addictive when compared to other substances, there are many consumers addicted to weed.
- Anxiety: On some occasions, cannabis can act as a double edged sword, especially for those with anxiety issues. While in a majority of cases marijuana consumption helps ease anxiety and help those going through this problem, there are some people who claim their anxiety is worsened when they smoke marijuana.
- Respiratory Issues: This is something which is more specific to those people who already have pre-existing conditions, which are likely to get worsened. However, respiratory issues might happen with some people who tend to consume marijuana along with tobacco.
Can You Overdose (OD) on Marijuana?
Let us now address one last question here. This is something we have heard a lot and it has been asked to me time and again – is it possible to ‘overdose’ on marijuana? the meaning of overdose here being a fatal dose of marijuana. There are some substances, such as cocaine, heroine and methamphetamine which can be lethal if consumed in excess. However, is it possible to overdose on marijuana? does marijuana cause deaths?
This is a question that every ‘new stoner’ or ‘wannabe stoner’ asks himself. Let us clarify the air around this – NO.
Records from the National Cancer Institute throw more light on this: “cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration.”
This basically means that it is not possible to overdose on marijuana and it does not cause any damaging effects to the organs! It is essential to know when you have had enough. In case of marijuana it is easy to know.
After consuming an excessive amount of marijuana you begin to feel symptoms which aren’t so pleasurable. Normally, smoking weed makes you feel happy and good. However, when you begin to feel like you’d vomit, or you start coughing violently – this means that you’ve maxed out and you need to take a break now. Sometimes when consuming marijuana along with alcohol, people tend to pass out – which is called ‘greening out’ rather than being ‘blacked out’ because marijuana basically puts you to sleep here.
To put things into the picture, no, you cannot overdose from marijuana – there have been zero recorded deaths due to marijuana overdose. However, you must know when you’ve had enough!