Weed's Effect on the Brain: Facts and True-To-Life Stories
Weed products have positive and negative effects on the brain depending on several factors. Learn more about the impacts and shop here for our premium products
Cannabis products are rising in popularity, attracting millions of users in the United States and other countries where the drug has been made legal. Its' medicinal value is already proven by science; as such, the healthcare industry has welcomed cannabis as an alternative supplement to treat certain conditions. From stress, anxiety, and depression to managing the symptoms of cancer and other terminal diseases, marijuana is undeniably helpful in giving hope to patients. There are also countless individuals who appreciate the recreational use of the psychoactive compound THC as it is providing them with some satisfaction.
But despite many studies on the properties of cannabis, there remains a mystery that provokes curiosity for some researchers and interested groups. One of the pressing questions is how marijuana products affect the brain. If it alters brain processing, that's the main reason for euphoric highs- then doesn't it cause any long-term effects? Other related topics may be raised in relation to this matter. Consumers should be particular about it to know where they stand. Let's look into the available facts and the relevant stories of a famed artist to discover marijuana's effect on the brain.
What is Weed Exactly?
Weed is another term for cannabis, hemp, or marijuana that contains psychoactive and therapeutic compounds called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Many people are using the dried leaves and extracted oils from this plant to make a variety of products and which they consume for recreational and medicinal purposes. The plant is widely known for giving pleasurable experiences and may soothe symptoms of various conditions, such as stress, anxiety, and chronic pain.
There are several ways to consume marijuana products, including vaping, smoking, dabbing, oral ingestion, and topical application. Any form of cannabis and delivery method has unique effects that also serve as a gauge for the onset time and duration. THC and CBD levels would also determine the potency, and your tolerance level should be the baseline on how much substance you can handle. Marijuana plants have their breeds, too- also called strains that include Sativa, Indica, and various hybrids.
Types of Weed Strains
You must understand the types of marijuana strains to choose the right product for your needs. The effects of one strain are different from another. When you pick Sativa, you will experience an uplifting and energizing high which is ideal if you have downtime. The substance is said to make people more productive and creative, thus benefiting their work performance. If you're looking for a relaxing and sedating effect, Indica is the best strain to use. This cannabis variant also helps you cope with nausea, pain, and poor appetite. But if you want the best of both worlds, you can try the hybrid strains that contain both THC and CBD with balanced proportions.
Understanding CBD and THC from Cannabis
CBD and THC are the most abundant compounds in the cannabis plant. Scientists discovered that there are at least 120 active ingredients or cannabinoids, but unlike those mentioned above, their properties are yet to be ascertained. At present, manufacturers are using CBD and THC to produce oils, capsules, edibles, vapes, and other varieties to meet the demands of the market. The number of consumers is growing yearly, especially since marijuana sale, possession, and consumption have been legalized.
The legality of cannabis products is grounded on the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. It allowed CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC to be legalized. Any product that exceeds that range is considered federally illegal but legal under some state laws. If you're buying some marijuana products soon, check your federal and state laws.
How Do Cannabinoids Work when Consumed?
Like other substances, cannabinoid also affects the human body- whether negatively or positively, depending on the reaction. You probably know that our body has its' endocannabinoid system that produces cannabinoids that act similarly to neurotransmitters. They send messages throughout the nervous system and interact with crucial cannabinoid receptors or brain areas that regulate memory, concentration, thinking, movement, pleasures, coordination, and sensory and time perception.
The brain's CB1 receptor that responds to the cannabinoids also reacts to THC and other compounds. As such, cannabinoids from the external source can alter and disrupt normal brain function. THC, in particular, can influence brain areas that control balance, memory, attention, reaction time, posture, and coordination. Due to such effects, any person who consumes cannabis products with high THC concentrations should not drive a car or engage in risky physical activities. The plant also stimulates specific cannabinoid receptors in the brain like anandamide, resulting in the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that relates to feelings of pleasure. Further, sensory perception may also be affected by THC, so the colors may seem brighter and the emotions more profound.
Positive Effects of Cannabis on the Brain
Most people would settle that cannabis products offer some relief and satisfaction due to their psychoactive and therapeutic properties. But when we delve deeper into what's happening in our brain, there are other surprising benefits. These aren't just theories, as research finds that the cannabinoids may benefit users in the following ways:
THC May Slow the Progression of Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease affects millions of older individuals, but the cure is still undiscovered. There's a study undertaken by Kim Janda of the Scripps Research Institute suggesting that marijuana products containing THC may be able to slow the progression of the disease. It was found in the 2006 study that's been published in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics that the psychoactive compound blocks the enzyme in the brain that triggers the formation of amyloid plaques which kill brain cells and cause the condition.
Cannabis Use May Prevent Epileptic Seizures
Epilepsy is a brain disorder that's characterized by repeated seizures or sudden alterations of behavior due to temporary changes in the electrical functioning of the brain. As studied by Robert DeLorenzo of Virginia Commonwealth University, cannabinoid use may benefit people with epileptic seizures as THC may control the condition by binding to the cannabinoid receptors, especially CB1, responsible for regulating excitability and relaxation. This finding is published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Cannabidiol May Stop Cancer Cells from Spreading
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide as there is no widespread cure for this disease. But some healthcare practitioners believe that there's hope in cannabinoid products that contain cannabidiol (CDB). The plant may prevent cancer cells from spreading, as claimed by the researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco in 2007. Based on the findings which were published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, CBD stops cancer by turning off a gene called Id-1 which spreads all over the body.
Marijuana Can Make You Feel Good
Who doesn't want to feel good? Those who have been consuming marijuana products for recreational purposes can prove how helpful cannabis use is in coping with daily stress. When THC interacts with endocannabinoids or the CB1 receptor, it causes them to release dopamine, also called a happy hormone. This is part of the brain's reward system, which makes you feel good when performing certain activities, from eating to having sex. Once that system or receptor is over-excited by the psychoactive compound, it produces feelings of euphoria.
Recent studies on the properties of cannabis claimed that THC interacts with cannabinoid receptors and promotes neurogenesis, restores memory, and prevents neurodegenerative processes. CBD also improves cognition in preclinical models of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. Read more on the findings in this article.
Adverse Effects of Weed on the Brain
Consuming marijuana products is not always beneficial to personal health. There's a corresponding awkward period when the substance is not appropriately consumed, or the red flags are ignored. You have to make sure you're comfortable using THC or CBD, and better yet, consult your doctor if you have existing medical conditions. The following adverse cannabis effects are not meant to discourage anyone from using cannabis as a supplement but only serve as your guide to making a well-informed choice:
Cannabis Users May Experience Psychosis
Yes, THC can make you feel great for hours and many days, depending on the frequency of use. But once you exceed your tolerance level, everything can suddenly change. The drug effects may briefly cause extreme psychosis, which includes delusions, hallucinations, and even loss of personal identity. For your own safety and to ensure a pleasant experience every time, limit your intake to the effects that you can manage. This will also prevent addiction and drug abuse.
THC or CBD May Block Memory Formation
Both THC and CBD are active compounds that interact with the key cannabinoid receptors and the part of the brain called the hippocampus. Once this happens, cognitive information processing is altered, causing the formation of memories to change; this mainly occurs among younger users whose brains are still developing. Later on, the blockage of memory formation can lead to long-term cognitive impairment for an adolescent and also age-related brain cell loss.
Marijuana Use May Increase the Risk of Depression
Ironically, using marijuana can help manage the symptoms of depression or trigger the onset of the condition. It all depends on how your brain receptor reacts to the plant. One recent study from the Netherlands claims that smoking cannabis may increase the risk of depression for young people who have a genetic vulnerability to mental illness.
Depression might occur among subjects with a unique serotonin gene responsible for increased risk of the condition. As such, precautions are necessary due to the sensitivity of the endogenous cannabinoid that affects behavior.
THC Can Affect Your Sense of Balance
Sure, you can enjoy the euphoric effects of marijuana all day. But when the substance is too strong for you to handle, you might not be able to stand straight. THC can mess with brain areas called the cerebellum and basal ganglia, which regulate balance, coordination, posture, and reaction time. Once these cognitive areas are disturbed, you may find it hard to walk and talk properly, and you might become clumsy and unable to drive.
Featured Story of B-Boy Kareem
So, you've already learned how cannabis compounds affect the brain through cannabinoid receptors, both positively and negatively. In real life, though, there are individuals who are living proof that cannabis use does more good than harm. One of them is Kareem Gwinn, aka B-Boy Kareem, who is the USA Olympic Breaking Team Captain. This man is a highly-experienced and famed dancer who has been inspiring a lot of young artists in the same field. He's also using marijuana to boost his energy and creativity, a secret to his superb and world-class performance on stage.
Kareem has been dancing for 22 years and became famous for his dynamic style. He has created power moves that have become a foundation for the breaking dancing community. This man consistently wowed the audience in the world's most prestigious competitions, visiting 65 countries and winning many global titles. Recently, B-Boy served as the breaking choreographer for the Usher Las Vegas residency show. But on top of his achievements is the 2021 Mental Health Advocate of the Year Award.
Does B-Boy Kareem have secrets other than just pure gift and talent? Yes, this dance champion and choreographer is a proud cannabis user. He admitted that the substance helps him become more energetic and reach optimum performance.
This personal experience is associated with how cannabis strains uplift mood and energy due to the mind and body highs that they produce. It also boosts the brain's dopamine levels, resulting in a euphoric high that makes B-Boy enjoy the dance floor even more. Essentially, cannabis is highly beneficial for dancers like Kareem as it increases energy, motivation, and focus.
Read more about our featured artists in Cosmic Seed: Cannabis from the Cosmos!
How to Choose Weed Products for Your Brain
Many of the benefits that you can get from marijuana would primarily depend on the product that you choose. There are hundreds of varieties and brands out there. It can be a tad overwhelming and confusing to select the best item. If that seems like a guessing game for you, it's better to be informed of how to choose the product that's good for your brain and general health. Here are a few things that we suggest:
Pick the Right Cannabis Strain
There's a cannabis strain that produces a mind high and another a body high, which means that you have to make a choice. As you have read previously, the Sativa variant is appropriate for experiencing mental alertness. So if that's what you're looking for, pick the cannabis product that's made of Sativa. For a mellow body high, stick with Indica.
The strain information is indicated on the packaging, but you can read more about the product online. Many educational articles are posted on the web; you must be resourceful to become a well-informed consumer. If you want CBD for anxiety, explore the best products in our store.
Use the Best Delivery Method
Which delivery methods are you most comfortable with: vaping, smoking, eating edibles, or topical application? Above your personal preference might be your medical or recreational needs. For example, if you want fast-acting effects without any lung irritation, you can go for vaping. But if you prefer a delicious and fun way of consuming cannabis, you can enjoy cannabis edibles that offer long-lasting effects. You may try all the delivery methods if you're up for some experiments. Learn how to cook your own marijuana edibles in our Cosmic Seed Creative Cooking Series.
Consume at the Right Dosage
The correct dosage depends on your tolerance level. If you're starting to use cannabis, start with a lower dose and observe how it affects your mind and body. Once you have identified your sweet spot, stay within that range. As your tolerance level builds up throughout marijuana use, you might need more amount later on. You can take a break in between days if you want to reset your tolerance or avoid addiction or drug abuse. Remember that your whole experience with marijuana would largely depend on how much THC or CBD you take.
Check the Brand and Labels
Focus on the brand's quality- even B-Boy Kareem himself would suggest that. Everything about cannabis products and brain health would come down to how they have been grown and produced. You'll discover this information on the labels or by asking the budtender about specific details. Don't just buy for the sake of buying. You have to be smart enough to examine the products to maximize the value of your purchase. Shopping at a reputable dispensary can also give you a guarantee of getting premium marijuana products. Try our Zen AF Vacays for your best advantage!
Grab Our Premium Weed Products Now!
Make your marijuana experience more enjoyable and beneficial for your brain! Our premium products would boost your artistic skills to reach a world-class level like B-Boy Kareem does. This man exemplifies how cannabis can aid high potential individuals to become exceptional performers. We want to help you reach your full possibility!
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